Design Series – #6 Multiple FTL Tech?

Design Series - #6 Multiple FTL Tech?


Welcome back to part 6 in our series on discussing the game philosophy and design behind Lord of Rigel. This week we are going to be discussing faster than light (FTL) technology and why Lord of Rigel will only deal with one type of faster than light technology. This question has been asked of us in a couple different forums including our own. Because of this, we wanted to address it in this series.

There are a couple of reasons why Lord of Rigel will only use one type of FTL technology. Both are quite practical.

The first reason is obvious - our back story! As covered earlier this week, FTL technology for the 10 playable species was not discovered by each species through their own research efforts. Instead an artifact was sent by the Rigelans that contained schematics and other necessary information to build FTL drives. The Rigelans of course hoped that this information would help them gain help in their efforts to destroy the Arcturans and end their long struggle once and for all.

The other reason that Lord of Rigel uses only one FTL tech for the varying species is balancing and execution. Making a 4x space game is a huge undertaking and there are many mechanics that make that system possible. While we certainly could have added varying FTL technology such as star lanes or star gates, these are require balancing especially in regards to interacting with other game systems likes minor species, strategic resources, etc. FTL is a core fundamental in any 4x space strategy game and we felt that it would be better to have a core singular FTL mechanic that we knew would work and would not cause any balancing issues.

So the concluding question is: does that mean that Rhombus Studios refuses to ever leap into the world of diverging FTL technology? Absolutely not! However, as we have said before we want to get the core mechanics of our game correct before adding more features that may cause a cascading series of balancing issues. Players should not be surprised to see varying FTL technology such as jump gates, sub light travel and star lanes in Lord of Rigel expansions or other future titles in the Lord of Rigel series. What we are trying to avoid is a game that has tons of great ideas, but poor execution and balance. Ultimately while these games maybe case studies for different things that have been tried, they aren't the games that last and build communities around them. Both of which we want to do with Lord of Rigel.

Join us next week for a discussion about our ground combat mechanics!

In addition to our article today we are including a screenshot of our bug of the week. Last week we started to implement our new building and build queue system. As you can see there are still some bugs left to be fixed. Missing categories, items in the wrong spot, and oh yeah this is the Sol colony!

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