May Dev Recap

We continued this month on our push to add features.  We also had indie game expos to attend!

Starmap planning
Starmap planning

May in detail

In May we got the starmap functional elements finished. Yay!  All that remains now is to add transition effects for moving between the main game view and the different starmap views.


At the expos we received a lot of positive and constructive feedback, mostly about the user interface.  As always it was great to meet up with backers and watch them play!  We tried a pretty radical non-standard user interface but based on the feedback we got we’ve ultimately decided it is best to stick with the tried-and-true industry standards for input.


At the Power of Play expo we were unexpectedly chosen as a finalist for the Seattle Indie Game Competition (SIGC) award, which was a huge honor; we were up against other games that were actually completed, and all of them deserved to win.  One of the best things about being a finalist at an indie game competition is the attention that your game receives from experts in the game industry, and we learned a lot!  A huge thank you to the judges!


Last month Dominic implemented the galaxy (regional) map, worked with Brian J on the star  view, completed the galaxy view, finalized more of our weapon and defensive systems, completed work on the new mesh-based grid, optimized a few of our systems like the way we generate the various planets, and finished tearing out a lot of old code.  As a result the game compiles so much faster!  He also refactored our input system to fully use Rewired, which is a much better system for handling inputs.  You can now use a dual analog controller to play XO!


Brian D refined and finalized the planet icons and their animations for the starmap view, began working on UI polish, finalized the shield hit effect and flak cannon animations, created and polished destructible ship models, began work on final effects like the boarding party animation, and made final adjustments to the deformable grid mesh.

Icons for the starmap
Icons for the starmap


Our sound team SkewSound added even more songs from the soundtrack into the game, tightened up the way we are delivering music, and created some great new sound effects too.


Brian J did additional work on the weapon and defensive systems, implemented the plot and spin functionality for the starmap, worked with Dominic to implement the starmap system view, demoed the game at expos, added Brian D’s new effects to the game, polished the look and feel of the lasers and missiles, worked with Rewired to map default keyboard, mouse and game controller buttons, and worked on the political system.


In our tradition of showing off cool ships, here’s a damaged battleship showing what a ship looks like after it’s been through a few combat encounters:

Damaged battleship
Damaged battleship


We have no demos scheduled for June, it’s another month of full time dedication to production for all of us!  What’s left to complete?  Nothing risky, just a lot of work: most of the behind-the-scenes systems are complete but we have a lot of views and user interface to do: formations, the political interface, the upgrade interface, visuals/animations for ship actions, and jumpspace transitions.  After that the procedural weapon system will need to be finished, content, quite a few more sound effects, and adjustments to the music system are up next.


A huge thank you to our wonderful backers and new fans.  It was great to see some of you again at the expos and meet new people too!  We’re so grateful for your feedback and ongoing support.


Brian Jamison

Portland, Oregon