Players interact with the game using a fictional computer system, the Digital Electronics Corporation PDP 16. The main control panel offers simple navigation around a large number of interfaces used to control every aspect of the game. Also included is a computer terminal which has a slightly modified BASIC compiler. Every aspect of the game can be scripted using the in-game code compiler.
Main Game Control Panel[edit | edit source]
The main control panel is the same on the top of all the screens the player uses. It is a fictional control panel inspired by the Digital Equipment Corporation computer the PDP-8. In the game we refer to this as the PDP-16. The /24 infers that it is a 24bit computer with lots of poetic license and humor built into that statement.
This primary control panel consists of three sections.
Starting on the right is an output window. The player has no control over the output of this window. In general, the output will match what a player would expect to have quick access to depending where they are in the game. In the capture below, I am docked at a space station and would expect to have a general overview of my finances, crew and ship health.
The middle section is the 9 primary areas of the game or main panels. Status, Space Port, Space Station, COMM (communication), Finance, Terminal, Bridge, Combat and Crafting. This is broken into three rows, the bottom row only pertains to players who own a space ship. Navigating these buttons can be done by clicking them with a mouse, using the control key plus arrows or shift + function 1-9 keys.
The left section is the sub-panels for the selected main panel. Each main panel has 12 sub panels for a total of 108 different screens in the game. There are also some additional screens as well since a sub-panel may have several different screens.
In setting out to create the main game control panel a lot of iterations were created, recreated, scrapped and then reinvented. The original inspiration came from the Star Trek LCARS operating system panels. But the mockups were too close so it was decided to move in an entirely different direction. So we picked the PDP-8 style of computer panels.