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    Posts Tagged ‘indie games’

    Space Drugs: Isn’t Deep Space “High” Enough Already?

    Posted by (twitter: @louroboros)
    Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 8:05 pm

    (This is a cross-post from my post-compo devlog.)

    “High”, as in altitude. Again, no apologies.


    If you’re old enough to have been a highschooler before the average cell phone had an app store, then this probably looks familiar:

    SELL! SELL! SELL!!!

    That of course is a depiction of the ubiquitous TI-82/3+ game “Drug Wars”.

    It was a simple and extremely … er … addictive game. Buy low, sell high, don’t get caught, and don’t get robbed on the way to the suburbs to drop your stash of cocaine.

    Now, as it turns out, this was inspired by a DOS game from the early 80s. Of course, there have been many variations, but I’m willing to bet that the one for the TI-83 has been played by more highschoolers of my generation than any of the “modernized” versions (/me wrinkles his nose at ‘mafia wars’).

    Frontier: Elite II, a game from 1993, introduced black market goods to the space-trading from the first game. Whether it was influenced by DOS Drugwars is a mystery to me, but I know it was at least as fun to be a dealer in space as it was to be when I should have been memorizing trig equations (okay, it was definitely more fun — lasers).


    So, of course, I had to include black market goods in μniverse.

    There is only one illegal good so far in the pre-alpha: generic narcotics. I may add other goods that have special properties, such as firearms, nuclear waste, non-compliant computer hardware, unidentified alien technology… it’s easy to come up with ideas. But for now, just droogs.

    Currently, the only penalty for transporting illegal goods — as seen above — is for the goods to be “confiscated” by the ITG (Intergalactic Trade Guard).

    I should note that so far, there are two kinds of space stations you can encounter: ITG stations (below, left) and what I’m calling “Pirate” stations (below, right), which are not “protected” by the ITG.

    ITG StationPirate Station

    (non-final artwork)

    Every time you enter an ITG station, there’s a chance your ship will be searched. Pirate stations, however, are “safe”. Thus, it should go without saying that prices for illegal goods at ITG stations are significantly higher than they generally are at Pirate stations.

    To make things more interesting, I intend to introduce a “Smuggler” crewmember, whose presence aboard your ship will reduce the likelyhood or rate of discovery of illegal goods and later, fugitive passengers — a topic I’ll be discussing in a future post.


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