Branching Out In Novel Ways: Astrobase Command Dev Update – 15 Dec 2017

Posted on December 15, 2017 by Max Shields

=== Incoming transmission ===

Hi everyone,

Astrobase Command’s special focus on procedurally generated character stories provides a wonderful canvas for  powerful storytelling. Most importantly, our vision is that there is no single story for your crew to follow. Instead, you are free to live your own adventure in your own universe.

As a way to celebrate 2018 and our upcoming transition to open alpha, I’ve taken up the pen (keyboard) in my spare time to capture Astrobase’s flavour in novel(-ish) format as a means to highlight the rich stories our game can deliver, as well as a way to explore possible concepts for other storylines. As a special challenge, I’m using our procedural character AI’s framework to guide characters through the high, low, and desperate events of their story arc.

You’ll find a draft sampler of the novel’s opening paragraphs below. My ultimate goal is to publish this adventure as a fully-fledged Astrobase Command book (with shiny book cover art and everything!).

While this as yet untitled story is under production, you’ll be able to get your hands on the draft chapters, which will be published on a monthly basis if you are one of our $5 a month or higher Patreon Patrons. Higher reward tiers get additional perks, like an e-copy of the final book and even a say in how the story develops.

Lieutenant Sanmar Mandroma flipped through the pile of reports that had been deposited there while he had been in the mess hall enjoying dinner. Enjoying was perhaps overstating it. It had been the same processed nutrient goo from the long term survival rations that they had been eating since the last supply shipment failed to arrive after raiders had picked it off near Theta Omicron III. Ensign Kyra, the astrobase’s Duryan supply officer had assured him that the flavour would grow on him eventually. Even though his two hearts fluttered and skipped a beat every time her metallic blue eyes turned towards him.

But even her stunning smile and flowing white hair were insufficient to clear the rations’ lingering muskiness from the back of his throat. He picked up the nearest folder, a supply report, and tossed it back on the desk with a grimace. There was no way he was getting through his work tonight. He poured two fingers of Dargosha, a stiff liquor that made his eyes water, into a white mug bearing the Command’s crest stencilled in black. He hesitated slightly, as he glanced at a dog-eared photograph of his wife tucked into the corner of the desk mat, then poured another splash of the amber liquid.

Downing the drink in one swift movement, he deposited the mug carelessly on his desk with a hollow thud. He didn’t mind the fact that he’d spilled a some Dargosha on his daily supply summary. No one was ever going to bother looking at it again after he’d approve it and file it away.

Pushing back from his workstation, he barely noticed his chair’s wheels smoothly rolling over his quarters’ polished crystosteel floors. Such details were beneath his notice. As long as the astrobase’s low-slung utility bots continued picking up any refuse he happened to drop on the floor, he was happy. He stood crisply and turned towards the the hatch, not bothering to straighten his uniform.

The deck seemed to lurch suddenly as he made his way towards the nearest lift. He reached out to the bulkhead with his right hand to steady himself. As much as he wanted to believe that the station’s gravitic stabilizers needed an overhaul, he couldn’t dismiss the heavy veil the Dargosha cast over his mind. He welcomed its warm yet numbing embrace as it smothered his thoughts. He had been on this wretched collection of tin cans in the back end of nowhere for a long time; a very, very long time. Despite his career’s early promise as a member of the Fleet’s Security Division, and the praise his superiors had eagerly heaped upon him away mission after away mission, he had long since suffered a reversal of fate. Without sparing a glance, he mechanically stabbed at the button labelled “Command Deck” on the lift’s control panel as the transparent doors swished shut behind him. He shut his eyes, vainly attempting to savour the fleeting moments left before he would be thrust back into the harsh reality of Second-in-Command of the universe’s most insignificant astrobase. Scratch that. Acting Commander of the universe’s most insignificant astrobase.

If you like what you see, or want to help support our ongoing innovation please drop by our Patreon page.

– Max

=== Transmission Ends ===

Moving on to the weekly update

Max – @Max_Shields

Hi space comrades!

In addition to poking away at the project above, I’ve spent the week refining our alpha sound design. This involves tweaking a big spreadsheet with all the possible elements that will need a sound, their triggers and constraints. I’ve also started plugging some sounds into the list and created a few more bespoke effects. Although there’s still a way to go before I can bring them into the game, the soundscape is starting to come together.

 

Daniel – @Polygonatron

Hi Everybody!

This week I’ve been working on the same secret thing I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks now. It’s technical by nature and I’ve run into a couple of technical snags. I’m sure I’ll work them out soon enough, because they are indeed holding back some pretties at this point.

 

Adam – @adam_blahuta

Hey Space-Friends!
I’ve gotten as far as I can with saving character brains without contextual information, like the station, tasks and other people. So I’ve started the process of saving the station itself. Progress!

 

Dave – @Dave_Astrobase

Hey guys!
This week I took a step back and focused on the product vision for Open Alpha. Speccing out the feature list, formalizing the game loop, and ensuring the game will be ready for prime-time.

Noisy Brain Transplants Coming Soon To An AI Near You: Astrobase Command Weekly Update – 9 Dec 2017

Posted on December 9, 2017 by Max Shields

Dave – @Dave_Astrobase

Hey guys!

This week I was mainly working on the save game GUI, so Adam has a front end to hook into!

 

Daniel – @Polygonatron

Hi Everybody!
This week I’ve kept working on that shiny graphics thing I started on last week. It’s still a bit of a secret, with the goal to give you guys a nice surprise when we reveal it.

