Iteration 11 changes

Forum to keep track of new game features, changes, and related items.
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Iteration 11 changes

Postby chaosavy » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:36 pm

Save games are not compatible...

Tactical enhancements:

Platform placeholder objects and objects in the battle editor now automatically rotate when moved, they will stop this automatic behavior when the player manually rotates them. This is to make aligment easier and more intuitive :) Platform objects face away from their base - eg: a defensive platform's weapons point away from the base it is protecting - towards the enemy. Battle editor objects point towards the 0,0,0 point (aka center of map) - ship objects are allowed a pitch and a roll - but other objects aren't (don't want any bases to be upside down or side ways :lol: )
You can now cancel a placeholder object - thus removing the outline from the tactical map
Switching out of tactical mode removes the placeholder automatically
You can now teach disobedient stations a lesson via the self destruct option - they won't be disobeying your orders ever again
Ditto for ships - you can self destruct ships owned by you
Can now trigger command ship abilities in tactical mode as well.

Building stations: you can now select the station placeholder while in the build screen allowing you to move it - without having to click return to go back to the main tactical screen.

Death enhancements:

Pre-explosions added: an explosion particle system can now be specified in the xml files for ships and stations to trigger when the object's health reaches 0 and the "death timer" triggers. Meaning that you can now have pre-explosion(s) to the big final explosion creating a more dramatic death for objects.

Weapon enhancements:

Turrets can now pivot (been waiting a long time for this...)
Added muzzle flash for gun and missile weapons
Added multiple barraled weapons - EG: multi barreled turrets (ditton on been a long time...)
- multi barreled weapons - can either be "multi shoot" (simulataneously fire all barrels) or "chain shoot" fire one barrel - slight delay - fire next barrel - slight delay - fire final barrel - standard re-fire rate delay
Missiles and projectiles have been split to accomodate unique features of each
Missiles now have type - standard and torpedo
Torpedo type missiles are affected by momentum making them much more targeted against slower moving targets, however they do more damage and have greater range.
Missiles and torpedos can be destroyed - missiles can only be hurt by directly targeted weapons - torpedos take less damage from weapons that aren't targeted towards them
Missiles now have factions - so that HUD coloring and other aspects work :)
Missiles/Torpedos are targetable (so that you can blow em up :) )- either left click on them, or joystick button 2 while they are in your cross hairs, or press M to target the nearest enemy missile/torp that's aimed at you
Missiles/Torpedos can have an "inactive phase" during which they don't fire their engines but simply float out of the missile tube adding the "showmanship" factor
Missiles/Torpedos will now attempt to go towards cross hairs when fired without a target (this is to cover the case when fired by player without a target missiles will go ahead of ship instead of traveling in the direction of the missile tube)
Missiles, projectiles and beam hit particles now support directions.

Projectile weapons - different rendering styles added - invisible - billboard (2d sprite) - mesh (aka 3d model) - particle script
A shotgun/scatter gun type weapon added: shoots multiple projectiles in a cone deviation of fire (eg: 5 degrees up or left)
Projectile weapons now distinguish between parent orientatino and fire orientatino, usually its the same thing, but in cases where aim assist comes to play they aren't, this became apparent when I added the above scatter guns and noticed the discrepancy, this should fix a few visual nagging issues where projectiles didn't quite line up with the parent or didn't quite inherit the correct velocity from parent.

Turrets can now be manually controled - "turret view" has been added
Press F4 to go into the next turret to control (if ship has any) - (F5 is now the autopilot toggle key)
Turrets can be controlled via mouse or joystick
Turret view has its own hud
Turret targets can be selected via the same mechanism as ship targets (left click on target, joystick button on target, press T or [ and ] keys)
Turrets can be toggled to "auto mode" on/off (similar to ship crew control) - when in turret mode (so you can either control turret yourself or watch it do its thing)
Added options for turrets in options menu - when entering/exiting turrets you can now specify whether ship's crew control will toggle on/off - eg: you are piloting your ship, you decide to switch to a turret - when this happens your ship's crew will take over piloting the ship, you decide to go back to ship control/view - when this happens you once again take control over your ship
Turrets now have roles and target priority lists - see this blog post for details:

When weapons reach 0 ammo, a reload sequence happens on the hud - ammo gage re-fills based on reload timer

Ship Camera enhancements:

Ship camera now much more dynamic (cockpit and chase modes)
Ship camera now responds to roll of ship as well.

