Goal was to have a fairly productive xmass vacation so I wanted to do a bunch of little things, here’s what happened:

Added a few ships to the game – they were of a different “faction” (the red ships you see in the video below) – because the way that factions were handled was hard coded – I re-did the way the game engine deals with them. I switched them over to be readable in via the xml files (like other objects). Meaning that they are moddable and easier to manage overall – adding new ones is adding a xml file instaed of changing the code in various spots. There was some very old code that I changed so it is a bit worrysome that I added a bunch of bugs, but so far so good.

Then I went in and added code for the “colony” platform. The colony platform boosts the crew capacity of bases – but at the cost of making that additional crew vulerable to attacks – if a colony platform is destroyed that crew dies. The goal for colony platforms is to give the the player/AI something to both defend (their own) and attack (their enemy’s). Hopefully adding a bit more strategy.

Next up I did a little bit of work on transport ships – since I added a visual “pod” when a transport ship picks up a cargo pod, I wanted transport ships to drop them when the ship was destroyed. That was pretty easy :) Next up I added a bit of GUI functionality for transport ships to request cargo from transfer stations (just like command ships do) and worked a bit on the transport ship AI, then dropped it after it was getting a bit complex.

Then I tweaked the way “in progress” commands appear versus commands that are being executed by the player’s ships – so when I say in progress I mean – when the player is in progress of issuing the command. So now there’s a visual difference between planning a command and seeing your ships execute them, I think its a small, but important aspect.

Today I tweaked re-did the follow AI – man o man was the previous code bad – the “following ship” would smack into the lead ship – almost every time. The re-done follow code uses the thruster command AI node (the same one that is used when you issue a thruster move command in – command mode) to maneuver to the follow point (eg: off the starboard side of the lead ship) when the following ship is close to the lead ship. The follow code is pretty good, I like the performance of the following ships in response to the lead, very happy with it. I did bit of work on the formation follow code (the difference between follow – and formation follow – is that “ordinary” follow is for non combat ships and they follow a good distance behind). It is a pretty complex issue – with a bunch of different approaches, I have to decide which one to take and then see where it leads.