Patch and Updates Notes

#1

0.4.6.0 ( Saturday, 25 May 2019 )

This patch mostly focuses on two things: some new flight model experimental refinements and the first iteration of the textured bomber. As usual it also includes a number of bug fixes and quality-of-life improvements.

Gameplay

  • Turbo boost minimum energy requirements increased from 5% to 25%: a slight nerf to players abusing micro boosts with their energy depleted. It is still possible to chain micro boosts, but only with enough energy
  • Shield damage model is now probabilistic instead of splitting damage between shield and armor points. In the previous versions, upon getting hit by a physical projectile, a part of the damage was absorbed by the shield and the remainer was passing through and damaging the armor points.
    In the new model, the shield acts as a probability to determine whether all the damage gets absorbed by the shields, or if the projectile passes through the shield and hits the hull. This will be improtant in terms of visual effects later on when shields will no longer match the hull’s shape
  • Added the ability to spawn at neutral stations. Neutral stations are invulnerable. Added one neutral station around Rethe Prime (the gas giant). Players in different teams that want to train / dogfight can do it here. The AI will not generate a battle around this area
  • The bomber’s missile launchers are now slightly sloped upwards

Flight Model

  • Fix for rotation assist mode off which wasn’t providing 100% of thrust capabilities
  • Target speed / throttle can no longer exceed speed cap
  • Increased forward/backward linear thrust on most ships. Interceptor went from 3.6g to 4.0g. The main difference is on capital ships, that can now fly a lot faster. For example the carrier went from 1.2g to 2.0g.
  • Added a launcher dialog option (default: on) to enforce the soft speed cap with flight assist mode. It is no longer possible to exceed the speed cap via manual thrusting, unless turbo boosting (in which case the speed cap can be exceeded as long as energy remains)
  • Added a side boost anti-drifting system. It increases side propulsion temporarily in order to let the ship change its course faster. The boost is stronger as speed increases and approaches the speed cap. This change should make the dofights more dynamic and make capital ships
    far more maneuverable. It also helps with dodging or manually orbiting targets.

Fixes and Improvements

  • Asteroid ring fixes / tweaks: rings can now be tilted compared to the sun angle, so it won’t shadow-flicker with itself
  • Fixed an issue which caused dust particles to not appear in certain ring locations (the asteroids were correctly appearing but the dusty particles were missing)
  • Fixed a client crash when switching control schemes in spawn mode
  • Trade routes no longer show up when the source or destination have been destroyed
  • Main propulsion sound is no longer played on other ships when they’re powered off
  • Weapons will no longer lock when safety lock is toggle off but the target stays within lock range

HUD / Input

  • Improved highlighting of shield / armor / energy bars when their values are depleting. The bars should be flashing and become brighter to warn the user that their values are decreasing
  • Added an internal “no-cockpit” camera mode to small ships. You can toggle it by pressing F1 (will switch from cockpit to internal view and vice-versa)
  • Trade routes are no longer showing when HUD is disabled
  • Fix for saving an incorrect input profile version when editing the input profile. This bug was introduced in the last patch and could have caused some key conflicts and/or some keys being set back to their default values. The input profile config files should now upgrade correctly
  • Added griefing message when destroying minor infrastructure
  • Added a locking icon (circles with a dot in the middle) to represent the launch direction of missile / torpedoes. It’ll switch to red when the weapon is locked

Graphics / Optimizations

  • Added the textured bomber
  • Recording screenshots (F11) is now written to disk asynchronously and will no longer freeze the game for a few seconds
  • It is now possible to record screenshots at a higher resolution than the screen’s (see the Screenshot section in ClientConfig.xml). Note: HUD might not render correctly if using a different resolution than the screen’s
  • Made space background darker and increased stars brightness. The amount of visible stars in sunlight should’ve increased tenfolds. The idea here is to get away from mostly-black backgrounds, while keeping a realistic look
  • Reduced intensity of small ship’s floodlights

Misc

  • Tweaked min/max distance to sun of Battlescape generator. The sun in particular should no longer be too close to the Battlescape
  • Battlescapes are now titled compared to sun angle
  • Added minimum client requirement check to game server: there was a check on the network version, but not on the client itself. This means some players could’ve logged on a server with an upgraded version and get no warning. The game could go on but feel desynced, or using different gameplay parameters…
  • Enabled minidumps (crash reports) on the client. If you get a crash, the game should now generate a .dmp file along the log files. Make sure you send both the .dmp and the usual log file if you get a crash, thank you :slight_smile:
32 Likes
Weekly Update #9
Infinity Battlescape Beta launch: 9th February 2019
pinned #2
closed #5
#6

0.1.2.0 ( Friday, 4 March 2016 ) [ optional ]

###Installer

  • Fixed a bug that forced installation into the Program Files folder. Custom locations should now work

###Launcher

  • Fixed a bug with Facebook authentication which kept displaying the root web page instead of redirecting to the launcher. Facebook users should now be able to log in and play the game
  • Main launcher dialog now refreshes the selected server like in the server browser dialog
  • Fixed ambiguous server reselection after refreshing servers browser ( in case of server name conflict )
  • Remove private server button in servers browser is now functional
  • Adding or removing a private server now instantly refreshes the servers browser
  • Fixed tab indexes/orders
  • Fixed potential freeze in case of failure of an external ( Google or Facebook ) login if no cookies were set
  • Fixed external web page redirection still being displayed right after a successful login, showing temporarily INS website

###Game Content

  • Glimmerfall asteroid now utilizes detail textures for its rocky surface
  • HUD is now color-themed. Default color is pale green. Color can be customized in ClientConfig.xml ( HUD -> color ).
  • Added retrograde velocity marker in HUD

###Game Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug in client with flight auto-assist off which made movement directions exclusive
  • Tweaks to align manual/key rolling speed to mouse roll speed

###Game Features & Tweaks

  • Reduced turbo booster cooldown from 3 to 1 second
  • Tweaks to energy emissions / detection system to make it more coherent/understandable: occluded targets are now more difficult to detect and allies are no longer 100% detected independently of their distance
  • Angle-based collision damage now has a minimum of 10% damage; previously, if you hit a surface at a low angle you’d take no damage even at high contact speeds.

