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General Spacebase DF-9 Thread

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It seemed so lonely in the sub-forum for Spacebase DF-9, so I thought I'd make a general thread to ponder or wonder.

As I've understood the concept you'll basically be managing the enviornment or the context in which all these different humans/aliens interact. So you'll be constructing the enviornment (rooms of the spacebase, all with different functions) which'll effect the lives of the people on board, but you'll also be reacting through the use of droids/robots, as in reacting to accidents and whatnots.

Can we assume that we can screw things up (aka make funny situations) through mismanagement, and that sometimes accidents can cause things to go crazy, but sometimes you might even prevent complete disaster through room configuration and reaction through droids/robots?

From the latest video I think I heard that you'd also be able to assign job/purpose on the base as well. Is this going to be directly? Might some of the characters have personalities in which they try to avoid work? Kind of like a worker being lazy, in which creating some low-level consumerism might inspire it to work to earn money to buy stuff, or might have the side-effect of the character resorting to crime to gain money, all depending on the character's personality and whether or not there's some solid police force on the station.

Might even be a mix of directly and indirectly, as in you might force upon someone a job, in which it'll create a degree of resentment/rebellion depending on the personality, which might be the root of a rebellion later, or you might construct something that indirectly encourages employment and a consumerist economy, but which you'll have less control over.

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Guess I can post this from Double Fine's Tumblr site. It's the first image from the DF-9 team, and it surely reminds me of Dwarf Fortress.

Early room building

Guys, how do I limit the size of an image? I changed into a link because the page was getting tiresome to read at the width the imaged caused.

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As I've understood the concept you'll basically be managing the enviornment or the context in which all these different humans/aliens interact. So you'll be constructing the enviornment (rooms of the spacebase, all with different functions) which'll effect the lives of the people on board, but you'll also be reacting through the use of droids/robots, as in reacting to accidents and whatnots.

We're not sure about the robot stuff yet--it might be out of scope for this project. But yeah in general you definitely have the idea!

Can we assume that we can screw things up (aka make funny situations) through mismanagement, and that sometimes accidents can cause things to go crazy, but sometimes you might even prevent complete disaster through room configuration and reaction through droids/robots?

Yes, that will be the goal!

From the latest video I think I heard that you'd also be able to assign job/purpose on the base as well. Is this going to be directly? Might some of the characters have personalities in which they try to avoid work? Kind of like a worker being lazy, in which creating some low-level consumerism might inspire it to work to earn money to buy stuff, or might have the side-effect of the character resorting to crime to gain money, all depending on the character's personality and whether or not there's some solid police force on the station.

Yes, we definitely want each individual inhabitant to have qualities like work ethic (or lack of it), friendliness (or lack of it), etc. Even though you can directly assign them jobs, their own personal qualities might work against your intentions.

Might even be a mix of directly and indirectly, as in you might force upon someone a job, in which it'll create a degree of resentment/rebellion depending on the personality, which might be the root of a rebellion later, or you might construct something that indirectly encourages employment and a consumerist economy, but which you'll have less control over.

Hard to say how much of that stuff we'll specifically be able to create in two weeks, but yes, in terms of general tone and direction, you have the total correct idea!

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Awesome, thanks for the answers Chris. :D

I feel that this project is the one which has the best potential and could be really great for tablets, and has potential for social media integration. I think it would be better visually if it was isometric though since you'll get a better sense of interaction and expression through a more angled view, as well as easier orienting yourself to the base as a whole.

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Awesome, thanks for the answers Chris. :D

I feel that this project is the one which has the best potential and could be really great for tablets, and has potential for social media integration. I think it would be better visually if it was isometric though since you'll get a better sense of interaction and expression through a more angled view, as well as easier orienting yourself to the base as a whole.

Believe me, we discussed perspective a LOT. :)

JP and I have been talking about this project for months, and then once we had the team together, we spent about an hour talking over perspective before we even did our first livestream on Monday.

Originally JP wanted isometric and I wanted 2D sideview, but we also discussed 3D, pure top-down, and just about anything else you can think of. For a variety of design, art, and tech reasons, we ultimately went with the "2D Zelda" top-down-but-slightly-angled perspective.

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Believe me, we discussed perspective a LOT. :)

JP and I have been talking about this project for months, and then once we had the team together, we spent about an hour talking over perspective before we even did our first livestream on Monday.

Originally JP wanted isometric and I wanted 2D sideview, but we also discussed 3D, pure top-down, and just about anything else you can think of. For a variety of design, art, and tech reasons, we ultimately went with the "2D Zelda" top-down-but-slightly-angled perspective.

