UI update and achievementsJuly 30th, 2022

This update took way longer to get out than it should have, but that sort of happens with hobby projects. So this update is more about assets than it is about functionality. First of all, destroyer and cruiser of enemy faction got new models and now are textured (I try to not suck at substance painter, but I'm still just a programmer, not artist). Second of all, I decided to replace my very old system for rendering text which required me to use another software to generate texture and txt file for each font and each font size I wanted to use. Now I just load truetype font and all is well (except for that one bug where random font gets mangled, if you ran into it, just restart game for now...). Working on things like this is just one of many joys of using your own engine, oh well. Sometimes later this will also allow me to use any unicode characters, but for now I had enough of work in this department...

Once the font renderer was reworked, I spent some time updating how UI looks. Now it isn't gray boxes with arial font, but gray boxes with rounded corners with eurostile font. It isn't much of an improvement, but it's a start. At some point this should get the attention it requires... I also made new icons for orders, so it looks bit nicer when you send ships to their deaths. Partial motivation was to get rid of "repeat order" icon which I previously drawn by hand in MS Paint... I also finally fixed that key-repeat was only working for characters, which will barely affect anyone (unless you decide to send feedback through in-game form!)

There are some bugfixes, improved rendering of lens-flares (while I was doing models for ships that fire beams), resolution of textures can once again be set in options, and ships with textures also got a sound for their engine. Other than that that I've added one single mission (not campaign) and improved AI a bit (next time I would like to have AI that starts with base and can play against player from there). The last thing of note I've added is achievements. Once you complete mission where it can be earned, it will become visible (you can of course get it before it turns visible). If you don't care about this inconsequential thing, just don't click to view them in main menu.

You can grab the current release here (.zip 368 MB). You can load provided saves to jump into any campaign mission
The very last thing I've added is that game will check with server if there isn't newer version on start. You still have to download new version manually like a caveman, because I have better things to do, and these updates come like 2 times a year anyway.

x64 update, or is that an early April 1st joke?March 29th, 2022

unfortunately, it isn't. See, this project got started a long long time ago, and back then I though who needs all those bits anyway! Now, after I already had some problems with limited memory available (mostly related to doing memory allocation like an idiot), I ran into some problems with my scripts, which I hoped library update would fix (it didn't, the actual error was forgetting to add reference when deserializing objects in some cases). But the library had project only for new visual studio, so I decided to upgrade to new visual studio. And while I was at it and I needed to rebuilt all libraries used, I decided that it might be a good oportunity to switch to x64 as well. It all turned out to be pretty much painless, except for a bug where debris generation stopped working correctly, which turned out to be caused by some undefined behavior which behaved consistently for years...

Other than the technical fun above, I worked on some optimizations, because the latest mission was beginning to run like crap for various reasons (slow script due to unnecessary checking for breakpoints, slow finding of close objects to position, unnecessary reallocations when preparing rendering, etc.). I also improved loading time for textures, because there was a lot of time spent waiting.
Even though I'm not a big fan, I've added camera shake, which I try to limit to bigger explosions, so it isn't annoying. Along with that I've added more sounds for guns and explosions, which I think helps a lot, after sounds being neglected for so long.

This release also brings you a new campaign mission, in which you control a very small fleet and a hero battleship. This hero gets more abilities than standard battleship, so you better use them to win this mission! Some of these are reactor overload (get more energy in exchange for damage to reactor), ignite resources (use resources on board to generate energy), microwarp (teleport 50km away, using energy), disable engines (use on enemy to slow him down - useful to stop those ships running circles around you!), repairs (use a lot of energy to get some hitpoints back).
Last but not least, there is new joke completely serious scenario called Pod Tow racer! Here you control 4 ships towing other one around a space race track! If your idea of fun is racing with RTS controls, this is your lucky day!

You can grab the current release here (.zip 342 MB). You can load provided saves to jump into any campaign mission

Christmas updateDecember 23rd, 2021

This "exciting" update brings more textures to your ships! Together with this comes 2 color paint scheme. You can go to options and set your default colors, which will be used in campaign. Because you can set color same as your enemies, you can now also change sensor/minimap colors to green/blue/red. Thanks to a lot of new textures I started loading compressed textures from disk which not only speeds up loading, but also saves some disk space (in good part because I no longer store roughness/metalness/masks as separate images)

In other exciting news, one whole new mission was added to campaign, which makes it 10 now. I finally got around to implementing preserving of selection groups between missions, which I really should have done sooner. Another thing that helps in new mission is that your ships no longer spawn as an ugly pile but in a formation, truly some revolutionary features there.

I now also have a stupid twitter account, you can follow me there to avoid refreshing this page once in a blue moon and finding that nothing has changed. I'm talking to that one person that visits this page, you know who you are!

You can grab the current release here (.zip 300 MB). It also appears this runs pretty okay on linux with WINE. Although pretty okay in this case means that I've tried it on my 10 year old notebook, it runs, it runs out of memory for textures (note to self: make option for lower texture size) and for reasons unknown, direct lighting doesn't work, but it runs, which is a start!

More missions and rebalancingJuly 30th, 2021

Two posts in a row that aren't a year apart? What is going on? Well, not much...
I've uploaded latest build (go to downloads), that contains two more missions (technically three, but one of them doesn't really have any objectives). Apart from that, some more ships got textures and everything got more explosion particles. I've also finally replaced the shitty bloom I had there since forever for something a lot better.

In terms of rebalancing, apart from previously mentioned decrease of available resources and cargo capacities on ships, I've doubled hitpoints on all ship subsystems, but left hardpoints as they were. This worked nicely in a way that it now makes sense to not completely destroy every ship, but once it isn't a danger anymore leave it be. Since there aren't as many ships as before, it takes longer to completely destroy a ship, so it gives you some incentive to micromanage your ships. Your ships have more chances to actually survive a fight as well, which allows their experience to accumulate.

As always, while doing the whopping 2 additional missions, lot of bugs and weird behaviors we're fixed. One feature I added is form to send feedback directly from game, so if there is anything that sucks and could be improved, you can let me know from there! (I mean, if the server doesn't crash) One of the things that is never improved in this game is sound, so you might want to turn some of it off. Last time I checked, your units were always predicting they are going to lose...

Some texturesMarch 15th, 2021

In an uncharacteristic move, I'm posting some update and not even a year passed from the last one... Anyway, for a long time I had these spaceships without textures and considered it beyond my capabilities to do something about it. Suddenly I had an urge to try out Substance Painter and see if I can do something with software like this. Instead of this being a praise of Substance Painter, I actually ended up doing it in free beta (will this be free in future?) of Quixel Mixer. It isn't anywhere as complete as Substance, but hey, it is free, and it was enough for the things I needed.
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, and it is probably too detailed for RTS anyway.

And here are the 4 lucky ships that got makeover

And here is one in 3D, because why not

And that is pretty much it for now. I've been working on some rebalancing of resources and construction times, because I've been playtesting my campaign and found out that you quickly end up with 30 ships, and it quickly devolves into situations where you have so many ships that you don't have to care about any positioning at all, and if ship gets targeted, it doesn't come out of fight alive, so all the damage levels is pointless. In addition to that I also made a single new mission (wow!...), and whatever general improvements.

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