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Ongoing Development

Michael and Andy are still in the midst of their work, making NPCs and PCs function similarly. Some of it's completed, but the rest is now shooting for a done-date of next week Monday. On the upside, there's some cool work happening on both Escort and Piracy missions. Escort missions of course being the defense of trade convoys, while Piracy missions will group users and NPCs to prey upon those same convoys. In both cases, the mission requirements dynamically change based on the type and size of the spawned convoy, so more valuable items request more escorts/pirates, and so on.

Ray is hard at work on the UI, currently redoing the capital ship turret interface. Not really reworking it as of yet, but just.. making it functional under the new system. Things are coming along pretty well, functionally, but there's still a lot of work left to be done. Here's a screenshot of the general layout:


Keep in mind, this is a *development layout*. It's also of one of the menus that hasn't changed very much (so it's less ugly than the other really-incomplete menus, which I don't want to post screenshots of). The text colors are all funky and there's still a bunch of features missing.. standard buttons and other things that are supposed to go into this interface. We're also going to re-organize the tabs and various other stuff, and the scrollbar graphics aren't quite right, I have to resave those (photoshop alpha issue). Generally, however, this is the basic design we're using for the new station menu. The graphics should be user-replacable, so if people want to make skins that will be pretty easy. Users making whole different interfaces and layouts is also something we want, but it might not be possible in the initial releases.

Also, please keep in mind that the new interface is a work in progress. The first client won't have everything in there, in fact some entire interfaces will be missing (probably the new mission interface and some other things), it'll be an ongoing-refinement project just like the rest of the game. The most important part of this whole new UI redux is not the shiny new graphics and layout, but rather how much easier it will be for us (the developers) to add things and create new functionality. This is critical to some of the new gameplay we want to create.

Thanks much for your support as always. I should be posting some more tidbits about new ships over the coming week(s). For feedback and questions, please post on the message board.