OVERALL GAME IDEA
1) After the initial introduction and story setting/commander selection screen, the player will be sent out into a peaceful (non-inhabited) system with two or so planets and just have a small pod type ship. Their first task will be to establish a base on one of the planets and begin to harvest resources from the planets surface and surrounding space. This is so the player will be able to learn the basic mechanics of the game in a relatively unthreatening environment (certain hazards will still exist).
They will then be able to construct a small or light spacecraft, from a small selection of ships (which have slots for weapons and other tools) which will have the ability to warp out to the surrounding systems.
2) Upon arrival into a inhabited system, the player will have some preliminary contact with an alien species (I haven't decided if this will be randomized at first, with the chance of coming up against a more hostile race or not), and will either attempt to:
a) trade with that alien species, by going back and forward from their new 'home' system (like establishing a trade route) accumulating different resources/credits/schematics for themselves and their home world
b) be slightly more aggressive - by establishing mining bases in the alien systems to mine different resources
c)attack alien spacecraft and steal resources/credits/weapons etc. which will increase the hostility levels of the species.
Each of these options will progressively carry greater risk but more significant rewards.
The player will have to start making decisions about what resources to send home or to utilize for themselves as their home world status will slowly deteriorate/improve.
3) Once a player begins to venture further out from their new home system, they will come into contact with different alien species which will respond differently to the player and also have different trade items/resources weapons etc. I am wanting interactions with different species to influence each other and that the player can choose to build a positive relation with certain species by carry out side missions for each different race - which will carry different benefits for the player.
PARTICUALR GAME MECHANICS:
The player will have a health, shield and booster bars. Health and shield are self explanatory, booster will be used for certain tools and or special weapons and depletes with use but slowly recharges. Booster is also used to charge shield if shield are low.
Perform certain actions will accumulate experience - which levels the player up and will provide a RANK and certain benefits.
If the player ship is being attacked and nears destruction, the player can choose to escape by pressing a button which shoots out an escape pod - whereby they can evade hostile enemies. They player must return to their home base and reconstruct a ship (these are essentially your "lives" and multiple can and should be constructed - if you run out of these lives, you will have to function as only the small escape pod ship and the risk of perma-death is high. If you die as this escape pod and have no lives - your game is over. Death will be death. ( I have some other ideas if this ideas does not end up working the way I want it too, but I still want to maintain some significant penalty or challenge upon death - I am not a big fan of feeling as though there is no consequence for death in games.
As a secondary possible penalty for destruction, at the moment of your ship destruction (not pod) all of your cargo and credits are shot out into space, into a container. This will have to be retrieved by the player in order to recover your credits and cargo. It will have a locator beacon, so it will not be too difficult to find. It may get picked up by an hostile alien craft however and you will have to fight this ship (on your return) in order to recover your credits/cargo. You can choose to store certain amounts of cargo and credits at your bases though - management of these becomes important in this case.
In order to perform certain tasks player will have to use their keyboard to type in particular functions (rather than use traditional buttons). I want the player to feel like they were actually using an onboard computer. At the moment the commands the player will enter are:
SHIELD - repairs shield using booster
MAP - displays system map
GAME - some on board entertainment!
HAIL - make communication with nearest ship
WARP SYSxxx - initiates a warp countdown sequence to warp out of system
REPAIR - initiates a minigame to repair a particular broken/damaged ship function - SHIELD,ENGINE,HULL,WEAPONS
DUMP XXXX - dump carry that may be contraband in a certain system
LOG - a log of significant events -player can also write notes in here, kind of like a diary/ships log entry.
LAND - initiate landing sequence on nearby planet (player within range)
HELP - displays commands
In this ship computer screen - status and other important information is displayed and player change change their ship loadout (atm the moment this is on the fly but I am considering only letting a player do this when in a 'hangar' on the surface of the planet.
You ship is equipped with an AI companion, which will serve to update player about certain events, small and significant, provide assistance and advice to players, provide some light entertain and banter and also provide some real world factual knowledge about certain elements of space (sorry, this is the teacher in me, I thought "Hey why not have some educational value to my game".
On each planet, the player will be able to construct buildings (an HQ, power facilities, radio towers, mining towers, silos, teleporters, research labs, environmental control centers, shield generator and defences.)
This will consume resources/credits.
Each planet will have certain resources that can then be mined and these mining bases must be defend from attack.
The level of alien hostility will determine that likelihood of attack and the player can choose whether to
a) no defend planet
b) use the automatic defences on the planet (if they have built them)
c) defend manually by remote (not as effective - if player has built the remote radio control towers)
d) fly to the planet and defend it manually
LANDING ON INHABITED PLANETS:
Player will be able to land on inhabited planets - but not build (unless alien race is friendly) and visit alien cities to trade and communicate. If alien is hostile landing will not be possible unless the player wants to risk destruction (they can attempt to sneak in and land).
LANDING ON SPACE STATIONS:
There will also be space stations that the player can dock with and carry out trade etc...
This is an overall summary of most of the parts of my game - I hope I have made it a bit clearer about how my game will actually play, but if I haven't I am more than happy to answer any more questions. I also would greatly appreciate any more ideas, feedback or criticism of any element of my game.
Thanks everyone for reading, hope some of you are interested and sorry for typing way too much!