Iteration 18 – released – and work towards 19

I missed last week’s update and now I’m drawing a blank… so I’ll just keep it very short. There were many crash bugs, there was a lots of needed polish and finally late last week iteration 18 was released.

Right after releasing iteration 18 I took a look at some new effects code from the effects contractor – the goal was to enhance the “Sun” – it did do so but had a limitation – if the player’s camera was too far from the sun the effect has a negative effect on the sun visual. But then I noticed a subtle glow… and the effect had a unforeseen (by me) bonus – a cool “general glow” effect. Really like the extra polish this has on the game. Very excited about it.

In a lot of ways iteration 18 is incomplete – most of them having to do with formations. Iteration 19 should fix most of that. I started last week doing some enhancements to tactical mode, stuff that I should have been in 18 but I didn’t want to delay any longer. So now things like – double clicking a turret to select them all, and the ability to click on the “model” image (on the lower right hand corner) being the same as selecting the object itself – for use in double clicking. Also I’ve updated the base manage gui – with a list of bases – just like the shipyard has a list of shipyards. Minor – yet obvious things like that. ┬áThen I started to finally address ships traveling through gates – out of the sector. These are almost always player ships – and before the changes they would get lost if the game was saved and loaded. I added them to the save/load system and am very happy for it.

 

And finally the late weekend came and the main focus of iteration 19 – AI polish and enhancements. I ran through a lot of “attack patterns” and “attack nodes” – basically combat ships have a “attack nodes” that has one or more “attack patterns” – I’ve added a bunch of new ones and added code for the combat AI to more intelligently pick and use them, and in some cases fixed bugs that prevented the AI from using existing ones. ┬áSo fighters and corvettes should display some new maneuvers and intelligence. Frigates will be more mobile in combat and ships that collision weapons should smack into other objects in a improved way.

Once I’m done with this – I’ll have to tackle issuing orders and giving the player better control over ships using the gravity drive – I’m looking forward to this very much.

 

As I was running out of weekend time – I also re-added “projectile life expiration” particles – little explosions when a projectile runs out of its “life timer” – and would previously just disappear, now there’s a little blip of an explosion – this is optional as there is a tiny performance penalty.

 

Speaking of performance – I’m basically at the point of needing an updated PC – the funny thing is that the need is for making videos of the project – I don’t want to advertise the game running below 60fps and with the new effects we are headed that way.