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Messages - Lurler

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News and Updates / Why VoidExpanse?
« on: November 22, 2013, 02:11:19 am »
Original post:

Today I decided to change the usual routine of posting only about updates to the game and do a post on a topic not directly related to the development of the VoidExpanse. Instead I would like to talk more about the game in general. So, why are we making VoidExpanse? That is actually a long story, but I hope it will be interesting to read.

The idea to make this kind of game actually came to me a few years ago. At that time I was playing several great Sci-Fi games such as Space Rangers: Dominators, System Shock 2, Master of Orion 3, and a few others. I always loved the space theme and it was while playing these great space games that I finally decided to start writing a concept document for a game in that genre. However, at that time, I wasn't really going to start the development of an actual game any time soon. I was just thinking on how it could be done and what would be fun to see. The document went over much iteration over the years but eventually I was happy with it.

So, how did actually making the game start? That is actually the funniest part of the whole story. In January this year I decided to start building a kind of prototype for the game just to see if the concept would even hold. I did a basic game where you could fly around in space shooting things that was a very simple at its core. Once I had the basic game made I mentioned my idea to one of my acquaintances at the time, including the idea that I might possibly make it into a big project. He was like "OMG dude, let's create a company and totally do this thing! This game sounds awesome!" You can guess what happened next! So, there we were in Singapore in February earlier this year creating a company to start a full blown development of this game and (I hope) many other games to follow.

By June all of the formalities were ready and we started looking for people to join us in our new company. We immediately found two great people: Vladimir, a Unity3D god and Dmitry, C# etherlord. With their help we finally started the development on what has become VoidExpanse. A few months later Andrew, the art almighty joined us in a role of 2d and 3d artist.

Now here we are, working on this great game!

News and Updates / Re: Weekly news #16 - Discussion
« on: November 21, 2013, 01:45:05 am »
ECM? How is this going to work? Can we equip one too?
Yes. We plan to make it possible to equip a lot of different support items such as ECM in this case. Each of them will have different active or passive effect on your ship. For example ECM (passive) will just make it harder for other ships to target you, while let's say a miner module will allows you to mine asteroids (active).

News and Updates / Weekly news #16 - Discussion
« on: November 15, 2013, 03:25:07 am »

I really like our new feature this week! Target locking and homing missiles are finally implemented. It is extremely rewarding to see your weapons chasing after the enemy ships. But let me tell you how it works. First you need to equip a radar capable of inquiring a target lock. Then after pressing [R] button and pointing in general direction of where your target is you will get him into a targeting reticule. Then depending on how powerful your targeting speed and enemy ECM (electronic counter measure device) you will acquire a target lock. Usually it happens withing couple of seconds, but could take longer on some ships. So, then what? Then you can fire all missile weapons your ship has equipped (with homing capabilities of course) to bring down hell on your enemy! Of course they can do the same to you, though :)

What else is there this week?
 * We are almost finished with the space stations. Shops are fully working now, and other features are almost completed too.
 * Added jettison / destroy functionality for items you are carrying.
 * Improved shield collisions with objects. Now it will activate on asteroids and other static objects too.
 * Implemented new NPC scaling system that would make it much simpler for us to reuse the same enemy profiles thus enabling us to create really a lot of variations even for the same enemy types. It would make game difficulty progress more steadily throughout the game.
 * A new save system also got implemented this week. It works in an incremental way making save times almost instant. You won't even notice it in single player, and for huge multiplayer servers it could be just 100-500 milliseconds which is also perfectly okay.
 * And finally we have improved latency handling. Now in single player there is no latency at all, and in multiplayer it is perfectly okay to play even with 200-300 milliseconds lag. Most likely you won't even notice it thanks to interpolation and extrapolation algorithms that we use.

Here is also a wallpaper for you to put on your desktop. I think it looks pretty old school :)

Game discussion / Re: Question about Planets
« on: November 15, 2013, 01:27:40 am »
How about colonization of various planets that you come across ? Will there be native inhabitants to wage war with ? I think it would be pretty cool if you can colonize planets that you encounter.
Well, you are flying a small vessel that can only take several people on board. I think it would be stretching it a bit if you want to colonize other planets with this :)
We had other ideas in mind such as planetary battles, landing on the planed with drop pods and so forth. We will certainly do something interesting! Still, if you have any ideas please let us know!

News and Updates / Re: Weekly news #14 - Discussion
« on: November 15, 2013, 01:25:13 am »
What happens when a ship is wrecked ? What happens with the ship, cargo and the player ?
It depends on what kind of ship we are talking about and also on what mode you are playing.
For now in SP mode we want to go easy on the player, so even if your ship is destroyed you don't lose anything. I think it would be just too much. But in multiplayer it is entirely possible for server admin to make it a hardcore server where you would lose your ship if you are destroyed. So, you would be able to destroy other player's ships and loot their wrecks.

