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Santman
8
Years of Service
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 2nd Jun 2017 07:57 Edited at: 29th Oct 2017 23:44
This thread now keeps track of progress of the game.

Major updates
*large items are now single sprites rather than tiled "paintings" so full animation is possible
*floors now draw right up to the walls to remove that gap around them
*the floors now draw a completely different way, and effectively "render" a single static image regardless of the room shape the player makes. The example shows an early draft of the main coridor, cargo bay and engineering (most work so far on the engineering floor) which now shows unique scratches, decals, light highlights and - most importantly - a distinct lack of a "tiled" look
*external walls now draw properly, fading into nothing to try and make them less blocky and obtrusive
*star system lighting is now dynamic - planets/moons light/shade accuratly according to the position of the sun within the solar system now, regardless of where it is
*new solar flare added to suns - looks kinda awesome, even if I do say so myself
*the game now has a fully functional internet installer, and launcher which is capable of keeping the game up to date via new update downloads on PC. All game settings are also selectable via the launcher, and take realtime effect in the game when launched. Loving these new AppGameKit commands
*Space just got a lot prettier - multi layer paralax effects now bring space to life with perceived depth and blending coloured space clouds
*Thanks to feedback the main engine loop has had an overhaul and I'm seeing massive frame rate increases (previously a desktop sitting at 50-58 fps is now moving smoothly at 240fps). More over, the glitch when AI ships were added has been removed where rendering speed allows it. This update will be launched soon, once further optimisation is done.

So things to work out next:
* fix second ships to match the same larger items and flooring/walls
* fix planet lighting so that zooming works again (I hate shaders!)
* alter ship generation data files - allow hull strength to vary from ship to ship
* fix a small AI bug when units change their decision making mid movement
* implement saving and loading
* build ship generation into AI engine based around attributes of ships and turn pirates back on
* implement launcher
* add in network code to facilitate automatic updating
* impliment installer
* resolve system jumps - fix systems appearing without suns after jumping
* fix galaxy map to accommodate new sun shader
* fix light source placement in shader files for planets - distant planets not correctly placing light side/dark side sources

*ALPHA TECHNICAL DEMO RELEASE*

* fix installer - more rhobust handling of downlods and installs
* additional screen resolution support and graphics options, including engine optimisations
* fixed launcher to scan for all supported resolutions and display them as options
* fix "floating" cities on some planets
* fix new paralax effect when autopilot on, jumping and galaxy map
* add scrolling to galaxy map (link with jump ranges)
* fix combat end - add summary, fix zooming, allow cargo to be stolen
* fix shields - allow multiple imact marks for shields
* add reduced graphics sizes for planet media for low memory machines
* add shield indiactor to external arrea of ships
* add generation of ships when warping to a new system to allow ships to already be present
* add probability of pirates to be linked to safety of parent system
* fix enemy units facing right way when using items
* fix enemy units getting sucked out of ship coming from holes correctly after last update to engine
* fix destruction of enemy ship parts
* finalize AI for boarding parties to "beam" to other ship
* rework core mechanics for ship to ship combat - balances gameplay
* add troop to troop combat
* add AI systems functionality - rework subsystems of ships to rebalance shields and weapons
* extend universe
* add maximum jump distance to galaxy map
* add hostile enemies to radar
* add missiles
* add shipyards to stations:
------> allow the player to repair their ship
------> allow the player to repair ship damage
------> allow the player to upgrade/swap out ship parts
* extend part list - accommodate better more varied internal components
* add captains control panel
* add "passive/aggressive" play mode function - player can opt to pass by other ships or engage in combat (think Spore!)
* look at scripted missions for the player to undertake (big update)
* add alien races
* add space stations
* add more space objects, like minable asteroids etc
Lernox
2
Years of Service
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Joined: 19th Jul 2017
Location:
Posted: 3rd Aug 2017 15:54
WAW !
Im french so use google traduction ^^

