Gameplay Direction Update

Gameplay Direction Update

An update to the gameplay direction of SD.

Date: August 18th, 2023

Author: TK

Hello everyone, TK here- it’s been a while since I’ve written an update for you all. This one is a long one but it does detail a lot of what I’ve been working on.

TL:DR SpaceDelta will probably become an RPG server that keeps Skyblock.

I have a new gameplay direction I would like to take the server in. The old direction was to keep Skyblock as the core gamemode and branch out to a few different fun features. The flaw with that is- when you finish the core gameplay of Skyblock and do what you want to do, there’s no reason to continue progressing through the server. Of course, there were the few islands that wanted to shoot for ISTOP, but the majority of players won’t feel the drive to become number 1 in that sense. There’s no endgame or mainline progression that tells you when you’re done, and that can feel unsatisfactory.

Moving away from that, I still want Skyblock to be a major part of the server, but I don’t want it to be the core gameplay anymore. I’m not sure if I want to take it into more of a survival situation like Raft, or if I want it to be a “take it at your own pace” like Stardew Valley, or if I want it to be an automation situation like Factorio. I’m leaning towards automation but I might do some sort of Frankenstein “best parts of all” type thing. Custom models and what not.

I still intend to add a lot of features to the Skyblock component of the server and create more opportunities to showcase/flex your islands and the builds on it. Something you can look forward to are constantly active events, which add a little bit of positive chaos to your experience. I really want these events to be at the scale of the Chinese New Year event we had, but unfortunately that’s unsustainable, so it’ll be like a dumbed down version of it except for large holidays like Christmas.

The major overhaul of gameplay direction is the objective. The old objective was to get the best gear possible and secure an ISTOP position. This season, we’re making the objective… a secret for now. It involves the obelisk items and I’ll reveal it closer to the beta release date but it’s definitely a never-seen-before feature and something I’m really excited about.

Also with the content shifting away from Skyblock, you might be wondering what the main gameplay will be. We’ll be shifting more to an RPG style gameplay where you as the player would go through a mainline story progression. A lot more PvE content and a lot more fantasy potential regarding gear. My goal is, at the very least: 50 hours of gameplay guaranteed just from the story, but I’m shooting for 100+.

Now, creating fully engaging gameplay for that many player-hours takes a lot of time and work. Just 1 hour of gameplay from the story would take, at the very least, a collective 30 hours of work from all parties involved (and will stretch up to 100+ hours!). This means designing it, developing it, UX testing it, QA testing it, and making changes to it to make it the best gameplay it can be for the player experience.

You might be wondering about the “lot more fantasy potential regarding gear.” Creating god sets beforehand used to be a pretty simple task: Get the best possible set of armor with the vanilla enchants, and then apply your runes. But because we have the agency of creation with the new RPG gameplay, I can explore a lot more into creating custom weaponry and gear that makes the progression so much more interesting. This may mean gear manufacturing companies are coming to an SD near you.

With all that said, not everyone has the time to play through 100 hours of gameplay in our usual 3 month season length. Because of that, I intend to make seasons as long as we’re able to run, with a minimum of 12 months runtime. That way, you (hopefully) have enough time over the course of a longer time frame to complete the game.

I’ve been reading your really kind messages about how SpaceDelta was a great experience for you, and I want to deliver that as soon as possible- but I’m afraid that design and development time is not a compromisable area. Except I lied, kinda. We will more than likely have some sort of prototype playtest to see if you guys even like the game design. I’ve made it a major personal objective to be super conscious about all of the gameplay I make on the server, and if I don’t think it’s fun, I won’t release it; But, dare I say that your opinions matter more.

Anyways, that's all I can share in this update. Thanks everyone for supporting SD for this long,


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