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Project: Rocketry - Game about Model Rocketry | Sneak peek - Casting


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Sneak peek - Casting

Hi!

I started working on some project related to your favourite subject: Rockets. I'm creating a game about rocketry... from the very beginning.

If we all love rockets, i thought you would like to know.

Main ideas:

Game splitted in "Era's"

Era I - You build small rockets, have to buy rocket casings at plumber shop, fuel ingredients at gardenter's etc. then you can test various fuel mixes, thrust with certain core sizes and nozzles (later). When you're ready, you create proper rocket and launch it. Then you gain money to build it even bigger. Ends when you hit your first 10km altitude

Era II - Similar to Era I, just with many more possible fuel ingredients (not only kno3 + sugar). Later you can create simple staging. Ends when you hit 100km.

Era III - You build small sounding rockets. At beginning you can use professional solid fuel mixes, at then end you can use liquid fuel engines. (you build your own engines, test their thrust and reliability etc.) Ends when (Still no idea how to start orbiting era)

Era IV - You build orbiters, do stuff. (Will have more ideas later)

Game Mechanics:

Main mechanic in early game is fuel.

You will have to choose proportions of ingredients, then cook fuel. Bad mix will result in either low thrust or no ignition at all. Fuel not cooked enough will not have steady thrust (It will vary very much and make rocket go off course). Too cooked fuel will not have as much energy and may explode in pot.

Casing is important.

Too thin casing wall will not handle pressure inside rocket (Especially when you have nozzle). Too thick walls won't leave place for fuel and will be heavy.

Nozzle matters.

It will increase pressure, exhaust velocity, thrust and specific impulse. Make sure to have good fuel and thicker casing.

Screenshots:

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MAKE SURE TO CHECK UPDATE VIDEOS:

UPDATE VIDEO #1

UPDATE VIDEO #2

Edited by PatPL
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Right now i'm modelling the Garage - Our Era I Rocket Assembly Building. We will be able to cook fuel here. We'll also cut out winglets here too.

One update screen from Plumber's:

Notice more info on screen and sliders.

6K9EgFm.jpg

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Alpha version of garage is quite done - empty model + textures (will add more furniture later). Here we will assembly our rocket, cook fuel etc. It's our main early base. Also I completed inventory system, so the "Buy" button actually works now.

TH5l8Kc.jpg

The place contains:

Electric cooker - It's not keeping temperatures good - you may fry your fuel (and you too by the way)

Corkboard - Random funny notes, scientific info on various fuel mixtures, core sizes etc.

Shelf - You will keep your things there: PVC pipes, Sugar, KNO3 etc.

The table behind shelf - Winglet creating station (Cardboard is free, your friend is working in cardboard factory and supports you for free or something)

Three tables at right - Main assembly station - You will have access to various data of rocket like mass, mass empty, predicted thrust, etc.

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Alpha version of garage is quite done - empty model + textures (will add more furniture later). Here we will assembly our rocket, cook fuel etc. It's our main early base. Also I completed inventory system, so the "Buy" button actually works now.

This looks good, but you might want to add a window to prevent it from looking too sterile.

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Is this gonna be a walk around type of game? where you are a character and you walk through the world? or is it a click through game?

I'm not sure. You will have ability to walk inside buildings, but I don't know should I create small outside city, or just list of teleports. I'm not very good at creating exteriors. It's open-world game by the way.

Also windows are good idea, but you won't be able to see anything outside, because I want to separate interiors and world.

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So for a second I thought you were discussing real life. . .

I currently am dab smack in the middle of era I. I have my plumbers putty, PVC pipes, 3lbs bag of sugar, and KNO3. I have a few successful launches, but a greater number of failures.

Anyway the game looks like a blast. I would like to play it some day.

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Well, it has no sound at all. I'll check that.

And about greenlight: I'm saying about future, when it's done.

OK, video is done. Still no music, but now you can watch it.

Edited by PatPL
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New News:

Shops Overhaul - Buying is complete for Era I.

Other cosmetic changes has been done too.

Now i'll focus on the most important aspect: Actual rocket launching. Seriously. Right now it's PVC pipe buying simulator with possibility of going to buy some sugar and fertilizer. Not very interesting. This will change in next week.

Stay tuned!

Second update video

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Looks nice!

Stuff that I think could be improved:

Turning the computer on by clicking on the tiny button on the monitor may not be intuitive.

When buying sugar and KNO3 (not Kno3, yeah, yeah I know...) you buy in increments of kg, but stock is shown in g.

I like the shelf. Seems like a nice way to see the available stockpile of future rockets.

As for the corkboard, it needs a business card from Jebediah Kerman's Junkyard and Spaceship Parts Co.

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I'm going to try to suggest several ideas for this, but I have so many right now that this will be hard to type out. I guess I'll try.