I understand the limitations of a 2 week project, and since the really important part is the AI and UI, using too much time on the visuals is ineffective for a prototype.

For a potential full game I think isometric or your idea of a 2D sideview is best though.

Spacebase DF-9 does have a lot of potential. Just imagine what social media could allow, from trading of resources and personell, reaching milestones and gaining achievements. Could work with a micro-transaction model.

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JP and I have been talking about this project for months, and then once we had the team together, we spent about an hour talking over perspective before we even did our first livestream on Monday.

Originally JP wanted isometric and I wanted 2D sideview, but we also discussed 3D, pure top-down, and just about anything else you can think of. For a variety of design, art, and tech reasons, we ultimately went with the "2D Zelda" top-down-but-slightly-angled perspective.

For a potential full game I think isometric or your idea of a 2D sideview is best though.

Spacebase DF-9 does have a lot of potential. Just imagine what social media could allow, from trading of resources and personell, reaching milestones and gaining achievements. Could work with a micro-transaction model.

I'm not much of a social media guy, but I definitely agree in the potential for integration. Populating the space station with Facebook friends, possibly with new "shipments" of citizens from ships being culled from various friend groups. I always think that subtle use of social media integration, or at least optional use of the feature, works best.

I too, initially prefer the idea of isometric, and mentioning 2D really piqued my interest, but yeah, it's two weeks, and that's probably not the kind of thing that would make or break a prototype. Plus, I'll reserve judgement until I see the wonderful environment art from the Double Fine artists.

Though this has been touched on a little bit with JP mentioning games like Dungeon Keeper, Dwarf Fortress, and Startopia, I would be curious to hear about how various games are influencing the design. Things like Sim City, the Sims, FTL, and I know JP is a big fan of the old X-COMs.

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I'm not much of a social media guy, but I definitely agree in the potential for integration. Populating the space station with Facebook friends, possibly with new "shipments" of citizens from ships being culled from various friend groups. I always think that subtle use of social media integration, or at least optional use of the feature, works best.

Yeah, I'm not a social media guy either (proud of not having touched a single social media game), but a lot of people are and, yeah, it has amazing potential for social media integration. It could be really profitable for DoubleFine with the correct micro-transaction model and social media integration.

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I'm not much of a social media guy, but I definitely agree in the potential for integration. Populating the space station with Facebook friends, possibly with new "shipments" of citizens from ships being culled from various friend groups. I always think that subtle use of social media integration, or at least optional use of the feature, works best.

Yeah, I'm not a social media guy either (proud of not having touched a single social media game), but a lot of people are and, yeah, it has amazing potential for social media integration. It could be really profitable for DoubleFine with the correct micro-transaction model and social media integration.

I think that would push the development in the wrong direction. I've never seen a social media game that was about stories coming from the game, just ones that are about pestering friends and endless, mindless progression. Though for that reason, it would definitely be interesting to see DF-9 pull it off.

I'd still hazard a guess that not that many of the 7926 votes were from the social media crowd. The Dwarf Fortress hardcore people are probably a bigger part of the voters.

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I think that would push the development in the wrong direction. I've never seen a social media game that was about stories coming from the game, just ones that are about pestering friends and endless, mindless progression. Though for that reason, it would definitely be interesting to see DF-9 pull it off.

I'd still hazard a guess that not that many of the 7926 votes were from the social media crowd. The Dwarf Fortress hardcore people are probably a bigger part of the voters.

Right now it's just a prototype so any social media interaction isn't a thought at all, I was thinking more in the scope of an actual game.

It fits because it has the potential for social interaction.

Replay value of the advanced AI and of potential outcomes of each spacebase (and potential leaderboards depending on values like f.ex. time) makes it a lasting experience, there is a lot of potential to "pester" friends (hopefully in a good way) and aquire items/special room types.

I was thinking about for a much bigger scope than the little niche part of the market that is Dwarf Fortress hardcore people, but rather for a much larger market in hope for larger profits. Considering DF's ability to construct fun games, I'd say it would have the potential to earn a lot of money, especially with the right micro-transaction model.

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I think that a tendency of space base inhabitants to form cliques would really pay off. Maybe they are constantly trying to delegate their tasks to others and then the inhabitants prioritize tasks based on who they like the most which is based on gender and race (difference and similarity), past successful delegations to that NPC (reciprocation) and their heirarchy (reputation). The Reputation value is that NPC's ranking in an accumulation of the entire space base's liking values of that paticular NPC.