Battle Editor enhancements:
When clicking on "play" the current battle layout will be saved under "lastBattleAutoSave.xml" - mostly a testing thing - easier on me to load the previous battle and test again :) but I also figure a neat feature to add.
Changed the way that the communication of what objects to create happens after clicking play in the battle editor - this will allow for greater and more flexible communication between the two leading to more options (see below).
You can now mod in light paramaters and background paramaters into the xml file generated out of the battle editor via editing the xml file in a text editor.
You can now "associate" objects with eachother in the battle editor. Examples: select a ship then right click on an enemy ship to designate a target for the original ship. Select a station then right click on a base to designate that base as the parent for the station (allowing for ship building as stations require resources from bases to do so).
When objects are associated they will take on different autorotate paramaters - for example if an object has a target it will face its target, if an object has a parent or is in formation with another it will align with that object.
Can now add gates as objects in the battle editor (in "Other" tab).
Press the "F" key (as in focus) to look at the selected object/objects (to quickly traverse the battle editor map to focus in on the object(s))

Asteroids are now in game - currently 4 sizes/models- large, medium, small and tiny.
Some asteroids are immobile - some asteroids are able to move (currently only way to do this is to crash into them)
Asteroids can be placed in the battle editor. They will randomly rotate so as to not make them all uniform looking.
When shot asteroids may spawn "baby" asteroids. Some of these may have a limited life (based on a timer specified via the asteroid's xml file).
Asteroids can be destroyed, when they "die" they can spawn up to 2 "baby" asteroids - the goal here is to create a sort of a "splitting in two" effect.

Objectives, triggers are now read in via XML files (was text files before, big pain).
Objectives can now have multiple triggers and multiple rewards.
Rewards added - rewards are something that is given to the player when an objective is completed

New Objectives:
"Time" objective - a timer starts and counts down - when the timer expires the objective is completed

New Rewards:
"Ship reward" - player's stations/bases can now build this ship
"Station reward" - player's base can now build this station
The two above rewards are somewhat similar to research as they both accomplish the same thing, but this is a freebie ship/station, no need to invest time, just complete the objective.

New Triggers:
Destroy Named trigger - destroys this object, can be set to silent to not give any messages in ship hud, not cause any sounds or effects.

Other enhancements:

Added a "news feed" to the "Main Menu" page - this will query a file located on the web for little news blurbs like newest version, eta till next and other info.
The Sun and the station around it are now "more real" and like other physical objects in the game world (before they were bits of code hacked together).
Game start/Tutorial start - now read via xml files (eg: where bases are, starting ships, objectives).

Turrets and weapons save/load process expanded (capacity, reload, etc).
Research items are now read in by xml files - meaning that it is now moddable.
Save/Load switched over to xml based.
Introduced a 3 second wait timer after a new game or loading a game before physics and game logic take place. This is because physics and logic rushes to catch up yielding some funny behavior (example: ships spinning due to physcs forces catching up). Pretty basic - eventually some nice transition or fade in or something will take the place of just the frozen screen.

Bug fixes:

If a base is taken by the enemy while the player was in the middle of building a platform (eg in placeholder stage) the placeholder gets destroyed to prevent shenanigans
Fixed crash bug when colliding with a transport ship.
Fixed bug with target selection (left mouse button or joystick button 2) in ship mode incorrectly selecting player ship (thus not selecting anything since you can't target yourself)

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Re: Iteration 11 changes - WIP

Postby goney3 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:33 pm

Ooh looks good :)

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Re: Iteration 11 changes - WIP

Postby chaosavy » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:57 pm

Iter 11 WIP Part 2 (Jan 2012) - another topic to keep things managable

Key command added - while in tactical mode press the Home key to focus on the command ship (like in ship mode where pressing home switches to the command ship)

Ship Mode Enhancements:
Afterburners added :) - these give a significant speed boost to engines for a limited time, then recharge

Ship HUD:
Ships - now marked with little hud indicator showing faction alignment for better situational awareness.
Ship hud - font update, re-positoned/streamlined, added player ship/target wireframes.

Death Enhancements:
Death camera added - camera senses when ship dies and then zooms back to show the explosion

Damage Enhancements:
Damage systems now trigger based on specifiable percentage (via xml) - so one could trigger at 50% health while another at 10% etc.

