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Monday, April 2, 2012

Almost April Fools

Yesterday I thought of posting a joke about the MoO 2 curse finally catching up to me, but I felt that it's too close to home for many of you who've been waiting for something like this game, so I decided against it. The curse is that it seems like projects that start out as MoO 2's clone either end up abandoned, or strayed so far from the game that it's something else. I think I'm doing well, probably because I declared that this game is more similar to MoO 1, therby avoiding the curse :)

Actually, I think the cause of that is that many people near my age started on their own projects years ago, but they don't have the experience required to complete their projects. Now that my generation is maturing and gaining experience, I'm starting to see many new games coming out that's similar to MoO 2:

Star Drive

and of course, this game :) As well as some other games that I may have missed. Each game offers different features. For example, Star Drive offers 2D map using 3D models, and real-time combat. Predestination offers 3D map (that is excellently done, in my opinion), and TBS combat (right now it's just the galaxy map). My game have everything in 2D, like the old classics, and have TBS combat. I think that's a good thing, different games having different features, so they don't all overlap.

Now about my game, I'm working on something big behind the scenes not related to game development, and I hope that things work out with this big thing soon! I will announce it as soon as it's all set up!

For the development side, I've implemented the UI buttons, so that now you can do turns and go to next/previous ship in space combat. Right now, "Auto" and "Retreat" buttons will do nothing since those will require quite a bit of work to implement. I'm now working on adding "Effects" to the game. There are two different types: Permanent and Temporary. Permanent is something that affects your ship over a while, such as cloaking, lightning field, or stasis field. Temporary is something that takes place immediately, and pauses input until it's done. Some examples are the teleportation effect, or explosions.

There are also three types of particles: Instant, Cosmetic, and Missile. Instant is something that can impact ships, and pauses input until it's done. Laser beam, plasma bolt, railgun bolt, etc are examples of Instant. Cosmetic is something that don't pause input, and don't collide with anything. They're just visuals. Explosions would be a good example, as well as shield field flaring up on impact.
Missile are particles that exists over more than one turn. They will be updated between turns.

Permanent Effects can only spawn Cosmetic particles, since Permanent effects are constant throughout a turn. If you try to script it to spawn other types of particles, the game will ignore those.
Temporary Effects can spawn any of the three types of particles.

I hope to have all of those implemented this week, then the only things remaining for space combat are ship movement, ship information display, and wrapping up of combat (victory/defeat screen, lost ships, etc). I got bad news about movement; I've done research in free-form movement, and found that it's a lot more trouble than it's worth, so I'm reverting back to a grid-based movement for the ships. However, they're still using the same coordinate system as the particles, so your scripts can affect their position/angle. For example, if you have a "Displacement Device" from MoO 1, it can move the ship around randomly in a small radius.

Will keep you guys posted on upcoming news!

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