0.4.0.00 change list

Posted On 8 Aug, 2016
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It’s finally here. It fixes some core stability issues and adds a ton of new places for bugs to hide. Debugging Zero Falls now requires a basic understanding of economics. Come read about all the new features and gameplay in Zero Falls version 0.4.0.00, or if you just love bullet point lists, we’ve got a lot of them for you.

Overview

Remember, this is early access. We aren’t releasing this because we are finished with it, we are releasing it because it is better than what you currently have. Expect lots of small fixes and general polish updates in the coming weeks. Here’s a quick run-down of what we added.

Systems Overhauled

  • World simulation rewritten from scratch to fix bugs and allow economy.
  • Save files redesigned.
  • Universe generation from noise sampling and mod data rewritten.
  • Music mod API.
  • Interior rendering.
  • Universe map rendering.

New Gameplay

  • Dynamic economy gives NPC ships real purpose and adds an entire new layer to space piracy and overall replay value.
  • Capturing ships is no longer guaranteed, they will often self destruct, encouraging you to buy blueprints instead.
  • Most unlocks and item upgrades are now gated by the economy and need to be purchased.
  • The travel drive now speeds the passage of game time allowing the NPC population to compete a little better.

New Art

  • The universe map got a 3d camera and loads of visual upgrades that makes the map screen look a whole lot better but it should also load much faster and run smoother as well.
  • Ship interiors got upgraded with dynamic light effects. No shadows yet, but ships now have mood lighting and alert lighting and the light applies to objects inside the ships like crew and monsters making the game much more atmospheric.
  • Almost all modules had a light emission layer added to them.
  • Added many new station assets.
  • Added many new modules for station interiors and some still-secret assets for use in ships at some point in the future.
  • Added a 2nd full length audio track to every biome, doubling the music in the game.

New Content

  • All tier 2 industrial ship interiors remapped.
  • 6 new fully mapped station interiors with new modules and some wide open spaces.
  • All existing station interiors upgraded and polished.
  • Tons of new item types for trading on the economy.
  • The first (visual) pass at adding a new biome.
  • World generation now makes more interesting layouts of space.

Balance and Tweaks

  • All turret type weapons received multiple balancing passes. They might need more balance, but they received a lot of consideration this time.
  • All reactors received an initial balance and consideration pass.

 