Idea 1: Give us access to more fuel sources and rocket construction materials at the beginning. I would personally find the game more engaging if I have more choices to how to design the rockets. Maybe give a few options other than PVC pipe, and maybe allow gunpowder-based engines and pre-made model rocket engines. Also, if alternatives to sugar and KNO3 exist, add them in. Don't necessarily make them less expensive than other fuels, for a reason I'll state below.

Idea 2: More sources to purchase parts from. Add in a hobby shop and online shopping. Make online shopping take time to deliver the parts or resources (and make them more expensive). Also, give items limited stock in the stores (Not the online store though). This is why having alternatives to sugar and KNO3 would be a good idea, as it may get the player to improvise.

Idea 3: Contracts and competitions: Have the player get money through accepting contracts (like attaching a downwards facing camera to a rocket and shooting it past a certain altitude, then recovering it) and by participating in competitions (by winning prize money with following a set of regulations). I feel like this would be a better system than just getting awarded money for either every launch or for every record broken. It may also force the player to test out their rocket designs several times before actually trying to complete their mission.

Idea 4: Give the player a job. Make the player gain money through a job they have as well, so there isn't really a way to lose the game. I would think this would also be realistic, and imply that the player is doing model rocketry as a hobby (Gives the player's character more character).

Idea 5: Put time limits on contracts and specify dates for competitions. This should make the game have a bit of challenge to it; to put pressure on the player and make them likely not have the perfect rocket for the task. This could make the game quite interesting and maybe a bit challenging, especially when combined with the next idea.

Idea 6: Make building rockets, launching rockets, and driving to and from stores take time. This should make the game feel more challenging and realistic, and hopefully immerse the player much more. Also, make sleeping and the job take up time from the day, though allow the player to skip or decrease the amount of time they spend on said activities, at a consequence. For example, skimping out on sleep will decrease your job performance and your rocket building performance for the next day. Skimping out on your job will decrease your pay and may get you fired. Being fired means you have to spend time looking for a new job while not getting a paycheck to spend on your rocket building activities. These ideas should make time a very precious resource to the player, which will hopefully make for more interesting and challenging gameplay.

Idea 7: Rather than simply leveling up to unlock new stuff, make your player have to research how to use new, more advanced items. This should make progressing through the game a bit more fluid, and could put the computer in the game to good use. I was thinking the system could work where the player gains experience by launching (or attempting to launch) rockets, and the higher the player's experience is the faster he/she can perform research on his/her computer. This again makes time an important resource, but still forces the player to launch rockets to progress further.

Idea 8: Go with a different resource storage system. Rather than having a system where you have a limited amount of inventory slots for each item, maybe just allow yourself to pick up and place items anywhere around your garage (To balance this, make it so the player starts to feel overcrowded the more items he/she puts in the garage, with some negative effect in terms of rocket building (Likely making it take a little more time to build the rockets). Also make rockets stored this way.

Idea 9: Custom PVC pipes have to be ordered from online (and thus take time to arrive), but you can by PVC pipes in standard sizes and lengths from one of the stores in the game. Should give the game a little more challenge and force the player to improvise more often.

Idea 10: Cutting PVC pipes and cardboard: I assume this will likely be added to the game anyways. Just making sure you'll do this.

For now, that is really all I have (I swear I had a couple more ideas in this brain of mine). Yes, this would be a lot of coding, I'm just suggesting this as a developmental path to take. Making time precious I feel would be a good aspect for a game like this, and force a bit more managing and compromising. Anyways, that is what I have for now. Good luck!

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You poined out most ideas i would use in Era II:

- Online shopping

- More casing materials: PVC, Cardboard tube, Copper pipe

- More fuel possibilities: Fuel better than KNO3 + Sucrose with better Isp and thrust. For example fuel with KNO3 + Glucose mix would have little smaller Isp, but better thrust.

- About research: Test site will be used for it. It's most likely used for players, that never created real rockets to find out proper mix. Later, if you buy needed hardware you will gather informations like: Exhaust velocity, pressure inside rocket, thrust, Isp. There will be fuel tests with same pipe, and rocket tests with rocket motor and nozzle if you have one. All the garthered info about fuel will stay on corkboard.

Also:

- In Era I and II player will have to go to some job to earn money, but in Era III and further he will gain money from launching rockets.

- Nice idea with competitions! I really liked that.

- Premade rocket engines - Not really what I want. I'd want to have full control on motors.

- Cooking will be challenging - If you don't cook fuel enough, it won't mix properly, and will be unstable. It's internal pressure will vary very much, and may make rocket explode. Cook it too much and it will carbonize lowering thrust.

- In late Era II you will have possibility to build your own liquid fuel engines, and THIS will be the best thing about creating rockets. You will shape combustion chamber, set ratios of fuel and oxidiser, create nozzles. Hard to describe, but trust me, It's going to be awesome!

Right now I created almost everything in Era I. What's left is cooking, assembly, testing and launch - the most important part of game, that's almost only coding.

Thanks for support!

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