CYBORG (prototype)

edited in Projects
Cyborg (Top-down, Action, Sci-Fi)


Gameplay (5 min)

In a dystopian future, corporations compete for resources in an escalating dirty space race.
Their cyborg armies fight it out in far flung galaxies, distant star systems, planets & moons and inside well-defended hidden bases. The ambitions of man knows no limit as the hunt for the rarest resources is reaching its climax.

Our antihero Jakes has recently managed to find employment with one such corporation and he already has regrets.
Although a few successful missions are under his belt, a waning bank balance keeps him enslaved as a corporate servant. He is paired with a ruthless cyborg killer in an effort to meet the expectations of the powers that be.

"My Life has become routine. Travelling to distant star systems, but never leaving the confines of this starship. The Griffin.
But she can. Her name is Cynthia. My cybernetic colleague. We are a team, in the loosest sense of the word.
I track her movement on the monitor, zooming the remote drone-cam in for a closer look.
Her blue hair parts briefly and reveals a cold, emotionless stare.
Damn. There's that delay again. I punch the console to see if the fault is local.
Lately it's almost as if she can sense her actions are not her own, but that is not possible...
An encrypted signal is sent vast distances directly to receptors in her brain. Controlling her every action.
Here from this safe, remote command center. This orbiting starship...Me."

Embark on hazardous missions in a procedural generated galaxy. Star systems, bases, derelict structures and starships await exploration. What awaits you in this dark adventure as you traverse a hostile galaxy to unravel its secrets?


  • The zoom into the ship thing is pretty cool. I like that.

    I know this is v 0.01 so you probably already know most of the bad stuff. Here is what I think needs work first:
    - The controls are barely usable. Mouse turn needs to be much much more responsive.
    - Ship movement is too jerky. I think a gradual acceleration would work better.
    - And the same for the inside ship view.
    - All UI buttons I think must also be clickable. Couldn't figure out how to quit haha :D

    I'm interested to see where this goes. I like the theme. It reminds me of Space Pirates and Zombies (SPAZ) game.

    Good luck with the dev. Be sure to share an update every once and a while ;)
    Thanked by 1konman
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    @konman - that is one of the best pitches for a prototype EVER! Reading that made me want to play this so bad. Unfortunately I will be away from my PC for the next week, but will be trying this as soon as I can. Love the ship name. (based on the feedback above), what you can zoom in!?! What you have cockpit view !?! WHAT!?! Really can't wait to try this.
    Thanked by 1konman
  • @Eric and @FanieG Thanks for the feedback. I thought I'd start with the elevator pitch first and work from there ... :)

    @Eric what resolution did you play in? My Unity UI stuff isn't strong yet. I found the highest resolution to work best for this version. Also you can tweak the controls. Faster rotation, speed etc. Escape key brings up the menu to exit.
  • @konman Oh okay I saw the escape menu but like I said I couldn't click or select anything there. I played it on the default when the Unity resolution menu launches. Think it was 1024 x 768.

    I'll have another look later. If the input is tweakable then that solves most of my first impressions problems :)
  • I will create a video link in the original post so that people can see some game-play to help them decide if this is for them before needing to download. My corporation is sending me on a "mission" to other side Mthata in the Eastern Cape, so I'll do that when back again later this week :)
  • @konman - Thanks for posting the vid. I am still away from a PC where I can actually try this, but the video shows the basic idea you are going for quite well. I can see that it is still early in development, but the potential is there. Like how you can do different missions per planet (i.e. surface etc.). Would have been cool if you added a space battle to the video. As you know I am also working on a top-down space shooter, but think your prototype puts mine to shame. Like that you have a mini-map for your universe with a fast travel system and also like how you handled the conversations. Can't wait to play this (and future builds of this), and thanks for the motivation and inspiration for continuing to work on my own prototype some more.
    Thanked by 1konman
  • edited
    Update: Cyborg v0.02 is here, download link updated...


    ChangeLog - v0.02

    -Ship throttle implemented, increased rotation speed for better ship handling.
    -Ambient Occlusion (More realistic looking space and interiors)
    -Derelict mission (static Tiled level) now has working doors. (Oh how I struggled with those...)
  • edited
    Nice work so far - agree with Eric, the zoom into ship aspect could be awesome if you work it right. I suggest ship-to-ship boarding if you haven't thought of that already. I'm guessing that's the plan. I'm reminded of Starcontrol 2's Orz boarding commandos... maybe you could have armoured troops that launch from an enemy ship, attach to your hull and try to cut through...?

    There is something a tad unsatisfying about the size / movement speed of character, bullets etc. Have a look at:

    - Droid Assault
    - Robokill
    - The Chaos Engine (going back some decades!)

