The Membrane blog: Posts about games
Wednesday, March 22 2017 16:19 GMT
The final X in "4X game" stands for "extermination", and much of the time that means combat. A 4X game designer has several choices for how to handle combat. Early Civilization games have the player running units into one another right on the world map, with various unit stacking shenanigans possible depending on the title. Other games, such as Master of Orion II, use tactical combat to provide a game within a game, with the player's ability to win the combat game depending on events in the 4X game. I always did like me a nice tactical combat, and so Star Commander goes the latter route. As a space-themed game, Star Commander might be expected to adopt Master of Orion II as its model. However, its tactical systems are actually more similar to those of a non-4X, non-spacey title: our game influence for today, Final Fantasy Tactics.
Friday, March 03 2017 01:43 GMT
Most strategy games make use of hidden information to give players more interesting gameplay decisions, and Star Commander is no exception. Unlike a game such as Chess in which both players can see the whole board at all times, Star Commander is able to present each player with a separate view of the game state, thereby forcing them to act based on incomplete knowledge. For example, the game adds a degree of combat uncertainty by hiding precise enemy ship capabilities until the player is able to get in close for a scan. Too much uncertainty can be as unfun as too little, though, and so we'd still like to give players some indication of an unknown ship's strength. Star Commander does so in a manner inspired by our game influence for today: TradeWars 2002.
Monday, January 30 2017 23:08 GMT
In this article we begin a series examining "Star Commander", a turn-based strategy game available from Membrane Software and designed/implemented by yours truly. We'll take a look through the game's lengthy list of influences, while exploring its design decisions and their ramifications during play.
Wednesday, January 25 2017 18:27 GMT
Hello, dear reader, and welcome to Membrane Software. As the name of the blog implies, we'll be discussing topics centered around software, and more generally, technology. It's a broad topic for sure, one that can and does fill hundreds of blogs. Two topics in particular are of interest at Membrane Software: video games and programming. If you're someone who's into either or both of those things, I hope you'll find these posts entertaining and informative. And if you're someone who is a maker of software and technology as we are, I hope we can trade some of that good old know-how as we focus on analyzing the creative process.