It would also be cool if the player could control an air-lock chamber that NPC's walk through from time to time. If an NPC forms a destructive clique then there might be an accident.

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Considering DF's ability to construct fun games, I'd say it would have the potential to earn a lot of money, especially with the right micro-transaction model.

Is earning a lot of money really the thing to strive for making a game? The best way to monetize the players doesn't really seem like the best direction to take a game.

Anyway, this is veering off of Spacebase pretty fast. I just like to think of games as a creative thing, not a thing to make money with. I understand there are compromises to be made and the money side is very important. I'll try to keep myself from returning to the subject.

Instead I will return to Spacebase DF-9. I liked the discussion on the day 0 video about death and bodies in the Spacebase. Bodies shot off the airlock does seem like a thing to do, though that makes me think that very rarely bodies should bump on the outside of your ship. Preferably in a way that you can check their name or something and feel bad if that was someone who used to live in your base.

Which also makes me think: will you see space on the background outside the borders of the ship?

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Considering DF's ability to construct fun games, I'd say it would have the potential to earn a lot of money, especially with the right micro-transaction model.

Is earning a lot of money really the thing to strive for making a game? The best way to monetize the players doesn't really seem like the best direction to take a game.

Anyway, this is veering off of Spacebase pretty fast. I just like to think of games as a creative thing, not a thing to make money with. I understand there are compromises to be made and the money side is very important. I'll try to keep myself from returning to the subject.

I think pretty much everyone at Double Fine would agree with you generally. But of course, it's impossible for us to actually earn our salaries and pay for our office if the games don't make money, so we do have to think about that sometimes! Running an independent business ain't cheap.

Instead I will return to Spacebase DF-9. I liked the discussion on the day 0 video about death and bodies in the Spacebase. Bodies shot off the airlock does seem like a thing to do, though that makes me think that very rarely bodies should bump on the outside of your ship. Preferably in a way that you can check their name or something and feel bad if that was someone who used to live in your base.

Which also makes me think: will you see space on the background outside the borders of the ship?

Bodies bouncing around in space is a hilarious idea. No clue how that fits into our scope, but we should definitely at least bring it up just in case.

Outside the borders you will see space, yes. We've had various discussions about how far you can see, whether you need radar rooms to see past your immediate hull, etc., etc. Nothing set in stone yet.

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Is earning a lot of money really the thing to strive for making a game? The best way to monetize the players doesn't really seem like the best direction to take a game.

Anyway, this is veering off of Spacebase pretty fast. I just like to think of games as a creative thing, not a thing to make money with. I understand there are compromises to be made and the money side is very important. I'll try to keep myself from returning to the subject.

I think earning a lot of money is a good way to secure the jobs at Double Fine, securing a healthy industry and to allow for more risktaking. Imagine if Double Fine evolved to a publisher, that'd be awesome. That's why I'm interested. Also, I have studied (minored) a bit of business economics and organizational theory, so please excuse my zeal. :-P

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So do y'all already have a list of all the jobs and their behaviors? Is that what the character designer is referencing while he draws bodies?

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So do y'all already have a list of all the jobs and their behaviors? Is that what the character designer is referencing while he draws bodies?

We have a preliminary list, but it's subject to change still!

Bagel isn't using that list for character designs, no--characters are generated before they have jobs, and it's up to the player to give them jobs, so characters don't look inherently different based on their job. Rather, the visual distinctions are to create an impression of diversity and to reflect things like gender or (hopefully, if we have time) racial differences.

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Hello.

After watching the 2PP videos I was struck by a kind of strange and slightly morbid idea.

You talked about what to do with people who die and it was proposed that you would have someone send the body out the airlock. It was also mentioned in another discussion that matter may be a resource. If matter is a resource, I feel like there will likely be times when the need for matter outweighs the respect for the dead. I might want to reclaim matter from dead people and use it for something useful, like building a bar.

I also feel like future people living on a spacebase where matter is precious would rather have there bodies reused for the good of their community. Obviously this differs somewhat from how our current society feels the dead should be treated. It would be interesting to give people the chance to come to this realization (among others, I'm sure) through playing the game.

Anyway, I think this is an interesting opportunity to make people question their morals, which isn't something we do often enough.

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Hello.

After watching the 2PP videos I was struck by a kind of strange and slightly morbid idea.

You talked about what to do with people who die and it was proposed that you would have someone send the body out the airlock. It was also mentioned in another discussion that matter may be a resource. If matter is a resource, I feel like there will likely be times when the need for matter outweighs the respect for the dead. I might want to reclaim matter from dead people and use it for something useful, like building a bar.

