Heroic Journey…of a Ship?

Story in Silent Space Rebellion is an essential part of what we’re trying to do. So many browser based games on the market – one of the things that sets us apart distinctly is that we have a specific and a unique story to tell.

This story isn’t really the story of one character – though we have a group of characters along for a ride. We don’t ignore them either – but the story that we’re telling in Silent Space Rebellion is really meant to be a story about a ship: the SCT Joshua.

The SCT Joshua is many things in our universe – it’s the underdog, it’s the rebel, it’s the hero ship. Each of these elements was picked to give the ship something about it that helped us tell the story, because the story is what we are all about.

The underdog nature of the ship is more subtle – and only comes out if you pay close attention to the back story of the ship. The Joshua was not made to be a front line combat unit. It was created for just one purpose: orbital bombardments. Neither as well armed nor as fast as the heavier battleships and larger ships of the line in the DDF fleet, it was listed as scrap and sold off to the SCT without the knowledge of the DDF. The Joshua is one of the first of these boats – before the SCT started upgrading and outfitting them better. This element of the story helps us show how exceptional the crew and characters are in our universe – they’re doing the special operations better than anyone else, even with substandard equipment.

The rebel nature of the ship frees us from having any sort of chain of command limitations – we certainly do see the SCT High Command (and even aspects of its military command) but ultimately the ship is free to do things that a ship operating in a normal military hierarchy might not be able to do. We’ve deliberately avoided situations like this to avoid the player having to look at the game and ask themselves “What would the commander say if he knew what his ship was doing?”. Consequences are a real thing in the real world – and a great way to ground our game as something believable.

The heroic aspect of our ship comes out of necessity. Ever story has a driving element – something that keeps the plot moving forward, such as a McGruffin. In this case, our element moving the story forward is this one ship – whose affect on the war and on the universe at large have a disproportionate effect to their size!

For many years the Developers at Intertainment Games have believed that Video games are a great way to tell a story – it’s much more than just entertainment, it’s an interactive experience, and that’s what we’ve tried to do with Silent Space Rebellion – we hope you’ll agree that we’ve done a good job!

Until Next Time, Sink Enemy shipping!

Posted in Silent Space Rebellion | Leave a comment

Moving at the Speed of Click

Silent Space Rebellion has four distinct types of movement. They all flow seamlessly into and from each other, but the system can be overwhelming at first glance, so in preparation for our upcoming Beta Test we’re going to outline the four types of movement here so you can understand the systems at work before being captured by the game.

Combat Movement

Combat movement is the simplest form of movement in the game. You pick a heading, and set your speed, and your ship moves out. This form of movement is the most ‘open’ but is only available during combat situations for reasons we will explain later. This sort of movement gives you little time to react to an incoming threat, and requires careful use and control of in order to make the most of your available weapons and equipment stored on board your ship. In this form of movement you are hunting individual ships to destroy. This mode can be reached by engaging a fleet, or being engaged by a fleet.

Solar Movement

Solar movement takes place around the star of  the solar system you’re currently engaged in. This type of movement is grid based – with your ship moving left / right /up /down and along diagonals to scan different grids of space. This type of movement was deliberately chosen for this part of the game in order to enhance the feeling of ‘the stalk’ that is such a part of the cloaking system in our game. In this form of movement you are hunting for a fleet to engage in combat with. If the fleet finds and detects you first though, you’re immediately engaged in combat!

System Movement

System movement will move your ship by ‘jumping’ it through the Hyper Gate to a particular destination. No enemies are present in this mode, and the player has free reign to move around between solar systems at this point. It is possible to scan into the system before entering it, without being detected.

Sector Movement

The simplest of all movement (our Facebook page has a picture of this here!) this form of movement will allow you to deploy your ship through a Far Jump to another sector in the game.

We know you won’t understand much of this until you can see it in game (maybe in our upcoming Beta Test!), and we’ll have some more details coming soon!

Until Next Time, Sink Enemy Shipping!

Posted in Silent Space Rebellion | Leave a comment

One Click, One Kill

Wednesday’s update was about the Combat Screen, but there are lots of places we’ve improved the UI, from the top menu with a new bar showing you relevant stats to the torpedo icon images over the skill bar showing you which tubes are loaded (which is necessary in combat, as any Captain can attest to)!

Today we wanted to talk about the importance of your actions having direct input. A lot of the browser based games that we’ve seen out there have you click a button, and then they provide you with delayed feedback. You might get a dialog that pops up, or the data on the screen might change slightly to reflect that you just did something – but that’s the end of the action.

We’re not like other browser based games (we’re sure you’re already knew this, but it’s one of our talking points about the game so we’re going to keep bringing it up). In Silent Space Rebellion when you click on something, something happens right then and there. Drag a torpedo, your ship is loaded. Target a ship, and you’re going to engage in combat. Move grid squares and your radar will start sweeping your new location for enemies to take down.

In the interest of reflecting this principal everywhere in our game we’ve taken the Torpedo Loading menu and made some significant changes to it. The panel in question used to slide out of the left side of the screen and then have a series of selection tabs across the top. This was perfectly acceptable, and after much debate around the Developer table about which tab was most important, the Torpedo Tab was loaded by default.

This debate is what sparked the change – some players felt adjusting power was more critical to see first, some people felt that managing your gun load out was the most important thing. It was almost an entirely even split between the five panels that were selected at the time.

As a result of this, a decision was made to change the control that slides out the panel to also support which tab was opened on the inside at the same time. While this might seem like a logical and simple application of a button action, the framework that was used to develop this particular part of the UI wasn’t very user friendly, so it ended up being re-written by scratch.

