Void Destroyer - space sim project

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Void Destroyer - space sim project

Postby chaosavy » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:53 am

Hey guys, been working hard and here is iteration 15!

Iteration 15 added ship radar, HUD/GUI overhaul, asteroid mining, cutscenes, story/missions and dialog as well as other improvements.


Iteration 15 is the precursor to iteration 16 which is to follow soon (around a month).


Iteration 16 will be very important to the project as that will be the iteration for a Steam Greenlight and potential Kickstarter demo.


Due to the new story elements and impending iter 16 and its importance I'd very much appreciate any/all feedback on the current state of the project. Especially on the new "story mode"

For example:

Is it too hard?
Is it too easy?
How long did it take you to complete?
Any odd things?
Any things that stopped you?

A new video is avaiable showing the changes:



Here's the change log for iter 15:
http://www.voiddestroyer.com/forums/vie ... ?f=7&t=396


I've updated the media page with some new screen shots:
http://voiddestroyer.com/media.html


Here's a screen shot of the new command ship:
Image



Iteration 15 is available on the main site: http://www.voiddestroyer.com

thanks for reading!

------


Iteration 14 has been released. In iteration 14's video I've included sound since it surpassed the "cringe" of placeholder sounds, still a lot of work to do - but its heading in the overall goal :)




---------


Hey guys, iteration 13 has been released!


Iteration 13 added a few things: weapon recoils, debris, gate travel, enhanced ship changing and other features, enhancements and bug fixes on our way to Beta.

Check out the change log for details:
http://www.voiddestroyer.com/forums/vie ... ?f=7&t=387


Iteration 13 is avaiable on the main site: http://www.voiddestroyer.com

Hope you enjoy and thanks for checking it out!



----


Iteration 12 is now available on the main site: http://www.VoidDestroyer.com

Iteration 12 focused on "tactical mode enhancements" - tactical mode is the RTS portion of the project, allowing to command/control/order the player's assets (ships/stations) - heavily inflouenced by the general control structure of Homeword and other RTS games.


Here is the change log:
http://www.voiddestroyer.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=381

-------------


Its been quite a few months since the last release and we've been working hard.


Iteration 11 is now available on the main site: http://www.VoidDestroyer.com

Iteration 11 focused on overall enhancements of the project, including many art upgrades.

Here is the change log:
http://voiddestroyer.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=363

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey guys, project still going strong, here's some news: did an interview with True PC Gaming about the process, mentioned Ogre3D and it also has some new screen shots of the new art style we are going for.

Direct link to interview:
http://truepcgaming.com/2012/01/11/when-a-hobby-becomes-an-obsession-void-destroyer-interview/
http://truepcgaming.com/

------

Iteration 8 - players can now capture enemy asteroid bases (try it and let me know how it goes! it takes me about 30 minutes to capture the nearest base) - RTS elements (enemy bases build stations and ships then send them against you), "Bare Bones" mode - textureless and shaderless for laptops without Nvidia/ATI cards.

Heading more and more towards alpha release :) Meaning that I need more and more feedback. Especially play testing and letting me know how base capturing strikes players (I'm a bit biased ;) )




Main site with download: http://www.VoidDestroyer.com


thanks!

----------------------------------------------------------------


Iteration 7 is out: shaders added, new models and various fixes, website moved to http://www.VoidDestroyer.com, here's my favorite screen shot from last night's play testing before release (more new screen shots on media page of site).


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Iteration 5 is out, the project now has a name: "Void Destroyer", sooner or later http://www.VoidDestroyer.com will point to official website dedicated to the project.

Summary:
Addition of Command Ship - eventually this will be a customizable and upgradable warship with many tactical/offensive/defensive abilities, right now it is in a basic state with few options. If the Command Ship is destroyed the game ends (the player's avatar is located in the command ship). As a result I added a "Game Over" screen finally after nearly 2 years :)

Game now has a music track (it is a funny/good feeling when you hum the song of a game you made)

I've started down the path to contract out for art work, found a few artists who are willing to work for meager wages that I'm able to budget out of own pocket towards project. Also I bought a few stock models as well.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Iteration 3 is out, iteration 3 features the game world changed from a planetary system to a asteroid base system which orbit around an artificial sun. Most of the models have been re-vamped to add detail, and the difficulty is more linear (starting with few enemy corvettes and fighters ending with carriers and destroyers). There is also a little temporary help gui accessed via a Help button (or key press H) while in game to show key commands.


