SS14 Fundamental Design Principles

Work in Progress

This page is a work in progress! Some information may be incomplete or outdated.

The purpose of this document is to outline the basics of how Space Station 14 upstream design is approached, taking into consideration its status as a greenfield project and taking care to build a foundation for the future fork ecosystem.

Social Gameplay

Mechanics should seek to be pro-social and encourage interacting with other players. These interactions need not be strictly cooperative or competitive in nature. Humans are chaotic by nature, and provide depth and replayability to games that cannot fully be achieved through programmed mechanics alone. Thus, we should utilize that power to drive gameplay.

Mechanics which incentivize players to do them entirely alone, or mechanics which would be just as fun and fulfilling if done on a private test server with only one player, will not be added to SS14.

These mechanics detract from the overall game by segmenting players into their own separate regions of play. Mechanics which are “simpler” but reward social gameplay will always be preferred to mechanics which are “deep” but are single-player.

Parts of a whole gameplay loop or mechanic may be achievable by a single player. It’s obviously not feasible to have everything forcibly involve multiple people, but care should be taken to try and incentivize social gameplay above singleplayer gameplay, even if something can be completed solo.

An addendum to this principle is that, if a mechanic involves perceived NPCs or AI mobs, you should always try to find ways to put real humans in their place. For example, offering ghost roles to hostile mobs, or crafting an economy system that is player-motivated rather than externally-motivated.

Intuitive Simulation

Discoverable Interactions

Systems-based Design