Markets

In the parlance of the economy system, a market is any entity (generally a planet or a space habitat) that participates in the economy. One of the primary ways of interacting with a market is through the trade screen, which therefore needed a major revamp from its current incarnation. Let’s take a quick look at the new trade screen, and then talk about the details of how markets work.

 jangala_tradeTrading with Jangala in the Corvus system

Please note that the market-related screens aren’t completely finished. Some of the artwork in the screenshot uses placeholders – for example, the top-right  icons for market conditions currently use hull mod icons. In general, things could change from what you’re seeing now, but I wouldn’t expect them to change too much. That said, let’s dive into the details!

Market Conditions
In the upper right, you can see a row of icons labelled “market conditions”. Market conditions are the building blocks that define a market – they determine what it produces, what it consumes, how much population it has, what type of planet it is, and so on. For now, buildings and installations are also rolled into market conditions, though later on they’ll probably receive more detailed treatment.

Jangala has the following market conditions:

  • Urbanized Polity
  • Regional Capital
  • Orbital Station
  • Military Base
  • Autofactory – Heavy Industrial
  • Organics Complex
  • Orbital Burns
  • Jungle World
  • Population – hundreds of thousands

The “Urbanized Polity” condition, for example, increases demand for luxury and domestic goods, and reduces food production. (Rampant speculation on what the other conditions do may officially commence.) Read the rest of this entry »

Let Me Draw You A Starsector Ship, Part 2

Now where were we? Oh, yes, Drawing A Starsector Ship Part 2 (read part 1 here).

I believe I was fretting about the back of the ship, those engine pods and such. Let’s do another sketch:

rear_sketch2

Hmm. While drawing this, I kept thinking “I’d rather be doing this experimentation on the sprite itself”. That, and I rather like the idea of echelons of squarish angle-corned thrusters for the primary drive with “barnacled” pods for the maneuvering jets. Well, let’s go back to the sprite and give these engines an overhaul, shall we?

(Also considering a comment from the forum thread noting that I’ve concerned myself a lot with asymmetry at the front of the sprite but little with asymmetry at the back. Interesting. Though I don’t especially want to have asymmetric engine pods for obvious reasons unless the mass of the ship was wildly skewed to one side. Which might be neat, but … this is not the time for something as off-the-wall as a B-Wing.)

– To the pixels! Jumped in with doing some pixel-brush painting, blocking out a base area with a 100% brush then doing detail and texture with 1-2 pixel radius brush set to very low opacity, sampling bits of colour from around the sprite as needed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Let Me Draw You A Starsector Ship, Part 1

Due to popular demand I’m going to give a go at documenting the process of drawing a ship sprite for Starsector. Haven’t made many new ships lately as there are very interesting larger-scale developments going on, but I find that drawing spaceships is always nice to revisit. And about time I do this again since my methods have certainly changed since the early days.

So what kind of ship shall we draw today? Nothing too big as I ought to finish this post in a timely manner, so let’s go with a frigate. And lately I’ve been more excited about ships that blur the line between civilian and military which evoke a sort of post-apocalyptic can-do spirit so this one won’t be a sleek high-end Tritachyon thing. In fact, I’ve got a good weird idea in mind to fill an unfilled niche: a tiny frigate-sized carrier! This would fit nicely as well with some of the setting development we’ve been up to ( “very interesting larger-scale developments” ): one of the new systems going in — Magec — is composed largely of a giant ring of asteroids, dust, ice, and general chaos swirling around a young blue star. There’s a significant planet, but civilization has collapsed and no major faction has stepped in to take responsibility for what’s left. As one might imagine the place is lousy with pirates, profiteers, mercenaries, and adventurers. A combat-converted miner drone-tender would fit in perfectly!

Read the rest of this entry »

Comm Relays

Since the last post, I’ve been working on a lot of framework stuff. All of it is directly in support of the content for the next release, but until now, it hadn’t all come together in a way that would make it easy to demonstrate. Now, though, there’s a good vertical slice to talk about; a new piece of content that uses many of the new pieces – the comm relay.

We’ve talked about events and information gathering in the previous blog post, and that’s where comm relays come in. You need to be in a star system with one to receive news reports and other kinds of intel. Here’s what one looks like in-game:

 comm_relay

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On Trade Design

An Aside
It’s that time again when I get to talk about stuff that’s going to be in the next release. This time, though, I’m going to talk about it a little earlier in the dev process than I’m usually comfortable with. Why is that? Well, for one, I’d like to talk about it. It’s fun! For two, waiting until it was mostly done would mean this blog post would come out a week or so before the actual release, and I don’t think anybody wants that.

In short, instead of talking about the actual implementation of something, we’re going to talk about the design and the motivations for why things are going to work a certain way. This also means that things almost certainly won’t work exactly as described here, because implementation gets in the way of finely crafted theory on occasion. Consider yourself warned!

Trade
Now, what was I talking about? Oh, right, trade. The trouble with trade is that in its most basic form, it’s boring. You go someplace, buy some stuff, go someplace else, sell whatever you bought, hopefully make a profit, and then repeat that until you have enough credits to do something that’s actually interesting.

freighters_over_planet

Read the rest of this entry »

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