Hope you enjoy:



-------------------- Iteration 1 --------------- Posted Jan 2011

For the past month and a half instead of adding features I've decided to polish and fix what I have and release it to the wild in the hope that the project would be better off with community feedback. You can download it on my site http://www.arrmaytey.com. This is the first release of what I hope to be many, eventually with good graphics (except for Particle Universe media pack, it is all programmer art), sound and many more features. The ultimate dream is a commercial release on my webpage and/or Steam network.

What it is: a space sim with real time strategy elements (inspired by the classics). Manage planets and build space stations, setup trade routes, build ships and command them to defend yourself from attacking pirates and aliens. Play with a mouse or joystick. Take command of your ship directly or let the ship crew do the work for you while you manage the battel from the tactical screen.

Tech used: Ogre 1.7, OIS, CEGUI, Bullet (with BtOgre), Advanced Ogre Framework, OgreOggSound (OpenAL), Particle Universe, and NSIS for the installer (tested on Windows 7 (wife's laptop) should work on XP (my development environment). Many thanks to the Ogre community for your help, without Ogre this probably would have never happened.

I hope you download, enjoy and give me some feedback. Thanks
Last edited by chaosavy on Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:08 am, edited 16 times in total.
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby ronybeck » Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:36 am

Nice work! It liooks quite nice. Any plans for a linux version?
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby trilobite » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:56 am

Very nice torpedo streams, fire and explosion effects. Looks very nice.
I can imagine the above video scenes with a certain Commander Blair and the following music...
Wing Commander III (I remember it fondly)
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby chaosavy » Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:48 pm

Hopefuly one day there will be a mac and linux release (once the Windows version comes further along and if there is enough interest). I like to joke that I've been brainwashed and indoctrinated by Microsoft when I got my MCP (Microsoft Professional certification) at 19, but I like to think of myself as a bit more open minded :)

Serious questions (forgive my ignorance I don't know anything about the topic): what is the status of the linux gaming community? Do linux gamers look for specific linux games instead of just getting a windows box to game on? And why? (again I'm not saying its not a valid request, just that I have no knowledge of the subject)

Very nice torpedo streams, fire and explosion effects. Looks very nice.
I can imagine the above video scenes with a certain Commander Blair and the following music...
Wing Commander III (I remember it fondly)


Thanks for the comments, the great majoirty of praise here goes to Particle Universe and their neat media pack, that's basically what the explosions and fire systems are (slightly tweaked in some cases and scaled down to fit my particular units of measure). The "torpedo streams" are just plain old Ogre ribbon trails, funny thing at first they looked aweful, the secret to making them look good was to shrink them (good thing to remember for programmer art is: if it looks bad, shrink it till its acceptible). Yeah the Wing Commander series is defently a forefather of this project, although I'm trying to improve on Wing Commander by adding the more "newtonian" physics (like in Independance War but less severe) and trying to add more of a feeling of movement by adding the movement grids (2d "floor" and momentum brackets on the hud). At first this was meant to be more of a Privateer clone (eg: trade your way to a bigger and better ship, build stations to produce goods etc), but I realized that there is a little bit to improve on the X series in this regard.
Visit http://www.VoidDestroyer.com to check out my space sim project - Void Destroyer
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby Slappy » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:00 pm

Looks really cool, nice work!

