Command mode and turret mode

Wish I updated this blog as much as I thought – man I should update the blog… Anyway while working on “multi turret mode” which allows the player to control more than one turret at a time – I realized that creating a seperate “command mode” doesn’t make sense. Multi turret mode is really command mode, but with the addition of issuing orders for the ship. The camera is already zoomed out a bit, and allows for 360 view around the ship so its only natural to extend multi turret mode with other capabilities for commanding the ship.

In a way command mode is a hybrid between ship modes and tactical, you can fight like in ship mode, but you can also issue orders like in tactical mode. The goal being of creating an interesting way of controlling large ships, so instead of moving the mouse and waitnig for the large slow ship to turn, you issue a command for it to turn, then you can controll turrets and pick targets while the ship turns, its sort of a task based auto pilot. You issue a command and then are free to control the weapons. Pretty excited about it – because without it large ships would be no more than large versions of small ships, thus making them somewhat pointless to even include in the game as player controllable ships. Hoping that command mode changes this.

I ran into a few problems, I wanted for the player to be able to issue a “maneuvering thruster” order, basically tell the ship to ascend/descent thrust right/left/forwards/backwards etc, struggled a bit with the coding behind this, but about an hour ago I figured it out, the problem is related to the ever present 3dness of the project, when there is no up/down/left right you have to translate positions to simpler terms where there is up/down/left/right – reletive to the ship that has to do the maneuvers, so that it knows which thrusters to fire. Hoping that the maneuvering thruster one day will complement ramming spikes/shields/maneuvers :) Maneuvering thruster’s are also important in terms of AI – right now its not very bright in certain situations, but with maneuvering thrusters ships will be able to more easily – dock, go through gates, and even fly in formation.