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The Requirements Document - Version 0.1


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Here's the entine requirements document, split into multiple posts. Please don't post a reply until I do a 'end post' post. :)


And then you can offer any suggestions of fixes you might have. We'll probably be working on the next stage of the project soon so you might want to post your suggestions ASAP or they might not be included.




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Galaxy at War

Requirements Document

aka ‘Statement of Work’




The intention of this document is to provide the high-level user requirements for the Galaxy at War project. The project has four main goals: (1) Recreate the in-game experience in the best strategy games such as Master of Orion, Civilization, Star Wars Rebellion and Master of Magic; (2) Have a streamlined, efficient, easy to use user interface; (3) Create both single player and multiplayer game experiences that are enjoyable and replayable; and, (4) Provide the necessary tools to allow users to easily create their own content for the game engine.


This RD shows what we will accomplish, the how we will accomplish these goals will be fleshed out in the functional and technical design documents which are based on this document.


The Galaxy at War team would like to thank the Star Wars Rebellion community for their help in the creation of this document. In particular we would like to thank the following people who worked on the previous design document that we gained some insights from:




Daniel “Vectorâ€

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Major Required Features


The primary required features of the Galaxy at War software are as summarized in Table 1 and further described in the following sections. The priorities are (H)igh, (M)edium and (L)ow.

Table 1. Game Features and Priorities.

Priority Feature

H Toolkit and Game Editor

H User Interface

H Game System / Core Engine

M Resource System

M Building System

M Economics System

M Diplomacy System

L Space Travel System

L 3D Tactical Combat System


Toolkit and Game Editor


The number one feature that users have requested for this game is the ability to change it as much as possible by themselves without using clunky third party tools or knowing how to program themselves.


Since people have their own ideas on what the ‘best’ gaming worlds or units are we will be allowing users to create their own universes, as described in more detail under the Game System heading.


To accomplish this the first thing we will do is to create an easy to use integrated editor that will allow as much modification to the game engine as possible. This editor will be released to the public while we are working on the actual game so we can gain feedback and users can start working on their modding masterpieces.


Users will be able to create their own gaming worlds or to use their favourite existing game worlds such as Star Trek, Star Wars and Master of Orion.


Based on the data in these ‘gaming worlds’ or universes they can then create any number of different scenarios to get the maximum replayability out of that universe.


Before we can get very far in coding the game or creating the base mod (our as yet undisclosed intellectual property) we will need the toolset completed, which is why it rates as the highest priority. This will also give members of our community the opportunity to playtest and experiment with the tools so they can more easily make their own universes.


User Interface


Many otherwise great games are sunk because of their poorly thought out user interfaces, especially late in the game when the number of worlds and troops under a players control is very large.


With that in mind we analyzed the user interfaces of previous games, looking at what worked and what didn’t and came up with the following goals for Galaxy at War’s interface:


ï‚· Slick and easy to use, with actions streamlined to reduce the number of clicks needed to accomplish the most common tasks.

ï‚· Easy to learn. The UI must not take four hours to learn, new players should be able to immediately pick it up with little or no help.

 Should conform to what most people expect when they play strategy games. This means we won’t try anything radical with the user interface unless we are sure it will dramatically improve the user’s experience.

ï‚· Most of the common tasks the players perform should be easily accomplished from the main screen.

ï‚· In game, how customizable do we want it? What are some good examples?

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Game System / Core Engine




To enable players to experience the game as closely as possible to what ‘they want to do’ we will be approaching the game design from the perspective of modularity and changability.


This section of the document deals with the core game play of Galaxy At War. The process of creating and playing games will be described in detail.


Games are built upon two important concepts, universes and scenarios.




In Galaxy at War universes are the different game worlds that have been created to take advantage of the Extent engine. The game comes with our custom universe, which we cannot discuss yet. Users can also create their own game worlds or recreate their favourite sci-fi worlds.


Scenarios / Eras


Scenarios and eras are subsets of game universes and use the data defined for that universe. We implemented this feature so that users could take some base data that is harder to generate such as background material, ship and world data and then tweak it to suit their needs.


Using the popular example Star Wars, users would create a universe with all Star Wars data input into it. Then different users could recreate situations from the movies and books such as the Galactic Civil War or the Depredations of Thrawn using the base game data. Users could also easily create their own ‘what-if’ scenarios without having to re-input all the base universe data.


