« News


Progress this week.

Just a quick update.. I haven't posted recently due to some server problems and other issues (fun with machine reboots). Anyway, we're aiming to have a few things show up around the end of the week. One will be a Guild Bank system, allowing guilds to pool their finances into a special account, members to retrieve from that account, and so on. There will be plenty of access control mechanisms to allow the guild leadership to determine who can withdraw, and a "log" that displays who did (and why, if they use a description) and so on. This will hopefully appear on Friday, bugs or major issues notwithstanding. Of course, this iteration will be open to feedback and further revision once you have all had a chance to play with it.

We're also moving ahead in the direction of making such banks have more future uses.. further developments in capships and such. Andy is in the process of reworking some of the bot behaviour code, hopefully we'll begin testing parts of that very soon. This will be a major boon to making NPCs of different sizes actually try to behave/fly differently (and more intelligently, according to their scale), as well as opening the door to further bot-behaviour development. Some of the NPC code is rather old, and kind of a nightmare to modify, and as we've been pressing forward with making capships and things more.. useful, we've been running into some limitations. A related aspect of this will be an enhanced toolset to allow Guides and Devs more articulate control over NPCs (especially capships), increasing the persistency of the ships as well as letting us DO a lot more with them in the sense of "Events". This is a stepping stone towards user controllability.. we want to make damned sure the controls work (they don't, right now) before we make critical gameplay hinge on such a feature.

The new Hive is also moving along, a big thanks to all those who have helped test the versions on the Test server. Once that goes into production, we'll be looking at modifying that gameplay, to try and make it more interesting both for large assault-oriented groups as well as for singular players.

On the bugfix front, we hope to have the missile-launch-damage issue sorted out in the near future. It was an unforeseen repercussion of changing how bot-to-bot missile collisions worked, to allow NPC capships to fire torpedoes and other weapons at one another.

And last but not least, I am still trying to get the Trac ready for everyone to see. I have not been able to dedicate nearly the amount of time that I had hoped to, due to.. unforeseen problems and short-term fires of one kind or another (like servers not working properly); but getting the Trac together, and making it public, is critical for both you guys and ourselves as a dev team. This sort of work, of course, has to be balanced against my getting new design written out on a weekly basis (and anything else immediate), so people can move forward with development of the game in a cohesive manner.

One topic of design, which will hopefully appear before long, should allow me to greatly increase the variety and utility of addons in the game. To date, I've been kind of hamstrung by the great "balance" conundrum, but we're looking at adding a few more parameters that should make things a lot cooler (for everyone else) and less troublesome (for me). Eventually we have an eye towards totally expanding the paradigm of "damage" within the game, but that's a topic for a public Trac article.. I'll focus on making that happen instead of reinventing the wheel on here :).

Anyway, that's it for now. Here's to a solid and stable release on Friday with a few cool new features. Nothing mindblowing, yet, but we're trying to get there.