Rough Prototype
Last update: Jan 14, 2020

Space Compass is part of my Orbits Series that focus on making games out of small playable prototypes.

After the first week of production for Space Compass, I made its rough prototype that showcases the basic mechanics of the game.

Space Compass is inspired by old-school space shooters. However, I want to integrate a modern context and unusual mechanics, while keeping the visuals minimal and retro. Instead of a horizontal navigation, the player here can move their ship on a circle’s circumference. That said, the player’s movement is mostly recorded on a 360 angle scale.


Even if this rough prototype doesn’t illustrate my vision, graphically speaking, I have in mind some sort of cross over between 2D space shooter and 3D environments.

Currently, aside the space ship, only one other entity is integrated in the prototype. Asteroids. Those are the basic encounters that will be found in the game. They spawn on random angle positions, with different sizes and move toward the player (at constant pace). Players can dodge them or shoot at them. As for now, an asteroid needs 5 blasts to explode.

In this rough prototype, I added some elements of design, while keeping it simple and non-final. Stars are flying by, giving the impression of speed. I constrained the UI texts in world space to provide them more dimensions. A score system is also here and goes up until the player vehicle gets destroyed. A ship has 3 lives (loses one each time it collides with an asteroid). If the ship is eliminated, the Game Over title appears and players can try again.

What’s Next?

So now that I have the basic mechanics in place, I can think of adding further game design elements. I, for sure, want to make it weirder. At this instant, it’s just a sort of infinite running game like, but I wish to dig more depth in the gameplay.

Things that I know will make the cut in the incoming iteration is integrating two other types of space encounters. Walls, that take a big portion of the circle (compass) and Alien Ships, which will shoot back at the player. I don’t plan on working on visual elements for the next prototype, but will add up details to the UI already in place.

I’ll probably develop a recoil system for the basic weapon of the ship. It seems a bit overpowered to shoot indefinitely. That, or I’ll increase the number of health an asteroid gets.

Prototype Status


Project linked: Space Compass
Prototype Version: Rough
Playtested: Yes
Collaborator: 1

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