Developer Diary 6
A couple developer diaries ago I wrote that ships in Fading Suns: Noble Armada could sail off one end of the map and come back on the other side. There really is a viable, completely legitimate theory that the universe wraps around upon itself. That’s the only reason we have FSNA game space connect with itself, allowing a ship to sail off one side and come back on the other 😉
Okay, that’s not quite correct. Yes, the wraparound universe theory has its place in cosmological discussions. Our FSNA wraparound, however, is based purely on gameplay considerations and bears no resemblance to it.
- We have to have some boundaries in space. In the miniatures game, if a ship flies off the map, it is gone from play. In an RTS, however, that proved extremely frustrating. Players have a lot to keep track of, and losing a ship just because you did not keep a close enough eye on it proved extremely frustrating.
- Having ships bump into an imaginary boundary also proved frustrating. It would kill their momentum, thus making them easy targets for enemy broadsides and boarding.
- The wraparound universe has precedent in gaming. The best example was the original Star Control, where going off on edge of the universe and coming back on the other was a major part of the strategy.
- The wraparound is just-plain fun, allowing players to speed off one side and come screaming back on the other. Ships disappear, only to reappear zooming right through the middle of the fray.
I admit that in a game with pseudo-realistic physics it feels strange to have this cosmological cheat. Have you played games that had to implement such systems for the sake of gameplay?