It’s time to announce my next project. To my pleasant surprise, the winner of my project poll and my personal preferred choice won. My next project will be my “Awful Green Things From Outer Space” clone. I use the word clone very loosely, I really just want to clone the concept. I’m leaning towards the name “Space Station Victor”, as a play off of the 1980’s video game clone of AGTFOS “Space Station Zulu”. I’m not naming it anything as lengthy as The Awful Green Things From Outer Space. I’m sick of saying that out loud already. Space Station Victor has no conflicting results on a steam search, and the searches for “Space Station” and “Victor” should be decently beatable, at least enough to get me in the top 10 or 20 results.
I basically went backwards from Zulu NATO phonetically to come up with Victor. Yankee is related to a group of people, I didn’t want that. Space Station XRay sounds like a real thing, and I didn’t want people to expect XRays or XRay vision to somehow be the focus of the game. Whiskey was a little too cartoonish, feel free to drink and play, but I’m not naming the game after alcohol.
I’m talking to several artists about concept art, but I have a few ideas in mind. I picture the aliens being sludgy tentacle monsters, sort of like this sludge monster from World of Warcraft:
I have several ideas for crew uniform, since this is a surprise attack I don’t think of them as all being dressed and prepared. But when I think of my generic player character I think of the unarmored flightsuit that xcom soldiers had in UFO defense.
Dayumn. I just found that fan art, but that’s exactly what I want for my game. I have one more fan art, that I can’t help but share because it’s awesome.
On Weapons, I don’t plan on going the completely improvised route of throwing beer cans and hitting aliens with pool sticks that the Awful Green Things did. I plan on rifles being in lockers around the station. The different attack variety will come from different beam styles. It’s a cheap way to save on animation costs that would come from weapon variety, plus there are a thousand laser beam assets to use.
The more important aspect will be the laser rifles themselves. I want it to be clear what beam will fire by looking at the rifle itself. That might be too much, because it separates the rifle sprite from the character sprite, and there are other ways to make that clear on the UI. I will compromise my vision all over the place for shortcuts. Not because I don’t feel strongly, it’s just there are more important things and getting a fun version of this game in steam early access is the first big deal.
I haven’t done much in this blog post but daydream out loud. What are my actual next steps? Agile development evangelists might shudder at this, but I’m going to do some intense up front planning for the next month and a half. I’m going to define the UI, gameplay and game map. Then I’m going to write stories to create a playable prototype, which I’ll share with the world for free. I’d love for my prototype to dominate Itch.io for a week or more.
What is set in stone at this time? Nothing really. But if anything is it’s the game name and the beam variety.