Btw. that fire and explosion effects are not very suitable for space...because... there is vacuum in the space!
So the fire would not burn... just FYI :wink:
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby chaosavy » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:38 pm

Thanks for the kudos, the in game explanation is this: The fire and explosions exist due to reversed tachyons being polarized by a gravitron arrays based on the work of famous Scientist Johans Bergmansonman in the year 3022, he also found a way of putting sound into the vacuum of space by using neutrinos in subspace to generate the gamma frequencies. All this info will be explained in the upcoming novels based on the game that I hope will eventually be published before the theatrical release (directed by Uwe Boll of course). :wink:

If I become a good enough artist in the future or if Particle Universe releases another media pack maybe the fire will turn into "gas" escaping. The "alien" ships actually "leak" "water" when damaged, or at least that is my intent to portray to the player. A lot of the effects came into being by me looking at what the Particle Universe media pack has to offer and trying to shoe horn them in as best as I could. I'd also like to have the ships split apart on their deaths and for some remnants to remain, this is counter balanced by thoughts of how that would impact performance, since I want quite a lot of stuff going on at the same time. Maybe only do this with the largest of ships.
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby trilobite » Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:47 pm

Re/ fire and explosions in space.
The charges in the warheads provide their own oxidizers -- rather than depending upon uncontrolled supplies in the ambient environment. All of the chemicals necessary to initiate and sustain the explosion are completely self-contained. The chemical energy released at detonation points is expressed in part in the form of heat, light (which appears as a fireball) and compressive mechanical energy in a rapidly expanding cloud of high energy matter.

As I understand it, fires are the result of vigorous energy releases as part of chemical reactions (generally, oxidation) -- but need not involve molecular oxygen (O2). Other oxidizers can substitute. The fire emanating from a capital ship could be the result of a hull breach and the interior O2 spilling out, sustaining any spontaneous oxidation in the area. Or it could be because of other oxidizers present in the immediate area. Once a control hatch/valve is closed and the flow of interior oxygen (or other oxidizer) shut off, the reactions and the fire would halt.

So, fires in space would be short-term, localized phenomena involving local resources being rapidly consumed and depleted. They are unlikely to spread. But they are not impossible.
And besides, who wants to play a space shooter where there are no explosions and where there are no sounds of the explosions? To be realistic sound wise, these scenes should be accompanied ONLY by the pilot's ship's ventilation fan, occasional switch and servo sounds, some gyros, engine noise and comm chatter. Whoop-de-frickin'-doo!

But I like chaosavy's explanation better... This Bergmansonman guy may be on to something very important. :)
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby jacmoe » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:14 pm

Ah, I look forward to seeing Bolls movie! :D
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby chaosavy » Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:12 pm

its cool to try to imagine the future and space combat. For example: I don't think that space ships would have cockpits and I don't think that ships (especially ship purpoused to combat roles) would even have crews most of the time (we have remote controlled drones now). Plus projectile weapons (and laser? I'm no scientist) would have far greater range, it would be a battle between dots firing even smaller dots or invisible beams. Not to mention the most likely reality that the battle would never even take place. Hopefuly once we get to that stage of tech war would become obsolete (if you can get to other solar systems would you need to fight over resources? wars over ideas would be over in moments due to the uber powerful weapons, one side wipes the other one out).

For the sound I would love to have a "muffled" type ambience similar to the idea that trilobite mentioned, sounds are only originated by the player's ship. So if your ship gets hit you hear the vibration caused by the internal air of your craft. The explosiosn around you would be simulated beeps and bops (although how beeps and bops would resemble explosions I still haven't figured out) similar in function to a HUD (to convey information to the pilot).

So space sims become world war 2 with no fricksion and lasers.
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby Archwyrm » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:22 am

Note: I by no means wish to hijack this thread and only have responded in such detail because the original author asked in the first place. Unless chaosavy wishes to continue this discussion in his project thread, persons who wish to debate/flame/troll along the lines of this topic should either send me a PM, or start their own thread and then send me a PM. Thanks. :)

chaosavy wrote:Serious questions (forgive my ignorance I don't know anything about the topic): what is the status of the linux gaming community?

This question is a bit hard to answer as it is so open ended. However, since you ask I will try to provide some useful information about Linux gamers that is perhaps not well known (note that there is a decent Wikipedia article, but is mostly a list of games).

There are some big name titles that have native Linux binaries: Quake series, Doom 3, UT 2004. You could probably spend of a lot of time playing Minecraft and Dwarf Fortress. Native Windows games may be run with things like WINE and there is good compatibility for games like: World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2, Team Fortress 2.

