NEWS FROM THE TEAM

De-signing the Design: the Semiotics of Choice

This week we're going to talk a bit about design theory. Semiotics se·mi·ot·ics noun 1. the study of signs and symbols as elements of communicative behavior; the analysis of systems of communication, as language, gestures, or clothing. 2. a general theory of signs and symbolism, usually divided into the branches of pragmatics, semantics, and syntactics. Symbols are the language of video games If you see a red bar near your character that has no instructions or label, you assume this represents "health" and decreases with damage taken. A blue bar near your character that has no instructions or label is...
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Cartridge Life

Last week we talked about the in-game desktop. This week we're going to dive into one of my favorite features: the datapad. As I mentioned last week, the datapad's display has its own style which is a separate style from the game GUI, and the rest of the game. This creates immersion -- in the real world my iPhone sits next to my Windows laptop, and each display is stylistically distinct from the other. And both are distinct from my living room (which is stylistically IKEA). In fact, if I woke up one morning and every device and every piece...
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HUD-aches

We've been kicking around what to do with the HUD since at least July. This is a chronicle of our journey. I'll spare you the awful mockups/prototypes. Iteration 1, 2 and 3: Standard 4x game HUD There is a lot of information a player could potentially want to see on the screen as he's playing Astrobase Command. So kind of the default was to go with a standard 4x game HUD, because there's a lot of intersection in terms of the kind of information (resources, unit details, module details, etc) a player could be tracking. This was our starting point....
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Dobro Dosli to our new Croatian contingent!

Hey everyone! We just got some coverage over on Bug Online (One of Croatia's top IT sites)! Welcome to our new friends!
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RTSGuru Interview Part Deux

Hey again everyone! Check out Part 2 of our interview with RTSGuru here!
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RTSGuru Interview!

We sat down with the folks at RTSGuru and discussed our origins, inspiration for the game and thoughts on the industry! Check it out! http://www.rtsguru.com/article/6653/We-Interview-the-minds-behind-Astrobase-Command-Part-1.html
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Briefing Room – Mailing List

Hey everybody! A bunch of people on the forums have been asking us to set up a mailing list, so we've gone ahead and added one to the website sidebar. We'll be giving updates once every so often to sum up development progress, reach out for playtesting and for announcements and events. What would you like to read about in upcoming devblog posts? Head over to our forums to share your ideas, opinions and questions!
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Space Herpes is the New Dysentery

In this blog post, I'm going to talk about my favorite games and how they inspire the making of Astrobase Command. There are a lot of great games that didn't make the list (see: title of this post), but these are the ones I found particularly innovative and insightful. Also, some of these games I haven't played in years. So I'll be doing this from memory -- which is the point, these are the most memorable games I've played. #10 -- The Secret of Mana (SNES)     The Secret of Mana is genre-defining. It has real-time combat. You fight...
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All About Progression

Hey everybody! Today we're going to dig into progression. We have a pretty deep progression system in Astrobase Command which you might expect from a sandbox game, so there's a lot to cover. Hold on to your space-hats and here we go! Points First thing we need to talk about is points. The concept of points should be familiar to players of tabletop games such as Warhammer. In Astrobase Command, the points of a unit is a reflection of its attributes, skills and rank. Equipment also has points, and this gets added to the unit. A 100 point marine with...
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Meta: Art Imitates Life

I want to take a step back with this post and talk about the game industry, and then relate that to Astrobase Command. So how does a game get made at an established, AAA studio? First, a decision is made to make a game at all. If a studio is planning ahead, when there is still time left on the clock for shipping the current project a small team is formed to pitch concepts and prototype the next game. It's not efficient to have highly-paid coders sitting on their hands, but some work needs to be done in the design...
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