High Seas Concept

Hola.  It’s been a while.

I’ve been enamored with some browser-based games lately, Neptune’s Pride and Minethings.  Going browser-based pretty much cuts your barrier to entry down to next to nothing (vs. having the user install your software, and in the case of what I have done before, install Python, Pygame, and any other required libraries as well…)

So this idea is for a browser-based game.  A persistent browser-based game.  Probably more than I can handle right now, definitely would be a learning experience.

The game is tentatively called “High Seas”.  It’s inspired by Patrician 3 or other similar trading games, only I want to have an bigger emphasis on the whole Age of Discovery and exploration thing rather than just on buying low at Port 1, selling high at Port 2, etc.

The game will start in the year 1600.  Time will pass at the rate of 1 day = 1 game “season”, so 4 days = 1 game year.  Ship rates of travel will be consistent with their real speed – ie it will take a good portion of a real day to send your ship between cities.  Kind of like sending fleets in Neptune’s Pride.  The game should be designed so players can log in for ~15 minutes a day to manage their ships and give orders.  Then come back the next day or so and check on progress again, etc.

Players control ships, which travel between cities.  Each city has some production buildings which generate some units of their specialty good each turn.  The city population consumes some number of each good every turn; the amount depends on population and cultural preferences.  Players can buy (expensive) production buildings if they wish.

Along with cities, there will also be points on the map I am calling “Expeditions”.  Ships can travel here and spend time exploring and get a reward of an Artifact.  Artifacts can be attached to ships to improve their speed, combat rating, cargo capacity, etc.  I’d like the expeditions to be a mini-game of some sort, maybe a small map to explore RPG style (collect clues and find the buried treasure) or even a text-quest like in Space Rangers 2.

Once players reach a certain level of maturity (maybe a certain amount of gold) they can choose to assign one or more of their ships as Pirate or Navy (but they can’t have both Pirate and Navy ships at the same time).  Any ship that’s not Pirate or Navy is a Trader.  Each fast game turn – about 15 minutes real time – combat resolution is performed in each ocean region.  First each Navy ship in the ocean region gets a chance to “find” a Pirate and engage it in combat.  If it wins, it collects a bounty based on the Pirate’s pillaging history.  Then each Pirate that’s still around has a chance to “find” a Trader and engage it in combat.  If the Pirate wins, it gets as much of the Trader’s cargo as it can carry.

Well there’s the basics.  See the powerpoint for more info:  high_seas

Will write more on progress in the future.  This will definitely be a multi-stage project.  I’ve already done some work on the ship pathfinding and will be exploring the virtual economy soon as well.

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