This solves one problem where different users like different styles of play. So using the scenario system you could make one faction stronger than another, add and define game objectives (senseless slaughter, galactic conquest etc) or add in custom characters or vehicles that other users may not enjoy using.


With the scenario system gameplay is completely controllable by the users, not the game designers.


The following items explain some of these gameplay elements in more detail:


1. Mission Objectives


Mission Objectives are events that must take place for one faction or another to win the game. Common mission objectives include invading and holding a certain planetary system for a certain amount of time, killing or capturing all major characters or controlling a certain percentage of the galaxy.


By adding or modifying objectives you can tailor the game to fit your personal needs.


2. Stories


Most enjoyable games have interesting and compelling stories that make you want to finish the game.


Mission objectives are one way to build up a game so it has an enjoyable climactic finish. But something more is needed to keep the middle part of a game from getting stale as the factions grow.


To get around this problem Galaxy at War uses story elements to keep the game interesting.


Story elements either single or linked events which can be either completely certain, partially random or completely random. You can add any number of story elements to a scenario as you see fit.


Story elements can involve characters, factions, planetary systems, whole sector, special ships or units – just about any gameplay element can be used in a plot or story.


Linked Scenarios


Often different universes are known for many dramatic events that happen in different time periods.


It makes sense that scenarios can be linked to one another to represent changes over time. In Galaxy at War if two scenarios are linked through event triggers (mission objectives) the player is transported from one scenario to another depending on which objectives were met.


So you could play one game and ‘lose’ but eventually ‘win’ another scenario even though you faced insurmountable hurdles.


Game Type


As another way to make the game enjoyable to all types of players is to let them choose different types of game.


Some gamers might want to play long, drawn out scenarios while others just want to replay famous battles. We plan to satisfy multple gamer types by offering the following game types:


Story Mode


Story mode is the default gameplay option. It runs the story defined in a scenario until the player completes the mission objectives.


With the addition of the Linked Scenarios you can play in story mode over multiple scenarios without having to start and stop each. This makes the gains from one gameplay session carry over to another session.


Custom Games


The custom game setting allows players the ability to set starting amounts for most settings. This way players can decide exactly how the scenario should play.


Space and Ground Battles


Some players just enjoy playing the battles, and like to skip the strategy part of the game. And most players like to recreate famous space battles from their favourite universes.


With this game mode players can load up a custom space battle and play it as a standalone gaming session.


Custom battles can either be defined from the toolset or ‘saved’ from strategy games. This way players can replay hard battles over and over again if they wish.


Exterminator Mode


In exterminator mode the mission objectives for a scenario are overwritten with the following objectives.


The player’s faction must completely wipe out every other faction. Leave nothing standing. Enjoy!


Game Rules


While scenarios and game types allow for a great range of game play types, most players feel the need to modify certain elements each time they play. Therefore we will implement a standard game rules feature that lets players choose from the following options:


Difficulty Level


Practice, Easy, Standard, Hard, Suicidal


Size of Galaxy


X- X number of sectors. There will probably be default options of small, medium and large for simplicity’s sake.


Start With Scenario Defaults Or Random Setup


When the player starts a scenario they can either use the default settings or use a random setup. This makes the games more enjoyable and helps with replayability. If a player doesn’t like the default setup of a scenario then they can copy the scenario and make modifications to it. This method allows players to get the exact gaming experience they desire.


Galactic Map


The of the galactic map is to allow as much usage as possible (in terms of number of options and moves a player can make) while not becoming clunky and hard to use.


The user interface of the galactic map will have to be carefully designed so that it meets both of the above requirements.


The galactic map will be either 2D or 3D, depending on how difficult it is to make the 3D map fullfill the above guidelines and how easily the programming team can implement it.


While we will try to make the map as organic as possible we will still probably split the galaxy into managable sectors of planetary systems. While the ultimate design of galaxies will be in the hands of the players, sectors will generally consist of five to twenty nearby planets. More information will be given in the Sector Map section of the document below.


Areas that are under player control display full information and are fully modifiable. Planets that the player has characters, ships or reconnaissance at will have somewhat reliable information and a few options.