I also feel like future people living on a spacebase where matter is precious would rather have there bodies reused for the good of their community. Obviously this differs somewhat from how our current society feels the dead should be treated. It would be interesting to give people the chance to come to this realization (among others, I'm sure) through playing the game.

Anyway, I think this is an interesting opportunity to make people question their morals, which isn't something we do often enough.

That is such a good idea. In fact, I brought it up in that same meeting you saw in the video. We mostly decided against it because we dont have immediate plans for a matter-cycle system (putting used matter of some kind into a recepticle to be recycled). But honestly, I hope it's something we come around to because it's hilarious.

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Hello.

After watching the 2PP videos I was struck by a kind of strange and slightly morbid idea.

You talked about what to do with people who die and it was proposed that you would have someone send the body out the airlock. It was also mentioned in another discussion that matter may be a resource. If matter is a resource, I feel like there will likely be times when the need for matter outweighs the respect for the dead. I might want to reclaim matter from dead people and use it for something useful, like building a bar.

I also feel like future people living on a spacebase where matter is precious would rather have there bodies reused for the good of their community. Obviously this differs somewhat from how our current society feels the dead should be treated. It would be interesting to give people the chance to come to this realization (among others, I'm sure) through playing the game.

Anyway, I think this is an interesting opportunity to make people question their morals, which isn't something we do often enough.

That is such a good idea. In fact, I brought it up in that same meeting you saw in the video. We mostly decided against it because we dont have immediate plans for a matter-cycle system (putting used matter of some kind into a recepticle to be recycled). But honestly, I hope it's something we come around to because it's hilarious.

Awwww....

Thanks for responding. I'm glad it was discussed and that you like the idea, but I'm sad it's not in the works.

I have a workaround to propose. Are you planning to have guns in the game at all (perhaps for police, guards, soldiers, etc.)? If so, instead of boring old lasers (Gasp! What did I just say?!?) they could be awesome Matter Reclamation Rays! The ones used on board ships are formatted to only work on organic matter to prevent hull damage. How do they work? If I knew that, I'd be rich. Just insert some technobabble.

Anyway, this would basically have the effect of giving usable points in the form of matter for each enemy you take out (or for "population control", whatever) and would also allow dead bodies to be recycled if desired, while at the same time allowing you to avoid making a system where everything is recyclable and designing the infrastructure to go with it. All you would have to do is decide how many points a body is worth.

Of course, I don't know if you have any fighting or guns planned, so this might all just go out the window.

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Haha the dead people recycling idea is superb. Keep it around for later!

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Haha the dead people recycling idea is superb. Keep it around for later!

To piggyback off that, it would be interesting to see use/misuse of that idea (or getting more mileage off that). If you put the wrong person in said recycling center, you get a cannibal , or you get a cult, or they get emotional, etc. Or if you recycle someone important after they die (local hero or something), people get mad.

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I also feel like future people living on a spacebase where matter is precious would rather have there bodies reused for the good of their community. Obviously this differs somewhat from how our current society feels the dead should be treated. It would be interesting to give people the chance to come to this realization (among others, I'm sure) through playing the game.

Anyway, I think this is an interesting opportunity to make people question their morals, which isn't something we do often enough.

It is every citizen's final duty to go into the tanks, and become one with all the people.

--Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, Ethics for Tomorrow

I was playing Alpha Centauri yesterday and your comment just really reminded me of what comes up when you build the first Recycling Tanks. It's true that this kind of thing makes for a very challenging and interesting game, and Alpha Centauri is a great example of how it can have lasting impact. Seeing something of the same in Spacebase could make for interesting interactions, especially if some of the aliens go for a blue and orange morality system compared to the human crew.

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I was watching several of the videos and watched the Q&A and it got me brainstorming.

Have you given any thought as to what to call the people that exist as a general term? like.... [simis] short for simian which is short for planet of the apes :)

I know you want to stay away from business as so far as it pertains to game goals...

would it be possible instead for your entire economy system be about providing for your population? Like... if you were to not have furnished rooms but rather traders that sell the parts of a "room". Take a residence, instead of instant furnishings instead the pay you give your pop goes to the buying of goods to make their locations fit their personalities. As the room becomes "complete" over the life time of station the worker becomes happier. The more you pay them the faster they complete their room and overall the happier they are. If they were to die then the room resets as a new tenet comes into play.

you could even put time into play, much like how the TV has evolved over time and older ones die, the room will slowly age as new tech is released every 6 months of ingame time.

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