###Special Notes

Whenever ClientConfig.xml gets changed it erases the user settings. If you do tweaks to your ClientConfig.xml ( like key bindings ) make sure you save them before you install this patch, then re-apply your changes manually.

4 Likes
#7

0.1.3.0 ( Saturday, 9 April 2016 ) [ Required ]

Launcher

  • Fixed crash when opening the server browser and the list is empty

Game Content

  • Added corvette placeholder to the game
  • Added ship selection to the game launcher (select default ship in the dropdown menu). Defaults to Bomber.
  • Updates to asteroid detail textures, and brightness of some textures in some assets

Game Bug Fixes

  • Fix for cockpit/lights/particle effects flickering after death
  • Fix for lights blinking on the hull of the ship when power was turned off
  • Improved CPU family detection in stats/log files
  • Fix for ship icon color while in warp mode
  • Fix for cockpits always in shadows. Sun light should now properly pass through the cockpit frame
  • Revamped ramp up factor (cooling/warming of thrusters which modulates accelerations). Taking off from planets under gravity with flight auto assist off should now work
  • Fixed acceleration forces clamped to max. thrusters capabilities. This caused some weird drifting that was noticable especially when slowing down (velocity direction was slowly changing)

Game Features & Tweaks

  • Hitpoints recharge rate changed from a constant 2%/s to a variable 1%-3% (based on damage amount)
  • In repair redirection mode, if the ship is at full health, energy will start to recharge
  • Light-speed limit set to “real” value (previously was set to 300,000 km/s)
  • Tweaks to collision damage amounts
  • Improvements to spawning system; introduced the concept of docking state. Shoudln’t affect anything visually just yet.
  • Changes to physics materials friction parameters
  • Added jitter/randomness to thruster forces outputs. Currently set at 35%. Especially visible through vibrations in turbo mode
  • Increased the frequency of weapon shots by x2 ( experimental )
11 Likes
#8

0.1.4.0 ( Sunday, 1st May 2016 ) [ Required ]


Game Content

  • Added Fighter placeholder to the game ( can be selected in the game launcher like the corvette & bomber ). Defaults to fighter.
  • Update to corvette hull placeholder
  • Update to corvette cockpit placeholder ( more details like terminals added )
  • Added shadowing to NPC ships front lights and hangar lights. Should no longer leak through “walls”

Game Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug with flight auto assist where the computed “target” velocity was incorrect when combining forward + strafe
  • Player ship’s front light shadow map is now always updated every frame ( fix for shadow artifacts for corvette )
  • Fixed a bug which was introduced in last patch ( mass increase ) which caused thrusters to fire almost all the time

Game Features & Tweaks

Input / control changes

  • Separated key profiles from client config xml. The profiles are now listed in the Profiles sub-directory and in C:\Users\XXX\Documents\Infinity Battlescape\Profiles
  • Added support for Joysticks/gamepads. Now listed in game launcher. Don’t forget to select a gamepad profile ( two presets exist ).
  • Added support for Direct Input
  • Added support for XInput ( this is the default when a controller is present )
  • Added support for gamepad vibrations
  • Added support for customizable sensitivity / deadzone in the config file
  • Added support for device-loss re-aqcuisition ( ex. wireless controller lost temporarily )
  • Redesigned input/key mapper.
  • Added support for mouse buttons 4 & 5 and more keyboard keys.
  • Added support for multiple key combinations ( ex.: LeftCtrl + G )
  • Added support for alternative ( secondary ) keys for a given event
  • Reworked framerate independance and coherency between various input devices ( and particularly, the mouse )
  • See the Readme.txt file in the Profiles sub-folder for more explanations

Ships rebalance & physics updates

  • Turbo boost now gives 50% improvement (up from 0% previously ) on side thrusters. Front/rear thrusters are unchanged, still give 100%.
  • Decoupled ( flight auto assist mode off ) mode no longer automatically stabilizes ship rotation. It is now fully newtonian. You will have to compensate your ship rotation manually.
  • Revamped all ship physics parameters. The different ship capacities should now better reflect their type. In the previous version, the bomber was still too agile. The new fighter now behaves more like the old bomber; The new bomber is a cross between the fighter and the corvette in terms of agility.
  • Corvette now has 4 times less hit points.
  • Nerfed chaos/randomness factor on thruster outputs
  • Reduced minimum warp speed from 2 Km/s to 1.5 Km/s

Atmospheric flight model updates

  • Revamped entirely the atmospheric flight model
  • Replaced old model by a newtonian ray/cast model which simulates air flow on the ship’s shape
  • Old model used a wing profile which was not realistic. In the new model, ships are like bricks. They cause a significant amount of drag and very little lift. Experimental.
  • It should now be easier to warp into planet atmospheres. Note that drag might cause loss of control on the orientation of your ship if you enter an atmosphere too fast. Also, corvette, due to its mass, might be tricky to enter at full speed. I would advise to play with the re-entry speed and pay attention to shaking/vibrations. Keep your re-entry speed under control.
  • Added sound barrier ( mach limit ) which causes a lot of drag as you approach 340 m/s
  • Updated wind speed on various planets, now signifiantly nerfed and more realistic model

