I like games, I suspect most people do in one form or another. The best games are those that just pull me in and I can’t get out of my head. Then eventually I finish and maybe I play through it again but eventually it goes away. Probably a good thing too as these games destroy any productivity my free time has… Most recently this was Subnautica but other games (in no particular order) include the Sid Meier's Civilization series (starting with IV), Factorio (also has a fantastic dev blog), Heat Signature, Endless Sky, Endless Space, RimWorld, Fallout NV, Antichamber, Crusader Kings II, Clone Drone in the Danger Zone, Kerbal Space Program, Minecraft, and many others. Recently I added my first board game to this list, Terraforming Mars. I still don’t fully understand everything about it that grabbed me but it got a lot of ideas going. They eventually started settling into something resembling a new game. Making that game (and related game thoughts) is what this blog is about.
So what will this game look like? Well, your goal will be to terraform a planet (Mars, maybe Venus ? climate disaster Earth?) but to do this you need to first build a small colony importing resources. Then start up some manufacturing/mining eventually building up a small civilization worth of infrastructure to support massive terraforming machines. I’d like the gameplay to be somewhere between Civ 5 and Factorio with a planetary model similar to how SimEarth worked. This isn’t a fully fleshed out idea by any means but it’s enough to get started.
I figured Unity is a good place to start, I’ve already used it for a few other things and there’s plenty of help available. Next, I decided that hex maps look better than squares. There was just the minor problem that I had no idea how to do that. Squares are nice and easy to work with, just store things in an array and everything lines up. They don’t have hexagonal arrays. Thankfully there is an absolutely wonderful tutorial series for hex maps in Unity here. After finishing those this is what I have:
Noting does anything yet, but I think this is enough for now. Next we can talk about planetary temperature models!