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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Combat Screen Progress and Plans

I've finished the UI for space combat screen. There's a couple of things before the screen is done, and they're ship movement and firing weapons. Retreat, next ship, prev ship, and ship selection by mouse all works correctly. It also shows information about the selected ship on bottom left, and which empire's turn it is on bottom right. Here's a screenshot:

The button's artwork is mine, so they're ugly. Same for ship selection box, but this should give you an idea on how the battle screen will look like in-game.

One person wanted special equipment into game, and as I contemplated that, I realized that it's half the fun of designing ships. The current system is basically "Laser Cannon", "A better laser cannon, but with different name", etc, with no special stuff to spice things up. So I've decided to try and give special equipment a shot.

I discussed this idea with a friend, and I've decided on the final design concept for technology.

One of the first things I will do is to redefine the technology genres. So instead of Beam, Projectile, etc, it will be Electronics, Metallurgy, Physics, Energy, Chemistry, and Biology. Different technologies will fall under different categories.

I will then make it so that each technology is researched once. But to compensate for this, you can mix and match different parts to make a custom weapon. For example, if you've researched "Laser", and you've researched "Light Cannon", you can make a "Laser Light Cannon". If you've researched "Statis", and you've researched "Heavy Torpedo", as well as "Explosion Amplifier" that increases the radius of the torpedo's explosion, then you can make "Statis Heavy Torpedo" with "Explosion Amplifier" modifier.

To clarify, you will select an type of damage (Laser, Statis, Plasma, Rail, etc), then the type of weapon (Beam, Projectile, Missile, Torpedo, or Bomb), then size of mount, as well as any other modifications, to create your custom weapon. There will be restrictions on what kind of damage can be matched to what type of weapon. For example, it don't make sense to have "Laser Bomb" nor "Rail Torpedo", but it does with Plasma Cannon or Anti-Matter Torpedo.

Non-weapon items can be modified as well. For example, adding "AccuraMax" to your computer will improve its accuracy.

The ships themselves will be modified so that they have "Shield Points", "Armor Points" and "Structure Points", to allow for different effects of weapons.

As a result of the technology and ship overhaul, the combat screen will be put on hold until this is done. But this should make the game better and more flexible in different types of technology.

The screens that I will have to redesign will be the Research Screen and Ship Design Screen. Diplomacy may need to be tweaked to allow trading of technologies, and spying may be changed in how it works. When those are done, then I will go back to combat screen and add firing/moving.

As usual, feedbacks are welcome!


  1. Hey, Matt (Rocket Surgeon) here. You should add a 'donate' button somewhere on this blog just in case someone rich and/or charitable feels like donating a good 10 or 20 bucks to help with the expenses a tad.

  2. That's a good idea, I will look into that. It'd help a lot with paying for art if enough people donate!

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