I have been very quiet on updating this blog for a while because I have been very busy with the game and I have lots of new updates. The most important piece of news is that I am getting to the point where the game is actually becoming a game, as in there is something that can actually be played, there are real (if trivial) in game objectives and some minimal character progression. Also almost all of the listed alpha features are working at least minimally. What that means is that very soon I will be looking for some help with testing, and then shortly afterwords I will be posting an alpha client for the general public to play around with. Yay.
I found a sound contractor, Bombadeer Studios and worked with them to make an initial set of sound assets for the game so it’s not silent anymore. It was great working with them and I think the game is sounding great right now, I’ll try to post a video some time in the next few days that shows off the new effects.
Ship designer improvements
The ship designer got a bunch of little additions like the ability to see which module is selected and the ability to see which modules are available to place. Also added were the ability to save a ship design you can’t afford yet which was a highly desired feature among those who designed the worlds greatest battleship and then learned they couldn’t save it to their disk and had to delete it. Also added is the ability for the editor to detect edge-placement requirements, so now the editor will force you to put things like engines on the back of the ship where they will actually work.
When a capacitor is destroyed it has a chance of overloading attached conduits. This sends a pulse down the conduit and starts a fire somewhere on your ship. Fire consumes the air in the ship in order to grow and spread from tile to tile, it also causes damage to burning tiles so if you don’t send someone to put it out it will become a very large problem very quickly. Currently there is no way to manually vent the air from rooms by opening airlocks, but it’s planned.
The ship AI can now lead it’s targets, and they no longer have 100% accuracy. This makes them both better and worse at the same time, and overall more fun to fight against. I also feel a little more confident ordering them to pilot my ship from time to time, but they still are no match for a human pilot.
You would think that the big update had already been listed, but this one was easily the biggest, and also the most difficult. I completely re-wrote most of the networking code in order to build a framework that would support my future design goals. The future implications are huge, but the immediate implications are still worth noting.
Game mode selection:
Since the networking was redone it made sense to change how game modes were selected and I created a way for choosing what type of server(or local singleplayer session) you wanted to create. Right now the only choices are hosting an empty section of space which is good for testing a ship design or shooting at your friends over the network, or hosting the survival mode in order to battle the AI. In the future I will aim to expand these choices. I want to add in at least 1 free-roaming sector of space with some static entities to interact with so you can try being a pirate or raiding a space station or exploring a hidden asteroid base or whatever.
The game launcher received a minor facelift and feature update. When I added sounds to the project it got big enough that the download wasn’t instant anymore, so I had to make the download a little smarter. Now if you interrupt the installation half way it won’t forget what it was doing, and it can pick up where it left off without crashing as much.