    There is a more substantial feeling to the characters and weapons in terms of movement and shooting. Crimsonland was great - similar feel to Cyborg - but I think the industry's learned a lot since then - a larger/fuller feel is preferable.
    Thanked by 1konman
  • In point form, because clarity and brevity:

    - Dat music... :O~~~~~~~~~~~~
    - I like the transition between ship and pilot controls. There's not a lot of meat there yet, but there's a lot of potential for that mechanic - repelling boarders, invading other ships, constructing/installing/repairing subsystems, etc.
    - I like the ship controls, but I am not a fan of the controls when in man-mode. Having the ship with a throttle following the cursor makes sense and feels natural, but I honestly think that having viewport-relative controls rather than character-relative controls makes the most sense when in man-mode, and it shouldn't impact your existing handling or speed.
    - Docking with the planet was far too tricky. I'd suggest that you either assume the player wants to hail if they ram into a planet and bring them to a full stop automatically, or else have a dedicated "interact" button to avoid ambiguity.
    - How do I replenish energy? I just... ran out in the derilect mission, and that's all she wrote.

    This has a lot of potential, and it looks like you're off to a good start. Personally, I'd focus less on the pretties and polish right now (since everything seems to be serviceably functional), and more on refining your controls and basic gameplay. :)

    Also, just out of curiosity - is your tile reveal/visibility in man-mode system self-rolled, or is that also a function of the tile plugin you're using?
    Thanked by 1konman
  • edited
    Thanks for play-testing and providing feedback. I really appreciate it.

    Ship-to-ship boarding would be good to implement and you're right, I have considered it. Also ship to station boarding.
    The character movement needs lots of work, I agree. Most play-testers have pointed it out too.
    Thanks for all those links! I'll check them out and try and implement better character movement in the future. :)

    @Gazza_N Can you clarify "having viewport-relative controls rather than character-relative controls"?
    I reduce thrust to 0 now when you hit a planet, so you don't overshoot, thanks to your suggestion there, it did not occur to me. Also a dedicated "interact" button is a must if you close the comms window, the only way to get it back currently is to exit and then re-enter orbit. I'll definitely add that, great idea.

    F5 to replenish energy. Consumes depleted uranium battery...a collectible not yet implemented, so there's infinite supply right now.

    Max the "pips" in speed (F1), rotation (F2) and firepower (F4) for more responsive controls and higher damage, but then you'll notice your energy drains quicker the more pips are activated...

    The line-of-site and fog-of-war tile thing is custom. It's simply a raycast from each tile in radius toward player with wall tile layer obstructing.

    thanks guys
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    @konman: For the moment, your manperson's controls move him relative to the cursor position, just like with the ship. W moves him closer to the aim reticule, S away, and A and D rotate him around it. I don't like it. I feel that it should be viewport-relative. So W always moves to the top of the screen, S down, A left, etc. You can keep the rotation rate as-is, so even while having absolute controls would make it more intuitive to play, it would still ensure combat stays interesting and skill-based due to the rotation lag.
    Thanked by 1konman
  • @Gazza_N Ah I see now. :)

    So the camera lerp still keeps character centered, but the W is no longer thrust forward towards the direction the player is looking, but UP towards the top of the screen... I'll add that in one of the next iterations and see how it plays.

  • edited
    Update: Cyborg v0.03 is here, download link updated...

    New additions:

    1) New character control method (backspace to use old method)
    2) Twine 2.0.8 integration and usage. Planet conversations have been converted, you won't notice much.
    3) Stations! (They're sparse. Easiest way to find one is to jump to a system with a station. See list of planets/stations in galaxy map.)
    4) Ship tractor beam (on/off using spacebar key)
    5) Docking (with stations using tractor beam)


    The latest build can be downloaded in the original post. Give it a whirl if you're curious to see what I am
    on about in the wall-of-text below...

    Post-Mortem: Cyborg v0.03 (Say what!?)

    I did say we would follow an "open development approach", so here's OUR take on the latest build as we upload it here.
    We would still appreciate feedback though...

    1) Twine 2.0.8 integration and usage (planet conversations have been converted from the old format to the new. Any play-testers won't notice much if they tried the earlier versions.
    Was using older version of Twine (1.4.2) and that weird text format, but now it uses the new version 2.0.8 and properly parses the new XML format published story files.
    There's no point in continuing to use deprecated stuff. Took a couple hours of development to change . So future-proofed. Worth it. Not that there's much story in-game... yet.

    2) Controls: The concensus seems to be that the new control system (when on foot) works better and will be further refined.
    Thanks to comments by almost all testers regarding the old control scheme.
    I have to admit I am struggling to "let go" of the old way of controlling the character. To me it feels natural. Different strokes? I suspect it is due to repetition play-testing while developing. Pavlov's dog anyone!? :)
    So the new control method is now the default to re-train my brain. Hopefully. I left the old version in so that it can be used for comparison via a toggle key.