C'est magnifique! Excellent début!
Si je pouvais te faire une suggestion, ce serait de mettre le radar en haut à droite. Car là il gène la vue.
Sinon c'est super!
As-tu un topic ou on peut voir plus sur ton projet? ^^
Continue tu gères!
Santman
8
Years of Service
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 6th Aug 2017 16:50
Hi Lernox,

Many thanks, always good to know I'm on the right path. The radar has been suggested by numerous people, so I will look at that.
PartTimeCoder
AGK Tool Maker
4
Years of Service
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Joined: 9th Mar 2015
Location: Suffolk UK
Posted: 6th Aug 2017 18:30
@Santman, its looks pretty good to me, I got the point of the radar straight away, its a good idea, I like the warp system but its a little sudden to stop, seems to just stop dead, overall thought its all looks very good.
Santman
8
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 7th Aug 2017 22:02
Hey PartTimeCoder,

Thanks for the feedback....I was starting to wonder if only I liked the radar! When playing it's more functional....what may not be evident in the videos (or I may have added after that) is that the planet names scales in size to show the player the distance to them, and clicking on a name activates auto pilot to take the player to the planet. Auto pilot won;t work if it's int he corner and as seamless as possible gameplay is what I'm after, so maybe I'll leave it as a toggle.
Santman
8
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 7th Aug 2017 22:11 Edited at: 18th Oct 2017 13:56
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Santman
8
Years of Service
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 31st Aug 2017 20:49
So within the week I would hope to have something out that can be tried (not a game as such yet, just the technical side of things).

Is anyone willing to give it a play test for me and offer some feedback?
SpecTre
Developer
16
Years of Service
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Joined: 24th Feb 2003
Location: UK
Posted: 31st Aug 2017 20:51 Edited at: 31st Aug 2017 20:51
Let me know and will have a look, although I am Mac only ay the minute.
The Amiga and Amos were great!
Santman
8
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 31st Aug 2017 21:12
That would be great SpecTre. Do you know, if I export using the IOS option in AppGameKit will that work on your machine, or is that just iPhones?
SpecTre
Developer
16
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Joined: 24th Feb 2003
Location: UK
Posted: 1st Sep 2017 04:00
That's just iPhone and Pad I think. On the Mac it is similar to Windows I think and creates an exe in the folder of the project when you run it from AGK.
You would then zip it up with the media like Windows. Not tried it though
The Amiga and Amos were great!
Lindwedler
2
Years of Service
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Joined: 14th Jun 2017
Location: Germany, Lindwedel in Lower Saxony
Posted: 17th Sep 2017 11:06
Is there a website where the actual status of this game is reported? Looks very interesting
Santman
8
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 17th Sep 2017 13:36 Edited at: 17th Sep 2017 17:23
Not at the moment, that will come a bit later.

I planned to have something that people could run by this weekend, but I forgot that I changed the weapon system so that needed an overhaul. I've also now just re-added shaders for the suns (quick pic attached), and got an early 3D space station that will be coming soon to. So it's all going well.

I should point out, this isn't finished yet, I need to sort the lighting properly and work on merging in the glow.

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Santman
8
Years of Service
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 17th Sep 2017 13:38
And here's a quick image of an early space station. This is far from the finished article, but here the process is in place - each part is seperate and controllable (the base rotates), and compelte with self shadowing thanks to the latest AKG update (cheers guys, shadows are AWESOME).

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Santman
8
Years of Service
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 17th Sep 2017 19:30 Edited at: 17th Sep 2017 19:30
And here it is, the new Sun shader. Open to comments on the shader and the glow effect - too strong? The thing to bear in mind is that the sun shader has twelve varying settings so that it can quickly be used to create a range of different suns.

Santman
8
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 17th Oct 2017 19:48
Ok, I'vve now set up the game with an installer and a launcher, and the player can successfully navigate multiple combat encounters. Loading and saving is now also implimented (in an early form) so I am now looking for people willing to test the early code out in the next week or so.

Either shout out here or drop me a message and I'll be in touch.

