Weekly Update #38

#1

Hey everyone time for an update. This last week has been fairly hectic for all of us. As was mentioned last week most of the team is trying to find new living arrangements within their respective cities because our leases all coincidentally expire at roughly the same time. This has affected our work schedule a bit since finding a new apartment is quite time consuming.

WIP final geometry pass for the interceptor

Flavien has taken a brief break from the networking code to implement the foundation for what we hope will someday be support for mods. We’ve implemented a simple racing mod which we intend to maintain throughout development of the game so that the interface between mods and the game will be preserved. I’ve been working on some low level rendering improvements that will lay the foundation for the new UI system we want to build to power our HUD and menu system.

Another WIP shot of the interceptor final geometry pass

On the art side work continues on the final geometry passes for the corvette exterior, interceptor exterior, and large station pieces. Aside from the new screen shots in this update there’s not much else to say about that at the moment. I’ve put in an application on a new (cheaper) apartment so I should have a lot less distraction this week which will allow me to refocus on finishing the pledge upgrade system. Unfortunately the other guys are still looking but we hope they’ll find something agreeable soon.

One last WIP shot of the final interceptor geometry pass

Given that we’ll all have to pack, move into, and then unpack in our new apartments by the end of November - combined with the upcoming holidays - it’s possible that our Alpha launch early next year might be a bit on the rougher side. It’s still too early to know for certain but in the end we figure that Alpha backers just want to have something to play sooner rather than later. Lastly we’re planning on having our free weekend for Alpha backers to try the game sometime after the pledge upgrade system is completed. Some Beta backers have expressed their desire to upgrade so they can be a part of that free weekend and we want to make that available for them. That’s it for this week!

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Weekly Update #42
#2

Hope you all get moved okay! And the interceptor is looking awesome :smiley:

Early Christmas present for Alphas? It would be nice to have something that would create a bit of buzz across the end of the year to keep excitement ready for Alpha release. I realise with the moving apartments and working round holidays, it could be challenging but I reckon the timing would be great if the free weekend rounded off 2016. Us dev supporters would have fun with seeing more people too, I’m sure!

#7

Thanks for the update! The interceptor looks quite nice.
Will the interior of the cockpits be visible to other players or will it remain a tinted black glass?
I am asking because it looks so much better with visible interior, even if the seats are empty.
That would probably require are less detailed version of the interiors to not affect performance that much, but I think the extra work is worth it.

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#8

I wouldn’t mind not seeing the cockpit if it saves some GPU resources. I don’t think it will add that much to usual gameplay.

#9

Also if players could see others headlights for conjoined HDR purposes.

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#10

Removing the center horizontal bar on the interceptor cockpit front window would be really welcome.

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#11

The interceptor looks awesome. Can’t wait for some corvette glory shots. :wink:

#12

I’d be ok with the cockpit having the whole frame removed at this point too; have all the edges sharply curved like that bit of glass at the top instead of keeping those metal beams. (just removing the cross-bar alone would look odd, might as well follow through with the rest of it.) It would still keep the angular look while providing far better visibility.

I wasn’t sure about how the thing would look if you started taking away those support beams before now, but that top panel goes a long way to prove it can still look great.

As usual, please forgive the rush-job overpaint.

It’ll look even better if the external view keeps partially transparent (like the render shows) to allow the smoothness to be broken up by all those details on the inside.

*Edit:
The overall design looks fantastic and this new detail pass makes it look even better. Just wanted to make that clear. :wink:

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#13

Most frames on the cockpit are there to provide structural support for the glass and are somewhat visually obstructing in their own right…at least for fighter craft. In that respect, the interceptor’s cockpit isn’t too far off the mark.

Most fighters have that bar above the pilots head and/or eye level because its supporting the canopy that’s over the pilot. Strangely, in the interceptor’s, its below eye level, giving the impression that the pilot’s head is through the canopy. You have to see the external view to understand that the canopy is slightly bubbled. It just makes the current view a bit…awkward.

I suspect that the original design might have had that cross bar completely at the top of the canopy, but that would probably have been directly at eye level.