 

Adam – @adam_blahuta

Hey Space-Friends!

I’ve made some great progress on save files this week, allowing me to save pretty much everything about characters that isn’t their brains. The transhumanist geek in me is really looking forward to being able to save/load Character brains because it’ll mean I could literally load someone’s brain into another character with a single line of code.

 

Max – @Max_Shields

Bonjour, mes amis cosmiques!

My work this week focused on completing the audio cataloguing effort. I also managed to start slotting in some sounds from our audio library and making some new ones entirely to fill your astrobase soundscape with lovely beepy-boopy-bippityness. I was also fairly busy reaching out to various elements on the PR/marketing front.

 

Gunning for Game of The Year: Astrobase Command Gamedev Update: 1 Dec 2017

Posted on December 1, 2017 by Max Shields

It’s that time of the year! IndieDB’s Indie Game of The Year is back up for grabs. We made a good showing of it last year, and hope you’ll take a moment to show your support by voting for Astrobase Command.

Adam – @adam_blahuta

Hey Space-Friends!

This week, after taking care of some remaining business obligations, I hunkered down to make some progress on save files. I’m really looking forward to delivering this one because, in my opinion, it stands to do a lot for people’s buy-in with building up a station they can be proud of.

Daniel – @Polygonatron

Hi Everybody!

This week I’m back to working on graphics (Yay!). It’s a pretty big, and long time coming, change. I don’t want to reveal what it is just yet. But unless something turns out to not work out with it it should be a very nice surprise for everyone who likes pretty games.

Max – @Max_Shields

Hello!

I’ve turned my attention toward bringing audio life to Astrobase. That started off by entering a zen-like trance to listen to every sound in our library to get an idea of what next audio we have to work with. I then started inventorying the different actions, events, bits and bobs, and whatnot that will require a blip, bloop, or blurble.


Soft sounds to soothe the savage space beast incoming! (via Giphy)

Space Turkey 2017 – Astrobase Command Thankful Update

Posted on November 24, 2017 by Max Shields

Even Astrobasers Need Some Shore Leave For A Bite Of Space Turkey.

We had much to be thankful for this Space Turkey Day. We are deeply thankful to our Kickstarter backers for believing in us when we turned to you for your support. You helped us get to the closed alpha. We are thankful to those of you that have joined us since our appearance on Itch. We are thankful for our Patreon backers. We are also profoundly grateful for our families and their continued encouragement as we forge ahead on this grand adventure.

To our American friends: enjoy this time with friends and family. To the rest of the world, we’re beaming turkey thoughts to you today!

ABC:/>Requesting Your Input

Now that the Astrobase Command Closed Alpha has cooked a bit in the cosmic rays of ongoing development, the time has come to start refreshing our old marketing media with shiny new trailers and images reflecting the progress!

Make your voice heard by helping us choose the video that goes on our website and store page!
(For example: at the top of this page!)

This is a key moment in selecting the tone and voice for the public face of the game. Below there are several versions of the same video, each with different music and fonts.

So we’re asking the players: Which music and font style do you like (look and feel) for the new Astrobase Command Alpha Trailer? Your choice will determine the future!

Developer Updates!

Max – @Max_Shields

Hey all,

This week was spent in lower gear, catching up with family coming in from all parts of the space-time continuum. I did manage to get various bits and pieces of work done in the gap between gatherings because the Great Space Turkey needs constant nurturing.

Since we try our best to keep an eye on the long term game plan, I also used the opportunity to finish up some work on <CLASSIFIED> that will come in handy when we start <CLASSIFIED> for the <CLASSIFIED>.

+++This entry will self-destruct in 5, 4, 3, 2,…+++

Adam – @adam_blahuta

Hey Space-Friends!

I took a breather this week for mental health and housekeeping: spending time with my son, knocking out some overdue admin and getting a bunch of tax obligations sorted. Running an indie studio can be such a chaotic and stressful thing that taking the time relax, re-assess and appreciate the benefits is incredibly important!

Daniel – @Polygonatron

Hi Everybody!

Even though thanksgiving isn’t a Swedish holiday in any way I too have put some extra time to focusing on my family this week. It’s important to take a break and get better perspective of what’s going on every now and then.

Dave – @Dave_Astrobase

Hey guys!

Since the Wednesday update was about balance, I logged a lot of hours in Astrobase Command both before and afterwards. This also allowed me to generate some great marketing materials. Oh, and we now have a new background for our twitter page!

Taking Care of Business: Astrobase Command Dev Update – November 10th, 2017

Posted on November 10, 2017 by Adam

Hey everybody! Being mindful of the game’s performance at release, we’re gathering hardware information from the community. We’d love it if you could take a moment to fill out Daniel’s Graphics Card Survey!

Thanks for the help!

Daniel – @Polygonatron

Hi everybody!

This week I’ve been busy with everyones favorite: Paperwork! YAY!

Dave – @Dave_Astrobase

Hey everybody!

This week I’ve been focused on the business end of things, which isn’t fun but super necessary when you’re your own studio!

Adam – @adam_blahuta

Hey Space-Friends!

As you can see from Dave and Daniel’s updates, we’ve been swamped dealing with outstanding business obligations. Even though I also had to take care of a bunch of supremely uninteresting stuff, I also took the time to knock out some more annoying bugs and easy improvements to keep this weekly build train going!