Misc

  • Updated lights cutoff parameter for better performance
  • Added automatic head view recenter in cockpit if the “reset head” event is not assigned
  • Ship’s front light now follows head’s orientation in cockpit ( it no longer stays fixed in front of the ship )
  • Added an event to cycle through camera modes + views. Only used on gamepads at the moment ( keyboard profiles still use F1 for cockpit view and F2 for external views ).
  • Added events to increase/decrease target speed individually, those can be mapped to individual keys/buttons
  • Upon death you will respawn with the next ship type ( fighter -> bomber -> corvette ) in a cycle
  • Added “suicide” key ( F9 by default )
18 Likes
Quick Progress Reports - Engineering
unpinned #9
pinned globally #10
#11

0.1.5.0 ( Wednesday, 27 July 2016 )

Note: this patch includes the new deployment plat-form with automatic patching. It is recommended that you uninstall the previous version ( 0.1.4.0 ) manually from your installed programs before you install the new version.

Download link hasn’t changed: https://inovaestudios.com/Battlescape/Access

The installer will now download online the required dependencies and packages. Once the launcher is installed, log into it and run it; then click the Install button in the bottom-left, which will download & install Battlescape.


Game Content

  • Geometry for all 3 cockpits is now done
  • Texturing for Fighter is WIP
  • Added space stations in various layouts at 7 spots in the solar system

Game Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug with flight auto assist and strafing, which didn’t take target speed into account
  • Fixed multiple random/rare crashes upon death
  • Fixed a crash bug when initializating a renderer or adapter on non-standard or older video cards
  • Fixed a crash caused by infinite octree recursion that happened when a lot of objects were spatially created on top of each
  • Fix for rotation stabilization when flying in warp mode
  • Various bugs & tweaks in OpenAL (audio library)

Gameplay Features & Tweaks

  • Introduced atmospheric parameters which can be set per-planet
  • (Re)Introduced a drag coefficient for each ship
  • As a consequence of these last 2 changes, top-speed in atmospheres is now significantly higher
  • Rewrote spawn system and docking points on the server

Physics updates

  • Physics is now running in a separate task/thread which might help with performance in physics-intensive scenes
  • There has been major changes in the physics under the hood; interfaces were rewritten. Watch out for potential bugs!

Updates to Input system

  • Fixed key detection bug with gamepad arrows
  • Added KeyPadEnter to differenciate from the Return key
  • Added support for sliders ( 2 extra axes ) to Direct Input
  • Better handling of special keys/combinations like Alt-GR

Deployment system

  • First experimental version of our deployment system, including bootstrapper, installer and new launcher
  • Install, launcher and game now have the ability to self-update and install patches
  • Note that the user interface is a step down and minimalistic; we’ll reskin it at a later time

Misc

  • Engine now utilizes static libraries instead of DLLs
  • Fixed light bleeding artifact line between shadow cascades for infinite lights
  • Upgraded deferred renderer’s shader model to 5.0 which allows to run more agressive optimizations
    Note: this means the game now requires a SM 5.0+ video card.
  • Tweaked shadow priorities queue in shadow rendering pipeline
  • Tweaked HDR settings and minimum luminosity; space backgrounds should feel brighter now. Eye adaptation is also faster.

Known bugs

  • Random crash at exit; seems to be related to switching the engine to static libs. Cause not yet identified.
  • Race gates no longer display. This is probably a minor bug related to change in the assets paths. Will investigate later.
14 Likes
Weekly Update #25
#12

0.1.6.0 ( Sunday, 2 October 2016 )

Note: this patch requires a manual Installer update, please see this thread for more information:
https://forums.inovaestudios.com/t/installation-runtime-update/4189/1

The game itself should upgrade automatically fine.

Download link hasn’t changed: https://inovaestudios.com/Battlescape/Access


Game Content

  • Added factories and military bases (placeholders) across the 3 moons of the test system
  • Updated Interceptor, Bomber and Corvette cockpits with more geometry work
  • Updated texturing & decals for the cockpits, including new materials, self-illumination for buttons. Corvette still largely untextured.
  • Added ambient & button lights to Interceptor & Bomber cockpits.
  • Added static NPC hauler near the spawning station. Just used as “decoration” until we add A.I. in alpha.

Game Fixes

  • Race gates should now properly show up on Sarake near one of the factories.
  • Updated shadowing in cockpit view. Higher quality and resolution for shadowing in cockpits.
  • Added faster refresh of image-based lighting after spawning with a ship. Previously IBL only showed up after you travelled a minimum distance.

Gameplay Features & Tweaks

  • Reduced atmospheric density of Cinder ( volcanic moon ) which should increase a bit the atmospheric top speed
  • Reduced minimum warp speed requirement from 1.5 Km/s to 250 m/s. This should help to enter warp more quickly, at lower altitudes.
  • Added camera orientation vibrations & shaking ( will especially be noticeable when hit or at high air friction )

Deployment system

  • Fixed .NET 4.6.2 dependency
  • Fixed a bug in the launcher after a first install where the game install button was disabled, forcing the user to restart the launcher.
  • Fixed a bunch of bugs related to elevated rights and installation upgrades
  • Added user status icon and log-out option to the launcher on game screen
  • Added more log file information for users still experiencing trouble during installation

Misc

  • Optimized particles sorting which should result in a small performance gain in particle-heavy scenes
15 Likes
Weekly Update #34
#13

0.1.7.0 ( Saturday, 14 January 2017 )