News and Updates / Weekly news #15 - Discussion
« on: November 14, 2013, 12:03:25 am »

Hello again. It's Friday and here is another developers update!

This time we finally started implementing space stations, or "bases" as we call them. In the game you will be able to dock to many different stations and use their services such as shops, shipyard, visit canteen, etc. Different stations will provide you with different options of what you can do. For example on a mining outpost you can sell your ore for a better price.

Anyway, here is a detailed list of changes this week apart from implementing the bases as I described above.
 * It is now impossible to change your ship equipment while in space. Well, it does not make much sense if you can just swap your weapons in the middle of a fight, right? :)
 * Now it is also possible to change your ship hull. What that means is that you can now buy better ships with the progression of the game.
 * Better galaxy generation. It is now all script based and can be easily changed in mods. We are also continuing working on the map editor that would allow us to make the game campaign as awesome as it can be!
 * Many enhancements to the faction system. All factions are now defined in XML files and you can add your own. You can also script any custom features for them. One of such features is that when you belong to a particular faction they will offer you better prices when trading. It will be in the game by default, but you will be able to add any other features like this.
 * And finally we tweaked the physics of the ships a little bit. Now it is possible to precisely define the mass distribution across the hull. For example a ship might have it's center of mass right in the middle, or to the side which would completely change how it behaves in combat.
 * Oh, and we added money! Yes, no game like this can be without money! :)

Here is a picture of our map editor in progress and an example of galaxy that it can generate. I think it is quite nice gameplay wise. Colored zones represent zones of influence of a particular faction.

And here is a render of the space station.

News and Updates / Weekly news #14 - Discussion
« on: November 14, 2013, 12:01:24 am »

Main addition to VoidExpanse this time is a new ship which you can see in the screenshot below. I think you can guess its purpose from its look. Yes, it is a cargo vessel. It has very spacious cargo holds ideal for trading missions or transportation of mined ore. Now, thinking about it, it is actually a very smart idea if one player does mining in a specialized engineering ship, while other player helps him to transport ore to a processing facility in one of neighboring star systems. I should certainly try it to see how much more effective it is compared to mining alone.

And here is our usual detailed list of other important features this week:
 * Crates. Now it is possible to loot destroyed ships. Or you can jettison some or your cargo for others to pick up. The crates themselves were done some time ago, but this week we finally implemented UI for actually picking up these crates, or rather their contents.
 * Better planets. We have adjusted how the atmosphere is displayed and increased the polygon count for the planet models.
 * Better shaders for the sun, now they take into account actual 3D space fore more realistic look.
 * Energy calculation. Generator, capacitor and all energy requiring equipment now take into account all associated ship stats. That means you can be left off without energy if you spam-shoot your weapons non stop for some time.
 * Tractor beam. You can use it to draw containers closer to your ship if you are too lazy to pick them up manually. I know, I will certainly use it often!
 * We have also started working on the galaxy editor that would help us in creating the campaign for the game later on. For now though, it is mostly needed to tweak the galaxy generation in the game.

Game discussion / Re: Question about Planets
« on: November 13, 2013, 11:55:42 pm »
Can you land or send a party down to the planets surface? Is so what are the plans for planet gameplay?
Firstly, welcome to forums Xander :)
Now this is actually a very interesting question. We have several possible ideas for this particular feature and this is certainly gonna be a big part of the game regardless of which one we decide to go with. But on the other hand we want to get the game out for people to play as soon as possible, so before we even start thinking of implementing it, we would like to start open beta first.
Then, based on feedback we can decide on a particular implementation. It is also likely that we will share our ideas for people to decide which one they like more.
But maybe you have some good ideas how you would like this to be implemented?

General Discussions / Re: Introduce yourself!
« on: November 13, 2013, 11:41:54 pm »
Hey, MetaStat, welcome to forums! :)
And yes, we will certainly have more info in the coming weeks.

Game discussion / VoidExpanse discussion
« on: November 06, 2013, 02:38:58 am »
Please tell us what you think about the game!

Also here are some pics to get you started  :P

General Discussions / Introduce yourself!
« on: November 06, 2013, 02:30:42 am »
Tell us where you are from how did you find out about VoidExpanse and AtomicTorch!
Or just introduce yourself in any way  :P

News and Updates / A forum, finally!
« on: November 06, 2013, 02:28:32 am »
I think it is about time we created a forum ;)

It may take a while for this forum to get enough people for any big discussions, but at least we are happy to answer your questions here  :)

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