Command mode and explosions

Here’s a new video showing off the current state of “Command mode”:

What do you think? I think its off to a good start, it is funny how these things evolve and how excited I get followed by the inevitable realization how much complexity even seemingly simple things need when I get into the guts of it. A lot of small issues have been resolved, but many still remain. I’m also hitting up against the control issue – meaning that now there’s ship mode controls, tactical controls, and now command mode controls. Each of these share some keys in common and have unique keys for unique actions, argh… I’m running out of keys – because I’m trying to keep things strictly left hand on keyboard and right hand on mouse… now this makes me wonder how left handed people will deal – well there will be keymapping don’t worry 10% of humanity :) But with these challenges overcome eventually I think command mode will add that something extra special – which is the lifeblood of this project, trying to draw people in, giving them options and a new twist on one of the oldest genres in gaming.

Off to explosions – I left command mode in about 1/2 polished state because I was a bit frustrated by the little issues, and wwanted to do something quick, and surprisingly this time the something quick actually turned out to be something quick. That something was getting explosions moving. When I say explosions I mean anytime a bullet or missile hits something or when an object (eg: ship) explodes. Before the little tweak (that took about 2 week day nights) hits and explosions would be still, and this would mean that if a ship is moving, and that ship gets hit, then the little hit effect would be left in the dust behind the ship, now they get their momentum from the object hit so they faithfully follow along. Its something that players might not even notice, because it just makes sense, but if it was in its old state, I think people would feel that there is something wrong.

The neat thing about the little explosion tweaks, is that in doing them I prepped explosions to be more sophisticated, leading to the goal of having “area of affect” explosions – basically an explosion that damages and/or has an effect on another object. Imagine a large ship blowing up, and that explosion’s shockwave pushing smaller ships away. Or imagine a weapon that fires explosive rounds that have a similar effect. Pretty excited about this, just another neat little thing.