NEWS FROM THE TEAM

Weekly Dev Update – November 7th, 2014

Hey everybody! We're continuing to hammer away at the first pre-alpha build. We know you're really looking forward to getting your hands on something playable and we'll try to get that to you real soon! In the meantime, here are our weekly updates! Dave Recently I just finished coding all the different pieces of procedurally generated subplots and storyarcs, which can happen to characters on a mission, much like in [INSERT YOUR FAVOURITE SCI-FI SHOW]. And then testing it with our first basic example. It works! Yes, that took the whole week. Left to do is integrating the code into...
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Weekly Dev Update – October 31st, 2014

Happy Halloween everyone! Are you looking forward to all the discount bite-sized candy tomorrow as much as I am? Anyone? Adam This week was another big feature implementation week. I wanted to get module destruction done. But, in order to pull this off, I needed to do lots of code re-jiggering to provide a generic approach to object selection (module, section, character, doors, etc.) and context menus for those selected items. This simplified the code significantly and made it easier to manage priority between the different types of objects when I click to select something. This made it easier for...
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Weekly Dev Update – October 24th, 2014

Hey everybody! For those who missed it from the Tuesday post, we'll be holding off on Tuesday Dev Features for a few weeks as we get ready to start closed first playable playtests. This also means we're crunching like mad, so these updates will be chock full of features! Daniel Hi everybody! This week has been spent creating a Frankencomputer by melding the better parts of my old PC with the better parts of my "new" PC. Followed by trouble shooting and software installations to bring balance to the force of computers in my home. Once everything was up and...
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Hard At Work

Hey everybody! It seems I derped when I tried to schedule this post for Tuesday. Sorry about that! I know you've all loved these Tuesday dev features but we're going to hold off on them for the next few weeks. Good news is we're doing this because we're crunching to get a closed playable build out to you in a few weeks! We'll still be doing our Friday updates so we'll keep you posted on our progress.
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Weekly Dev Update – October 17th, 2014

Adam This week, most of my work hasn't been in implementing cool new features. Since I switched to full-time on the project a month ago, I've been doing nothing but coding coding coding. But, since I'm also responsible for pretty much all of Jellyfish's admin work, I've been neglecting the legal, accounting and management aspects of the company. So, I spent my week on the phone on hold with various government offices, going back-and-forth with our lawyer with contracts and learning everything there is to know about small-business accounting. Thrilling, I know! Dave This week I finished integrating combat (remember,...
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Combat Explained (Part 2) — Items

This is a continuation from part 1. In this post I talk about items. Several of you on the forums asked specifically about itemization, so here it is! The goal of the Astrobase Command item system is to equally support procedural item generation and crafting (user item generation). And also in a broader sense to further refine the uniqueness of a player-created species, and the uniqueness of procedurally generated species a player might encounter. Keep in mind Astrobase Command has no tech tree. The technology "power" can conceptually be thought of as the items (and ships and modules) you know...
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Weekly Dev Update – October 9th, 2014

Dave This week I worked on more mission logic, and mission AI. This involves the Mission Leader sending out either solo characters or smaller groups of characters to perform tasks and complete objectives in different areas of a zone. Does he split up his team and have characters complete objectives simultaneously, or does he find safety in numbers and is willing to have a longer (but presumably safer) mission? Does he avoid the crashed alien ship he discovered that wasn't detected by long-range scanners, or does send in the marines? His AI and personality has to determine all these things,...
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Combat Explained (Part 1)

Disclaimer: this description of the combat system is from a design standpoint. So it gets pretty technical and delves into the nuts-and-bolts. You have been warned! What is a Combat System? From a design perspective, RPG systems can be thought of as organized sets of statistical contests which combine to form game mechanics. Typically these contests are wrapped in a narrative context. An RPG with a lockpick mechanic might generate a random number, and compare it to a threshold determined by the value of a character's lockpicking skill modified by the difficulty of the lock. We call these simple contests....
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Weekly Dev Update – October 2nd, 2014

Adam It's been another week of jobs and section integration. The first ones I knocked out were dining areas (cantina, cafeteria, mess hall). Now, when a character gets hungry, they go to their nearest dining area and eat (Food is also a resource in storage now). I also wrote it in such a way as to lay the groundwork for people to go eat at the same time. That way, friends can hang out together, which will make it even more obvious to the player what relationships they have with each other. It will also work nicely for social areas...
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“oh my God! — it’s full of stars!” A Brief Tutorial on Creating Procedural Star Fields Using Substances.

Several years ago at a previous job I was fortunate enough to have people from Allegorithmic come over and demo their Substance Designer. While a couple of the other projects had definite uses for a tool like that unfortunately the one I was working on at the time we were using pre-rendered assets. Making it pretty much the worst fit for procedural texture generation. Since then however I've always wanted to have a good use for them since any tool that saves artists so much time is a good tool indeed. In Astrobase we early on, in order to keep flexibility...
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