Jumpstarter, Day 7 – Finished

Posted by (twitter: @GarrickWinter)
July 28th, 2013 9:20 pm

So here it is, then – Day 7 of the 44th Mini Ludum Dare.  As this is a 7 Day RTS compo, that makes this the final day – and about time, too, since I really need a break.  I am, therefore, done – here is my first LD submission.

My game, Jumpstarter, is nominally about taking the reigns of a rebellion against an Empire, using crowdfunding (tied to public approval rating) and trade route raiding as a main source of income.  In point of fact, the theme is rather thin; most of my work was concentrating on coding a working RTS, and in that respect, I think it’s a moderate success.

There are several issues remaining – not as many selection modes as I’d like; a bug that crashes the game if you exit to the main menu and try to start it again from there; homing missiles are a little wonky; and the balance of the enemy AI is iffy at best, swinging between hilariously incompetent and ruthlessly efficient.  I played against the AI’s current design and won a few times, but I am generally terrible at RTS games (despite them being a favorite genre), so I upped the difficulty a little bit above my level before uploading it, and I can’t consistently beat it as it currently stands.  Also, ship costs are mostly arbitrary, and are probably not properly balanced.

The game uses fairly standard RTS controls.  You drag-left-click to select all units within a box, or single-left-click to select one unit.  Mouse wheel zooms in and out, WASD pans the camera around..  Right-clicking issues orders, either to move, attack or invade.

There are three ship types and three station types in the game; the main difference is that ships are mobile and stations are locked to their parent planet.  The ships are (in the same order as the build menu)

  • The Cruiser, a powerful but expensive ship;
  • The Interceptor, a fast and cheaper ship;
  • The Dropship, a weak ship that is capable of conquering planets;
  • The Shipyard, which is required to build ships;
  • The Repair station, which repairs nearby ships and stations fairly quickly; and
  • The Turret, which fires homing missiles at nearby targets

To win the game, you must capture all the red Empire’s planets; to lose, you must lose all your planets and ships – that is, you can live on if all you have are ships (but you effectively cannot win if you have neither planets nor Dropships, since you can’t capture any planets).

Tomorrow, I will consider doing a more exhaustive post-mortem on how the development of Jumpstarter went, but for now I need some rest.  Good night everyone!

Cross-posted on my personal blog.

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