Weekly Update #90

Hey everyone, it’s time for your weekly update. Continuing the discussion from last week we’ll be going into more details about weapons. To briefly recap there will be a couple of high level weapon categories: energy, projectile, and missile. Before I get into the details for each category I want to mention that our damage model has its own high-level categories including shield strength, shield HP, armor rating, and finally regular HP which represents the overall health of a ship’s superstructure. Last but not least there is one more variable to throw into this mix – the amount of ammunition you can carry for each of these weapon systems.

[Alpha Backer Image] An interceptor from the green team in the upper atmosphere

To kick things off I’ll start with energy weapons which come in two separate flavors: lasers and blasters. Lasers will be beam weapons similar to real life except that you’ll be able to see them because let’s be honest, lasers are so boring when you can’t see them. Lasers require enormous amounts of energy and therefore will only be available to capital ships and may come in different sizes. Blasters will be the equivalent of Star Wars style lasers and therefore have no foundation in reality. We just wanted a second energy weapon and we all love Star Wars so blasters, which can be mounted on smaller ships, is what we arrived at. Pilots flying ships heavily armed with energy weapons will have to be careful. On the one hand, you have weapons with an unlimited supply of ammunition in a game where ammunition matters, which is great if you’re going deep behind enemy lines. On the other hand, energy weapons draw from the same pool of energy as your shields and engines and depleting your energy can leave you extremely vulnerable. Damage attenuation from atmosphere and shields will be significant however energy weapons are largely immune to the effects of gravity. The weapon you currently see in the pre-Alpha builds of the game are blasters along with a mockup of our energy management system.

[Alpha Backer Image] Blasters being fired in combat over Cinder

Next up is projectile weapons such as machine guns for smaller ships and cannons for capital ships. These will more or less behave as you would expect. Shields are less effective against projectile weapons however atmosphere and gravity can negatively affect their accuracy and damage output. Ships will be able to care a moderate amount of projectile ammunition which places their long-term effectiveness somewhere between missiles and energy weapons.

[Alpha Backer Image] A large space station in orbit over a planet

Lastly, we have missiles which come in two separate flavors: missiles and torpedoes. You may be wondering, since our space ships can’t fly in water, what exactly is a torpedo? Within Infinity: Battlescape a torpedo is a large missile that has been designed to maximize damage output against heavily armored targets at the expense of speed and maneuverability. Missiles will be largely impervious to atmosphere, gravity, and shields. Combined with significant damage output they will be extremely lethal however they do come with their own set of weaknesses. For starters you won’t be able to carry many of them. If your ship is configured to rely entirely on missiles and you find yourself in a protracted engagement you may, after an initial burst of lethality, quickly find yourself completely combat ineffective. Missiles are large and dumb enough to be targeted and destroyed by anti-missile systems or confused by chaff/flares. Countermeasures are quite cheap and each missile that doesn’t reach its target represents a significant loss of resources.

[Alpha Backer Image] The view of the world below an orbiting space station

As always the standard disclaimer applies - everything described here is subject to change pending the outcome of playtesting and balancing. Next week I’ll wrap up our overview of weapons by spending some more time discussing some of the tradeoffs players will face when choosing different weapon/ship combinations for various gameplay scenarios.


Sounds like a bunch of stuff we’ve allready seen in many games. Alright it works I guess.

If you are going this route I wouldn’t try too much to be on par with other games. I can’t see how you could surpass the gunplay in say, Everspace. If you had focused on weapons that aren’t that widely used, you could dodge being compared to higher budget games.

Looking forward to next update. I hope to hear of something I can’t allready guess or don’t know yet from Elite:Dangerous.


I think it would actually be cool if lasers weren’t visible with ‘fake’ laser lines. It would differentiate the game from others, laserlines are so overused IMO.
Another cool thing would be if when the laser hits the hull of a ship sparks would fly, like this video here where the cut steel makes sparks:

When can we expect a new patch to arrive? Will the next patch include first versions of missiles and the other weapons?

Thanks for keeping us updated!


Since these weapon systems are pretty standard, you can just take a look at which game´s implementation was the most fun. IMHO capital ship lasers as described here were perfectly done in Freespace 2. I for one would warmly welcome that feel of power again.

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Sounds good. Looking forward to it. But I have to ask, will there be sharks?


This isn’t a question of realism, it’s a question of gameplay.
There’s nothing more confusing, and irritating on the long-term, than always asking yourself if you really hit that guy or not.

Showing shield absorption on the localized area, or sparks on the hull when the shield is depleted, is an excellent alternative… provided you’re close enough to see the hits.
At least with the “fake laser line”, you have some idea where you’re targeting if you’re far away.

Call them plasma shots and be done with it :slight_smile:

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Bulletshots in most fps games aren’t visible either, but it still works. As long as the impact effect is visible I don’t see a problem, since lasers are instantaneous and not subject to ballistics or travel time like the blasters.

