Weekly Update #43

Hey everyone time for another update. This week was a bit slower on the engineering side because I was busy moving into a new apartment. I’ve made some additional progress on the rendering abstraction for the new UI system but not much else of note. Fortunately Flavien was able to finish his new entity/component system with multi-threaded updates and will be resuming work on the remaining pieces of networking code.

Latest WIP of the Bomber exterior geometry

On the art side things continue to move along at a good pace. Dan is wrapping up work on station windows, which contribute greatly to a proper sense of scale, and will soon be starting on final factory geometry. Jan has been putting quite a bit of time into generating and optimizing our Level of Detail (LOD) meshes. These are meshes with lower polycounts that get rendered in place of the fully detailed mesh depending on how far away it is. He’s also wrapping up the final corvette geometry which we should have some new screen shots of soon. Lastly Kristian is in the polish phase with the final bomber geometry which is coming along great as you can see above.

Examples of the different LOD meshes for the NPC hauler

Our attorney got us the revised version of our crowdfunding terms of service today. There’s still some additional review work to be done but we’re trying to get that sorted out as soon as possible so we can release the new pledge upgrade system. Jan has started integrating all of the updated art assets into the game as we begin preparing for our next patch. This patch will primarily be a content update and probably our last of 2016. Most of the team will be out of town traveling at the end of the month for the holiday so we’re working diligently to get the patch and the pledge upgrade system released by then.

Example of a material for one of our ships


Nice update!

I would like rise a concern about NPC hauler, am I the only one that don’t like it’s paneling/texturing? For me it’s an incomprehensible mess of rectangles that simply don’t make sense!!!.. It’s like some crazy engineer made it to complicate his life! See whatever tanker/hauler, they all fave big plain surfaces covered with big panels of seme size and aligned to same edge!

1 Like

Nice shots as always. Can’t wait for patch.:smile:

Thanks for another nice update.

@Shebuka, I understand your point but I think it looks good none the less.

The section with the coloured containers in this image from update #30 looks good to me.


The texture plate lines don’t really match those on the model and are a little over the top. It’s enough in some places to stop you from seeing the detail in the model and gets you to assume it’s all texture on a flat surface, especially those two main upper support beams. They’ve got large modeled plating panels if you can believe it. That particular detail is made worse with how each of the main texture lines are different from the last along the ship’s length.

I’ll agree with @hrobertson, on the ship still looking really good despite this, it could just look a lot better (and much higher detail) if the texture worked with the detail the model already has rather than against it.

1 Like

The latest texture looks like it’s different than the one you posted, maybe it’s just the colors, but I liked the colors, looks more bland now.

1 Like

Tous mes rêves se réalisent.

A quick suggestion when looking at your material node network: Add support for reroute nodes. Trust me, you will love it and everyone who ever uses your tools will love it. :wink:

I agree. Different coloured containers and the ‘skeleton with modules/containers attached’ aesthetic looks nice and industrial/Starfold.
However, if it is just carrying ore, then multiple small containers make less sense than one or two big ones.
Either way, the current design doesn’t appear to be particularly function-focused.

I quite like the details on the Bomber. I was quite sceptical if the detail can make the Models comparable to concepts but I now think you managed that.

The picture with the various hauler LOD’s was not taken in-engine which is why the textures look so funky. Unfortunately the hauler is done done and we have neither time nor budget to make any additional aesthetic changes to it beyond minor tweaks.


Fair enough. Sometimes perfect can be the enemy of the good, after all.


I’ve imagined that it’s in editor.

My concern is based exactly on the screen @hrobertson linked, it seems like the original body was patched and patched and patched again. There can be a pattern, but there is no reason to have a big portion of plain surface be composed with a mosaic of panels.

As example here is Star Citizen’s Drake Caterpillar:

It’s nose part is what I’m talking about (it’s an early concept and rear part paneling is a placeholder).

Nice, thanks Keith! And… Are those landing feet I spy on the bomber?? :smile:


Thanks for the update. The material scene graph is interesting (and complicated ^^)

1 Like

Well, I’m definitely a sucker for the retro futuristic sci-fi image from the 80’s, growin’ up with the Alien movies and all. Everything had to be very complex and had to have a lot of buttons. So I don’t really feel the need for large and cleanly shaped panels.

But, the game aims for a realistic design image, and also an industrial lookin’ one. Usually industrial means modular. It really doesn’t make sense for the texture not to follow the geometry, and also it doesn’t make sense for identical elements (like the engines on a ship, for example) to have different paneling. That freighter looks like it was home made in the back yard, from this point of view.

Now, I get the idea of having deadlines and having to put specific development stages and objectives behind you, but there are things that are actually very important for immersion, and textures are one of them. It would really be a pity not to get this right, considering the work you put up for the geometry. I get it that it ain’t simple to do it, but…it’s part of what you do.

Now, I’d say it would be good to look into this issue for all the work ahead, and for the freighter and whatever else you’ve put behind you, there can be a later update.

I mean…consider only the fact that capital ships are handled from a 3rd person perspective. Players will keep lookin’ at those textures all the time.

1 Like

I agree that the texture at the rear part of the ship isn’t perfect, but they can always change it later after the game sold well. This is a npc ship, so it is not that important to have every detail flawless I would argue. Especially since there is still a lot of work ahead and money is limited.
I think it looks quite good, and it is not really noticeable ingame when flying around the freighter.

On Discord @InovaeJan said the colour layer is not applied in that LOD image which is why it’s all black.

I definitely wasn’t expecting any further work on it, just making casual observations.

1 Like