Download link: https://inovaestudios.com/Battlescape/Access


Game Content

  • Interceptor, bomber and corvette geometry pass done (untextured) including level of details. Added placeholder lights on the hull too
  • Revamped cockpit lights for interceptor, bomber and corvette
  • Horizontal bar removed from Interceptor cockpit frame (experimental)
  • Added glass material to all cockpits
  • Space stations geometry pass done. Utilizes proper level of details. Generic placeholder texture
  • Added Eupraxia ring station in orbit of Rethe Prime (the gas giant); moved Thalys station to Cinder’s orbit
  • Reworked geometry and lighting in hangar and garage bays for space stations
  • Revamped lights on the hauler (near Arcadia station)

Game Fixes

  • Cockpit lights are now disabled when the ship is powered off (including ‘mood’ lights)
  • Mouse cursor is now restricted to window area (experimental performance fix)
  • Better default GPU adapter selection on multi-GPU systems like laptops: defaults to AMD or NVidia video card instead of Intel’s
  • Crash fixes related to 3D sounds

Gameplay Features & Tweaks

  • Slightly reduced camera near clipping plane to avoid clipping with the interceptor cockpit frame
  • Changed third-party camera viewpoints for interceptor and corvette to be a bit closer
  • Respawn location is now randomized in various space stations, upon restart/death/suicide (F9)

Deployment system

  • Fixed OpenAL dependency, should now be properly set up during the installation process
  • Fixed various bugs and issues with the launcher and installer

Misc

  • Log files should no longer have exclusive read access
  • Ring’s asteroid field is back
  • Reduced size of some of the HUD indicators such as velocity

Known issues

  • Performance: stuttering every second or so on some systems
  • Interceptor: Z-fighting on cockpit frame
  • Interceptor: some side thrusters are incorrectly placed
  • Random client crash with projectiles when a ship is dying
17 Likes
#14

0.1.7.1 ( Wednesday, 18 January 2017 )

Download link: https://inovaestudios.com/Battlescape/Access


Game Fixes

  • Crash fixes related to projectiles when dogfighting with other players and/or dying.
5 Likes
Weekly Update #46
#15

0.1.7.2 ( Friday, 27 January 2017 )

Download link: https://inovaestudios.com/Battlescape/Access


Game Content

  • Fixed Z-fighting on Interceptor cockpit frame due to duplicated geometry
  • Added lights to the Corvette cockpit frame

Game Fixes

  • Changed OpenAL initialization to avoid a crash at startup.

Balance changes

  • Reduced hitpoints recharge rate from min 1% - max 3%, to a constant 0.5% per second, for all ships.
  • Reduced hitpoints on all ships ( 250 to 200 for interceptor, 800 to 500 for bomber, 2500 to 2000 for corvette )
  • Changed interceptor weapons: 15 to 25 damage (+10), 0.10 to 0.15 rate (+0.05), 3.0 to 2.5 lifetime (-0.5)
  • Changed bomber weapons: 15 to 50 damage (+35), 0.10 to 0.20 rate (+0.10), 4.0 to 3.0 speed (-1.0), 3.0 to 4.0 lifetime (+1.0). These changes increase the range and damage of the bomber at the expense of their speed and firing rate.
  • Changed corvette weapons: 15 to 100 damage (+85), 0.10 to 0.40 rate (+0.30), 4.0 to 2.0 speed (-2.0), 3.0 to 7.0 lifetime (+4.0). These changes make the corvette weapons deadly for fighter with a bigger range, however the shots are now twice slower.

Misc

  • Increased horizontal (yaw) max view angle in cockpits from 72° to 90°
9 Likes
Networking an MMO
#16

0.1.7.3 ( Monday, 30th January 2017 )

Download link: https://inovaestudios.com/Battlescape/Access


Features

  • Added support for UTF8 / unicode paths in engine, which allows paths with foreign character sets to run the game ( Chinese or Asian characters are now supported in engine paths )

Bug fixes

  • Fixed default GPU adapter selection on multi-video cards systems ( ex.: laptop with NVidia + Intel HD ) - was implemented in patch 0.1.7.0 but was previously disabled. Users on such systems should no longer have to force GPU affinity with the executable.
  • Fixed a random crash of probability 1 / 32768 that happened every time the camera mode changes ( cockpit from/to external view ) or when you died / respawned.

Input / controls

  • Added support for “Oem8” key
  • Added DetectInput tool to “Dev\Profiles\Detect Input Tool”
  • Added support for Direct Input’s sliders ( usually mapped to throttle on Joysticks ), detected as axis 6 & 7
  • Added support for Direct Input’s buttons 16-31
  • Fixed a bug with automatic key detection in DetectInput tool: tool stopped detection too early for some keys
10 Likes
#17

0.1.8.0 ( Wednesday, 15 February 2017 )

This patch is mostly a performance / experimental patch with a few asset improvements.

