Greetings everybody, this is Flavien, taking over Keith for this week’s update. With a little less than a month left before alpha is out, we are working hard on the gameplay loop(s) and adding objectives such as destructible stations to the game. Last week, patch 0.2.8.1 introduced free-aiming turrets on capital ships. This part of the code was a dependency to make static stations and bases defenses fully functional. The art team is working on new station modules and sockets so that we can place defense turrets around locations. Later in the week we released patch 0.2.8.2 which introduced for the first time counter-measures for smaller ships. All of these new systems aren’t properly balanced yet. Our goal at the moment is to add all the missing gameplay elements and features to the alpha version, but we’ll keep iterating on every of these sub-systems and properly balance them around the beta, around the end of the year.
We added lights to bases
The next step now is to spawn turrets on stations and bases hardpoints. In parallel I’m also working on the match initialization and solar system “battlescapes” layout, generating planets locations, bases/factories/stations and assigning those to their respective teams. The last piece of the puzzle will be resources with factories generating credits for the team owning them. We want to spawn haulers at factories which have to be protected (or attacked by the opposite team) until they reach their destination somewhere else on the planet or solar system. As we haven’t experimented with haulers AI yet, it is a big unknown how long or difficult it will take to implement them, so there is a possibility that this feature will be in a pretty rough state (or even cut) until we can spend more time on its implementation after the alpha. The AI commander will also assign new objectives and missions to the players which in turn will generate credits bonuses once completed.
Carrier fight around Gemini station
In terms of contents the game is still far from being finished. After alpha we want to add new planet/moon types, more weapons, implement weapons custom loadouts, add back rings/asteroid fields, work on the final UI/HUD and much more. Once all the final gameplay elements are complete, we’ll focus on bug fixing, balancing, polishing and optimizing the game. There are also a couple of technical tasks that we want to revamp such as HDR, anti-aliasing (which is our #1 quality concern at the moment), better post-processing, better shadows and data streaming. We’ll get more in-depth about these tasks around the end of the year