July Dev Update

In July we continued to make good progress on XO. Read on for the details!

A small formation orbiting off Viralyte

We’ve ironed out a pipeline for visual effect creation and have a near-final effect for the Hail action in place now. I love the way these effects are looking and I’m very excited to add more.

We continued to add icons for fleet ships, but we’re not quite finished there. We will turn back to the fleet UI once that icon work is finished, probably this month.

All the functions for the Auxiliary (Repairship) are now complete; you can seize disabled ships and hold on to them through jump, repair and release damaged ships, or salvage abandoned ships for ore. No, you can’t salvage a ship with a crew on it!

There was a considerable amount of work done to catch the complexities of this mechanic, including implementing the progressive damage model for warships. Now that all those features are playable I really like the way that it works.

Ordering a repair on a disabled farmship

Lots more work was done on formations – defining all the edge cases for issuing orders, trying out different movement models, implementing the rest of the add/remove functionality and general polish. We’re still working on formations and may be for some time yet.

Along the way we found some more holes/exploits with the way resources were being handled, and added functionality to cover those cases. We’ll probably find some more small ones, but it all seems to be working as designed at this point.

We tracked down and obliterated a pretty nasty bug that took quite a while to locate. That one was pretty annoying as it would only crop up once you had a big fleet. As a result of that we added some admin controls to speed up testing.

We moved the camera up and out a bit as it was too close to get a good strategic view. We’ll continue to play with that until it is just right.

We began refining the Harvesters – when they appear, what they do and how you can respond to them. I think they make a lot more sense than they ever have. More on that later. 🙂

Attacking a Harvester carrier

Lots of smaller bits of functionality were implemented – for example the starmap now correctly shows the type of planet, and actions that you cannot perform no longer show in the action list (e.g. DESTROY on a healthy ship).

I continue to feel that we are gaining momentum. It’s funny though, when I first looked over the list of what we’d accomplished for the month it felt really small, but as I started fleshing it out I realized how much we were able to do. This kind of mirrors my day to day experience. Some days I am freaking out feeling like it is taking so long, and other days I’m so happy at the progress we are making.

We still have a lot of work to do. But one thing is for sure, I’m enjoying the experience of playing more each day and cannot wait to get the game into your hands.

Thank you everyone for your words of support and encouragement. Knowing you are behind us really helps after a long day!

Brian Jamison

Portland, Oregon