Changing it at this point might take a bit of work…

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#14

This is the first time I really dig the interceptor’s design. Awesome work with the shape changes.
Could we get some orthographic views? :grinning:

The horizontal bar always bothered me as well. It doesn’t make much sense from a design point of view and I fear it could get excessively annoying while playing.

The cockpit looks ace from the outside, though…

Now, when I looked at the old opaque model from the outside my first guess was that the main viewport was the front octagonal shaped glass, not the “roof” section. I wonder what would happen if the pilot’s seat was quite lower (and maybe the top glass a bit less slanted) so that the cross-bar ends up on the top portion of the view and the pilot’s view is centered on the octagon.

Here is a very rough sketch of what I’m thinking:

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#15

@gsoto
The problem there is you’d be looking at the ground, or have the camera position be where the pilots ass is, or you’d have to break the ship’s nose off and bend it upward, ruining the wedge-shape of the ship. It would also mean the whole interior would need to be re-worked to get rid of the centre console as the place for it in your sketch is amputating the pilot’s legs.

@thelazyjaguar
Of course, if you were really sitting in that seat you wouldn’t have most of the view wasted already by looking at a screen that’s much smaller than your field of vision.

The problem for me is more that the bar is very near the middle of the view rather than how large a space it takes up, I just can’t see a way of moving it that doesn’t spoil the look of the ship somewhere else. Moving the side beams down lower to drop the bar behind the centre console would mean those beams would be in the middle of your view when looking to the side, and that’s no fun.

Removing the bar and leaving the rest of the frame makes the front of the ship seem like it’s missing a key structural element. Removing the whole frame means it can remain aesthetically consistent without compromising the pilot’s view in other areas.

There are plenty of possibilities for what could be done and it’s good to hear them suggested, but it would need to something that keeps the lines of the ship in-tact and doesn’t need all that much in the way of re-working the current models. Would be interesting to see what Jan might have to say on the matter.

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#16

I can’t see very well on the pictures but it seems to me that there is actually some space below the seat. Maybe all things inside the cockpit could be positioned a bit lower, with the pilot’s position a bit more horizontal.

On the other hand, maybe the cross-bar could be lowered a bit more:

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#17

But that way the frame doesn’t follow a single line from the rest of the ship. :’(

#18

I was asked this question (SC forum) and just wondered what your answer would be so I can reply @INovaeKeith @INovaeFlavien

“what kind of game is this? the web page says it’s an action shooter, but I thought it was fully Newtonian with relativistic speeds, which doesn’t really lend itself to an action shooter.”

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#20

Combat isn’t fought at relativistic speeds, weapon range is limited and projectiles have a travel-time so people need to close in and reduce their relative speed to something far closer to Star Citizen’s ships in order to hit each-other reliably.

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#22

To be honest, I wouldn’t really mind if Battlescape ended up with larger engagement ranges like Children of a Dead Earth instead of the usual ED / SC style tape-down-left-mouse-button combat. :wink:

#23

There will inevitably be greater distances involved because there is no cap on speed, unlike other space games. Managing speed effectively in Battlescape won’t be a turning gimmick like in many other games, but a necessity in order to keep engagement range.

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#24

Actually, I was able to hit an bomber over 2 km away (@SpaceJay should remember :P). Granted, we were both still, lining up for a flyby video. But it’s definitely possible. The problem is is that at that distance the profile is so small you can’t really see it.

#25

Maybe when I launch peacemaker we can make a deal from longer ranges like 15km+ :wink:

There shouldn’t be a huge penalty for using missiles at a longer range unless it’s for game play reasons. There’s no reason missiles couldn’t hit at 100km as long as you provide appropriate counter play like chaffs/flares/shooting them yourself.

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#26

I don’t see why not. After all, when a missile is coming at you, you know a few things:

1: Someone fired it. :wink: Obvious, but true. Odds are that person is not your friend.
2: Where it came from.

Tactically speaking, the only reason to fire a missile from such long ranges is if it’s a pretty stealthy missile, a very fast missile, you know the target is bad at shooting down missiles, or you want them to know you’re there. But who knows? There may be other reasons to shoot long range missiles. Giving the players more choices allows for greater variance in tactics, which I’m all for. :wink:

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