Dev Friday #39 – Basic Game Mechanics Overhaul

Hello everyone! It’s time for the first ‘Dev Friday’ for a new game that was recently announced – ‘Cosmos Conquer’! If you didn’t hear about it yet, check out the latest announcement post: https://iguanamercenary.com/2021/11/12/cosmos-conquer-coming-soon/
New game, new format! From now on, ‘Dev Friday’ posts will be longer and have two parts. Each milestone will be broken down into two: first, an article and then a commentary (with gameplay) about an update. That means there will be one update every month and it will be covered in details through series of ‘Dev Friday’ posts. Today we’re starting with the first ever update and in two weeks a commentary will come out. Enjoy the new content! Let’s get right into it!

Today we’ll talk about ‘Cosmos Conquer’ in general – you don’t know any details yet! In this post, we’ll introduce an entire game concept and basic mechanics that will be included in the game. You’ll need some knowledge of those mechanics to play the game efficiently. So what does the game offer?

The entire game is divided into eras. A new era starts whenever the player advances their civilization. This can be done through projects (which we’ll cover more in the next update). Each era brings up different map, shows different interface and has different objects to interact with. This simulates the concepts of Kardashev Scale. Kardashev Scale is a scale classifying civilizations into types based on the amount of energy they are capable of consuming. The game main progression mechanics are based exactly on that. Players will go through Civilization Types (eras) one by one and grow until another type can be reached. The basic game will include types from 0 to 5 (based on extended Kardashev’s scale). As of the time of writing this Dev Friday, only type 1 is currently available in the game, but soon other types will get added.
In Type 1, players conquer the Solar System. Players can settle places like Mars, Jupiter, Asteroid Belt or Pluto. We will not say much more about types just yet.

Celestial Body Menu, showing Earth

To grow, players need to collect resources. In ‘Cosmos Conquer’, resources are called yields. There are three basic yields: Energy, Science and Karma. They are all gathered in a similar fashion: by constructing structures. Constructed structures give out yields that can be then used by the player. Science and Karma are accumulated throughout the game in form of outputs, while energy also has storage points, added every year.
Energy (both the storage and output) is the main resource of the game. It’s used to explore and settle new celestial bodies, construct structures and purchase other things (we will not talk about yet). It acts like a currency for the game.
Science is especially useful for the technologies system, that allow the player’s further development. We’ll talk about them in details in the next update.
Karma is the determining factor for the entire game. Resembling the mental state of humankind, the higher it is, the better the colony is doing overall. Karma will have different effects on the entire game, depending on the karma level – so it’s good to keep track of it and maintain it! Karma will heavily influence a lot of game mechanics and it will influence player’s performance.

Celestial Body Menu consists of planet’s info, as well as available actions and construction slots.

While talking about energy, we’ve talked about celestial bodies. I think it’s a good point to start describing them!
In the game, the player colonizes celestial bodies and develops them in order to grow and gain more yields. The goal is to grow the entire civilization as much as possible. In Type 1 game, the celestial bodies are the Solar System’s planets and Asteroid Belt. The player starts with colonized Earth and explored Mars in year 2300. All other objects are open for exploration and settlement. What other things can we do with them?

Each celestial body has its own name, planet type and two traits fitting their general description. Traits have various hidden effects that influence the gameplay, such as additional slots for the object, higher chance for hazards or more yields.
But what are slots? All celestial bodies have a set of construction slots available. The number of slots varies, depending on the size of the planet. In those slots, players can construct structures that will give yields. The amount of slots is limited and cannot be increased. The slots might be locked for usage and have to be unlocked first. Those might also contain a hazardous dangers and unlocked slots might require additional care and removal of hidden hazards. After the process, the slot is available for usage.

Visible dangers and hazards in Mars’ slots.

Objects can be interacted with in different ways. Planets might be scouted or settled. Both reveal more information about the celestial body. The slots themselves might be unlocked or have a hazard removed from them. When they are clear, a given structure can be placed on it. There are various structures and tiers of them (but we’ll cover it the next time). Structures later can be also upgraded. A lot of things can be done to the objects!

That would be it for this update! In two weeks, we’ll have our first ever ‘Dev Friday’ commentary – stay tuned and wait for more updates!

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