Some new old stuff

I've been sitting on this content for some time.

Misc game projects

More misc stuff

Eventually I want to make individual project pages, but at the moment I've just collected a lot of my art and text bits onto these two pages.

Right now I'm working on an Elite game. My previous blog post might have hinted at that. I'm thinking I'll try doing a bunch of art assets this time, leaving the coding to someone else. Programming can be fun, but it's slow progress.

It will be a top down game (because it's easy for me to draw, not knowing much about 3D). I don't think that the third dimension really contributes that much, game mechanic wise. It adds realism, but controlling and displaying something in 3 dimensions is much harder.

At first I wanted to make trading the primary thing (blasting space pirates aside). Then I realized that what I actually enjoy is space exploration, finding alien cultures, tomb raiding, big enemy fleets. Trading still has its fun, but it risks getting grindy.


hObbE said...

Hey! Looks sweet as usual :)

If you need a coder I would definitely be interested in doing something. Just let me know :)

(and yes I have successfully completed a few indie titles available at

Also I live in Kalmar, Sweden so that could possibly be an advantage :)

happysad said...

Great that you are taking on Elite 2, I spent untold hours on (or in?) that game.
I think what most appealed to me was:
Vastness in scale and freedom, gritty and realistic yet fun universe (Narcotics and slave trade, hit contracts), Atmospheric environments on Mars, Ross 128 and so on, Quirky, borderline ugly, but functional graphics (Identikit faces in particular), Eccentric choice of music (classical MIDI music) and of course the desire for the biggest, baddest spaceship.

happysad said...

Suggestion for your project: Images/icons of the trade goods and gear would be very cool... although the text by itself conjured up images in my head when I played the game.

Arne said...

Well, there is certainly no shortage of volunteer coders. I've had 3-4 guys contact me already. However, I must finish the graphics set before I involve someone else. I have a tendency to abandon stuff, and I don't want to ruin it for the team.

Yeah, pictures of the crates and their typhical content is on the list. Starflight (2?) (Amiga) had fun pics of the goods.

I mostly did trading with legal goods in Elite. Sol - Barnard's Star milkruns and such. I tried getting military ranks, did hundreds and hundreds of mission it felt like, but nothing cool ever happened. Too much grind. Seems you need thousands of kills/missions to get anywhere.

The faces in Frontier felt quite meaningless, yeah. The Amiga version of Elite 1 had some pictures for the aliens, but I think it was just head/body and palette variations. I found this abomination:

Sam Levine said...

As always, I'm incredibly inspired by your designs! Keep them up!

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Tigerdot said...

I really do hope you finish Zerberk, it looked fantastic. Is there any plans to come back to it or are you just going to (sadly) leave it be?

I would even be interested in just watching the AI fight each other, I love that stuff!

happysad said...

In regards to the trading grind - I think most of these sandbox games ultimately will feel empty. You run out of things to do, and there's a limit to how much you can affect the game universe. I think you need lots of emergent gameplay and clever AI to keep games like these interesting. I'm pretty sure you have written on this topic quite a lot.
It's a tall order to implement for a one-man project, but I'm still having a go at this stuff in a little game I'm working on. I kind of consider this the holy grail of gaming...

DrPetter said...

I never got my head around Elite. That game always defeated me before I could figure out what to do.

From this latest post though, I have to say I like the "dark red mature(?)" Probotector monster sketch. That would make a neat sculpture.

I was also happily surprised by seeing a section on Hardware, which indeed features an awesome robot skull (among a lot of less interesting weirdness). I saw a glimpse of that skull in a trailer or something long ago, and then spent a good 3-4 years searching video stores, DC hubs and torrent sites for a copy of the movie. I did eventually find it, and while it wasn't all it could have been, it wasn't a complete disappointment either. I wouldn't mind a remake, when Hollywood runs out of Marvel comics to film.

Final random note: I always hated the US player sprite in Journey to Silius, since seeing it a decade after I first played and loved the "proper" european version. The US sprite looks flat, sloppy and childish by comparison... assuming there's nothing childish about arbitrary helmeted space suits. I wonder which one was made first, considering none were part of the original Terminator design?

Arne said...

I probably wouldn't be able to get into a game like Elite today, being spoiled by all these accessible games. Been wanting to try out Captain Blood for a while, but it hasn't happened.

Still haven't worked on the art assets. I... strayed.

As for emergent complexity... well, ideally it should be... emerging a lot, so you won't have to program everything. Much would hinge on a well down AI and making sure there are no blatant exploits.

Hardware can be found of YouTube, I think.

As for Journey To Silius, I kind of like how the color of the face/hair brings something to the player figure, but the guy is pretty uncharismatic otherwise.

Wiley said...

Now I'm embarrassed that I sent you that link to Flotilla... Hope that didn't step on what you were working on..

Anonymous said...

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