Some new info well worth telling you guys!
Q:So i'm rather curious about the sorts of things you can do off your ship. If you find a nice patch of planet that someone just happened to forget to report, could you fly in building materials and specialists and build up your own little pad and start a business... maybe some kind of mining or farming operation, then use your ship to sell your produce?
A:There indeed will be side businesses/facilities to set up and run...look at this basic example.
You are surveying a planet off in the deep Scatter...No previous beacons, no Mapping Service registered flightplan in the data base, no other ships in system. As far as you can tell you are pulling a Columbus. Atmo is very close to standard, within parameters to walk around outside with a thick coat on. Nothing terrible popping up from orbit, you decide to use the Nstar itself for the low survey...you quickly fly zone to zone mapping the small details and, since your agenda right now is fuel for the fusion drives, you pick out a landing zone at the mouth of a river with low hills and enough open space to set down easily. You land, cut to RPG view and you wander out of the ship carefully...the spot beside the river is very nice and, after dispatching something resembling the love child of a bear and a rhino, you decide its safe enough to haul out a cracking station. It takes a day or so to generate enought dueterium for your tanks and in that time you decide you will leave the lil cracking station, builf a secure "Omni-Hut" over it and a large storage tank. You then pull out a Landing beacon and "Omni-terminal" out of storage and....
VIOLA!! Port AvSquadron is born! The galaxies newest Class F starport is born and you are its proud owner. The omni-terminal will log the arrival of any ship and auto charge them for any landing and fuel fees. Of course since you are not hiri9ng any personel to work way out here it is a fully automated starport and hence, pretty much works on the honor system. (Something actually well founded in the scatter since abusing or destroying what few facilities are out here harms EVERYONE and is very frowned on by other far traders, colonists and even pirates.)
Over the course of the game you would upgrade it perhaps with warehouses, a fully staff trade base, try and attract other merchants charging them rent, etc etc.
Q:I have another question about surveying planets and such. Lets say you scout out a planet that looks like it would be good for colonization. You take this information and sell it to a party that would be interested in colonizing that planet. Will colonists go to that planet and start to build a settlement? If they do, is there a limit to how big that colony will get?
A:only limit is based on planet capacity really...but also keep in mind this game doesnt operate at 4X speeds...your operational existence is a few decades...and worlds dont go from 0 to 4 billion in that time in Nstar
Q:Mec, will the building in Northstar be similar in scope to that in the X-series? Tradeposts, mines, farms, factories etc, and will structures be planet based only or will there be some stations we could have built as well?
If Northstar can be a cross between the awesomeness of Privateer and the empire building of X it will be the space game I've been dreaming of for ever. Wandering in and out the ship, exploring planets and pretending to be Malcolm Reynolds just makes it go off the charts.
A:Mmm it will be a combo of those things...though empire-building is a bit of a strong way of phrasing it. The player controlling dozens of starports and hundreds of facilities is not really the scope the game is aming for. It will always be a bit more...personal.
Q:Could you tell me a little about interaction with different systems? For example, do you move your engineer to interact with the engine room equipment to fiddle with the engines, your navigator to the bridge to plot a course etc or is everything done via out of character menus?
A:physical movement aided by AI behaviour. As in odds are, in space combat, your engineer is at the reactor/drive system already. Com system will also allow you to order crew to different positions as well.
Q:How is space represented in the game? Meaning do you ever get to see NS fly in 3D above planets, moons and asteroids (apart from a movie clip) or is it abstracted as in Knights of the old republic series, where only sites on planets exist game-wise and space is restricted to events like tie-fighters attacks?
If it is abstracted, what events can we expect to see in space?
A:full space engine...ship encounters...hiding amongst asteroids...the whole ball o wax. 3-D space, 2-D move commands to keep it fast and simple.