The working title is Merchants. I have some ideas of where it should head, but nothing final.

I’ve seen a lot of interesting examples that fit, Naviage or Age of Oceans as it was once called, and recently another game, StarTrade. Both flash, both chinese and niche games, they had some developers desperate for money that they ultimately cannibalized to death.

There was an article a while ago, that showed that f2p games brought the most profit in the first 10 minutes of play time. Even more recently, there was another about the big spenders, the developers called … “whales”.
To put all those fast profit making ideas into action, they constantly launched new servers, mostly with a short life span. These aren’t games with end-game scenarions, just simply designed to reach a point where everything is researched all the bosses are farmed even by the low-tiered players, boring them enough to move on to a new server, and spend yet more money.
Problem is … when you have a niche category, like sci-fi trading, the players are few and precious, whether paying or not, and after the first 10 servers you’ll be hard pressed to gain more than 20 active players, basically killing the game.
However, games like this are designed this way. They don’t really evolve like others, adding new features over time, making bold and important changes to the gameplay, they simply End.

What I want to create is a game that functions similarly. It has trading, with merchant fleets for trading and battle fleets for establishing military dominance over new markets and competitors. But more importantly, I don’t want it to be grind fest. The moment I can replace a player with a bot, the game will be redesigned. There will be some parts that will seem … repetitive, but never on the scale of these other games.

I have a lot of ideas, some nothing more than passing thoughts others I’ve seriously considered for days and weeks, I’m curious how this will turnout.

About the game itself, it will use Ruby and Ruby on Rails server side, loads of javascript on the client side. For world map, I’m using a planet generator, to create huge maps with 4 zoom levels so far ~16k*8k resolution.