Download link: https://inovaestudios.com/Battlescape/Access


Assets

  • Blaster shots particle effect improved: they now behave better under low angles near the center of the screen
  • Corvette now has ambient occlusion on its exterior hull mesh
  • Consoles are no longer empty in Interceptor cockpit; now uses a static self-emissive texture
  • Added exterior windows with self-emissive to Arcadia station ( experimental, windows are very repetitive atm )

Bug fixes

  • Fixed some memory leaks

Performance improvements

  • Fixed hiccups related to mouse cursor: cursor icon was recreated every frame even when in focus
  • Log file now performs asynchronously - will avoid minor hiccups on slow hard drives
  • Physics keyframe interpolation is now multithreaded (x3)
  • Static entities no longer invalidate transformations, which avoids useless updates
  • Fixed a minor bug with quaternions dual representation which caused some bodies to be dynamic instead of static
  • Massive optimizations (x6) to octree updates - now performs much better under heavy workloads
  • Massive optimizations to asteroid field animation updates (x3)
  • Previous frame matrix calculations for motion blur is now multithreaded (x3)
  • Planet’s procedurally generated terrain props is now multithreaded and should cause less hiccups when flying low over the terrain at high speeds (x3)
  • Optimized frustum culling algorithm (+20% speed)
  • Optimization to atmosphere updates
  • Fixed slowdowns when landed on planets and powering off in cockpit mode due to invalid IBL priority

Those optimizations fall in 3 categories:

  • Hiccups / having a more stable framerate: the game should now behave better for some players who experienced these strange issues. We’ve still indentified one additional source of major hiccups related to Windows’s message queue. This cannot be fixed in the current version, but we’ll come back on it later on.
  • Adding local multi-threading to some parts of the engine: those can easily double or triple performance, but only at a local ( sub-algorithmic ) level that was relatively fast to start with. Therefore those changes will mostly go unnoticable to most players.
  • Algorithmic improvements like culling / octree updates: those can bring massive speedups, but only in the heaviest scenarios, involving complex scenes.

Overall framerate improvement should be between +10% to +40%, depending on the scene. Here are some examples between the old version 0.1.7.3 and 0.1.8.0, tested on an i7 6700K with an NVidia GTX 1070;:

Kupraxia ( ring ) station: 101 fps (before) vs 117 fps (after): +16%

Myron station: 87 fps (before) vs 101 fps (after): +16%

Arcadia station: 51 fps (before) vs 63 fps (after): +24% ( note that the station has windows now, so real number is probably closer to +30% )

Kallios station: 76 fps ( before ) vs 81 fps ( after): +6%

On a local test ( not public ) involving 40 space stations, framerate went from 25 fps ( before ) to 65 fps ( after ): +160%

20 Likes
0.1.8.0 Feedback thread
#18

0.2.0.0 ( Saturday, 21 October 2017 )

Here we are. As you can see from the major branch version increase, we’ve jumped from 0.1.x to 0.2.x. This means a step closer to alpha. This patch is the first one to include all the technical work from the past months related to networking and refactoring the entire code to entity-component-systems ( ECS ).

Download link: https://inovaestudios.com/Battlescape/Access

Now let’s see in details what that means:


Networking

The entire code has been refactored to use client-side prediction and server-side lag compensation. This means that it’s now possible to hit targets, even with 100-250 ms of ping. The previous builds were performing client-side prediction, but not lag compensation, so it was next to impossible to hit anything unless it was directly in front of you ( or coming torwards you in a straight line ). This is no longer an issue, at least for lower absolute velocities.

Due to the way networking works ( in general, not specifically for Battlescape ), you still get inaccuracies are higher absolute velocities. In addition, due to client side prediction, interpolation ( and visualization ) of other entities than you happens slightly in the past compared to you. So it’s possible for two players to experience a situation that is a bit different. The higher in absolute velocities, the higher this becomes noticeable, for example if you’re flying in formation / sync. Other games that perform client-side prediction all suffer from this issue, but unlike us they cap speeds to very low values, so it’s not noticeable.

I want to stress again that our implementation is perfectly functionnal and these issues shouldn’t be a problem in a typical game scenario or in battle, only in extreme circumstances. All games have the same limitations, which come from the networking model design itself, not its implementation. You can read more about it here:

https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Source_Multiplayer_Networking#Entity_interpolation

An alternative networking model is to skip client-side prediction, like in World Of Tanks. This is only do-able if your entities are moving relatively slowly. This also means that when you hit a key ( like for turning your tank ), the client has to wait to receive the update from the server before it can display the change. In other words, the visible input lag depends on your ping. This is okay if you can guarantee that your players will always connect to a close server with < 50 ms of latency. This is not an okay model for players that have hundreds of ms of latency, or if entities are going to move pretty fast ( in Battlescape, this means it would be okay for capital ships for instance, but not for the interceptor ).

Overall the current networking implementation is pretty much complete. It’ll need a few tweaks here and there, tuning some parameters etc… but there’s currently no plan to make any significant reworking of the networking architecture.

Authoritative server and error correction

This new patch also moved away from the client to the server-authoritative model. Previously, clients were sending information about themselves ( such as position, orientation etc… ) and the server was trusting this data. This is no longer the case. Cheating is now impossible. The server is authoritative, which means that when the client and server disagree, the server has the last word, and the client gets “corrected”. Of course, it’s still possible to hack the client to ignore the error corrections sent by the server, but there would be a desync in the situations, and other players wouldn’t notice it, and would still be able to shoot at the hacking client. So for instance, hacks such as teleporting, increasing accelerations / speeds or similar, are by design impossible from now on.

Another benefit of running everything on the server side is that we were able to introduce bots controlled by the AI. More on that in a minute. We’ve also implemented collisions detection and physics on the server side, and stress tested various scenarios with a higher number of ships in a battle.

Bots / AI and large battles

In this version we’ve introduced experiment AI-controlled bots, that are flying around points of interest ( mostly space stations ) and attacking each other ( or attacking players ). They are killable, and some are pretty dangerous. Killing them will bring credits, which can in turn be used to upgrade to new ships.

The battlefield is controlled by what we call an “AI commander”. This commander controls the overall strategy of the game, chooses to spend some team credits in important battlefields and no others. It can also send reinforcements or scouts to isolated places, based on detection status / range. Finally, it assigns “missions” to players ( asking them to join a certain battlefield ), which at the moment is just for feedback / Information ( but later on, will bring credits bonuses ).

