The October Challenge: Distant Star

Posted by
September 30th, 2010 11:52 am

So today’s officially the last day of September, which means it’s time to throw in my lot with the October Challenge folks. What were you thinking, PoV? Challenging the Ludum Dare to make a game? In a month? One game?

I think we can handle this.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been hacking away on a medium-sized iPad game; I hadn’t planned on finishing it by October 31st, but (with your collective permission) I’m upping my deadline and making it my October Challenge entry. So, without further ado, I present, for the iPad-owning, grand-strategy-loving among you: Distant Star

You did play Master of Orion, didn't you?

You did play Master of Orion, didn't you?

Distant Star is an old-school 4x game (a la Master of Orion or Sword of the Stars) for the iPad. It’s a turn-based strategy game in which you explore the galaxy, assembling massive fleets to conquer your opponents and terraform their planets. Starting from a single system, you build starships, research new technologies, and colonize distant star systems — but you’re not alone in the galaxy. There are other races out there, with radically different needs, abilities, and psychologies.


Look! It works in vertical, too!

Look! It works in vertical, too!

Thanks to the couple of weekends and odd evening I’ve put in so far, the core of the game is more-or-less complete. You can build ships, assemble them into fleets, and move those fleets between systems. Obviously, there’s a lot of critical stuff left to write: the AI system is just a shell, the research/tech tree aspect is completely non-existent, and the whole thing is entirely devoid of graphical shininess. I’ve also made my life significantly more difficult by attempting to support multiple orientations, but with some slight glTranslate/glRotate cleverness, this shouldn’t be too hard.

I have to confess: I’m not really making Distant Star for the October Challenge. I’m making Distant Star because I happen to have an iPad and I want to play an old-school 4x game on it. Unfortunately, such a thing doesn’t seem to exist, so I suppose I’ll just have to write it myself. Worse things have happened.

Anyway: Distant Star, coming for the iPad in early November! I’ll be writing more about it as things progress, over at Expat Games


6 Responses to “The October Challenge: Distant Star”

  1. Doches says:

    Thanks, guys; I do try.

    Also, jovoc: <3.

  2. phidinh6 says:

    Hey, that looks absolutely brilliant! Can’t wait to play it!
    I’ve also been developing mine for a good few months now, you might be interested in taking a look:

    • Doches says:

      We have eerily similar visions, phidinh6 — probably because we grew up playing the same games. Democrytus looks, well, it looks like the game I want to play. Finish that thing, dammit! Are you posting updates on it anywhere other than that TouchArcade thread?

      I didn’t play Stars!, so I can’t speak to that — but I can definitely see the MoO influence in your screenshots, and it makes me /very/ happy. You’ve got a look going that’s both gloriously retro and slick as hell; I’m clearly going to have to think a bit harder about the interface design for Distant Star if I want to keep up!

  3. LoneStranger says:

    Oh man, please make it for the iPhone! This is one of those types of games that I really want to have in my pocket.

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