Heliconian Dev Log 03: Spaceship Compartments and Crew Operations

February 17, 2020
Antti Lehtinen

The basic game play functionality has been implemented. The ship has seven compartments/rooms and five crew members, each with different skill set. The crew members are presented in the picture as colorful dots(red, blue, green, violet, yellow). At the bottom there are rectangular “portraits” of the crew members with their health information. Crew members can be selected by tapping either the portrait at the bottom or the dot aboard.

Spaceship Compartments

The Heliconian has the following compartments:

  • Torpedo Room (Load and shoot torpedoes)
  • Flight Deck (Identify enemy spacecraft)
  • Medbay (Treat the sick and wounded)
  • Laboratory (Do research work)
  • Crew Quarters (Rest)
  • Engine Room I (Maintain the Left Propulsion engine)
  • Engine Room II ( Maintain the Right Propulsion engine )

Game Play

The only thing players can do is to move crew members around the ship from room to room. The question mark icons represent various tasks the crew members can do aboard:

  • Red question mark appears only in the torpedo room and means that you can shoot torpedoes at the enemies in proximity.
  • Orange question mark can appear in either one of the engine rooms and means that you can repair the damaged propulsion engine. You can go on with a damaged propulsion system, but the problem is, enemy ships catch you up faster. It’s essential to repair any engine damage as soon as possible.
  • Yellow question mark can appear in any room and means that there is damage in the hull that can be repaired. The Heliconian has a total of 9 health points.
  • Green question mark appears only in the medbay when there is a sick or wounded crew member present and means that the treatment process can be started. A sick or wounded crew member person works at 50% capacity A crew member has 4 health points and takes damage only from sickness(-2) or a wound(-2). Crew member’s death is permanent. For survival, it’s essential to treat any sickness or wound as soon as possible.
  • Violet question mark (not seen in the picture) appears only in the laboratory and means that there are extra terrestrial materials ready to be researched. Research work is not a mandatory operation, but it can provide great benefits and sometimes detriments too. A player’s choice;)
  • Blue question mark (not seen in the picture) appears only in the Flight Deck and means that there is an unknown spacecraft in proximity which can be identified. Identifying enemy spaceship is not a mandatory operation either, but it will reveal useful information about the enemies and help you decide which enemy to shoot first.
  • Beige question mark (not seen in the picture): Appears only in the crew quarters when a tired crew member is present. A tired crew member works at 75% capacity.

To hold on to my vision of a simple game play, all these tasks are executed automatically when a crew member enters the room with the question mark icon. Performing a task takes time and can be left unfinished and continued later as the player wishes. The progress of the work is presented by a white color that fills the question mark icon while the task is being completed. Tasks are performed faster if there are several crew members present in the same room.

The player is in total control of the crew and moves the crew members around from room to room to perform various tasks in order to stay alive. Fundamentally it is a tight and brutal time management system in the form of a spaceship crew control.

Flight Deck Information Screen

The Flight Deck contains a large information screen which will constantly give useful information to the player. For example, the player can tap an identified enemy spacecraft and see it’s hull strength, firepower, and torpedo loading time.

Thanks for reading!

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