Due to the limited concurrent of players on the server, our current server ( located in US-East ) is pretty slow ( to keep our expenses down until as late as possible ). The virtual machine runs at 2 Ghz and has 3 GB of ram and slow HDs. We’re of course planning on upgrading it by the time release comes, however that means it currently underperforms a typical gaming machine by a factor of 5 ( in other words, its cpu computational power is 5 times lower than my own personal machine ). This puts a hard cap on the amount of bots + players the server can handle. This limit is currently set to around 120 bots/players.

The AI commander mostly concentrates on a single battle at a time ( although we’ve already seen occurances where 2-3 battles were occuring in different places ), which means it ipossible in this patch to experience a battle around a space station with 80+ ships. This number will increase once we optimize rendering and increase the server caps.

New control-scheme and radial menus

In this version we’ve introduced a new control scheme, based on the mouse cursor. It is similar to what you can experience in other modern space games, but we’ve balanced it in a way that should feel pretty good, especially for new players. The mouse location on screen determines the direction your ship tries to face. It turns slowere towards the center of the screen, and faster if you move your mouse on the periphery. The old “direct” control scheme is still available with the F4 key. The main advantage of the new control scheme is that you no longer need to roll your mouse over all the time during combat, which was putting a lot of pressure on your hands. It’s also more compatible with other game controllers / sticks.

Another new introduction are wheel-based menus. Hotkeys still exist, but now most ship systems can be found in those radial menus. Visual feedback is also part of these menus ( for example, you can see if a system is on or off, or damaged ). Three menus are currently available:

  • Ship systems ( V ): toggling power, warp, floodlights, auto-assist/reverse, and overcharging.

  • Weapons and formations ( X ): weapons are not functionnal yet, but here you can choose to chase a target, match its velocity etc…

  • and finally, the new Communications ( C ) menu which introduces voice-commands, to assign orders ( or request assistance ) to other players. An audio sound will get played ( and heard from distance ), as well as visual clues on the HUD.

UI / HUD

  • Indicators have been reworked. Out-of-screen indicators are now displayed in a ring-like shape around the center of the screen ( WIP ). A shields bar has been added, next to the hitpoints bar. These meters also display the amount of points and recharge rate at their bottoms.

  • The new detection / sensors system is in, more about it in the next section. The current emissions range is displayed on the top-right as a little graph. Enabling / disabling various systems will affect your emissions range. It shows up as neutral green if you’re currently undetected, and red/orange if an enemy is detecting you.

  • We’ve also introduced various text areas for information / missions objectives, and a global chat ( press ENTER to toggle it ).

  • We’ve introduced a leaderboard showing score for players ( kills / deaths ) per team. It also shows the scores of offline players. Note that credits and scores are persistent, so even if you disconnect and come back later, you’ll retrieve your credits and stats.

Energy emissions / sensors

  • We’ve reworked the way detection works. Each entity now has a base range of emissions, which is the distance at which other ships with a standard sensor can see you on their HUD. This range starts at 200 Km for the interceptor, and increases for more massive ships ( capital ships can be seen at thousands of Km away ).

  • The emissions range is not a constant, but adapts dynamically to your ship systems / actions. Using warp will massively increase your emissions range. Powering your ship down, howerver, will massively reduce your emissions.

  • Each ship also has a sensor power, starting at 1.0. These values increase for more massive ships or space stations. They’re currently a static value, but we’re planning on making those upgradable in a future patch. The sensor power acts as a modifier to the emissions range of a target entity. Let’s take an example: I’m flying in an interceptor with an emission range of 200 Km. A enemy capital ship, far away from me, has a sensor power of 4.0. Therefore it will detect me as soon as I fly within a range distance of 200*4 = 800 Km.

  • This emissions range and sensor power system is asymmetrical. Detecting an entity doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s detecting you back. Stealth approaches are now possible.

  • A team shares knowledge about detected entities instantly, and without consideration of distances. If a teammate is a million Km away from me and suddenly detects an enemy ship incoming 100 Km away from him, I will get notified immediately by a new hostile indicator appearing on my HUD, next to where I see my teammate is.

  • For this reason, it might be hard to locate other players that are far away when they’re in an enemy team and undetected. This is on purpose. If you want to test combat with other enemy players, use global chat to set a rendez-vous location.

  • In the future, this detection system will be key to making sneaky attacks on land bases / factories before the enemy team can call for reinforcements. We are hoping it will also make scouting / exploring on planets a viable activity, for players that do not wish to participate into massive combat, but want a more relaxed experience while avoiding fights.

Capital ships

  • Capital ships placeholders are now available to players ( and bots in battles ). At the moment they use the target-based control scheme, however in the future controls for capital ships will get better adapted.

  • Flying capital ships in atmospheres is possible but might be a bit tricky. Their vertical anti-gravity thrusters are pretty weak, and be aware that escaping some planets ( depending on their gravity or atmospheric density ) might be impossible.

  • Capital ships currently fire like small ships, in the forward direction only. It is possible to aim at and destroy other capital ships, however aiming at smaller faster ships is next to impossible, unless by accident. Obviously, this will be changed once we introduce auto-aiming turrets, targets selected and more weapon types in a future patch.

  • Capital ships spawn at docks around various space stations

  • The carrier will eventually act as a spawning point for players, but it is not implemented yet.

Planets

  • Atmospheric colors have been tweaked for many planets. The earth-like Sarake planet atmosphere is now blue.

  • The volcanic planet Cinder has received a desert sand-type layer for more color contrasts / variation as seen from space ( or ground ).