Patch Notes

  • cleaned up some old code that was once used for multiplayer but now only makes starting singleplayer games more confusing
  • all binaries are now compiled for 64 bit only mode and will never attempt to run in 32 bit
  • added FXAA to the optional settings menu
  • ships now have the ability to self destruct
  • ships will no longer be capturable 100% of the time so you will want to buy new hull designs from the market instead
  • failing to capture a ship will set off the ship’s self destruct timer
  • station energy regeneration rate drastically increased. you shouldn’t need to wait when spawning ships now.
  • added a conduit with a gap in the middle to allow crossing without connecting
  • ship ownership attribute applied to all crew teams
  • stack sizes of almost all existing items modified
  • added a ton of new trade items
  • added internal variables to let us fiddle with stack sizes all at the same time
  • rewrote the map rendering screen from scratch
  • map screen now uses modern 3d rendering
  • map screen rendering now draws assets from the mod API
  • save file format was essentially thrown out and redesigned as part of new world format
  • world data structure rewritten to handle multiple world types
  • added a new biome type
  • added new art for all biomes
  • built new sector art for all existing sectors into the included backdrops mod
  • created a new world type from scratch which is loaded via a loading screen and handles the existence of economic nodes
  • countless bugs fixed by removal of old world code
  • wrote a new method for world map generation which uses multiple GPU based noise algorithms to create more interesting sectors
  • after much fighting, we found a way for the world map generation to insert hand-mapped sectors from mod data
  • added economy nodes which simulate item production and trade at stations
  • added new prefabs for spawning economic stations
  • added many new station art assets
  • built enough economic station types for a dynamic economy
  • added new item types to facilitate dynamic trading of goods
  • added new art assets for all new item types
  • set up and configured all new prefabs to spawn across home sector
  • built a new economy tracking module to facilitate trade route assignment
  • taught NPC ships how to find trade routes
  • taught NPC ships how to dock to things
  • taught NPC ships how to perform a trade
  • built faction logic for managing fleets of trade ships
  • set up a lot of new trade ships
  • remapped the interior of all T2 hauling ships
  • rewrote abstraction system for accessing NPC ship cargo to be aware of storage space
  • rewrote loot system to use new NPC cargo abstraction
  • rewrote crew inventory overlay into a generic overlay class
  • made a version of generic overlay for use as a trade screen for trading with stations
  • added art for a series of new station modules
  • added module types for trade depots
  • added module types for specialty shops
  • removed “random” neutral independent ships full of random loot
  • all loot types were given prices that scale with their quality
  • all loot types are now sold in specialty ships
  • slightly improved the variety of crew armors
  • abandoned stations are now a lot more rare
  • abandoned station loot has mostly been replaced with economic goods that will make you rich instead of unlocking the best stuff
  • built a loading screen with sufficient threading to show progress while the game loads
  • transitioned game start process to the loading screen
  • built a screen for hacking ships which uses borrowed code from the loading screen
  • chaged console use to send the player to a hacking screen if the console belongs to a ship they don’t own which must be hacked
  • added an economy simulation step to new game generation
  • remapped nearly all station interiors slightly
  • added a UI overlay to the world map which shows economic information for economy stations
  • added some simple calculations to the UI for showing trade route profits
  • fixed a lot of bugs with the new trade screen
  • fixed a lot of bugs with ships docking and trading
  • fixed a bug where ships could forget what they were doing and sit idle at the edge of a sector
  • added code to allow ships to bypass hacking if they are already owned, or disallow hacking entirely if flagged as un-capturable
  • remapped the home station to get rid of the matter furnace and make some things more conveniently placed
  • added a tool tip element which draws an image
  • when looking at research blueprints which unlock a ship, the ship’s bottom layer is now displayed inside the tool tip image element
  • fixed a lot of tool tips which weren’t showing the correct information
  • fixed a bug where neutral NPC crew would sometimes try to murder the player inside economic stations
  • added a tool tip warning to the bar screen to inform the player when an NPC can’t be recruited due to lack of slots
  • upgraded the mod API to allow adding multiple music tracks to each sector type definition
  • upgraded the music system to randomly shuffle all tracks for a zone instead of playing a single track on endless loop
  • added 1 new music track to all existing biomes
  • fixed a bug that could cause music to crash in a rare and maybe impossible situation
  • added an arrow representing the player’s ship to the mini-map
  • all trade hubs now purchase exotic matter even though it isn’t part of the economy. This is to reward the player for violent behavior.
  • fixed a bug where stations would shift their center of mass after the first time the player enters them (often resulting in ships being undocked)
  • upgraded the tutorial start ship to use the new self destruct system
  • the T2 missile fighter type “sling” was remapped. it now has less launchers, but a lot more missiles
  • nerfed the speed bonus of travel drive to 1/4 what it was before
  • activating travel drive now increases the simulation speed by 400% (travel drive is now a time acceleration drive)
  • shooting a ship should now aggro all ships of the same faction that are in range
  • fixed some pretty nasty bugs with how reactor energy calculations were performed
  • removed inaccurate tooltip information from reactors
  • reduced the cost of station capacity upgrades
  • finally added the <redacted> research item as a guaranteed drop inside the cargo of <redacted> pirate <redacted>
  • fixed a crash when the held item was deleted for some reason (like right clicking a blueprint)
  • added a new module type for item spawning rooms
  • added a supply closet to the home station which always has a base level repair gun and a base level fire extinguisher
  • added a lot of new module artwork which isn’t necessarily in the game yet
  • overhauled interior rendering yet again, this time adding dynamic lights
  • added an emission map to nearly all modules so they create light
  • added a fancy new sound effect and synchronized mood lighting effect to self destruct mode
  • added a new step to damage calculation for bullets which allows code to fiddle with the numbers as they are applied
  • took a long hard look at every existing weapon type for ships
  • added all turret based weapon types to a massive spreadsheet
  • deleted many duplicate or redundant weapon types
  • made a pass at rebalancing all turret based weapon types
  • made another pass at rebalancing all turret based weapon types
  • tweaked many turret animations and barrel count or barrel locations
  • erased all unlocked turrets from old saves since many of the types no longer exist
  • made a similar spreadsheet for reactors
  • made an initial pass on reactor balance