This week the discussion has primarily centered around bases. To recap our current plan is to have 3 different types of bases - small space stations, large space stations, and land bases. Small space stations and land bases will only be able to spawn interceptors, bombers, and corvettes whereas large space stations can also spawn capital ships. This makes large space stations particularly important strategically. Since we are only in the concept art stage at the moment we’ve been debating how to build and connect the 3D pieces of geometry that will come together to form a base.
Our idea is to build a set of reusable and interchangeable modules that allow us to put together bases that look unique but are in fact just a re-organization of the same set of assets. This will allow us to introduce more variety in gameplay while reducing the production burden on the art team. Another issue we have to work out is how will ships spawn and dock with the various bases. We need to have two different types of hangars - those for small to medium ships and those for capital ships. We’re currently thinking of using modern ports as a model for capital ships. Essentially there will be long “piers” that capital ships will pull up next to and attach via pseudo-rigid tubes and cables. Small to medium sized ships will land/spawn within hangar bays which contain an elevator system similar to modern aircraft carriers.
Land bases will contain landing pads with an elevator system similar to the one described above for space stations. We also want bases to have additional destructible buildings/modules, such as air traffic control towers and power plants, that affect the efficiency of the base. For example if a landing pad or hangar is destroyed it will no longer be able to spawn ships until it gets repaired. If a power plant is destroyed the rate of repair will be reduced. Bases will automatically (slowly) repair themselves unless destroyed beyond a certain threshold.
In other news the corvette has been fully integrated into the prototype and we’re hoping to release a new patch within a few days! It still needs a lot of work and currently is no match for a bomber in combat. We’re integrating it to get a feel for its size, controls, and the utility of its cockpit. There’s a number of changes we already want to make to it but we want to give all of you with Developer Access a chance to begin playing around with it before we start radically altering it. The mockup of the interceptor is still under construction and we still need to build our capital ship flight system before we can integrate any of the capital ship mockups. This will be our focus over the next couple of weeks.