I was engaged in an email conversation with the creator of Beyond Beyaan, Brent “Zeraan” Patterson, about his upcoming game, when he hit me with the following statement — which he said I could quote — after asking me if I like Master of Orion 1 over MoO 2 (don’t worry, I love ‘em both):
Yeah, both have its pros and cons. Here’s a secret: My plan is to kick MoO 1/2 off of its pedestal, and have BB be the new 4X TBS game to be compared to :) But in order to do this, I have to have all the best elements from both games available in BB. So this means that BB must be very moddable so if people want to “recreate” MoO 1/2, they can do so in BB. This means that I will add “options” that you turn on or off in a config file, such as single ships (MoO 2) or stacked ships (MoO 1), leaders on/off, buildings on/off, etc. However, I won’t be limited to just the best features of MoO 1/2, I plan on adding my own features. There’s already one such feature, the planet management screen where you can manage all of your planets from one spot. Neither had that, and as a result, suffered from tedious micromanagement issues (MoO 2 more so).
My plan for BB is similar to Dwarf Fortress, keep on maintaining and adding new features long after release. It’s more of my hobby, something that I enjoy doing in my free time, than an attempt to capitalize on the game. However, it’s very helpful to have support from the community (balancing, finances for artwork/sounds, etc).
One thing that I’ve noticed is that after the game is mostly playable, it’s easier to work on it. The hardest part was setting it all up (pathfinding, galaxy generation, turn processing, etc). This is where most projects failed, but I’m now past that point. I can now focus on the fun stuff, such as space combat. It’s easier to stay motivated now, because now I can go “Oh, what fun feature can I add?” and work on items that I want, instead of being overwhelmed with necessary features that I need to implement to make it playable.
It’s kinda like when you create a FPS, the hardest part would be setting up the engine, creating a level, implementing a weapon, adding collision detection, etc. Then once you have a functioning game, you can add new monsters, new weapons, new features that’s not necessary to make the game playable, but adds fun factor.
Impressively awesome, huh? He then offered to answer more questions, so I asked him a bunch, the answers to which you can read by clicking below. Enjoy!
Continue reading “Beyond Beyaan Q&A: Lofty Goals, Passion and Ambition” »