After a month of work the game-world is nearly complete at it’s highest level, with the hundreds of stars and star systems that make up Explored Space finally set in the heavens and sized and proportioned and lit correctly. With this complete, our team has been doing the more difficult, detailed work of creating the planetary and city environments inside.
With hundreds of solar systems in the game, it’s a huge job, and of course it’s not being done all at once, but testing our ability to create realistic, interesting (and glitch-free) environments for both in-system spaceflight, and character level play is an important step in advancing the project. For that reason we’ve decided to start by focusing on just a few systems, beginning with the human-controlled areas of the game world.
Part of the reason for focusing on humanity first is, of course, that any player will be more familiar with the human race than any of their neighbors in the Celestial Forge universe (though after thousands of years, the humans of Explored Space may have developed a few surprises). But also because starting with the familiar and building outwards allows us to develop the game world in the same way our players will experience it – as a process of exploration that moves from the merely futuristic to the utterly fantastical.
The very first city to be developed by our team is the human spaceport of Hopetown; the thriving hub of a new human colony world, and gateway to the dangerous wilderness of the planet beyond. The rest of the world will be open for exploration and even to exploitation by those players with a penchant for resource management and city planning.
Hopetown itself is over two actual walk-able kilometers from end to end, but at present, the plan is to have plots surrounding the “starting” city in which player-controlled groups can build expansions to the city, from single homes to vast new neighborhoods – some even as large as the original city itself. The empty plots will have resource nodes, purchasable areas for development, and zones where there will be secrets to be discovered.
Celestial Forge invites players to build the universe around them, and this includes everything from vast orbital habitats, right down to colonial housing.