Linux Games and Phoronix are good sources for news and information on commercial Linux gaming and Free / Open Source Software gaming. Freegamer caters specifically to Free (as in Freedom) games that are community developed, some of which have been developed into a high state of polish.

chaosavy wrote:Do linux gamers look for specific linux games instead of just getting a windows box to game on? And why? (again I'm not saying its not a valid request, just that I have no knowledge of the subject)

The answer is a resounding yes! The exact reason differs from person to person, but think about it like this: How would you feel as a daily Windows user (I am assuming) that you were expected to run one class of applications (i.e.: games) entirely on another operating system (say, Mac OS X) when there is no technical reason that your chosen OS cannot run these applications?

That said, many Linux users who use Linux for everything except gaming will dual boot or have a separate 'gaming system'. But not everyone wants to put up with the hassle of dual boot or has the money to afford a second machine. And most who do dual boot or have a second machine, would still rather be gaming on Linux. Surprisingly, I have heard of few people who are satisfied with the status quo.

What should really interest you as a developer, not just as a curious person is the "fanatical Linux gamer market". There is a bit of a spectrum of users here, but many will not play a game unless they can play a native Linux version and abhor things such as WINE. Not only that, but they put their money where their mouth is. There are two main groups catering to this market: Linux Game Publishing and TuxGames. If you follow those links (to product lists), you will notice two things. First, the games range from somewhat old to quite old, and second, they are "overpriced". Overpriced in that compared to the Windows versions, these games still sell for their full MSRP rather than the pittance that you will likely find for most of these on Windows[1]. But just the existence of these sites and the fact that they continue to produce titles, proves that there is a market here.

*poof* There went the myth that Linux gamers are cheap freeloaders because "they don't pay for their OS". Further evidence can be found with the Humble Indie Bundles. The first bundle had Linux users spending on average 179% more than Windows users, contributing about 25% of total revenue. The second bundle had Linux users spending on average 200% more than Windows users, with not quite but close to 25% total revenue. The Linux average was both times significantly higher than the Mac OS X average also and they are supposed to be the ones that "pay too much for shiny stuff"! Wolfire Games[2] certainly did not miss this. Reader's exercise: see if you can identify the "freeloader" group. :)

I guarantee that Linux users are not nearly as much as 25% of the PC gaming market. So, there is only one conclusion that we can draw from this (which was already my biased opinion anyway), that if you offer a decent game, Linux gamers will buy it in droves. If you make a bad game that runs on Linux, some will even buy it on principle. Ignore this special market segment at your risk of lost revenue. :)

[1] You may wonder why this is and the short answer is that porting companies buy the rights to port the game and then perform the work independently of the original development studio which can be a costly enterprise, thus to recoup their costs, they sell the games at full price. If a studio did not abstract APIs well, porting can be a real bitch.

[2] Wolfire Games also presents pretty good arguments for releasing your game on Linux.
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby Archwyrm » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:25 am

Can't believe that was my first post in this forum (I've been somewhat active in Ogre Addons for years).. Hopefully my link filled post was not flagged for spam. ;)
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby chaosavy » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:28 pm

thanks Archwyrm very interesting and informative, looks like I have more to learn (how to port to Linux)
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby Archwyrm » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:51 pm

You're welcome. It really is not that hard to do. The biggest obstacle is already out of the way given that you are using OGRE (rendering API is abstracted, can freely switch between DirectX and OpenGL). If you have written only HLSL shaders, then that can be a bit of a problem, but there are converters out there. If you are using Cg, then you have nothing to worry about. Otherwise, you just want to make sure that all the libraries that you are using are cross-platform. This doesn't only help you with Linux, of course, it helps you with porting to OS X and everything else that you might want to target. There are a good number of choices out there and maybe you are already using some, but libraries like OpenAL for sound, OIS for input, Bullet for physics, etc..

Next up, you want to be able to actually compile on other platforms without much hassle, so I would suggest CMake which is what OGRE uses. This even has advantages for just developing on Windows as it generates ready to go solution files for the more recent versions of Visual C++, no conversions needed.