NOTE: a Facebook page will be coming when I get the chance.
puzzler2018
User Banned
Posted: 17th Oct 2017 20:16
Well done.. I like a different variation of space games - maybe a little more floating experience of the craft would make it feel like more in space - instead of move, stop, move stop.

Would be better realistically

But really good what you got so far

Keep up the good work

D

Supertino
2
Years of Service
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Joined: 22nd Jun 2017
Location: Behind you!
Posted: 18th Oct 2017 09:00
looks neat, it's clearly not but this reminded me of an old DOS game called Solarwinds.
Santman
8
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 18th Oct 2017 13:53
Hi Puzzler2018,
I think I get what you mean - essentially inertia? I had that of srots before, with the ships having turning arcs so they couldn't instantly change direction, and weight that would make them not stop instantly....but ultimately I turned it off and went with amore "arcade" experience. Maybe once this demo gets some feedback I'll turn it back on and then update and see which people prefer. Or maybe leave it as an option.

Supertino,
I'm not familiar with that one, but I'll look it up - it probably crosses paths with lots of old games. Lol.
Santman
8
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 18th Oct 2017 23:12
So I am so close now to releasing a playable demo (I estimate the next day or two), but as always I got distracted and started playing with graphics. The sun came under scrutiny again, and I have added what I consider a nice new solar flare effect to the sun whihc makes it look more dramatic (from an arcade perspective).

What does anyone think? Is this an improvement?

Bear in mind, this one is VERY orange....but actually the sun, flare and glow all are set to any RGB value.

Santman
8
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 22nd Oct 2017 23:02
Ok, so the early pre alpha test code is out.

For those with the link, here is a quick guide to what you need to know:

Installing - you will need to run the installer as admin if you want to install to your system drive. The launcher will also need that, when updates are out. For now, it will install a launcher to the location you choose, the game is run via that.

Ok, once your in it - the game starts with just your captain, and a ship (I gave you quite a beefy one).

So here's how it all works:
*Left clock on your little captain, or crew members, then right click where you want him to go. You can right click on ship parts, such as the captains chair, to use it. Onlt the captain can be controller.
*first up, hit the CREW button in the top left, the add some crew members - you can add as many as you have beds for. Assign them to some basic functions using the drop down (only comms and weapons make a difference for now)
---->without comms you cannot see the IDs of other ships (useless for now), or inside emeny vessels during combat
---->without a weapons officer you cannot shoot

So, you can press "i" to toggle internal/external views of your ship, and "h" to toggle space navigation or ship management.

Navigating space:
In space (after pressing "h" and it zooms out), you move by clicking and holding teh left mouse button where you wish to go. You can also right click on the name of a planet on teh radar and you will autopilot to it (this looks funky for now, the paralax will be fixed next update). Once over a planet, you can click the TRADE button at the bottom to fly to the planet, then fly around looking for cities to trade with. You can also recruit higher ranking staff here (not really useful yet).

Right clicking generally takes you back a step unless there is an exit button, such as in the city trading interface.

Press "m" to access the galaxy map, and left click on another system to warp to it.

Combat:
When in combat your ship will generally just fight it out for you just now - just keep the weapons station manned!

That's about it for now. The key factors I am looking to get feedback on are framerates (this is constantly displayed in the top left hand corner), and any glitches with loading or crashes.

Thanks very much to those who volunteered to help - I'm away for the next 3 days but will answer any posts when I can, and get back to work when I return.
Santman
8
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 27th Oct 2017 20:16
Hi all.

A HUGE thank you to those who have tested the early early version, so now I am letting hte entire AppGameKit community loose on the Star Captain pre-alpha.

The FB page is underway and will be up soon, but for now anyone who wants can download and try on the following link:

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/starcaptain/Star+Cap+Install.rar

Note, the intsaller must be run with admin rights if installing to the system drive, and 64bit only for now.
Santman
8
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 30th Oct 2017 20:09
Hey everyone.

A simple facebook page is live now here https://www.facebook.com/starcaptaingame/

Please feel free to like it and follow it for updates.

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