Heliconian Dev Log 06: Starship Design Evolved

March 1, 2020
Antti Lehtinen
Starship sketch

The crew member operations have been tested over and over and I feel good about the room compartment layout. On the right you see a sketch with many interior design elements which are just for decoration and do not have any game play effect. The game play is about moving the crew members from room so the whole interior is designed to leave a large pathways in the center of the rooms.

Another design constraint was the screen size. The spaceship was designed to be as large as possible on a normal 16:9 mobile screen so that players could easily tap the small crew members running around the ship. The narrow front of the ship leaves empty space at the sides of the screen which is needed for some book keeping information like the health bar of the Heliconian and it’s location between stars.

Pathways and Crew Member Locations

There are several possible pathways from room to room. At this point all crew member walkways are hard coded so that a crew member always chooses the shortest/fastest route available. Crew members also have predetermined locations inside the rooms. This helps keeping the crew members separate so that they can always be easily tapped(selected) on a small mobile screen. The drawing serves as a sketch for the final artwork which you will see in the following picture.

The Final Design of the Heliconian

The final design of the Heliconian spaceship

After a lot of play testing and several sketches I’m so excited to revel the final design of the Heliconian. A couple of interesting details are the automatic doors between the rooms and the color coding of the rooms themselves. For example, the torpedo room has a red color to indicate that the red crew member(the weapons officer) has a responsibility there. He is the one who can load and shoot torpedoes. Similarly the Flight Deck has a blue color to indicate that the blue crew member(captain) has responsibility there. The captain is the only crew member who can identify enemy ships and it has to be done on the Flight Deck. I’m hoping this color connection between the rooms and the crew members will help the players to learn the crew member skills and room functions faster. Thanks for reading and as always, please share your thoughts!

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