    It's a weird and surprising discovery for me about the way the human mind works and how easy it can be conditioned.
    This is also alarming at the same time, because I realise how easy it is to become "hung-up" or
    biased toward mechanics when creating games (maybe also due to time invested?) and one could risk not catering for a wider audience as a result perhaps? If something does not work, it must be identified as quickly as possible and removed, which leads to...

    3) The rotation of the character frustrating players.
    The initial idea was that it could possibly add an interesting tactical mechanic and customization to game-play.
    The reality is it feels unresponsive to most players even though it can be tweaked to be more responsive at an energy cost.
    This mechanic is possibly doing more harm than good if it results in a frustrating experience for the player.
    So the whole cybernetic tweak system (speed, rotation, shield, firepower) might be totally removed in the future or revamped. Hey this is a prototype!

    4) Stations: (available in glorious developer art)
    Still here? You will notice that docking with stations requires a tractor beam mini-game to be able to dock.
    Technically the player needs to keep the tractor beam cross-hair inside the tether lock reticule and score 50% or
    above accuracy each second for 60 samples taken per second. Huh?

    It is probably the wrong mechanic for this docking scenario. It just feels like waaay too much work just to dock!
    As a mechanism for locking-on to a target... to breach fleeing enemy ships when boarding or to lock onto turrets on a large capital ship as you do a fly-by it might work, but not for docking at a friendly station. Enough about that, it will need to change.

    5) Summary: (a collective gasp of relief)
    Lesson learnt: identified what does NOT work so well.
    Time invested: +- 2-3 days

    What's next:

    Still having fun... Perhaps creating a 2nd deck (the hold, with airlock) for the Griffin accessible via stairs.
    Sprinkle a few wandering crew members and perhaps a hint at some conversation/story elements...
    Oooh, I get to play with AI and pathfinding.
    Thanked by 1iceblademush
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    This looks really impressive by the way. The ability to control your little character on a ship, combined with controlling the ship itself and navigating the galaxy, is really rad and underexplored.

    Don't know if you've seen Heat Signature. It does a few clever things in this vein. The docking in particular is very quick and easy. The movement of the character in Heat Signature appears to be quite close to that of Hotline Miami.

    Thanked by 2konman NickWiggill
  • @BlackShipsFilltheSky What an awesome video!!! I see Tom Francis is also the guy who did Gunpoint. He should not have stolen my concept though! For that I'll never forgive him, seeesh. Haha. I hope he can keep up... ;)
    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
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    Damn this just took the wind out of my sails to be honest. If he does planetary landings I am booking a flight to England...

    I am actually really excited about that game having seen that video. The vacuum mechanic where the player gets sucked into space is amazing! What a talented developer... damn him! :)
  • edited
    @konman - okay so finally got to play this, and damn do you make it look in easy in the video?!?

    What I liked:
    The conversation system.
    The splosions!
    The lighting.
    The HUD
    The inventory system
    The sound
    The general potential that is alive here

    What I didn't like:
    The rotation is out of sync with the mouse. The cursor/reticle moves at super fast speed, but the character/ship takes forever to rotate towards it. This made it rather frustrating. I basically ended aiming in only one direction and then just strafed with the directional keys (WASD) to try and hit stuff. Also whenever I hit "W" in ship view, my ship would jump out off my screens view (bit hard to navigate a ship you can't see). The collision against walls also made my player switch direction in unpredictable ways, which was confusing as hell. Also, I only got the little hand icon for crates if I moved the reticle 5cm to the left of the crate. Kinda like I was playing in the wrong screen resolution or something?

    Wish list:
    Hacking puzzles.
    More things to collect in your inventory and cool ways to use these.

    Can't wait for the next update!
    Thanked by 1konman
  • @FanieG At lower resolutions some buttons seem to be not clickable. I have seen this phenomenon in other peoples prototypes too. Might be a simple thing in Unity UI, a missing anchor or something that needs to be added so it scales correctly. I'll investigate.

    The rotation thing has been mentioned before. If you put max energy in rotation (F2) it rotates immediately instead of the delayed lerping I was testing and which has been pointed out as not being ideal previously.
    Wish list: Hacking puzzles.
    There's only 3 Sokoban style levels as a test for now. I will eventually add more. In the beginning they need to be super simple I guess, I have discovered not everyone has played Sokoban before! :) I struggled solving those initially myself :) Also if you abort a hack attempt on a crate and retry, it needs to have the same hack level again, else people can simply cycle until they find an easier one.

    This being a prototype there's lots of things that are still very experimental and will change as I figure out what works and what doesn't. That's why feedback like yours is so important. I thank you sir :)
  • edited
    Artificial Intelligence (AI)

    I have been tinkering with trying to get some basic AI going this weekend in between having to do a work project. AI is very hard to do right I think. I did a little bit of research and apparently one way how it is done uses something called a ''finite state machine". Each critter who has a "brain" can only be in 1 state at a time. Based on the world and events that happen around them, the states transition to new states. For example, states like idle and patrol can shift to a state of attacking when the player is spotted and in range, or become a state of flee when their life amount falls below a certain value.

