The Labs (Formerly known as [SECRET PROJECT]) - Roadmap

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cogg - 624 days ago - Edited 624 days agoLink

I have very mixed feelings about making the game fully persistent. On one hand, persistence is probably responsible for what little success the game has achieved. On the other hand, I feel like a lot of bad decisions were baked into the design of the game early on, which are now extremely difficult to change. It's hard to introduce new content when I have to think about how it interacts with an economy and disrupts the existing meta.

The obvious answer is to preview things on test and leave them on test for a longer period of time, which is fine for new items but doesn't help with more comprehensive changes. This was part of the rationale for the Test Battle Zone, but what I find is I'd like a more controlled environment for tests which is fun to play.

So, my big idea is to build an isolated, non-persistent, round-based zone, along with a framework for toggling big gameplay changes in that zone only. Players would get an option to join the lab from the main menu, and from there they'd spawn into a new ship that exists until they leave, it is destroyed, or the game ends. I'm open to making it more team-based later, but for the sake of simplicity, fairness, and technical complexity it will be a solo-only experience to start out.

Gameplay

Gameplay wise, I'm not entirely sure how this will work. I want the Labs to be a fun experience in and of itself, with some kind of goal and competitive aspect. I'd also like it to be more interesting than the "King's AFK Square". One option is to jump on the Battle Royale bandwagon a few years too late. It's something to try but probably not the best option.

Another option is to have some "hot potato" device which needs to be fueled and will blow up your ship when it runs out. The idea is to limit the amount of time any ship can exist.

It's possible that I won't do anything special at first and it will just be a free-for-all with a hard reset when the server restarts every day. It might include a safe zone, but if it does there will be pressure to stay out of it.

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