Planets that are commonly known will be shown as grayed out and only publicly available statistics will be available. Unknown places will not be selectable until explored. Likewise, there will be a small range of sectors/solar systems viewable close by, and anything out of the viewing range will simply appear as random stars on the galaxy map until your faction gains knowledge of the area either through some kind of maps or by having control of area close enough to see it through a “telescope.â€

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Resource System




Money makes the world go round. That’s true here (unfortunately), and its true in the deepest reaches of space. Without money users will not be able to afford the troops and ships they need to conquer the galaxy. Without money bribes and purchases will not be possible.


The money system of Galaxy at War will be precise enough to accurately portray the cost and upkeep of a single trooper and will be vast enough to realistically handle thousands of fleets. Therefore niether small or large costs will be misrepresented in the game engine.




Ore, or raw materials, are another vital resource for empire building. Ores are processed into metals, which are used to build vehicles and vessels and facilities. Ores must be mined from planetary systems or asteroids.




Metals are refined ore and are the basic building block in Galaxy at War. Metals must be mined or purchased.

Special facilities are needed to process ores into metals.



It does a power hungry emporer in waiting no good if there massive fleet cannot move, and floats aimlessly in space.


All spaceships have a fuel upkeep cost. Users can disable fuel as a raw material if they don’t want to worry about it in their games.


Fuel is another important resource in the game. You can either buy fuel or mine it. Fuel is mined automatically from mining stations.




Unless your armies are made up entirely of robots you will need to feed them. And the inhabitants of your worlds also require food or they will start dying off.


Food is grown naturally on planets. Certain planets are better than others at growing food. One despicable military tactic that some armies use is to destroy the food production capabilities of their foes.




The number of people a faction controls determines how much power they have. You can either influence the masses by altruistic means or by sheer intimidation.


A planetary system’s trade (and tax) potential is determined by its population size amongst other things.


A systems population can support multiple factions or none. The amount of support a faction has can be increased by building facilities (jobs) on the planet, by diplomacy or by intimidation (increasing garrison sizes.) Support can be lost be the actions of opposing factions, by brutally high tax rates or by despicable actions that the planet learns about.


Indirect Resources


In addition to the main resources above there are indirect resources a player will want to take advantage of in their quest for galactic domination.


Unlike the main resources, these resources are not real, physical things. But they can have just as large an effect on gameplay.




Every character, every unit, every vessel’s crew, every system’s population has a morale factor.


Morale affects many things indirectly but should not be overlooked. Your troop’s combat ability and your people’s trade and manufacturing ability are dependant on their morale.


Morale can be gained through military victory, through lower taxes and their diplomatic efforts.


It can be lost due to humiliating defeats, through being conquered, and through higher taxes.




Reputation is the system we will be using to denote the underlying character of a faction. Reputation can be seen as a way of generally tracking good and ‘proper’ actions as well as those that tend towards evil and unethical. But reputations will also move beyond the simple concepts of good and evil and be a more general means of tracking what others think about a particular group of people.


Everyone who’s anyone has some sort of reputation. Factions, characters, units and fleets can all have reputations. Brutality, kindness, martial skill and daring are all actions that can affect reputations.


People like people like themselves and dislike others who are different. One break to this rule is that people who are evil tend to hate other evil factions if they are in opposition to each other, which can happen frequently.


Ship / Unit / Facility Building System


Being able to micromanage the production of your empire is important in certain situations. If you are pursuing a unique strategy than you will want to have absolute control over everything related to that aspect of your strategy, including production.


Most strategy games already do a good job at this and Galaxy at War will try to emulate the ability of players to micromanage their empire if they so desire.


But once their empires get larger, most players like to automate as much as possible so they can spend time on the more interesting aspects of the game. This is where most strategy games fail horribly.


Galaxy at War will introduce a number of features that will make production more efficient and require less micromanaging unless the player desires to.


Typical Builds


In Galaxy at War the player will be able to designate up to five ‘typical builds’ for each type of ship and twenty or so different fleet builds.


Thus they could have a frigate that was setup to be a communications vessel, with scouts and spies attached to it in one build and a combat frigate with troops and starfighters in another build.


