Thursday, April 7, 2011


There are certain parts of the code I haven't looked at or tried out in quite a while, and tonight I found that comets were just barely in the game. There was only one comet in the database and it was displaying on the system map, but it had no other data to go along with it and ships couldn't interact with it in any way.

So I fixed that, and now comets can be orbited at least. Next you'll be able to scan the comet to determine some characteristics about, with the most important being the density of Monopoles. Comets are the other object that a ship with a Mining Specialist on board can harvest, resulting in the extremely rare Monopole.

My inspiration for this item came from an old, old PBM I played back in the early 1990's which I can't remember the name of for the life of me. It involved running a colony in a big circular asteroid belt and one of the items you could mine was monopoles.

I'm not sure exactly how monopoles are going to fit into construction yet, but I don know they'll be extremely rare and needed for some of the more powerful items, probably things such as certain weapons or Jump Drives or anything needing something exotic. Whereas scooping a gas giant can net a ship several hundred units of He3, it's likely that harvesting a comet will only result in a handful of monopoles.

One of the things I greatly want to avoid in the game is a runaway economy where colonies have piles and piles of unused materials laying around. I want to err on the side of being too conservative in ore deposits and other raw materials and I want to avoid as much as possible letting one single player have everything they need to build whatever they want without having to interact with other players to get any materials.

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