This is the development blog for the game Delta V: Online. DV:O is an online space trading and combat RPG inspired by the classic Mac game Escape Velocity and its sequels from Ambrosia Software.

DVO is being developed by Topher Rhodes (that’s me!) I started working on this game nominally in 2015 (7 years ago!) but for most of that time the work was sporadic and slow; usually only spending an hour or so every few weeks for the first several years. The result of that work was a very early version which can be played here: That isn’t a fully functional game, but it does demonstrate the basics of the engine. It has the following features:

  • Accepting and completing missions (cargo deliveries only) for payment
  • Buying and selling goods in planetary marketplaces
  • Combat with NPC ships
  • Purchasing upgrades/ammo for your ship from the outfitter
  • Purchasing new ships from the shipyard

Since then, the game has been completely re-written to use modern JavaScript/ES6 (modules, classes, etc) and requires server side code (PHP, MySQL.) All work since the re-write is not available on GitHub pages. That was about 9 months ago, and many additional features have been added on top of what was available in the first version, including:

  • Creating accounts, authentication etc
  • Ability to have more than one pilot per account and to switch between them
  • Ability to board, loot and capture ships
  • Maintain a fleet of ships from those that are captured
  • A map that expands as you explore
  • A completely re-written rendering engine with better performance
  • More advanced NPC AI with different states

Eventually DVO is to be a fully featured RPG with multiple storylines, factions, side-quests, narratives and everything else. It will also feature (limited) multiplayer online capabilities including 1:1 PVP combat and some group instances. Some features that remain to be built are:

  • More complex mission types
  • Storylines/linked missions with narrative
  • Ability to control escorts indvidually/give group commands
  • Spaceport lounge where escorts can be hired, see news updates, etc
  • Ability to hail and interact with NPCs other than combat
  • Multiplayer modes

In addition to new features, many assets will need to be created for more ship types, planets, stations, etc. Right now the game is using just three ship types, half a dozen outfits, a handful of planet sprites, and generic royalty free images for planetary views. I anticipate that most of the development time remaining will be spent designing and creating new graphics and developing and writing the storylines and narratives to transform the game into a full and enjoyable experience.

I’m starting this blog as a way to track my own progress and potentially start gathering interest in the game. Ideally, this is something that I want to be able to just keep working on in my spare time and publish when it’s ready – but it may be necessary to crowdfund at some point to be able to commission art/sounds to be made and potentially get help with designing storylines and writing copy. If it comes to that I’ll want to have an online presence to attract interest and show the history and progress of work being made.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and for your interest in this game. Please follow along for more updates and let me know if you have any questions!






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