Gas updateApril 13th, 2024

This update introduces gas. This is another layer of "debris" that damaged/destroyed ships leave behind. The initial motivation for adding this was to provide motivation for player to not harvest one group of asteroids only, and instead spread their harvesters to multiple locations, which would create motivation to fight in multiple locations. As such, the first effect of gas is that any resource asteroid inside a gas gets reduced mining rate. This will go up to 95%, but that only really happens if multiple resourcers mine the same asteroid. I've also changed harvester AI to spread out between nearby asteroids, so you don't have to micromanage them.

There are also other gas effects, such as slightly lowered armor efficiency, repair beam rate reduction, so ship getting pummeled cannot be kept alive by repair beams indefinitely. Ships inside gas also get reduced damage they take from using abilities, so you can use gas cloud to get more juice out of that reactor overload or weapon overcharge.

Gas is created when some object takes damage, and then spread to nearby area, and eventually completely disappears (this can take several minutes). Damage to asteroids caused by mining creates more gas than by regular damage. Gas is additionally created whenever resources are "lost", such as when destroyed cargo hold is losing resources, ship is destroyed with not enough storage left in jettisoned containers, cargo transport (fighter type) is destroyed, or when resource asteroid is damaged and mineable resources are lowered.

The performance of rendering of gas is right now not very good. You might want to lower the details on it, and if you're using high resolution monitor, perhaps lowering gas resolution to quarter will still look acceptable.

This update also brings a slight visual improvement to UI. This includes changed UI textures and colors (still not final), basic animations, and UI sounds. There is still a problem that UI is updated in a thread that runs at 20 FPS, so animations won't look very smooth (this also makes their speed dependent on game speed, which is less than ideal). I'll hopefully fix this in next update.

Lastly, you can now financially support development of Soil on Ko-fi (in page navigation, or link at the bottom of page) if you wish so, and have nothing better to waste your money on. You can of course still download and play the game for free, and you will get nothing in return for your money, except for a big thank you and a "supporter" role on discord if you wish so, which also won't give you any benefit.
(you can probably guess I don't work in sales or marketing)

You can grab the current release here

End of year updateDecember 30th, 2023

This update took a bit longer to put out and is not largest of updates, so let's look at what's in it. There are some small fixes and improvements, like camera movement with keys being dependent on game speed, option to issue move command with two clicks (first is for XY plane, second for Z, instead of using ctrl key to adjust height), option to click on mission objective to further highlight it, red cross flashing on minimap if ship is under attack, and fighters and interceptor now also attack ships if there are no fighters to be attacked, instead of just sitting there. There are also some small improvements in campaign so certain missions are more manageable (looking at you escort mission 07), and some missions are harder to be broken.

There are also some minor improvements to multiplayer, namely auto-refresh in lobby, message sounds, map preview, and ability to save and load replays. For now you don't have option to rewind replays, only fast forward. I've tried to implement rewind points you can instantly jump to, but I've ran into some issues with saving, and given up when I came to the conclusion I would need to save physics state, which is 3rd party library, so I was not so keen on diving into that.

I've also added secondary build queue, so your shipyard now has regular build queue, and "priority". This new "priority" queue will be preferred by first shipyard on station, so you can e.g. if you have 10 frigates queued and you really need to build another resourcer, you add it here. You can also use it to e.g. build frigates in regular queue, and resourcers in priority queue. In this way when your base has still two shipyards, each has its own queue. You add ships to priority queue by right clicking on build UI (there is tooltip for that).
Related to shipyards, I've added shipyard "types" (regular, small, support). Xanthous has now in new mission such small shipyard which can build only certain ships.
Xanthous also now has "resourcer station" instead of large number of small resourcers. This station moves rather slowly, mines a lot, and cargo ships transfer resources to main base. This updated station (previously seen in some missions) can also build these cargo ships and also weapon platforms. AI now also uses this station instead of old resourcers.

Speaking of resources, I've also added new ability to "spawn cargopods", that will create fighter sized cargoships that will head to random base (you usually have one). This is currently only present on Viridian fleet carrier, but is meant to be primarily used in future by Viridian station where resourcers can unload their cargo, and this station will keep sending cargopods to station.

On the campaign front, I've finished briefings for all the missions, attempted to rebalance some missions, and added one new mission. In this mission you fight against two AIs with small shipyards, and early on must repel new Xanthous siege cruisers (WIP model, same as shipyards) that slowly fire inaccurate bombs at you from far away.

You can grab the current release here (.zip 457 MB).
You can load provided saves to jump into any campaign mission in case there are any balancing problems or bugs.

Multiplayer fixJuly 22nd, 2023

The most notable feature of this release is fixed multiplayer, which should now work on all computers. Please run "Determinism test" in options to verify that it is fixed. This also helps me to make sure it is really fixed for all CPUs. So far it has been tested on just a few CPUs, including over 12 year old notebook when running on linux through wine, but the fix looks promising.

The other notable update is introduction of updater. Running it will update your copy of Soil to current version. If new version is available, you will get notified in the main menu with an "Update" button as well. Updating will preserve your settings, and also save files, but it is not guaranteed these will work properly (e.g. if ship has changed number of turrets, etc.)
If you experience any problems with updater, please let me know. Occasionally it would happen that it would get stuck, though I hope I fixed it. If that happens, restarting it should help.

