Rapid Transport System PART 2

Rapid Transport System…

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The RTS is a tram system which allows easy access to different parts of the Groomlake.

The transport system is designed so that the player can have ‘freeform’ access to many different areas of the ship right from the start of the game. Now while the entire ship wont be accessable at the begining of the game you will have access to ‘mid deck’, which consistis of:


VIP Arrivals (the areas completed so far).


Mid Deck Infirmary (which will be decked out with all sorts of ‘lower use’ medical equipment. Mainly a small hospital for non serious injuries that civilians or other visitors may have when visiting The Groomlake)


Mid Deck Mess Hall (consisting of kitchens, prep areas, food, and possibly some forms of entertainment).


Mid Deck Information Centre (a museum of sorts where dignitaries can learn about The Groomlake).


And PLAZA A, PLAZA B, and PLAZA C-which have elevators and security checks to proceed to different areas of the ship.


Its important to note that the areas listed are just stations…so each station will have branches off to quite a few rooms, and may have other transport options available once in those areas. The RTS is sort of the major hub that connects things, with many minor options available to the player to get around.  The tansport system platforms are essentially gateways to different pieces of the ship.


Access to the multiple areas of the ship really opens up the puzzle design. Items in the infirmary can be used to solve puzzles in the mess hall. There is a main single objective for the ‘mid level’, in this case, getting SECURITY LEVEL FOUR access to get to the control deck-but this isnt a ‘find the yellow key card’ type of game! 😀 All areas will have puzzles to solve, and areas to explore, that will not only open up the story, but also provide some awesome gamaplay opportunities.

When designing the map system, I took inspiration from subway maps of the major undergound subway ststems in the world. The system needs to look realistic. Like a subway system that could actually work.

Its also interesting to note that the map is set up using the ‘stacked glass’ system I mentioned in THIS previous post.


I have fully completed all the puzzle and game integration that leads us from the INNER AIRLOCK to the RTS PLATFORM. However, on a playthrough I’ve realised that the critical path is a little to direct. There arent enough obstacles in the captains way, so Im having a relook at a few elements in the levels. One additional area I am adding in between the Arrivals Hall and the Decon/Security Room is a ‘last stand.’ An area where a few crew members tried to make a final stand against…something. Welded doors, stacked boxes, mobile sentry guns…very ALIENS. Im taking a good look at properly integrating this into the current game, as its important that this doesnt feel ‘tacked on’. Im hoping this can be done with just some dialog links in the previous scenes, but may have to add some objects here and there, to really sell the idea.

On a side note, I really want to thank you guys for checking up on this project! It really is a labor of love on my part, and knowing that there are people out there following the progress really helps me push forward!


  • JasonV

    Hey Chris,

    So are you considering the RTS segments to be milestones in the story? If so, are you using an estimated time it should take to get from one milestone to the next? If so, you may want to play through each room and put the whole thing into a gant chart in something like Microsoft Project so you can see everything, how long it takes to get there and you can map interdependencies between sections, etc. to get a feel for how long the game will take to play through instead of having to continually play through finished sections over and over to get the feel for the flow. Having everything timed out you can get a rough idea how long the game will take to achieve thing and you will immediately notice if a room or leg of the adventure is taking too long compared to the other legs, etc.

    Keep up the great work. I look forward to seeing your work progress.

  • http://www.stasisgame.com Chris

    Originally the RTS systems were the milestone markers, but when I started to play through the game it really felt like a ‘race’ to the next station. I have still kept them as a base for the transport on the ship, but they are now more integrated into the chapters. There are also 2 different types of RTS-the normal tram systems, the the ‘Freight And Service’ tram lines-smaller systems used to access the more ‘out the the way’ areas of the ship.

    Timing game play is a difficult one. From what I’ve read on other dev sites, a 5 hour game should take the developer and hour to run through on a critical path.

    Honestly, I take a long time in games-because I like to do EVERYTHING. When I read about how other people finish a certain game in 10 hours, and I took 30, it makes me worry! 😀

    I have a pretty good idea however of how long it takes just to ‘do’ the stuff you need to do in the game, so I can make sure that each ‘chapter’ is meaty enough. I am varying the lengths of the chapters in the game. Some are really short, and others are very long. The shorter chapters tend to be the ones where there is more ‘action’, and the longer ones there is more information mining and story centric stuff. All of these are interspersed in the game however, to make sure that you never get bored of either.