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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Squadron UI

For those who are curious, our baby is doing well!  She's stable, so we're happy about that.  For Beyond Beyaan, it've been a while since I last posted a screenshot of something new.  So here's a progress update!

As you see, the old fleet window with preview of ships in each fleet is gone, replaced by this new UI.  You can see that there's 15 squadrons (I copy and pasted two squadrons in data files to test various stuff) visible, and that you can select multiple squadrons.  When you have more than one squadron selected, it will automatically assign the slowest squadron's speed to all selected squadrons when you send them off, so that they will all arrive at the same time!  You also can name each squadron for easy reference to what their intended mission or composition are.

You can select multiple squadrons by pressing either control or shift key (control adds one squadron, while shift will adds squadrons from last selected to the current one, similar to Windows' icon selection).  There's still bugs to be worked out, but I'm pleased with the result.

On bottom right of the new UI are two buttons, population transfer and new squadron.  Population transfer will now be per-ship basis, because when you engage in combat, the game will know where the people are, so if you lose that ship, you lose those people.  New squadron button will allow you to create a new squadron from the star system's reserve ships.

In the plans are squadron preview, so when you hover above a squadron in the list, it will show that squadron's ships in its layout, then "new squadron" button with all the ship dragging stuff, then finally population transfer UI.  At that point, the overhaul is done, and I'm back to a similar position before I converted from fleet to squadrons.  Then I can add combat resolution and finish up space combat!


  1. When you order multiple squadrons to go somewhere will the algorithm for determining the FTL capabilities of the fleet work in reverse still?

    So if I have a squadron of STL system defence monitors and a squadron of FTL tugboats they'll get around okay if ordered to move together.

    Just making sure you're not forgetting stuff.

  2. I've actually thought about that, and decided that the ship's specials can be either squadron-wide or ship-only. For a "tugboat", the ship would have a special equipment that allows the squadron to go at least that ship's speed. So if you equip the other ships with slow and small engines (such as Ion drives), or no engines at all, you can apply one ship with the best engine and this special, then this squadron now can go that ship's speed.

    This approach solves many problems. For example, how to balance it so that a tugboat can't carry your whole fleet? Simple, the size limitation of a squadron. How to show UI for this kind of stuff? Simple, it's automatically calculated into the squadron's speed, so no additional UI needed.

  3. But then you enter combat. Lets say your 'tugboat' is a highliner, so it doesn't have STL engines cause it doesn't need them.. it's just a bit of defences and as many hyperspace engines as will fit into the hull. This is the ultra specialized hyperspace tugboat design.

    Now if I understand this correctly squadrons go as slow as the slowest ship in them. Which means we've moved a bunch of attack ships using highliners, and these attack ships cannot move in space combat cause they're in squadrons with their ftl ships.. unless it's possible to split squadrons as you enter combat.

    Granted this is an extreme example and it's fine to say "it's too much effort to accomodate this style of fleet design."

  4. You're correct, if the tugboat has no STL engines, the squadron won't be able to move in combat according to the squadron rules that I've established. However, I think I do have an idea. Maybe this special will both override any other ship's lower speed for FTL travel, and allows its STL speed to match that of the slowest ship in the squadron? However, if all ships have this special, then their speed will be exactly 0 in combat because none have any STL engines.

    This can serve as an interesting tactical choice. Do you equip a large ship that will probably take up a lot of space in the squadron group with this weaponless ship, thereby saving the costs of adding engines to other ships, or equip every ship with an engine, and be able to utilize the whole squadron space?

    It looks like there's a good reason to have two different types of engines, FTL and STL, so I will keep that aspect in the game.

    Another tactical option is that if you lose your tugboat, your STL ships are stranded until you can send another tugboat to pick them up. But then you'll have to escort the new tugboat with other squadrons in case it gets involved in combat. I think I will include this in the game for sure, this really spice things up!

  5. How do I fix it when upon running the game it gives me the error: Could not load file or assembly 'SlimDX, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b1b0c32fd1ffe4f9' or one of it's dependencies. The system cannot load the file specified.

  6. That error occurs when DLL is missing. Find appropriate SlimDX DLL and place it in the same folder as Beyon Beyaan exe.

  7. Sorry about my late response. You'll need to have SlimDX June 2010 installed. Here's a link to the download page:

    You want the end user runtime one, not the sdk developer (unless you plan on developing games with it? :) )

  8. hi..Im college student, thanks for sharing :)