Beta Features for Veure

There was positive response to my last entry about Veure, both on the post and in private email, so I'll keep posting.

Currently, we're pushing forward hard to try to get to the alpha release and get playtesters (let me know if you want in on it). Major things we need to finish to get there:

  • More missions and jobs (repeatable missions for lower rewards)
  • Auction Houses
  • Elite-style trading
  • More NPCs
  • More game balancing
  • Some legal stuff (expensive and time-consuming)

There's more we need, but those are the "big" items we need to finish. The content generation is some of the most time-consuming. Plus, I need to do a lot of work to make the mission system manageable for someone who isn't me. Right now it's complex (to put it mildly) and I'm adding a new feature to make it more flexible but which also increases complexity. If we can't have rich, compelling, missions, much of the game falls flat.

One interesting you learn in researching is that if you try to make an MMORPG game that pleases you, you'll likely not please a lot of people. That's because there are multiple player types. One model (the one I'm focusing on), groups people into four categories:

  1. Explorers -- how much can I discover? (that's me)
  2. Achievers -- how much can I achieve?
  3. Socializers -- I want to have fun with others.
  4. Griefers -- how much havoc can I cause?

That's not the only model of player descriptions, but it's workable and you need to cater to all player types. Most players seem to have a preferred playing type, but they crossover into others (I'm an explorer, but I cross over into achiever quite a bit). Some games fall down because they don't cater to different playing types.

For example, I was playing a space-themed MMORPG that had lots of achievements and allowed for griefing, but had few social elements and was restricted enough that exploring wasn't feasible. Veure allows for a lot of exploring and unsurprisingly, that's because it fits my playing style. However, there's a lot of work focusing on achieving right now. I need to do more to allow the socializing and even encourage the griefing (the latter is tough because you want to have challenge, but not so much that players rage quit).

But what are we likely to have in the beta?

For socializing, having a messaging platform will be important, but that's probably going to be pushed off into the beta. However, if it looks like we can make it happen sooner, we'll go for it. There is another huge social feature involved, one which might make the game a huge success if it catches on, but I'll not discuss it here. Suffice it to say that I think it's rather revolutionary for gaming, and despite being a "social" feature, could have a huge impact on the game itself.

I probably should have prioritized socializing higher from the start because for many players, it's their friends that bring them back, not the game.

Currently there are four "affiliations":

  • Consortium -- the default and largest affiliation.
  • Gaul -- a smaller, but also law-abiding group
  • Independents -- they just want to be left alone and have a taste for brown coats
  • Freebooters -- a.k.a. "pirates"

You need a visa to visit a Gaul station or else you'll get deported back to where you came from. However, in the future, I want players to be able to (with great difficulty), change their citizenship between Gaul and Consortium ... or even renounce it entirely. This is not yet well planned out, so it's being delayed.

Creating a crafting framework is also important. There is some initial work on this, but it was stopped while we focus on the alpha.

There are actually stations without spaceports, so your ship has no way to dock with them. How do you get there? These stations will initially be in systems you can't reach during the alpha, so we're punting on this. We know what we want to do, but again, only so much time.

Mod-items will be important. These will be mechanical mods ("combat suit") and biological mods ("nanochondria"). If you're "killed" on a station without a sickbay and respawn in your latest clone, you'll lose your mechanical mods, but not your biological ones (assuming you gestated a new clone after you had the biomod installed).

That's a small list for beta, but I imagine that the alpha will uncover enough issues that I didn't want to overload the beta plan with too many features.

However, we do have a "blue sky" list. Here's a hint:

  • Gravity
  • Planetary/lunar colonies
  • Stock market
  • Companies
  • Holodecks (I'm imagining javascript text adventures embedded in Veure)
  • Casinos
  • Elected officials (yes, you could stand for office and get elected by fellow players!)
  • Infectious diseases (make Corrupted Blood a feature, not an accident)

Yes, there's more, but those are the highlights. It's agonizing having come this far and finding the last 10% is taking forever for the alpha, but hey, them's the breaks.

And for the curious:

find lib t bin root -type f | xargs wc -l
<many lines snipped>
109629 total

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About Ovid

user-pic Freelance Perl/Testing/Agile consultant and trainer. See for our services. If you have a problem with Perl, we will solve it for you. And don't forget to buy my book!