Moving on to smaller things, "turn" order can now accept object as a target instead of position only. This can help to keep your repair ship pointing its repair beams on specific target. There is now also option to display ranges of certain orders (attack, repair) as well as ranged abilities. You can now also move your selected ships into formations by dragging with "move" command. These formations are line, wall, sphere, half-sphere. You can cycle through these formations by pressing move command again. Their order can be changed in options. These can be used e.g. to order your frigates to surround battleship, or just to get your ships in line. Formation will sort ships by size/function, so e.g. in "line" battleship will be in center, while smaller ships will be on sides, while in "sphere" battleship will be in back, while frigates will be in front. Last addition to features is "pause" game speed. In addition to pausing by pressing ESC, you can choose this game speed to pause game, while not obstructed by menu. During pause, you can still order your ships, but orders will only show in ships' queue once you un-pause. Since this is implemented as game speed, it also works in multiplayer.

The least exciting new feature is mission briefings... these don't do much except to throw some text at you and show you animated map of what is going on. I've only added it for first few missions. Nothing particularly impressive, but it is meant to give some more overview about campaign story. There were also few fixes for a few missions, but that is still ongoing work.

I also fixed some UI issues, added double clicks on various buttons (and ships, if you have that in settings), added tooltips on most GUI elements, fixed issues with transparency on debris if anti-aliasing was disabled (please let me know if your debris still render as squares). I've also fixed tow ability to respect maximum velocity of target, since it could be abused to e.g. tow stations at breakneck speed.

I've thought I barely did anything since last update, but look at that, it is slightly more than that! Come join discord if you want to play some multiplayer, that will be the easiest way to get into some. I've also added discord integration, so Soil will show up there if you're playing it, and it will show what map you're playing, or in what room are you waiting.

You can grab the current release here (.zip 427 MB).
You can load provided saves to jump into most campaign missions in case there are any balancing problems or bugs.

GUI scaling and new no-build missionMarch 4th, 2023

This update finally brings GUI scaling, so you don't need to squint at the tiny UI on your monitor with big resolution. If this doesn't work correctly for you or you have more ideas what can help, please let me know. This whole thing required a pretty large rewrite of GUI positioning, sizes, etc., but it also brought in some improvements, like scrollable containers (so stuff doesn't run out of screen), mouse drag on sliders and minimap, and small improvements like always displaying resources in your station in screen corner, or total resources in selected asteroids.
In retrospect, I wish I've done GUI this way from the start, because setting it up this way is a lot faster and less painful (previously I set it all up in C++, now it loads config that is bit like a pathetic version of CSS)

Other than that I've finally fixed a bug that caused downscaled textures look bad (this was some funky compiler bug that decided to remove load bearing part of resize function in "release" mode...), added textures for large carrier, and some radar doodad. That carrier is featured in a new campaign no-build mission (you can skip to it by loading "mission 12" save), where you have to prevent enemies from escaping through your blockade. I also added some more research options, so you have more choices on what to spend your rewards for optional objectives. These are for example "cheaper ships but slower build speed", "faster build speed but more expensive ships", "starting experience for ships", "faster experience gain". I also added option to partially refund your research in case you find out you no longer want it, so you're not stuck with it for the rest of the campaign.

I also started to look into desync problems with multiplayer. There are some differences I can reproduce on my old notebook, but I didn't get around to actually finding the fix, as I had to change saving to also save to XML in order to figure out what exactly is getting out of sync. Then I created a testing scenario you can launch from options menu, but that ended up having 700MB in reference saves, so I decided to add compression to save files, meshes and textures (I saved them already with compression for GPU, but deflating that also helps a bit), which took some time and I wanted to put this update out already.
With any luck, next update will fix some of those multiplayer/determinism issues.

One of the things I would like to add for next update is mission briefings, so there can be better overview for story, at least one new mission, ability to transport spare crew around needed to build ships (if I add small shipyard for new mission), and I've been also toying with adding text-to-speech generated audio for dialogs, but maybe that will sound more stupid that it will be helpful...

You can grab the current release here (.zip 449 MB).
You can load provided saves to jump into most campaign missions in case there are any balancing problems or bugs.

Basic AI, updated tutorials, and moreNovember 25th, 2022

Probably biggest part of this update is AI player you can play against in a single mission with a base. So far in the campaign this isn't present, but it will be in some future missions. This update also doesn't have any new missions (except this 1v1 scenario). AI is not very smart, but it mines, builds, attacks, defends and harass your resource asteroids and easy targets. This is just a first version, there are still a lot of things missing.

Based on feedback, I reworked tutorials so they don't just go by and expect you to keep up. Tutorials are now displayed until you dismiss them by pressing button. First tutorial mission now also wants you to attack ships and tries to teach you that attacking ships from front deals the least damage. And speaking of first mission, you can now skip it as well. Objectives are now always displayed (unless you hide them) in upper right corner, and you can open "chat history" to display all the text that was displayed in the mission (no scrolling yet), if you missed anything.

Based on even more feedback, I added some convenience features like autosave (3 saves, you can set frequency or disable it, and also save at mission end), key binding preset for WASD camera movement, and added options menu (except for graphics settings) to in game menus. I also made some attempts to differentiate sensor view from regular view, especially if you have ship icons always on, by adding "compass" and ship vision bubbles (featured in first screenshot)

Last but not least, I made some rendering optimizations (mostly just removing dumb stuff) and loading optimizations (time to main menu, and loading of meshes and textures). There were some bug fixes, including a stupid bug that broke rendering of font when ending mission. I made some new models, most notably rework of enemy frigate where I removed beam frigate and left only gun frigate, which got extra unguided bomb launcher. I also redid few backgrounds and changed tone mapping to better operator.

For a next release, I will definitely finally rework UI system a bit to support resolution scaling, for now if you have high DPI monitor, you still need to lower resolution to get larger UI.

You can grab the current release here (.zip 379 MB).
You can load provided saves to jump into any campaign mission in case there are any balancing problems or bugs.

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