    I am a big fan of taking shortcuts. I have noticed Unity comes with a state machine out-of-the-box. The animation state machine. So instead of rolling my own, I will try and use theirs as much as possible. It saves coding time and also cuts out potential optimization bugs etc. Also as a developer I can visualize real-time the states transitioning for debugging purposes...

    I'll leave an image here so you can see what I mean:
  • @konman saw the next live training sesson on unity's learn site is about state machines. Couple of days away I think. Those are always super informative. On the topic of twine hard to use and integrate in unity projects? Saw that you and @dammit use it.
  • @FanieG Twine is super easy to use. I'm not sure about any integration with Unity though.
    Thanked by 2FanieG konman
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    @FanieG Thanks for the heads-up on state machines, I'll have a look.

    Twine is quick to get into and many people here use it. It's great for creating branching stories where the reader can make choices to progress the story. Writers can do their thing in twine and test it before giving the files to coders who can import it into their games with minimal effort. Download it and give it a try.
    Twine stories are just plain text files stored in XML format. You'll need to parse the XML and load it into your game. To display the story I just use Unity UI buttons for the story options. I'm sure there's many tutorials online to do so...

    Edit: There some source code here that might get you started. It uses older version of Twine, so the parsing will be different if you plan to use the latest version.
    Thanked by 1FanieG
  • edited
    Update: Cyborg v0.04

    Demo download link updated in original post. New video (6 min).


    Change log (v0.04):

    - Asteroids!
    - 2nd deck (The Hold) for the ship, accessible via stairs.
    - Slightly better ship interiors.
    - 3 new crew members on-board the Griffin.
    - Basic AI (Idle, Scan, Move, Chat) for crew.
    - Ship main weapon.
    - 3 new weapon styles for player when on foot (keys 1-3 to toggle)
    - 4 new music tracks (old ones were driving my girlfriend insane!)

    Under the hood changes:

    - Object Pooling (Bullets & Audio Sources). High freq sound swapping no longer cuts off others.
    - Canvas scaler: Better UI interactions for different screen resolutions.
    - Save game data to binary file. Code in place, but not utilized currently.

    Known bugs:
    -Blood spatters "created" on deck 1 of ship appear on deck 2.


    You might have noticed, there's currently no trace of a game here yet and this project might seem hopelessly complex in scope and doomed for abandonment.
    Not what is recommended for a quick prototype to test a few mechanics. Fail quick, early, often... or so the mantra goes.

    I am however loving this unplanned, chaotic approach to creating this... thing.

    Game development as a form of entertainment?

    FYI, my current day-job entails developing software within tight deadlines. Under pressure, according to well defined design specifications. Sprinting 2 week cycles. Backlog items. Code reviews. Burn-down charts etc. So I find this way of working refreshing and fun.

    Enough rambling. Next up, time permitting, most probably a look (loot?) at...

    -AI with A* path finding. (enemies can patrol and hunt a target)
    -Inventory system with loot. (I have jotted down a fairly extensive document (3 pages) around this, but suspect it will unravel quickly)
    -Better planet surfaces. Maybe some daylight after all this damn darkness?
    -Maybe throw in an enemy battle-cruiser (with turrets firing away) that can be boarded?

    Yeah right, dream on son :)

  • Yassss.

    - The revised controls are love. Now I feel like I have good control over my little spaceman. Win.
    - Spaceship feels good! Asteroids are a bit tightly packed for easy flying right off the bat, but they look great and react well.
    - Any reason why I have to wait to use stairs as opposed to just pressing a Use button?
    - Poor AI crewmembers. They told me to tell you to fix their pathfinding. ;_;
    - I love that I can attack my crew members AND have them tell me how crazy I am for doing so. makes the world feel alive, even at this early stage.
    - Is it possible to complete the Base Mission? I shot some robutts and rambled around, but couldn't find anywhere else to go after the first two rooms, or how to return to my ship.
    - Any way to close the minimap without clicking the X and firing my gun into thin air? :P

