[Click the title of these Dev Logs to see the full version with images] Space combat and AI development has gotten to a ‘comfortable place’ more or less, pending player testing of course. Creating content for the new chapters has been the primary focus lately, as the wearing of hats goes in rotation: write/sketch/plan -> create 2D/3D assets -> build scene/level -> write code -> test -> music/sounds/FX Its literally these 6 hats, though there is a lot more under the lid of each one than the title suggests. At any rate, we’re back to creating 2D/3D assets, building out areas, and working on new ships. Presently, there will be 3 ships a player can acquire, each one having very different form and functional strengths. Ship building is a pretty intensive process, as this type of game asset is the equivalent of a major character. Once the main story-line and all areas are complete, there may be more resources put into this part of the game. Exalted Seracthon won’t be going down the path of Star Citizen in terms of becoming a virtual car dealership, but I suspect that there will be considerable interest in the non-story mechanics of this game, and some of its extended-play value will be provided by these space faring features. I don’t have much else to report, though I have uploaded a video to the Youtube channel to showcase some of the recent progress with space combat/AI. https://youtu.be/xi-06nc31Uw
[Click the title of these Dev Logs to see the full version with images] This is somewhat of an update to last week’s post – functional templates for large (capital) ships are nearing completion, and combat AI and movement scenarios are being tested. The decision-sets for large ships vs small ships will depend on their weaponry, but destruction is very easy to dish out, and very accurate, so things like acrobatic maneuvers will be of limited use. The existence of precision technology is mostly ignored or even deleted from sci-fi worlds in which energy weapons are shown to move slower than wooden arrows, and are easy to dodge with physical reflexes. There are robotic aiming systems even today which can strike targets faster than they can physically evade; it makes sense that this would only become more refined in the future. When confronted by a shielded and well armored vessel which has many banks of long range, highly destructive weapons, combat pilots would have realized very quickly that no ship has the ability to physically dodge faster than the speed of light. In the slightly more realistic vision of sci-fi future that is presented in Exalted Seracthon, other measures are used in space to deal with these kinds of threats. This is not to say that battle between ships doesn’t happen – it certainly does. But if and when your enemy outclasses you by many orders of magnitude, there will be no lucky shots or fancy dodges that will save you. You’ll have to use your head, and be smarter about it 🙂
[Click the title of these Dev Logs to see the full version with images] Player testing is underway for Chapters 1 and 2, and I’m currently working on the AI for space combat. Shield, hull, and weapon management for enemy vessels is working, as well as smart turrets. Turrets are horrendously dangerous in groups, and capital ships will be something to fear. These weapons won’t be slow trash cans rotating around throwing bullets into empty space; they will hit what they see, and cut through shields and armor as they do in the Harlock universe. Once the model for this engagement is working, it will be available in a simulator in the game world itself, so the player can practice flying different classes of ships – regardless of whether or not they put themselves in a position to actually fly or own them. You can choose how involved you want to be with physical space or non-physical space, and deal with the perks and dangers each of them comes with. The decision was made not to release in Early-Access format, and instead release a trailer an playable demo when the game is 2/3 to 3/4 complete. Because this game isn’t a sandbox, it doesn’t make sense to throw content out early, and a shorter wait time between its public appearance and release day is preferable from a player’s perspective.