Currently (as of June 2011), RogueStars is nothing more than a little idea and barely a skeleton of a program sitting somewhere in my PC. And, truth be told, I cannot promise it will ever go further than that.
Assuming I can get it pass the vaporware stage, what is (or rather will be) RogueStars? Well, it is sort of the bastard child of Rogue and the old BASIC Star Trek game: a roguelike, in the tradition of such wonderful games as NetHack, Omega, ADOM and DungeonCrawl Stone Soup, but with a Space Opera theme.
How does that differ from a myriad other science fiction roguelikes? For starters, the player does not control some armor-clad, sword-bearing adventurer going deep into a dungeon to fight monsters; he or she will instead command a starship as it travels far and wide through the galaxy. Commerce, exploration, piracy and the navy will be some of the available career options, as member of one of several starfaring species, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
The more traditional single-character viewpoint will still be available in some situations, like starbase exploration and ship boarding. Or at least, that's the plan.
RogueStars is being written in the Ada programming language. Why? Because I like it a lot more than C, C++ or Java, and, frankly, programming this game is supposed to be fun, or I would be doing something else entirely with my time.
RogueStars will be implemented as a client/server application, where the server handles the game in abstract terms, and the client provides the user interface entirely: keybindings, ASCII vs. tiles, etc.
The default client will only support ASCII (or, more accurately, Unicode), although it won't necessarily be a console app.
The server will be able to handle several games simultaneously, and each game will be available to several clients at once: one playing client, and any number of lower-priority read-only viewers.
The intent behind this client/server architecture is not providing a generic "game engine", which RogueStars will definitely not be, but to facilitate developing third party applications, like computer players and alternate clients.
Currently, no part of the game is scheduled to be scriptable, though I don't dismiss the idea of adding that capability to the client at some point.
Finally, I'd like the game to be localizable, but this is at the moment a low priority goal.
To build RogueStars you will need the GNAT GPL 2011 Ada compiler and the AUnit Ada testing framework.
Both can be freely downloaded from the Libre website.
RogueStars will be released under the GNU General Public License, version 3.
Currently, RogueStars' only author is Juanma Barranquero <email@example.com>.
Ideas, but no code, are stolen from the aforementioned games. Specifically:
- From NetHack, the value of deepness and replayability; and of course also the humor.
- From Omega, the belief that there's always room to be original and think outside the box.
- From ADOM, the knowledge that a well thought out setting goes a long way in making a game feel alive.
- From Stone Soup, the realization that a good user interface is paramount.
- And, from Star Trek, the whole crazy idea that an ASCII spaceship game can be fun.