    It looks like you've got a solid basis now to start experimenting with more diverse gameplay mechanics and refining your existing stuff further. I think that if you're careful to scope it right, it's quite achievable for a single person to build something with this concept. Also don't think of it as chaotic, think of it as "finding the fun". :P I'm especially looking forward to phat lewts. I think that'll lend a little more context and consequence to the player's actions.
    Game development as a form of entertainment?
    Believe it, flapjack. It's how I got into this whole schtick in the first place. :P
    Thanked by 1konman
  • New vid looks hot. Will play when I get a chance. The reflection of the lasers on those asteroids = damn!!!!
    Thanked by 1konman
  • edited
    @Gazza_N Thanks for testing ;)
    Any reason why I have to wait to use stairs as opposed to just pressing a Use button?
    Not really, the countdown thing is for an accidental entry onto stairs and giving the player chance to cancel. Too many popups might feel like psychological hurdles, so just testing a different option there. I might do a radial bar that fills over time or go with what you suggested.
    They told me to tell you to fix their pathfinding
    Heh, yeah I still need to implement the A*. I am 80% there. AI done right is very hard, so it will need some more time...
    I would have gone Navmesh, but its not suited to 2D yet.
    Is it possible to complete the Base Mission?
    Not yet :) Cynthia will be running around in bases and I need to figure out how to get her back to the ship. The idea is she arrives on the planet surface in a drop pod before entering a base, so she might need to exit the structure again after the mission, get back to her drop pod which is connected to the Griffin via a space elevator cable... or I'll just teleport her back in a "Beam me up Scottie" kind of way, whichever is simpler ;-P
    Any way to close the minimap without clicking the X and firing my gun into thin air
    Tab should close minimap again. I might change the left click to fire thing because left click is also used to interact as well. Maybe player will hold down right mouse button to aim and then left click to shoot. This then allows left click interactions without accidental fire happening.

  • Cyborg is progressing well!

    - The ship interior's new lights add loads of atmosphere to the environment.

    - Like that the ship gets smaller when you arrive at planet, adds depth to the experience (pun not intended).

    - I also think the asteroids are packed a bit tightly.

    - After accidentally attacking the crew members I realized how fun this game would be when pitted against similar enemies.

    - The stairs transition feels a bit tedious within a game that provides such a fluent experience. Think just seamlessly transitioning from one level to the next without waiting or button prompt would work well. Don't think a player would accidentally enter is so much so that it actually gets annoying.

    - And why not just dedicate the "action button" to another key? You're already using the keyboard to move so don't think pressing "E", for instance, would be too much extra effort.

    Good luck with the game, starting to take shape nicely!

    Thanked by 1konman
  • edited
    @SleepingSafari Thanks for the feedback :)

    I have made the asteroid field radius larger so they aren't as tightly packed now. much easier to navigate.
    The "E" key suggestion of yours will work for the stairs and I'll add that too, thanks ;)

    I started on doing the inventory today, but then got side-tracked by doing enemy star fighters instead.

    I am pretty happy how that is coming along. They swarm and flock around the player ship currently which is nice to see.

    I think they will work well as a fighter screen for a juggernaut battleship armed with turrets perhaps.
    I'll make the battleship orbit random planets as a test with the fighters providing cover.

    Anyways, I have lots of ideas and feeling inspired. There should be lots of new stuff in the next build...

    Thanks for watching,

    Edit: Hunted by Piranha's...
  • Cyborg updated. A quick video: Space combat and new inventory system with loot.

    Damage taken is applied to items placed in the slots on the left hand side of the screen.
    This will be for both spaceship and player on foot.
    The slots flash red when damaged. Item durability is displayed as a radial graph.
    Items in those slots will eventually be destroyed, offering no more protection.
    If damage is taken to an unprotected slot, the critical hit results in oxygen loss / player bleeding out and needs to be repaired within a set amount of time.
    Items can be of type consumable or be equip-able. You can select 1 item to be active per slot.

    I'll upload a new playable demo here once it is a bit more stable. Thanks for watching...
  • Good to see you are making some progress,
    I do feel like you need to have a read of the blogs from the creator of the game Rimworld..
    I feel those sim based design decisions can really benefit your game as well.

    Here is the specific article...

    Talks about simulated complexity versus what players expect from games in terms of emotional experiences, and how much detail to put into the game in terms of integration and realistic simulations..

    Thanked by 1konman
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    @Boysano I am a huge Tynan Sylvester fan! I backed RimWorld since kickstarter. I haven't read that article before though, so thank you very much for sharing that and providing very useful feedback.

    During the making of Cyborg there has been a few other game designers and artists who have PM'ed me, saying this has potential and all, but something is missing... waiting for me to respond.

    I could not explain it as eloquently as Tynan does in that article cause I just didn't know? Does it distill what could be missing here?

    Complexity and the 2 models:
    -Simulation Model (Code)
    -Player/Mental Model (In The mind of player only, where stories are told)

    Player/Mental Model is more important than Simulation model which is irrelevant if player not emotionally involved.
    If the 2 models don't map (e.g. simulation model is too complex) there is a disconnect for the player.

    The simulation model in Cyborg is too complex and the player/mental model non-existent, right?
    I DID start off this thread with a story and some context (appealing perhaps to the Mental Model), but then not delivering on that at all and instead focusing completely on the simulation model alone?

    Also complexity...

