OK, here we go. Originally, this “not-so-mystery project” was a long-suffering plan to create a cyberpunk-themed game. Played out at street-level, you’d take the role of one of a few archetypes, and could “do stuff” around the city. This was originally born of my MetaPlace game “MetaPunk” which I had been working on before the platform shut down, and the idea never quite went away. It was, however, always overshadowed by my desire to create a space trading game — as I’m sure you know and are also sick of hearing about.

Well, you’re going to hear about it again, because I have decided to re-purpose what was going to be that cyberpunk game for the realization of my longer suffering space trading game. What you see above is the current state. I have talked about getting the chat working, but behind the chat is the idea that the character has to exist in a “room” somewhere. A “room” is a concept: in cyberpunk it would have been a “city location” like a bar or an apartment. In the space trading game it represents a “star system”.

Since I not longer have those posts, let me reiterate the approach. Characters move from system to system via jump-gates. This means that each system has to be connected to at least one, preferably more, other star system(s). The colorful starfish you see above is the representation of Star System 99, a system with 9 exits. Honestly, that’s a tad too many gates, so I’ll have to revisit my Universe generation system to see why, but the gist is that once you’re ready to move out of SS99 you’d click on one of those blue boxes to move to whatever star system is on the other end. Of course in doing so, the character would also change chat rooms from “SS99” to whatever “room” is represented by the selected jump-gate destination. Ultimately there will be a better representation here, including a star of a particular type, planets, asteroid belts, stations, wormholes, and other interstellar do-dads that characters can interact with.

The thing about this project right now is that even my best attempts to make a trading game in the past, none of them were live multiplayer. I had always approached the project with the idea that “yeah, a single player game is cool, and maybe I can mine the data for a leaderboard or something, but the coolest parts would have to come from a multiplayer version.” The stark fact was that I had no idea how to do a multiplayer version without getting into some third party back end server, which meant I needed Unity or UE because a web-based solution wasn’t really feasible…until I started exploring SignalR for a work project. That is why my previous posts have been so SignalR heavy: it’s opened a door to a momentum that previous projects had lacked on account of not being able to really make the game I actually wanted.

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