Gravity Drive Enhancements:
Gravity drive re-written see blog post details
Players can now manually enter gravity drive (old system required auto pilot to be engaged)
You can only use the gravity gravity drive to travel to compatible objects - eg: large asteroids and bases
Added small gui elements to gravity drive - showing status/engage/disengage buttons

AI Enhancements:
AI re-written see blog post for details
New AI system allows for multiple objectives/goals to be stacked one on top of each other, when the active one is complete the next one takes its place, the active can also be postponed or outright removed/canceled, these characteristics allow for a sort of a memory and dynamic response to events (eg: attacks - fight back or evade then go back to previous objective).
Path finding method much improved, much more intelligent now, considers what object is hit and where and how to best go around the obstacle.
AI now better equipped to recognize when to avoid obstacles, calculates whether to avoid an obstacle based on current target and/or commands issued relating to them.
AI will find an appropriate route to use gravity drive to get from start point to the final destination via appropriate gravity hops.

AI use of ship engines:
The larger the ship the longer the ship will wait to accelerate when turning during travel to its objective
AI will use afterburners

AI use of turning ship:
The larger the ship the less roll and pitch (aka up/down) when turning to face its objective, carriers and other such large ships won't roll at all

AI use of weapons:
When calculating "near combat range" defensive turrets aren't taken into account (so as to not force ships too close to each other and thus defeat the purpouse of long weapon ranges)

AI Commands can be queued via holding down the shift key
AI will sometimes evade, fight back or riposte (briefly fight back) when attacked

Weapon Enhancements:
Instant hit weapons added - hybrid of beam weapons and projectile weapons. They come in a visible/invisible variety, can be charged to do more damage, and can be set to push back objects that they strike.
AIm assist for projectile weapons - made more accureate
Secondary weapons added.
Turrets can be used as primary weapons - will track the ship's main target, pressing the trigger button will fire the turret.
Turrets will now return to their original orientation when not targeting something (no more turrets facing all over the place)
New weapon characteristic added: MIRV - allowing a missile to split off into multiple missiles
Projectiles and missiles can have "trails" made up of particle effects - eg: smoke/exhaust
Projectiles - no longer physical objects in the game world for use of collision detection. Now use ray queries (image a laser pointer beam ahead used to find collisions) for collisions, this has greatly enhanced hit detection/positioning, as well as made it frame independent.

Tactial Enhancements:
Rewrote a lot of old selecting and command code allowing for issuing orders to multiple ships (mass select them then issue command)
Added support for shift selecting - if shift is held down you can add/remove ships from the multiple ship selection functionality
If holding down the right mouse button too long - right mouse selecting automaticaly turns off - this is to prevent accidental selections
Camera overhaul/revamp - improved control, smoother transitions, camera roll indepednent of object being followed (less "spacial confusion")

Objective enhancements:
Objectives can be set not to trigger other objectives when completed
Objectives can be set to always be added (don't have to be in sequence)

Trigger enhancements:
Triggers can be used to activate a gate.

As a result of player feedback changes
Added additional list box to instant actino mode showing custom built scenarios - saves having to enter battle editor then pressing load to see them.
Added a timer on resource requests - this way can't cause a situation where many cargo pods launch at once from a trading station.
Most likely fixed resource wrap around bug (instead of reaching 0 resources would go to a max value)

Tutorial enhancements:
Gravity drive tutorial added
Tutorials re-vamped a bit to encompass changes

Bug Fixes:
In ship/turret hud gui clicks weren't handled properly thus clicking on the gui buttons/etc would often result in clearing target
Unified the death of projectiles and missiles to eliminate a crash

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Re: Iteration 11 changes - WIP

Postby goney3 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:13 am

cool, so there is still work being done on this 8-)

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Re: Iteration 11 changes - WIP

Postby chaosavy » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:51 pm

of course :) Had an especially productive weekend, hoping to wrap up the basics of the new AI system this week

The blog usually has more in depth thoughts on the process:

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Re: Iteration 11 changes - RELEASED

Postby darksmaster923 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:34 pm

You are truly a god among men. How can we thank ye, Odin?

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Re: Iteration 11 changes - RELEASED

Postby Slaor » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:39 pm

That's easy lol - tell ya mates.

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Re: Iteration 11 changes - RELEASED

Postby chaosavy » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:55 pm

Only problem about being a god is that it gets very lonely here on Olympus... and damn cold, don't even try to get pizza delivered, they won't come, you tell them you'll tip good but they are too lazy.

yeah I know I'm mixing mythologies heh heh :)

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