This week, I finally managed to wrap up connector construction, which brings us one major feature closer to an alpha build!
Since I’ve been spending a lot of time lately integrating a metric butt-ton of cool new arts assets, we’ve started to encounter performance issues on low-end machines. So, I also started looking into graphics optimizations and thinking about system requirements and settings to expose to players!
Hello, this week I’ve spent most of my time fixing things, setting up technical art stuff, and looking into how to balance visuals vs performance further. This is of course important work but not super shiny to look at.
I’ve been architecting what I hope to be the final version of missions (I’ve been through about 3 or 4 prototypes until I got happy with it). Nothing too exciting yet, last week I was finished up the mission launcher code that allows me to start new missions from our in-game debug console, and there was some behind the scenes technical stuff there left to finish off. The first step afterwards was implementing the shuttle landing phase, since this has to be a critical element with not just the pilot skill but giving the crew opportunity to react to things that might go wrong.
For example, if a player has an engineer on board, he might reasonably expect that engineer to be able to do something about the plasma storm shorting out the power conduit. Likewise a character with astrophysics might have an entirely different set of options. Since we don’t want to hard-code any of this (which would make it a simple problem X = solution Y), we essentially need a generic system that governs “sci-fi physics” which yields solutions to problems similar to what you might find in an episode of your favorite show, but does so in a dynamic and procedural fashion.
At the very bottom it comes down to a series of weighted rolls which takes everything into account, and I needed to make some bug fixes to the weighting system which became clear when I started implementing.
This is a Big System ™ with an enormous amount of depth, so I’m just taking the time to make sure it’s right and plays awesome when its done!