  • Gas giant Rethe Prime’s cloud layers have been tweaked and improvement, they’re now far less noisy / sparkly

  • A new planet has been introduced: Semny, an icy planet, my new personnal favorite one. Look up for nice reflections on the ice at sunset or night side :slight_smile:

  • A giant asteroid, Gallia, has been added in orbit of Rethe prime. It doesn’t have an atmosphere. It will challenge your sense of scale, as it’ll feel pretty small, until you get closer to it. This asteroid actually has a mean radius of around 400 Km and a potatoe shape.

Assets

  • The destroyer’s geometry pass is around half way done. The shape of the ship is close to final, but the details and the bridge are still a WIP.

  • The cruiser and carrier’s are low-poly placeholders and currently look horrible - just ignore them for now :slight_smile:

  • None of the ships ( including the small ones ) have had their texturing pass done yet. We’ve added a generic painting layer for the smaller ships though. This painting color is currently set to the team’s colors ( red / green / blue ), but code for customizing painting colors or material is already done - we just lack the UI for players to customize these -.

  • We’ve introduced the space-whale and the asteroid bobbleheads in the cockpits. Those are currently randomized, and not tied to your KS rewards yet.

  • Added placeholder for turrets on capital ships. The source of fire is still the center of the hardpoint though.

  • Space stations have received a new modeling detailing pass, as well as the first round of materials and textures. None of them but an experimental one have received their lights. Arcadia is the only station to have its windows / emissive pass.

  • The asteroid rings have been disabled in this build but will be reintroduced in a later patch.

  • Similarly, the old factories / bases have been disabled too. Art completion is underway for those and we are hoping to reintroduce them soon ( with static defenses ).

  • Props ( trees etc… ) have been disabled for planets. Will get reintroduced in a later patch with a higher density once we optimize them.

Bug fixes

  • This new version has for the most part, been completely rewritten. As a result, a lot of bugs might have appeared ( or re-appeared ).

  • Performance in battles scales a lot better thanks to our rendering and networking improvements. A few dozens ships battle shouldn’t stress out your framerate too much. Large battles will of course impact your framerate, but I can still reach 60-100 fps in 2.5K with 100-200 ships in the battle with a gaming computer. You’ll probably need a GTX 1080 in 4K to sustain 60+ fps, though.

  • We’ve fixed a couple of old-standing crash bugs

  • We’ve also fixed the problem in the old builds where performance was slowly degrading over time.

Misc

  • This patch also introduces a new camera system and effects.

  • It is now possible to look around your ship freely in third-person mode, or zoom in/out.

  • The HUD has 3 selection levels, off, exploration (default) and combat. In the combat mode, the only indicator visible is the one about your selected target, making the screen a lot more readable.

  • A debug menu is available on F10. You can toggle your frame stats ( framerate, bandwidth etc… ) here. Be careful not to disable error correction, or your client might end up in a desync state compared to the server’s.

  • The escape key no longer instantly exits the game. Instead it opens up a new radial menu which allows you to select the ship you want at respawn or to suicide.

  • Each ship has different credits costs. Kill enemies to get more credits to afford the bigger, capital ships. It is currently balanced to avoid grinding to be able to reach these ship categories with few kills, to make it easier to test.

  • Be careful, exiting the game is done through the left-most option of this menu - I know a few people have still been doing it by accident :wink:

14 Likes
#19

0.2.1.0 ( Monday, 23 October 2017 )

A minor patch addressing a few issues from the previously released one:

  • Fixed crashes related to projectiles in battles - the game should now be relatively stable.

  • Fixed AI bots getting stuck into stations

  • Fixed AI capital ships standing in front of each other outside firing range, forever.

  • Fixed various issues with NPC voice chat spam

14 Likes
#20

0.2.2.0 ( Sunday, 05 November 2017 )

This patch introduces military land bases and gimbal weapons / auto-turrets. Unfortunately it also seems a lot more unstable, so expect a patchfix soon !

Notes:

  • this version has a client crash whenever another player is in range and selecting something. Conclusion: don’t get in range with other players

  • this version will also most likely crash when pressing the M key - beware, especially if trying to chat

Download link: https://inovaestudios.com/Battlescape/Access


Land bases

  • Land bases have been added, they’re now available in various locations around planets / moons of Rethe Prime.

  • They’re all called “Factor 1” in game - forgot to set the name properly. They’re also lacking a polish pass on their properties, will do that later this week.

  • The smoke industrial effect on top of some modules isn’t correctly affected by daylight, so expect it to look white even at sunset, or bright even in the night side on a planet. Will also get addressed later :slight_smile:

Weapons

  • Introduced gimbal weapons. Small weapons have a little bit of degrees of freedom - around 1 degree for the interceptor at the moment

  • Added auto-aiming turrets, which you can test on the corvette and capital ships

  • Currently this is a very very rough implementation, there’s no targets prioritizing, the weapons will all aim at the currently selected target

  • When a target is out-of-reach by a weapon, or not well aligned, the weapon will not fire, even if you press the fire button; this is normal behavior

  • However one downside is that for gimbal weapons, like on the interceptor, it’s no longer possible to aim at an offset from the center of the target (especially if that target is huge on screen), the weapon will not fire. While this is not a bug, this is only a temporary effect, and will get addressed in a future update.

  • Each weapon / turret aim-at direction is represented by a small dot on the HUD

  • Added energy cooldown for NPC AI bots, they should no longer fire without ever running out of energy. They’re still pretty bruttal (especially in this patch with the gimbal weapons), so difficulity will probably be reviewed soon too.

