Projects / Space Exploration: Serpens Sector

Space Exploration: Serpens Sector

Space Exploration: Serpens Sector is a very long-running project to make a space exploration game in the vein of Strange Adventures, Star Control, and others. It's gone through a number of iterations and refinements over the years. In its current state, it is now gameplay-complete. The gameplay focuses on making interesting decisions balancing risk, reward, limited resources, the morale of your crew, and your reputation with the alien factions of the sector. The gameplay does not focus on combat.

Operating Systems

Last announcement

It (still) aten't dead 24 Jul 2013 13:58

After a lot of time, I'm finally ready to announce that yes, I am still working on SE:SS. The game has gone through a lot of changes, including what amounts to a complete rewrite. What I have now is a (I think) very fun playable prototype that is in dire need of nicer graphics and sound. These graphics and sound are what I'm working on now. Compared to the old version, the major changes are a bigger focus on the crew and a commitment to making the game about interesting decisions instead of rote memorization. Encounters give you lots of choices, the chances of success are clearly indicated, and all choices can be valid ones under some circumstances. Encounter a human prospecting ship? You can hire a prospector, or trade them some fuel that they desperately need, or hack into their systems and download coordinates for mineral deposits, or threaten them into making a "voluntary donation" to your mission. One thing to note: the combat mode is gone. While it was pretty, and fun to work on, it never quite delivered the interesting tactical decisions I wanted. As a whole game within the game, it also sucked up valuable time and attention from everything else. Ultimately, it's still the same game: Gloptians, Nemans, Prayer Monkeys, unwisely stumbling around in ancient human ruins... It will come to no surprise that I am totally and utterly unwilling to commit to a release date. Right now, I'm working on a pretty star map. After that, I need to make another half a dozen screens, all of which need to be well-designed to be clear and nice to use. Then there's all those things like crew portraits, a built-in guide and help system, a tutorial. Finally, while there's already a lot more encounters in this version than were in the last one, that number still needs to at least double for the full game. That's all for now. Send sanity points as I fiddle with UI design.

Recent releases

  •  23 Mar 2010 17:22

    Release Notes: This preview features an improved combat mode where you can use planets for cover, navigate past dangerous asteroid fields, hack enemy spaceships, and partake in fleet battles. The game now also contains music by Rozovian, a choice of difficulty levels, and more fleshed-out interactions with the crew of your ship, who will give you advice and sometimes pursue their own agendas.

    •  05 May 2009 12:05

      Release Notes: The crew members now each have their own names and sets of skills. Your crew's skills and mood can now affect the outcome of encounters and the options you have. The other big change is that the time limit has been removed. Instead, you now receive more limited fuel at the start of the game, and have to periodically report back to base to ask for more fuel. Your performance in the game so far affects how much extra fuel you are granted. Beyond that, various GUI and performance issues and bugs were fixed. A new tutorial was written.

      •  13 Jan 2009 22:33

        Release Notes: The biggest new feature is the tactical space combat mode. In addition, there are more encounters, better performance, bugfixes, and an improved help and reminder system.

        •  18 Sep 2008 17:22

          Release Notes: This release adds nebulae and a fuel limit, and has new encounters and many bugfixes.

          •  24 Mar 2008 20:55

            Release Notes: Compared to the previous version, dev 6 has much better performance, and you can now choose to run the game full-screen or in a window. You can also run the game at your native resolution, which makes for much crisper graphics and more map real estate. Specifically, if the game doesn't want to go full-screen for you, try using "native resolution" and "force fullscreen" in the settings. There are also new encounters.

            Recent comments

            06 Feb 2008 05:29 Zarkonnen

            It's not dead.
            No, the project isn't dead. I just have been busy with Christmas and RSI. Expect an update in a week or so.


            Project Spotlight


            A Fluent OpenStack client API for Java.


            Project Spotlight

            TurnKey TWiki Appliance

            A TWiki appliance that is easy to use and lightweight.