When I first ported the project in my sig from being Windows only (also an OGRE project), I ran into all kinds of small things, some of which seem really obvious now, but when you have only been using one compiler, on one OS, then you are bound to run into small differences between ISO C++ and whatever Microsoft calls their version of C++, as well as other things. I have a small list here.

Lastly, don't wait until the end! Get yourself a virtual machine and build in it periodically. Not only will this save you a lot of trouble when the code base has grown, but you will also catch any incompatiblities early. There is also something to be said for improving the robustness of your code through the opinions of different compilers. Anyway, feel free to contact me when the time comes. I'll be happy to help you through any problems that you encounter. Good luck! :)
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby chaosavy » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:22 am

Iteration 2 is ready for download: http://arrmaytey.com/downloads.html

Brief overview: you can now position stations where you want, there are 3 new station types (defense, trading, and a shipyard). A new destroyer type ship is added to the player faction featuring 3 heavy guns and 2 missile turrets. You can now colonize an asteroid base.

And many other changes you can see here: http://arrmaytey.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=16

A new youtube video is up:




Edit: the flash doesn't seem to be working here's a direct link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lP02gCrjRo

Hope you enjoy.
Last edited by jacmoe on Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Used the new Youtube bbcode tag
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby dustbin1_uk » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:49 pm

Just wanted to cheer you on with this! It looks awesome!

Looks very EVE meets Homeworld.

Those missiles look incredible! Well done!
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby jacmoe » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:52 pm

We've got Vimeo and Youtube bbcode tags now, so use them. :wink:

Looks absolutely great, btw. :)
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby chaosavy » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:37 pm

thanks for the ego boosts, it helps a lot to hear, to keep going

I did try to use the youtube tags originally, but the vid never showed up for some reason (instead a white blank window) , it looks like that is fixed now, thanks
Edit: ok I get it now, I used the flash tags, and now there is a youtube tag, much better, thanks * 2

I think the reason that the missiles look so neat is because their orientation when leaving the imaginary missile tube isn't in the direction of the target. For example these particular ones exit straight up and down then curve down/up when the autopilot kicks in and then head for the target so there's that neat arch when the target is directly ahead.

The problem arises if the player is in direct control of a ship with missiles, if the player doesn't have a target and simply fires missiles "for fun" currently they'll fly straight up (or whatever the orientation of the weapon is) so that's kind of bogus, I'll have to code in for this possiblity and make the missiles go straight ahead, I was even thinking of having them follow the player's cross hairs if there is no target, like was done in Half Life with the missile launcher, but that would be a sort of a pain and potentially unecessary amounts of code and re-factoring to achieve something that will rarely happen since the point of a missile is that it hits a target.
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby dustbin1_uk » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:53 am

The problem arises if the player is in direct control of a ship with missiles, if the player doesn't have a target and simply fires missiles "for fun" currently they'll fly straight up (or whatever the orientation of the weapon is) so that's kind of bogus, I'll have to code in for this possiblity and make the missiles go straight ahead, I was even thinking of having them follow the player's cross hairs if there is no target, like was done in Half Life with the missile launcher, but that would be a sort of a pain and potentially unnecessary amounts of code and re-factoring to achieve something that will rarely happen since the point of a missile is that it hits a target.

Oh I don't know, if someone wants fire a missile from a submarine without any kind of guidance, or a space ship like yours, it stands to reason it will go in it's initial direction.
The cool arch makes it look like the missile has it's AI guidance kicking in. Love that!

Been reading Peter F Hamilton, commonwealth saga, and they have smart missiles in that you see. so this was thrilling to see something like it in your game.
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby chaosavy » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:43 pm

yeah you can make good arguments either way. I prefer the "shoot off a few rounds at an asteroid and see it explode a bit" way. The arch definatly drives home that the missiles are guided. Although there maybe dumbfire/torpedo like missiles that go straight but do more damage, even if it doesn't make much sense from a tech standpoint (you've got inter planteray space ships but you can't maneuver a torpedo?).

The other thing I may do... is have the missiles sort of spin around and curve (dance my bloodthirsty beauties! dance!), by always making them roll or something (which will basically make them less accurate, but hey in terms of game play this may be a good thing since missiles are fairly deadly right now, in fact the AI is too accurate overall). I could explain this as a way of them avoiding enemy fire. The trails right now are ribbon trains, but with particle emitter "smoke" trails the spinnning around would leave neat little circular patterns.
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Re: My space sim project - up for download

Postby dustbin1_uk » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:20 pm

I've been thinking about this for a game I was attempting.

