I’ve been lucky enough to work on a very interesting and engaging project this past semester, a turn-based 4X strategy game simply titled “STARS”. It’s made with Unity and runs on Windows PCs.
The game’s mainly inspired by Jeff Johnson’s and Jeff McBride’s classic “Stars!” from 1995. I’ve also taken a lot of inspiration from newer strategy titles, such as Civilization VI. The player takes over a species on the verge of space exploration, competing for resources with up to 8 players online or locally (hot seat). They colonize other planets, mine them for resources, build spaceships and fight battles in order to dominate the galaxy.
The aforementioned resources are: solar energy, minerals and population. Colonized planets supply various amounts of each depending on natural factors, making it important to chose your next home wisely. Resources can then be invested back into building ships or researching new technology.
There are 4 types of spaceships in the game:
- Scout, a satellite used for recon,
- Miner, a mining ship used to gather resources from planets and stars,
- Colonizer, an Ark that can set up a colony on a new planet or to keep your species alive if all your planets have been taken over,
- Warship, used for destroying enemy’s units or colonies.
Ships’ speed, radar range, firepower and terraforming ability can be upgraded via the research option.
I’ve served as a project lead, an artist, a designer and a gameplay programmer. After roughly 3 months of development in a 6-person team it’s a very simple title in a fairly early state. If a chance to continue it arises (perhaps for another university assignment) the mechanics could be expanded, bugs fixed and production value added. As for now, an Android port is in the works.
To start a new game simply click the new game button in the main menu. Type in your address (localhost if you want to play locally), port (1024 – 65536), choose the map size and add the players.
- Press [W A S D] or [middle mouse button] to move the camera,
- Use [+ , -] or [scroll wheel] to zoom in and out,
- Use [left mouse button] to select objects and move the units,
- Use [right mouse button] to deselect,
- Some units allow you to select a target of their action with a [left mouse button], UI will change accordingly,
- You can check current objectives by entering a menu with [escape] button.
Feel free to try it out!