The same could be done with fleets. Often when creating fleets most players build mostly standard fleets with a few custom ones here and there. Using the typical fleet build feature players could quickly pick a standard fleet type and let the game worry about building the components of that fleet.


For each faction in each universe there will be typical builds set that can be changed both in the scenario editor and in-game.


Automated Building


Another feature designed to make running large empires more enjoyable is the industrial AI system which lets the player decide what the AI’s priority’s should be.


The player can set a global, or galaxy wide priority that the AI will use when nothing else is setup for individual sectors or systems. If the player sets a sector or system priority it will override the global priority.


Just as players are able to set galaxy wide goals for the AI to fullfill, they can also set sector wide goals for the AI. Therefore a player can have one sector setup to build factories and other industrial plants while another sector can be setup to produce ground troops for an invasion force.

The same setup works for individual planetary systems within sectors.

By having galaxy wide, sector wide and planetary specific priorities the player can maximize control of how their resources will be used without having to micro manage everything.

The exact details of what and how this system works will be decided later in the design phase after we have received feedback from players about the system.


Two properties that should be in the system are type (industrial, agricultural, naval, ground, special forces) and duration (permanent, x number of days.)


Building from Multiple Systems


On larger production projects players can take advantage of the facilities on multiple systems in a sector.


In the build screen of the main production planet the player can select other planets in the system to help build that project.


This helps expedite the production of important items and maximize the use of smaller production facilities.


Multiple Building From The Same System


The opposite effect can also be achieved. If the player has multiple facilties on one system they can be producing different items. The default behaviour is for each facility to help on the current build project but the player can select to only use certain facilities if they want to.


Automated production will always use all avilable facilities to produce items.


Build queues


Often near the end of a game players have the infrastructure to build massive armie and fleets. But to do so they have to keep jumping from one system to another to keep building on item here and one item there.


Galaxy at War will introduce build queues to help alleviate this problem. Each facility will have a queue of between five to ten build actions it can perform. Using this system players can setup the build options on a system and then move on to managing more important items in their empire.


Automated production will not use the queueing system.


Custom In-Game Ship Building


Similar to the typical builds feature is the ship customization feature. Both options allow for specialized roles for standard vessels.


Certain ships, like Strike Cruisers and Nebulon-B frigates in the Star Wars universe, are easily customizable to different roles.


Each vessel will have a certain ammount of ‘room’ for modifications to be made to them during production, although the automated production system will only build the default models.


So a player can take a ship and turn it from a standard combat vessel into a medical or communications ship. They can also remove starfighter space and replace it with heavier armour and weapons. Even ships that usually don’t see combat, like freighters, can be customized into combat vessels.


Diplomacy System


The goal of the diplomacy system in Galaxy at War is to be as simple as possible but offer the largest number of options to influence gameplay. During the design stage we will determine the best type of user interface to accomplish these conflicting goals.

The basic premise of diplomacy is to alter another group or faction’s attitude towards you. This can be on a galactic level or at a planetary level. At a galactic level you may want to negotiate a temporary truce with another faction or you may want to turn a third faction against your enemies.

On a more local level you may want to get an independent planetary system to join your faction.

The diplomatic system will take into place faction reputation / alignment and character abilities into consideration.

There will be options to have diplomatic missions be one time events or set to continuous missions.

Economics System



- Trade Routes between systems in a sector and between sectors.

- Blockaded planets and the planets they trade with all suffer from blockades.

- If you blockade every planet an opponent has, it basically stops their economy except for ‘black market’ stuff that gets through the blockade.

- Excess materials and food can either be stored for future (in case of blockade or famine) or can be sold on the open market for profit.

- You can build ships to expedite trade between systems. These ships are open to being raided though and you might have to set aside ships to protect them. Combat vessels assigned to protecting convoys will be unable to fight unless the convoy under attack with the exception of if a convoy is waiting or trading at a planetary system. So protecting them weakens you, there is a tradeoff involved.


Buying and Selling Resources and Vehicles


- Getting rid of dated ships etc.

- Sell to neutral, ‘weaker’ factions that may have excess cash to spend. You decide what vehicle(s) and what price and what faction. They usually buy base price * 0.75.

- If not sell on ‘open market’ for base price * 0.50.