Ships

  • Turbo boost now increases maximum turn rate of all ships by +25%

  • Interceptor turn speed increased from 1.0 to 1.25

  • Interceptor linear thrust increased by 5 to 10%

  • Interceptor angular thrust increased by 50% (for yaw only)

HUD / UI

  • Active players are now displayed on top of the leaderboard

  • Indicator bleep in/out sounds only happen when the actor is within a 1000 Km radius now. No more bleep spam from battles a million Kms away.

  • Target direction indicators around screen center are now using a filled color to be more easily readable, and are smaller

  • Planet name is now displayed in addition to point-of-interest name in the mission objective window

  • Fixed a small issue that could display 0 for hitpoints on HUD, yet the ship hasn’t died yet (HP might equal 0.7, but HUD was rounding it at 0 instead of 1)

Misc

  • Since all ships are now much more effective at killing / focusing an enemy, balance is totally off. Ships will probably get a huge boost in survivability later this week.

  • New explosion effect: replace the old “fire” explosion with the Kickstarter’s plasma explosion. It looks a bit too dim, and pretty ugly for large explosions / capital ships. Need more feedback from players.

  • Fixed incorrect interpolation glitch with camera system, wasn’t always taking the shortest route angle when being reset

  • Updates to AI commander, now sending multiple scout ships at once if has enough credits. Revamped credits timing a bit too.

  • Fixed some forgotten experimental code that disabled entities rejection in the distance when too small on screen. This optimization is now back in.

Bug fixes

  • Air speed friction effect and sound are now matching better

  • Fixed incorrect selection targetting (using hidden mouse cursor) in direct control scheme. Now uses ship center.

  • Fixed a crash when you were loading a ship that doesn’t have any hardpoints

19 Likes
#21

0.2.3.0 ( Thursday, 09 November 2017 )

This is an intermediate patch right before our alpha play-test week-end tomorrow ! As such, it contains a bunch of fixes ( including the crash bugs hotfix from last version ) and improvements. A new version with more polishing and tweaks will be released tomororw, so I would suggest to only download patch 0.2.3.0 if your connection is fast and don’t mind to have to re-download another patch tomorrow :slight_smile:

Still it would be helpful if a couple people could download this patch and test that the crashes from the previous version have disappeared, prior to making the game public tomorrow. They typically happened when players were in close range and selecting targets ( NPCs or players ), especially related to this target dies. As usual, if you experience any crash, please report to the forums with the entire log file, thank you !

Download link: https://inovaestudios.com/Battlescape/Access


Networking

  • Massive bandwidth optimizations. I realized recently that static actors ( planets, bases, stations… ) generated as much bandwidth as dynamic actors like ships. This should now be fixed. In theory if you’re alone you should experience around 1 to 2 KB of download bandwidth.

  • Optimized error correction. Server snapshots validation rate has been reduced, which further reduced bandwidth. Client only applies error correction to the latest server snapshot, which could in some scenarios prevent the client from falling into a freeze.

Improvements

  • Assigned proper names to land bases ( they were all incorrectly called Factory_1 )

  • Added caching for actors. This increases the loading time, but should prevent the multiple-seconds freezes when coming in range of a point of interest. Note that it uses a lot more video-ram. I enabled mesh/textures caching only in video quality ( set in the launcher settings dialog ) High and Extreme. Physics caching does not consume video-ram, therefore it is always enabled.

  • Optimized collisions on the server side, which should reduce a bit the load and prevent it from “teleporting” players around when exceeding its cpu limits.

Assets and visuals

  • Replace “blood frame” texture ( when hit by an enemy ) with a smoother version.

  • Reverted explosions to the previous patch’s “fire” effect

  • Tweaked windows emissive texture intensities on land base and Arcadia station

Stats and balance tweaks

  • Added energy recharge rate setting. Previously it was a constant always set to 5% of the max energy points. It is now tweakable per ship.

  • Added tactical behavior to bots AI. They can now alternate between three modes: “keep distance from target” ( this was the only one in previous versions ), “cross and turn around”, and “flee from target” ( happens when the bot is low on hitpoints and shields ).

  • Adjusted AI difficulty with more randomization. They should no longer kill you that easily :slight_smile:

  • Reverted Interceptor to fixed weapon with no gimbal.

  • Added 50% more energy to interceptor. Also added a fair amount of energy to bomber and corvette.

  • Added more hitpoints and shields to corvette and capital ships, increasing their survivability.

  • Tweaked some weapons stats; light turrets ( on capital ships ) have a faster projectile speed. Reduced energy consumption on corvette turrets. Adjusted firing cone limitation for all weapons and for AI.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed crashes related to target selection

  • Fixed a crash related to an actor dying when a player had it selected

  • Fixed display origin of muzzles and lights when firing with weapons

  • Fixed a small issue that prevented the “closest” ( key: G ) selection to work as intended. I still need to do quite a bit of work on this, as it should select in priority the target that’s the largest threat and not necessarily the absolute nearest. But that will come later.

15 Likes
Patch 0.2+ - Feedback thread
#22

Installation Runtime 0.1.9.0

  • Bug fix for deleting files on Windows 7
  • Numerous improvements to logging
  • Additional fixes for elevated installation
  • Added the ability to detect if the system is pending reboot

Launcher 0.1.9.7

  • Updated installation runtime
  • The launcher can now display the patch notes for the latest release of Infinity: Battlescape (thus far @INovaeFlavien hasn’t been writing any)
  • Updated the embedded chromium we use for web login. This seems to fix the problem with 2-factor Google logins that use SMS. It also fixes a number of other issues.
12 Likes
A system reboot is required over and over again