This is just one more example, though, of how we plan to change the browser based gaming experience. You can be sure if you click something in our game, something is going to happen you’re going to have to react to in one way or another.

Until Next Time, Sink Enemy Shipping!

Posted in Silent Space Rebellion | Leave a comment

Yes, But How Do I Fire a Torpedo?

Our current round of updates have focused very heavily on our user interface – and there is a very good reason for this. (Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post titled “One Click, One Kill” for more on this!) We really want the user interface itself to reflect our game, and also to be user friendly at the same time.

To this end we’ve spent a lot of time looking at new users interactions with the game – not an easy challenge when you consider there is a finite amount of people who are new to the game. If the user can’t figure the action out within three seconds of us asking him or her to accomplish it, the element in question gets careful reconsideration for improvement.

In one of our old games, a series of drop downs let you fire a torpedo. This was changed later to a list of buttons, but this list of buttons was not anywhere near to the targeting box. This meant that when selecting a target on the combat grid, you were two or three hundred pixels away from the box you needed to click on to fire a torpedo at your target.

We’ve fixed all of this with floating HUDs, which we are not quite ready to show you yet, but which look pretty damned cool.

The way the floating HUDs work is very simple – a red circle is oriented around every enemy ship on the map and on your mouse hovering over that target, a simple “Select Target” button becomes available. Clicking this will lock your ship onto that target – henceforth all weapons fired will zero in on that target, and that target alone. A red text box will tell you if you are out of range, and change to green (immediate visual feedback) when you enter range, and a the “Select Target” button will become a “Fire Button” that when clicked, translates into a dropdown menu where you can select which tube to fire.

We’ve gone from a one second delay between targeting and firing to a zero second delay – and an unintuitive user experience has changed to something even a child could grasp simply. While a one second delay doesn’t seem like very much, if there are ten ships in the fleet you’re engaging that’s ten lost seconds to shoot at each of them once – twenty to shoot at them twice, and more if you’re also engaged in other actions with your ship (which we desperately hope you are – this is a stealth game, not a charge in and start firing! [Developers Note: You have to wait for SSF for that!]).

Friday we’ll be posting another update about some of the more passive systems you use and how we’ve been updating the UI to more properly handle them.

Until then, Sink Enemy Shipping!

Posted in Silent Space Rebellion | Leave a comment

Media Matters

We here at Intertainment Games know that Social Media is a big part of any company these days, and especially a new young upstart trying to make its place in a bustling industry. It’s taking some time, but we’re spinning up our various media arms again in order to bring you, the user, the viewer, the reader, the fan, more information about our upcoming release.

It’s hard to say much about what’s going on when boring code development work is begin done, so to give you an idea of what universe you’re stepping into we’ve created Five twitter feeds for you to follow. These twitter feeds are a collaborative effort by our staff to tell a story about what’s gone on in the universe with the SCT Joshua before you, the player, takes command. They provide a very deep look at backgrounds to the conflict, and both of the major factions involved.

Because we are limited to only 140 character posts on Twitter, we decided to do something here to provide you with a short introduction to the major players on the twitter feeds:

@iGamesSCT

The ingenuiitve SCT have broken with the DDF for a number of reasons – lack of funding for scientific development is an easy one to claim, but rumors abound about issues with the core technology of the DDF the planetary solar reactors – and the SCT is out to prove how dangerous they are once and for all.

@SCTJoshua

Needing no introduction, the Joshua is a Joshua-class Type I stealth ship. She is the pride of the SCT Navy and carries on board with her some of the finest military minds. Despite being offered an upgrade time and time again, the crew have stuck with their Type I boat and forgone the sleeker and newer Type II’s and III’s out of sheer sentimentality.

@SCTMadalyn

A Swin Type III boat, the Madalyn makes up for the lack of armor and firepower (and modernization) that the Joshua’s older model doesn’t carry into battle. This ship can often – but not always – be found operating in conjunction with her littler, older, sister.

@iGamesDDF

The militaristic DDF are playing a secret game -but no one knows the players, or even the details of the game. For now their efforts are focused on proving their technology is sound – against all the evidence – and smashing the SCT Rebellion.

@DDFDoorma

The Doorma is a Fast Frigate, one of the newest and most deadly ships to join the DDF Fleet. Capable of rapid acceleration and speed, this ship is excellent at chasing down a SCT Stealth Ship before it can re-engage it’s cloak and disappear. When, that is, they can find one.

That’s all for this quick look at our major players, we hope you’ll connect to their twitter feeds and watch the story unfold! Until Next Time, Sink Enemy Shipping!

Posted in Press, Silent Space Rebellion | Leave a comment

The combat screen from #iGames upcoming

The combat screen from #iGames upcoming Browser Based MMO, #SSR ! – at least what it looked like LAST week… 🙂 http://ow.ly/i/MESe

Posted in Silent Space Rebellion | Leave a comment

The news screen for the new game #SSR fr

The news screen for the new game #SSR from #iGames ! And what’s that in the background?!? http://ow.ly/i/MERR

Posted in Silent Space Rebellion | Leave a comment

Last tease before we get to the good stu

Last tease before we get to the good stuff, we promise! Just a peek at the new #SSR System Screen from #iGames ! http://ow.ly/i/MERw

Posted in Silent Space Rebellion | Leave a comment

Check out this tease of the new Combat S

Check out this tease of the new Combat Screen for #SSR ! Stay tuned to #iGames this weekend for an unscrambled peek! http://ow.ly/i/MEQG

Posted in Silent Space Rebellion | Leave a comment

Stay with us this weekend as we release

Stay with us this weekend as we release screen shots from our current build! These are brand new – never released! http://ow.ly/i/MEQk

Posted in Silent Space Rebellion | Leave a comment