Back in 1984 I played Elite on the BBC Micro for the first time. It was a truly ground-breaking and immersive experience and is still to this day one of my favourite games of all time.
Ever since then it’s been one of my dreams to be able to create similar myself. After numerous attempts at 3D space games (and nearly 40 years later), I’ve finally started something that is approaching what I want to make.
Light Gain is set in a future just after the invention of the “Light Gain Drive”; a technology that makes faster than light (FTL) possible.
The game will be based largely within the solar system to start with but may spread out to neighbouring systems as the game progresses.
It will be a sandbox style game like the original Elite with combat, trading, and missions.
The sun, planets, moons, and distances are all to-scale. The starfield, planets and moons use procedural generation, so they are only approximations of their real-life counterparts.
Currently the game is in an early stage, but it is starting to take shape.
There isn’t currently much to do other than fly around and see things, but there are NPC’s around space stations that will usually attack, and the occasional friendly NPC too.
The game is designed for a gamepad, although the included configuration files can be edited and alternative controls can be assigned if required. The game will search for an xinput gamepad (e.g. Xbox controller) and will choose the xinput control profile if found. If not, the keyboard profile is chosen.
As there are lots of control bindings for this game, some of the buttons on the controller have multiple uses. E.g. holding down the back, start, Y or B buttons will show a popup menu with additional bindings. However, pressing and releasing the button immediately will have a different effect (e.g. the start button will pause or resume the game).
The Light Gain drive can be activated (when using the gamepad) by holding down the B button (which shows the drive menu) then pressing the D Pad up. When the drive is active the top speed is limited by nearby objects. The closer you are, the slower you’ll go. If you want to travel to the opposite side of a planet quickly, take a wider orbit.
Still to do:
Docking, trading, missions, more ships, more weapons, finish the outer solar system (currently only have the inner solar system and Saturn minus moons), user interface for game options / configuration, and lots more!