Space Travel System


Travel Basics


- Relevant Ship Statistics can be defined later on. Open to suggestions.

- ‘Regular Speed’ vs ‘Super fast’ intersystem travel.




- Parts of the galaxy are unexplored at the start of a mission.

- Systematic vs. random exploration missions.

- Building special units ‘reconissance’ special forces.

- These same special forces can also fight in battles, but are less effective than combat troops or other special forces troops.

- Can give order ‘automatically explore in x direction’ and they will do so without your interference.

- You can also give explicit instructions to explore different worlds or sectors.


Speed Travelling


- Super fast travel between systems.

- Each universe can have its own name for this type of travel. Have a dictionary for each universe, can also be used as a basis for other languages like French or Spanish versions of the game.

- Hyperspace routes will be implemented in the game, but will work behind the scenes as much as possible.

- Implemented at the universe editing level, and the mission editing level so can handle special new hyperspace routes being 'discovered’ in the story line of various universes.




- Can blockade systems if have a large enough fleet.

- Ships can’t normally enter the system, unless okay’ed by blockaders.

- Volume makes it hard to give full inspections, or trade will suffer.

- Pirates and enemy factions aka ‘rebels’ try to hide in that atmosphere.




- Can interdict routes between systems with special ships.

- Any ships caught must be inspected.

- If they try to escape, try and catch them.


3D Tactical Combat System


Space Combat


- SW Reb vs. Homeworld

- Has to be able to handle large battles.

- Including massive space stations.

- Need a simulate mode, especially in first phase of devlepment.

- First phase of development won’t include this, but it will be developed right away. Spend lots of time on it so it is good.


Ground Combat


- Planetary Assaults similar to Battlefront.

- Hit and Run Attacks.

- Need a simulate mode similar to space combats.




The supported environments/platforms for the Galaxy at War software project are:


ï‚· Operating Systems: Windows 98/XP and Linux.

ï‚· Hardware: Will run on PC systems.


Ease of Operability


Primarily through user interface system noted above!!




Since this will be the first release of Galaxy at War there will be no direct compatibility issues.


But to make the game as compatible as possible with other games in the genre we will be using standard data formats whenever possible. This will aid users in creating their own gaming universes.


In particular we want to make it so that people can use the data they’ve made for Star Wars

Rebellion and put that into our game engine as easily as possible.




The documentation for the Galaxy at War software project will include the following:

ï‚· Installation instructions

ï‚· Release Notes

ï‚· User Guide

ï‚· Creating Your Own Universe Guide


We may also include demos and writeup tutorials as needed. The amount of documentation produced will be determined by how complex the game is and how many people we can get to help with the process.


Support / Maintenance


We will attempt to provide the best support possible for this project. Because it is an open source project we do not guarantee that it will run properly and we can accept no liability if it or any of its derivitives cause any problems.


We will be using sourceforge.net as our main gathering point for the support and maintenance Galaxy at War. There users can find information and links to other sources of support as required.


The core team will continue to provide maintenance. If for any reason users need to make changes to the project themselves, they are able to within the confines of the licensing agreement(s) listed below.


Pricing / Licensing


Galaxy at War is a free, open source game.


You can find all the information about the game at its Source Forge webpage:




Or by visiting the main project pages at:




This project uses the zlib license which can be viewed at:




The zlib license means we as a project team can later improve this game and attempt to sell it to others. But the first version ‘Galaxy at War’ will be Open Source so anybody can freely copy it and use it.

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Guest JediIgor

Hmm, is this the version before you looked at people's comments? :)


I remember mentioning something about using a full-blown military hierarchy and that characters should be player-promoted for military things, and game-promoted for things like psi-power.

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I have to agree with Trej, there's some stuff missing. I also think that not one of us talked about a scenario base for the gameplay. Scenarios should be secondary to creating a "Grand Campaign" in which you conquer the Galaxy.

Forum and RPG Membership:




Sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinguishable from Magic. -Arthur C. Clarke

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I agree with Stellar magic. ALL HAIL THE GRAND campaign.


Good, GOOD work Sith Master. Very Detailed.


However, I think one of the MAIN Priorities should be (Not very hard to do.) Absolutely NO unit L-I-M-I-T. NON, NO, NOTHING!!!!!!


That's all I have to say.

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