What I have so far:
Player motion and animation
1 weapon (twin laser bolts)
2 Enemy fighters (protectorate) rigged and done
1 Enemy boss (protectorate battlecruiser) rigged, but no shooting or ai
1 Friendly capital ship (alphanaut) not rigged, animation done. No ai.
(This is a huge sprite with over a hundred gigantic frames. I may have to optimize this and lose some quality to keep loading and game play smooth)
Asteroids done. I'm really happy with the asteroids.
Star and shadow effects are done and they look great.
Planets done. Done and done. However they do need things about them like bases to get stuff and status who's controlling them etc.
Starmap graphics done
Starmap and level xml needs to be done. I figure I'll add all the elements first, then make the level organization happen next.
Level and starmap makers are last
Multiplayer.. not even started.
My first priority is to get all the ships and game elements done. Ultimately what I want to do is make the levels happen randomly based on some rules. In past versions I had a "Threat level" based on the cumulative hit points of the enemies there for a given system or game level. That way I don't have to explicitly plan out every level and every ship in that level... just give it a few values and have the game make the level randomly within a set of parameters. In other words, give me a level editor and I can make a bunch of levels over a long period of time.. give me an automatic level generator and I can make infinity of levels in a really short period of time!
It's just so much work... I think I have to take a step back and re-think the scope of what I'm trying to do. I'd rather have less of a game than I imagine than no game at all.
Let's take a look at Doom 2
Machine gun guy
Baron of Hell
Am I missing anything? That's 17 enemies total including "bosses." Really 16 because the "Spectre" is just a see-thru Demon.
So far I've got the Zombimen and Shotgun Guys done and I'm working on the "Revanant." in Doom terms.
When you see a protectorate battle cruiser it should be a pretty good indication you're going to die. It's meant to be a very scary ship. In the video demonstrating how to kill it, I make it look easy because a) it's not fighting back, which it will. and b) I turned up the damage of your twin lasers to like 500 a pop. It's the equivalent of each bullet being a rail gun head shot with quad damage. Your twin lasers are supposed to do about 10 pts of damage each.
So you're going to need bigger guns by the time you see that one --and maybe some friends --who also have bigger guns.
Also I'm not going to have that many enemies because Captain Zero has something Doom 2 does not. Friendlies. You have some massive ships on your side. The Alphanaut can take on the Battlecruiser head to head and win. You also have a Condor which I have the model done... and there's a light cruiser for the bad guys to match. Of course the bad-guy's battlecruiser won't come alone.
There's something worse.. kind of an anti-big ship big ship called the "Dreadnought." It just shoots one massive big ball of energy out its front. It's useless against fighters --well not really but it's slow to turn and only shoots in one direction. It can, however, take out a big ship in just a few hits. It's basically a big giant lumbering cannon with rockets. There's nothing on your side like it.
There are also a couple of helpless cargo ships and 2 kinds of star bases --which I may leave out in favor of just saying you landed on a planet for repairs and upgrades.
I know I should be thinking more about games like Wing Commander Privateer, Star Control, Star Flight, (loved StarFlight --loved all of those) but I what I really want this game to feel more like is...
The first Zelda. With its critical paths and offshoots... Secrets and bosses... Its journey. Cross the first Zelda with Sinistar, then let the offspring have a baby with Star Control --have her go visit Uncle Doom for a while, and that's what I want this game to feel like --after she goes to school and gets her Action Degree at R-TYPE college.
Is that too much to ask?
Probably. But it's nice to have goals.