Check out a behind-the-scenes look at RAZAR s.r.o.'s Frontier Pilot Simulator.
I'm not sure that the biography of the authors of the game is that interesting but I will say that we are engineers. And this education (radio engineering and mining) is very far from creating games. By the time we started working on the FPS, we had been making games for some time, with varying success, so we had some experience. From the early The I of the Dragon to the late Siege Online.
Frontier Pilot Simulator
We proposed to make the game exactly like that taking into account various factors, but, of course, our human "background" was fundamental. We wanted to express inspiration for "space" and the future of mankind through peaceful themes and constructive labor in distant places which, as we hope, mankind will finally visit.
The company's management team also liked this idea, so we launched the project. We are trying to focus on flying for players who do not want to "be bothered with” simulators in the full sense of it, where without a "user manual" it is impossible to take off, but also to get away from a simplified arcade type. For the players just to sit down, fly, and, through trial and error, find their own piloting style.
The game's world is not that big, about 120 km in radius. The terrain is initially created in World Machine, then transferred to Unity. Various objects, cities, and so on are generated above it by our subprograms and designers.
We immediately strove for maximum automation in ship control. For the Players to do the main thing in the game – piloting. Even when we added other control functionality: opening the cargo compartment, switching on various devices – we kept in mind the simplicity of controls and automatism. But at the same time, we wanted this automatism to be visible on the plane: deviations, inclusions, turns, and other animations and effects. All this is controlled by our animation system, which depends on the parameters of the ship's units: degree of chassis rotation, engine power, etc.
On the one hand, we tried to make the economy as computable as possible by the game itself: the game calculates prices, time, and other parameters using internal algorithms. On the other hand, there is a lot of game design to show the variety of products and bases. Add wind and weather here, as well as a lot of tests and adjustments, player reviews, and more adjustments, and we get what is now in the game.
Business Side of Things
The financial base of the development lies entirely with the management of the company and we, fortunately, are outside of this. Our task is to do the best we can in what we do.
We are distributing the game ourselves. We do not have a separate publisher. Reddit, video bloggers, reviews – everywhere we try to break through with our own hands.
The main challenge during development is the constant willingness to review what is done from a new angle, to understand what the players are talking about, and to make a decision. This also applies to flight physics, economics, and controls. The philosophical principle of the transition from quantity to quality has also been and still remains a big challenge: 3 quests are one thing – 130 is absolutely another, and so on in everything. A separate thing, like for everyone else, is optimization, Unity engine does not let you get bored in this sense.
I'm afraid we can't give any advice that goes beyond the obvious. And no special conclusions can be drawn. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.