    "We can’t blindly simulate everything, because most things are boring and people
    can’t understand over-complex systems anyway. We have to carefully craft a condensed system
    of simple, understandable hints that cue players’ apophenia to do the
    heavy lifting of ascribing emotion and meaning." - Tynan Sylvester

    With this prototype I am checking personal tech check boxes firstly in pursuit of learning:
    -Generate a random world
    -Many bullets, how to do so without slowing the game down
    -Basic AI

    Secondary priority is to make a game in the process. Evolutionary? An operational prototype?
    I could have chosen to do these as individual prototypes, but instead a larger, complex one ensued. To be able to stack and test wider concepts not always possible with a simpler prototype? (Just tell these nice people you are having a go at making an actual game and not another prototype Konman)

    I now realize there is a need to address the Player/Mental Model for this to move in the right direction.
    The individual components will need to be simpler and tie together in a coherent way without confusing the player with too much complexity? I am happy to discard many components that don't work out as I get more feedback.

    Am I wasting my time? Should I stop? Dutch developer "Game Oven" bemoaned the fact his local community didn't
    "warn" them early enough about potential failure and heartbreak.

    It is a huge undertaking to make a game, we all know that. Best practices are there to limit risk and gain success quicker.
    I am having a blast creating this and I would love to receive more input to guide me as I go.

    Where is Cyborg's soul? I am open to your suggestions in finding it.

    How can I best address this lack of a Player Model? Can it even be added at the end or does one have to plan for it from the very start? Could by adding a story, NPC interactions or a quest system perhaps be the missing ingredients? ;)

  • edited
    SCALE is everything.

    I DON'T just want to SHOOT at spaceships. I DON'T just want to destroy them... I want to OWN them.

    I want to own their CReW, the pLaneT they last visited, it's mOOn, the StAR SYSTEM they were in, their CoRpORATiON.. the GALAXY!

    To do that, i will start small.

    First, I'll take out their ship's energy source.... it's capacitor (CAP), which will prevent their shields from regenerating.

    When their shields are down, I'll have a choice...

    I could take out their:

    ENG (engine), so they cannot run...
    NAV (navigation system) so they cannot target me...
    WPN (weapon systems) so they cannot shoot at me...
    TUR (automated turrets) so they cannot defend themselves...
    AIR (airlock) so they cannot escape...

    HANG ON!!! Destroy the AirLoCk? That would mean I cannot BOaRD them and take ownership of their ShiP!

    Scratch that idea!!!

    Maybe I should just tow their disabled asses to a nearby space StAtioN for metallic breakdown and disintegration?
    More scrap metal that way than scooping it from space!

    Afterall, my cReW needs the credits for skill/weapons/armor upgrades.


    I'll be needing an eNginEer, naVigAtOr, a gUnNer, sCientist, mEdiC...

    Mmmmh, and that's just in space. Who will be my squad pointman/woman on the ground?
    I'll need someone skilled and reliable for all the ground/ship assaults that will be required.
    They're all expendable really... except the ones I like. I am their leader. I am strict, but fair. My CrEw will attest.

    After defeating the first SHiP, I will need to progess.
    What's neXt? A StAtIOn/MooN/PLaNeT/SYsTEm... The GALAXY?

    Which corporation deserves my loyalty? USG Corp? RUSS Corp? MAFI Corp? YAKU Corp? PRC Corp?
    Which corporation deserves me as its eventual leader?

    ScALe AMBITION, is everything...

  • edited
    Wow, you know, I sortof feel thats unique. I mean I dont know all the space games out there at the moment but, I think this hasnt really been done before. Just going, hey I want everything, in such a direct way. Usually space sims limmit you in the control you have in space, your only a freelancer or maybe your even n general, but never a dominator of the universe, from the perspective your taking. Good on you. I am excited. Sort of like the scalability in mount and blade.

    I mean there is ofcourse a reason why games usually dont scale like that. Simply because you need to build more than one game, layered ontop of one another. Almost like with spore. In your case, perhapse its achieveable enough to create the fantasy. Truth be told I am a sucker for this idea, since I always feel detached in strategy games, like what I do doesnt matter. Though if you could scale it like that you would know, all those ships matter because once you fought with a squad to take down only one ship, now you command an armada...
    Thanked by 1konman
  • edited
    Hey, @Bernard. :)

    Isn't imagination a wonderful thing?

    Being a game developer allows us to fully explore that. We get to define our universe.
    It can be as big or as small as we want it to be... only limited by our imagination.

    Being able to transition it technically or artistically from our imagination into something an audience can relate to and appreciate is another thing...

    I have great things in mind for Cyborg. It is a long term project that I am really excited about it.

    This is the right place for it to be right now. Also I do take a lot of inspiration from all my peers here at MGSA. More than they know. You included. All the projects inspire me to carry on exploring the art of making a game. If this eventually is successful or not, it does not really matter.

