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What is Starfinder?

 Starfinder is a grid-based space exploration game, in which the player must scan the local area of space to discover six hidden, unique and unexplored planets. I made Starfinder to show that you don't need a quintillion procedurally generated solar systems to have a fun space game. You just need a core gameplay loop that focuses on fun and engaging exploration.


How did I make it?

  • Starfinder began as a physical prototype.

  • My initial design for a fog-of-war exploration system required many separate pieces to represent as a physical prototype. Testing this clunky prototype helped me realize that the fog-of-war system wasn't going to be fun in the long run.

  • Creating a grid-based movement system was an assignment for another class. I decided to challenge myself by creating a triangular grid of points instead of a square one. This helped open up the map of Starfinder by increasing the number of paths the player could take.

  • My  initial vision for Starfinder involved random enemy encounters that could occur while travelling between planets, and multiple points of exploration on each planet that would contribute to a resource management system. Most of this proved to be out of scope, and I trimmed the features down to a single description for each planet.

  • I went through multiple iterations of 2d art assets, particularly with the planets, to make sure they were as bright and distinct as possible. I made all the UI elements resemble the physical controls of a spaceships console in order to aid the sense of immersion.

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