As I'm in the process of learning to create games, I've selected a gameidea I had in mind for several months, and the goal to create a working game inside the Unity engine 4.5 and later on Unity 5.
What's it about?
Basically I like space games and Building-/Management-Strategygames, so I'm gonna build a game I want to play. A spaceship management game where you control the ship's captain, manage your crew, build and expand your ship and if space runs out, hop over to the next ship and continue exploring the galaxy, fighting off random generated encounters and so on.
The scope is moderately sized, with the ability for one person to create the whole gameplay eventually. Modeling and Texturing as well as Sounddesign needs to be outsourced, because I suck at those. Luckily, these are all factors who need to become part of the gamedevelopment at a relatively late stage, with the focus being on gameplay and coding, until the basics of the game are formed.
Selecting the GameEngine
After some research, possible game engines included UnrealEngine 4, Unity 4.5, Tourtoise 2D/3D and in case I wanted to go full ham on 2D, Java Engines like lwjgl and jMonkey.
Because of Setup-Problems with the UE4 Visual Studio 2013 bridge, and because I recently got into a Gamedesign course featuring Unity, I finally decided to use Unity as the underlying Gameengine.
To make things not too complicated, I decided to use an orthographic camera view, exclude most physics functionalities and keep the Game Singleplayer-Only.
The most similar game in terms of the management aspect and how the camera/building works is Evil Genius. The building system seems to be the most simplistic and best choice for spaceship interior building. But more on building later.
The style and mood is also very important, with FTL being the nearest game on a conceptual level. Both games play inside a spaceship, feature a controllable crew and random generated encounters. Difference being that FTL is linear with a set start and goal, in case you manage to not get blown up on the way there, and Spaceport(W.T.) featuring a rather more DayZ-ish openworld-survival-do-what-you-want feeling.
The ship building aspect to some degree can be found in Space Engineers where space pilots create their ships out of a minecrafty set of block types, with energy management, trying not to crash into asteroids. The ship personalization effect and that it's never finished and there's always something to do is a core aspect of Starport(W.T.) therefore these mechanics are to be built first before anything else.
Following this blog post I will focus on single gamemechanic elements, how I plan them out and what the implementation looks like. Implementation language is C# across the board.