    I am just having lots of fun making this right now...

    Thanks for your kind words. :-D

    Edit: Being in control of an armada is an interesting concept... However, I would be more fascinated by the little guy (with big aspirations) with one ship and his crew achieving the unimaginable... conquering a galaxy. However unlikely that may seem.
  • edited
    Update: CYBORG v0.05 for PC (11MB) is here, download link updated in original post, where an
    older version can still be downloaded as well.

    You start in the middle of a faction battle between the USG Corp and RUSS.

    You can select any ship/station as a target and focus on individual ship components like ENGINES.
    Destroying a component disables certain ship functions. Taking out WEAPONS inhibits ship offensive capabilities etc.

    Each ship/station has an AIRLOCK that can be docked. Boarding is still not implemented though.

    I would appreciate any feedback if you do find the time to give it a play.

    Thanks! K
    Thanked by 2iceblademush Bernard
  • Feedback:
    -I find the way you move your ship quite fun! Took me a bit to figure it out but was really nice once I did.
    -Last I checked you weren't flying a fighter so it sort of feels you should be shooting with turrets aimed at your mouse.
    -You may be planning this already but you should consider making the ship out of a number of parts (as objects) which you can just shoot at to destroy. It will also look and feel quite nice seeing you destroyed a part.
    -You may want to consider using vector sprites if you want to scale ships.
    -In my personal opinion it is sort of strange to have the moon traveling at those insane speeds.
    -Its nice not flying into the atroids though I must admit it is a weird thing with top down space shooters,,, maybe only fly into really big astroids (cover in the battlefield) but have little darker astroids in the background?
    -Looking forward to boarding!!!
  • @Bernard Thanks for the feedback :)
    -I find the way you move your ship quite fun! Took me a bit to figure it out but was really nice once I did.
    That's great. I always worry the controls feel wrong.
    -Last I checked you weren't flying a fighter so it sort of feels you should be shooting with turrets aimed at your mouse.
    The previous version rotated the ship using the mouse. I changed that with turrets in mind as you point out.
    -You may be planning this already but you should consider making the ship out of a number of parts (as objects) which you can just shoot at to destroy. It will also look and feel quite nice seeing you destroyed a part.
    The ship components (orange blocks) currently can be destroyed, but you don't get a real sense of damage.
    What you suggest sounds interesting. I'll give it more thought.
    -In my personal opinion it is sort of strange to have the moon traveling at those insane speeds.
    I agree. I'll tweak it so that celestial body movement is barely noticeable in future builds.
    -Its nice not flying into the asteroids though I must admit it is a weird thing with top down space shooters,,, maybe only fly into really big asteroids (cover in the battlefield) but have little darker asteroids in the background?
    Another great idea. Flying through an asteroid field just felt frustrating before as it obstructs the player.
    Larger rocks that could damage the ship should be collide-able.
    It must be graphically obvious though which ones are and those that are not a threat.
    -Looking forward to boarding!!!
    Me too :) I don't want to do a load scene for that, so I am looking at moving the player instantly to an "inside" location miles away in the scene, then back again when they exit. Similar to the mouse wheel zoom into ship thing.
  • Hiya, here's a new gameplay video (5 min).

  • edited
    Hello, here's a video update of progress made (3 min playtime).

    This one features an attack on a USG corporation station by a rival corp and also showcases, defensive enemies (drones, mines etc) and also first look at planetary landings. (which needs a lot more work).

    Thanks for watching.

    Edit: "Plannet" is spelt incorrectly. I copy pasted the text to speech which needed the extra "n" for it to sound correct.
    Thanked by 1iceblademush
  • Its looking great, so much potential, love the seamless zooming in and out of landings, and boardings and also the general "alive" feeling of the universe.
  • Would be cool if there are other ships doing there own thing, and you can either be a pirate or escort them dynamically, or attack them, protect them etc.
  • edited
    @iceblademush Thanks man, some good ideas there! The focus so far has mostly been on the simulation aspects. The spectacle of it all. But to get the player really involved, I think they need to be able to follow a set plan while deviating whenever they are interested in exploring something somewhere, at their own pace as the faction warfare simulation occurs.

    I have a "follow me" and "follow that ship" thing implemented as a concept, so fleet stuff can be done too, possibly. It will just need some or other interface to happen without feeling out of place.

    As you suggest, I am planning other factions like pirates and independents. The independents travel between planets and stations and generally mind their own business. If one is harmed, either by player or accidental AI shot, the "System sec" faction will get involved, real quick. Not to be messed with! So better not shoot any innocents or they'll find ya :) That's the plan at least.

    Faction wise it's fairly simple to switch relations on and off to toggle between one faction being at war with another and declaring peace.

