Our Role as Players


I've been doing some overthinking, and imagined a spaceship where there is actually somebody setting the crew's priorities and sometimes giving specific commands like assigning a job, prepare hyperjump, or the draft commands.  How would that happen?  There could certainly be a captain sitting in one the ship's rooms monitoring a bunch of video screens and issuing orders via intercom.  It is also not much of a stretch to pick out one of the crew and decide "This one is the captain."  Named after yourself.  That crew member could have cybernetics that let them observe the ship and give commands remotely.

Perhaps it was from watching the anime The Third: The Girl with the Blue Eye that I considered that a ship's AI can do all of these things, and wouldn't show up as a physical crew member.  Makes a convenient fit in my mind, but Space Haven never makes that out to be a fact of the game.  I believe that is for the better, as we are allowed to roleplay as the officer in command of the ship.

Now to recent news.  At present, the crew of Space Haven ships conduct their priorities, schedules, jobs, and drafts unquestioningly until they drop unconscious from exhaustion.  They never disobey direct orders, rebel, or defect.  My kind and benevolent self gives them time each day to rest and mostly recover their energy, but there are several jobs where the guy chronically falling asleep on the spot causes no harm, they just work slow.  As of DevBlog #38 that will not always be the case.  Environmental conditions and mood/needs issues can cause crew to neglect their tasks, cause accidents, and/or start fights.  I consider these excellent additions to the game.  Once a ship or two are fully constructed and armed, the game gets pretty easy.  At some point, depending on abundance of resources encountered, we can just start flying through systems without stopping for anything, and totally annihilating any pirates in the way.  Or we can declare war against everyone and go about collecting all of their crews.  Star systems along down the line have no challenge or threat.  It's the first several where I have to flee pirates and genuinely worry for resources.  These environmental hazards and the opinions of my crew are new levers to present challenges that could become dour, even for fully staffed and armed fleets.

So back to the player.  In some situations we'll temporarily lose control of our crew.  Omniscience spoiled.  Is it their captain, commander, AI, or despot they ignore?


Great write-up! So it is. Some more depth to the characters should make the game more interesting and create more interesting events.

Go write that on the Steam forums if you dare =) The opinions on this are a bit divided, although perhaps the space hazards themselves has been more in the focus. The hazards can be tweaked and won't necessarily be that hard,
but we'll see. They are already in the game customization menu too, so if some irritate too much they can be turned off.

We have also felt the game is really quite easy, but we are a bit perplexed by the feedback we have gotten, so many stating it's so hard. This makes it a bit difficult for us to navigate and try to find a balance, luckily we have the difficulty levels and Harsh
will be harder in the next update.


(07-10-2020, 08:54 AM)AdmiralGeezer Wrote: Go write that on the Steam forums if you dare =) The opinions on this are a bit divided, although perhaps the space hazards themselves has been more in the focus. The hazards can be tweaked and won't necessarily be that hard,
but we'll see. They are already in the game customization menu too, so if some irritate too much they can be turned off.
Oh, wow, there are a bunch of people talking about this game.  I wouldn't know it looking through this forum.  Darn shame: I've never enjoyed the format there.  Very confined, using just barely over a third of my screen, and with people coming and going from all over Steam, it's hard to pick out recurring personalities.  Not that any gets shown with just a tiny portrait and name on display.

I have several more things to say. A little off topic, but I want to write more about the recent announcement.

The space hazards, in isolation, aren't a big deal.  They do their things, and with sufficient crew on watch the effects are fixed up.  It's when doing that along with other things like stripping down derelicts that they would have impact.  Some circumstances, like an ambush by two four-turret pirates while stopped in a nebula, are serious dilemmas no matter how prepared you are.  An end-game boss-battle scenario, if you will.  That's what I mean by them being levers for challenges, when combined with other functions and mechanics of the game.  And break up repetition.  The severity and frequency of these effects should be low at the start, but should be more than just an end-game thing, unless we encounter a compelling reason to not hyperjump straight through the last 6-10 star systems towards Eden.

What I find more compelling about the effects your blog mentions, is that they would do well as ship-to-ship weapon effects.  I find it weird that once hull stability hits zero, a ship's external systems blow up all at once.  I've aimed and fired cannons at a pirate ship I already defeated, but nothing comes of it.  I assumed the grid-based presentation would be ideal for locational damage: hull and facilities get damaged when shots impact the tile(s) they're in, pretty much like Micrometeoroids.  Mitigated by armor.  There must be some reason you guys haven't gone that route.  Yet.

Difficulty in a engine-building game such as this is a weird case, where you have an initial challenge of assembling the components of the engine and securing its fuel, generally within limited constraints.  Once that is done, the game must either spiral continuously upward like with city-builders, or move in a new direction.  Perhaps a wrench gets thrown into the engine and we have to solve it.  Maybe we have to put our engine to the test against an enemy boss.  Reaching Eden is not hard, so the bulk of the difficulty in this game is building the engine.  Whoever has mastered that will say the game is easy, no matter how much difficulty settings extend the time required to finish the engine.

As for mood mechanics, they permit such things as pressing prisoners into slave labor.  With regular disciplining, they won't rebel or sabotage the crew, but depending on how loyal they are to their previous faction, could act out should rescuers come to reclaim them.  I think that's more realistic than recruiting our enemies straight into the crew.

The more I think about the game and play some more hours of it, the further I realize this game can go.  A good writer with a lot of creative brainpower could get you some memorable chained events and quests, granting rewards ranging from very powerful artifacts to obscure knickknacks for bragging rights.  Factions could be more than a handful of wandering ships, they could have a garrison defending a domed colony on a barren planet!  Maybe somebody's already reached Eden and they're hostile!  Such events depend on other ships hailing us rather than the other way around.

But, you all have realistic constraints.  I bought into the game for what I saw at the time.  I'd say I've already got my money's worth.

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