On James Bond's cars, the missile comes out of it's hiding place on a clamp, the missile fires up, and then shoots off. You could have the missile launcher aim a bit first and shoot, giving the opposition time to do an evasive manoeuvre.

Also, you could have the missiles randomly malfunction and spin off into space, or lock to the clamp launcher..... Stuff like that.

And why not scatter missiles, that break apart before impact, they are not as strong, but do a wider area of damage. Great for killing a swarm of smaller ships.

Mine missiles, you launch them into space, and they just sit there (or orbit a large object) and are on sentry mode. When the enemy gets close, WHAM!

You have loads to do already. But I thought these ideas may help a bit in the creative flow.
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Re: My space sim project - up for download - update iteratio

Postby chaosavy » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:53 pm

Updated the first post - iteration 3 is released - hope you guys enjoy!


Reply to dustbin1_uk:

Those are great ideas, my goal is to have a wide variety of weapons so that modders can go nuts and re-create their favorite sci-fi universes. So eventually there will be shields, mines, etc. MIssiles splitting off are a great idea and would add visually a lot. I'll keep these ideas in the back of my mind, I need to focus more on core elements at the moment.
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Re: My space sim project - up for download - update iteratio

Postby petrocket » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:39 am

Dunno if it'd fit your game's style but you can use Spacescape to create 3d skyboxes for your game.
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Re: My space sim project - up for download - update iteratio

Postby chaosavy » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:21 pm

I already do, if not for Spacescape the stars would look like this! :lol:


http://www.arrmaytey.com/images/targetCam.png
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Re: My space sim project - up for download - update iteratio

Postby GantZ » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:39 pm

good job so far, I just played a little through it and you have quite a solid base. The gameplay feel natural, and it's easy to pickup the game (I say that because I'm not really a space sim player, and used to give up because of the upfront complexity). Apart for the lack of polish which is understandable at this state of the game, here some thing that could be fixed / improved :

  • command customizations, I think it's really important to have that early on, especially for space ship where you have a lot of possible actions.
  • smoother camera zoom
  • when you make a quick U turn at high speed, the speed value became negative, and the inertia is too high, it would be great to have a booster to gain forward acceleration
  • the ammunition gauge replenish itself too quickly, you don't have much penalty from pressing the fire button all the time, it's best to have a gauge that slowly replenish over time as long as the player don't use the fire button (like the gatling in some games)

on a side note, the ships models are nice, you just need to work on the texturing and lighting to make them awesome :)

keep it up !
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Re: My space sim project - up for download - update iteratio

Postby chaosavy » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:17 am

thanks I'm always starving for feedback etc! I'm actually about to release iteration 4 which has some added polish and a combat tutorial. Glad you say it was easy to pick up, that's been my main concern for a while.

http://arrmaytey.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=60 <= iter 4 changes (hopefuly will be uploaded tonight)



Command customizations: "eventually" you'll be able to specify targets for individual turrets, and/or set them up for defensive/offensive
Tactical mode is very sparse on the command side, I agree, I'm playing with the idea of being able to add objectives to individual ships or groups (thinking about this while looking at the pretty basic ai, turn here, go there, open fire)

smoother camera zoom: yeah! not only smoother but more organiz, like in Homeworld there' s a bit of a slide/acceleration/decelleration to go along with the smoothness, don't have many clues how they accomplish this, this is definatly on the wish list

ammo gauge: funny thing about the ammo gauge, and the ammo in general, the only reason I put ammo in is because I like the pause between shooting. I think the "feel" of it is much better than constant projectile stream. This is why it replenishes so fast, I didn't want to punish the player too much. I'll keep an eye on this and think this over though as per your suggestions.

On texturing, I'm on the path for contracting out for models and potentially buying some stock art. So hopefuly this thing will look like a real game :)


Here's some recent visual changes to tactical mode that will also be in iter 4:
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