    Here's a rough idea of the factions involved:
    PS: All artwork used, including above, is temporary and from I tweaked it to for ambient occlusion where necessary.
    Thanked by 1iceblademush
  • sci-fi is the best! nothing stretches the imagination quite like a space-time distortion . hahaha. nice graphics, presentation , and gameplay mechanics
    Thanked by 1konman
  • Hi, here's another progress update video.

    Meet the crew... then shoot 'em in the face :)
    Thanked by 1iceblademush
  • Hiya, it's been awhile since I worked on this project. After missing out on the SA Game Jam 2019 this year where 'Crafting' was the theme I felt inspired to try something new for it. A ship builder. Here's the results so far... :)

    All the best,

  • Another quick update. I've been having fun playing around with adding weapons systems. I wanted to be able to add more varied weapons with as little code as possible, mostly via configuration. (Projectile, Beam, Deployables like mines etc). I still want to add some homing missiles and straight shooting rockets all that can be placed on either fixed or rotating hardpoints. Rotating weapons fire with RMB, fixed with LMB. It should be possible to toggle on/off which weapons are active having only those 2 buttons to fire them all with.

    I am close to moving on to the next vertical slice which is seeing how those modular ships come apart when they are attacked. :)
  • edited
    Object pools are extremely useful if you find you instantiate the same objects a lot regularly and care about performance (one should). Here's my implementation which currently allows for quickly grabbing objects (bullets, sounds, meteors) from a pool of pre-created objects instead of instantiating them from scratch which is expensive performance-wise. Hope someone finds it useful or has a better way to do this and share their approach...

    Unity code:

    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.Linq;
    using UnityEngine;
    // Add script to Game object
    // if we are continuously creating entities with a low life span (bullets/sounds etc) use object pooling to avoid performance penalty.
    public class ObjectPools : MonoBehaviour
        public static ObjectPools current { get; private set; }// Static singleton property
        public enum ObjectPoolType
        List<Pool> objectPools = new List<Pool>();
        GameObject root;
        void Awake()
            current = this;
            objectPools.Add(new Pool(ObjectPoolType.Bullet, initialPooledAmount: 50, willGrow: true));
            objectPools.Add(new Pool(ObjectPoolType.Sound, initialPooledAmount: 50, willGrow: true, objectPrefab: Resources.Load<GameObject>("Prefabs/sound")));
            objectPools.Add(new Pool(ObjectPoolType.Meteor, initialPooledAmount: 100, willGrow: true, objectPrefab: Resources.Load<GameObject>("Prefabs/meteor")));
            root = new GameObject("ObjectPool");
            foreach (var pool in objectPools)
        private void CreatePool(Pool pool)
            pool.root = new GameObject(pool.PoolType.ToString());
            pool.root.transform.parent = root.transform;
            pool.PooledObjects = new List<GameObject>();
            for (int i = 0; i < pool.InitialPooledAmount; i++)
                GameObject obj;
                if (pool.ObjectPrefab == null)
                    pool.ObjectPrefab = new GameObject();
                    obj = pool.ObjectPrefab;
                    obj = Instantiate(pool.ObjectPrefab);
       = pool.PoolType.ToString().ToLower();
                obj.transform.parent = pool.root.transform;
        public GameObject GetPooledObject(ObjectPoolType poolType)
            var pool = objectPools.First(x => x.PoolType == poolType);
            for (int i = 0; i < pool.PooledObjects.Count; i++)
                if (!pool.PooledObjects[i].activeInHierarchy) //find unused
                    return pool.PooledObjects[i];
            if (pool.WillGrow && pool.ObjectPrefab != null)
                GameObject obj = Instantiate(pool.ObjectPrefab);
       = pool.PoolType.ToString().ToLower();
                obj.transform.parent = pool.root.transform; //link to empty game object for neatness
                return obj;
            return null;
    public class Pool
        public ObjectPools.ObjectPoolType PoolType;
        public int InitialPooledAmount;
        public bool WillGrow; //pool can grow or not
        public GameObject ObjectPrefab;
        public List<GameObject> PooledObjects;
        public GameObject root;
        public Pool(ObjectPools.ObjectPoolType poolType, int initialPooledAmount = 30, bool willGrow = true, GameObject objectPrefab = null)
            PoolType = poolType;
            InitialPooledAmount = initialPooledAmount;
            WillGrow = willGrow;
            ObjectPrefab = objectPrefab;
  • I just played v0.05 and messed around a bit.

    It seems like the game has progressed a lot since then. Is there a download link to a later version?
  • @Plenopterix Hey! Thanks for posting. I really like your work on Superior Wizards! Sorry I am not ready to show a build just yet. Soon I hope. This new prototype is really really early. Apart from the ship building there is actually very very little substance so far, which would make it kinda uninteresting to anyone wanting to playtest at this point. I'm working on it! :D
  • Ok, send me a message with a link if you want me to test it when you're ready
    Thanked by 1konman
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