Technology Tree

As the player explores the universe of Starcom: Nexus, they will become more powerful, able to tackle greater threats and dispatch earlier enemies more easily. The game features two progression mechanics, both of which gradually transform your ship from a simple shuttle to a might battlecruiser. The first mechanic is expanding their ship with modules constructed from resources. The second, … Read more

Alien Worlds, Part II: Interaction

In the last post I explained how the game generates endless interesting looking planets of various types. Game play-wise, I want planets to be a little like treasure chests in fantasy RPGs: sometimes dangerous, sometimes empty, often rewarding and always providing the potential for mystery and discovery. When players reach a new planet, they can conduct a … Read more

Alien Worlds, Part I: The Visual

No game about space exploration would be complete without planets. The original Starcom Flash game had them, but they were purely ornamental landmarks. There were a half-dozen or so bitmaps with color tint shifts to give the illusion of greater variety. As decorative features they worked quite well: the game would have felt much less rich without … Read more

Orienting the Player in a Large 2D World

In a 2D world, whether top-down or side-scrolling, as soon as something moves outside the screen’s bounds, it’s gone. In a large universe where the player can freely move in any direction, keeping the player oriented is a challenge. It’s particularly difficult when your universe is literally the universe and the background is often just a field … Read more

Havok Defense

In the original game, there was a “Havok Defense” passive upgrade that could shoot down incoming missiles and fighters, but was a fairly minor effect. In Starcom: Nexus, the Havok system will still exist, but as a short lived power up you can activate as needed. It will be much more powerful than the original … Read more

Update after a long pause…

It’s been quite a while since there’s been an update on Starcom: Nexus. I wanted to post a brief update to let people know what’s going on. Development stalled a bit after I got distracted with some other unrelated projects. I returned to it in June and have been working on it full time since … Read more