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What about structures? What kind of weapons will be protecting land bases and space stations?
Will there be Ion cannons, plasma cannons (something like in Starship Troopers)?


Yesssss :smile:

I like them being capital ship weapons. If they are powerful, but slower to aim and drain energy, that sounds cool!

Ammo amounts are going to be tricky to balance, as it will depend hugely on how long it takes to get to a resupply location. This makes it intrinsically linked with travel mechanics and whether carriers can also resupply smaller ships.

I think that having the standard weapons (missiles, lazors, dakka dakka etc) will be great to have as a baseline. A new player would be familiar with these types of weapons, and would be able to use them relatively effectively right off the bat, minimal introduction to mechanics required. And as long as the mechanics are solid enough, they will be sufficient for experienced players as well, as long as other gameplay mechanics are implemented as well, and pewpewpew isn’t the only aspect of gameplay.


It depends what FPS we’re talking about, but true enough, half of the FPS don’t show bullets.

However, all the known / popular FPS do show a successful hit: either a sound cue, or the cross-hair slightly vibrating, or visual sign like a stumble or blood splash.

As I said, provided the hit confirmations are given, I’m OK with invisible lasers.

And I thought it was the (almost) only aspect that would be implemented :stuck_out_tongue:
Do you mean scouting, perhaps? I don’t consider escorting outside the combat aspect, since if you happen to defend, you have to… well, throw some pewpew :slight_smile:

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What I meant by that was yes scouting, but also a lot of what I suggested before in previous threads. Sensor and stealth, and player communication being chief among them.

But my main point is that while pewpewpew is great and all, as long as players aren’t forced into a box by saying “the only mechanic in the game is your right index finger”, having the baseline weapon types are fine.

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IDK, the suggested weapon types just scream stock to me, IBS needs to be unique at every opportunity it gets, I think it’s even possible to be more unique by including less stock options.

Think it was suggested in a different thread to use predominantly ballistic weapons, and a lot can be done with just that one weapon type, for instance, different calibers, different ammo types, different velocities, different tracers. The same could be done with just energy weapons and missiles. Somehow giving depth to a single weapon type seems more appealing to me than just doing a surface skim on stock weapons that every space game has.

I would go with missiles and energy or ballistic weapons, not all three, then make them very customizable, thus gaining depth on each type.


The design as described sounds very much like Elite: Dangerous. It works okay there so no real problems, but it’s not very exciting as we’ve seen it before. I think you’d be better off focusing on a variety of interesting ballistic weapons.


One option would be to have the same customization system for all the weapon types.

My Idea would be to allow players to balance their own weapon stats, at least some of them. For instance:

  • Firerate
  • Precission
  • Damage
  • Weight / Drain (in % of total ammo storage / energy capacity) (Would affect ammo capacity and projectile speed)

If you want to increase one of the stats it would decrease all of the other stats. Pretty much like RPG skills with the options to lower one for the other. Nothing super innovative really.

The only difference between the weapons would then just be the inherent ones. Like Canons use ammo, missiles are guided etc…

There would, of course, still be some stats that wouldn’t change.

Doing this doesn’t help with visuals though. You would still have to do the work for each weapon type or accept that there’s essentially just one effect or even just model per weapon type … with maybe “stats” effecting different properties of said effect.

Still, I hoped for more focus on less widely used weapon types.

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Since everyone keeps mentioning it but I can’t really think of it any…what ‘other’ weapon types would you like to see?

So far we have projectiles, guided projectiles (missiles), and energy (lasers/blasters). How else would you disable a ship with a weapon(excluding ewar) in space if not from those fundamental types?

Call me old fashioned but I can’t really think of another way of destroying a ship other than hitting it really hard with mass or energy. I guess you could teleport it into the middle of a star but that sounds like a bullshit weapon to me and it still involves hitting the ship with energy (heat).

Do you mean more variety within those base classes or something else entirely. I’m not sure what else can be done. There’s a reason those are fundamental weapon types in games because that’s all there really is.


I can think of plenty…

Missiles - confirmed
Lasers - confirmed
Blasters - confirmed
Projectile Weapons - confirmed
EMP Weapons
Psy / Force Weapons
Gravitation Weapons
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For heavy anti-capital weapons, there is that non-instant beam from the old Nexus 2 video, that looked pretty awesome.

It looks like a continuous beam, but acts like a very high rate of fire projectile gun. The resulting effect is a bright, continuous stream of energy that goes on spraying the target capital ship.

As for invisible lasers, it could work, but would require a very obvious impact sfx. A visible (and not only audible) hit indicator on the crosshair, like in most FPS, would also help in general. There could also be a HUD display to show the path of the weapon. Functionally, it would work like a weak beam, but would be more visually unique.




As much as I’ve said I support energy weapons for aesthetic and “cool” reasons, the idea of capital ship projectile cannons is beginning to appeal…

This, but in space, anyone?