September 26th, 2017 – Closing in on a Full Year of Development

One year!

Almost. It’s been almost one full year since the first build of Starship Command 2 was released!

For a quick history: For years, I’ve been toying with the idea of making a starship game that focused on capital ships instead of the WW2 dogfighting space sims (not that they are bad in any way, some of my favorite games are Freelancer, Tachyon: The Fringe, Freespace, etc.) But the game that really caught my heart was the Starfleet Command series.

But even Starfleet Command 2 & 3 didn’t quite capture what I wanted. So I played around with prototypes while learning programming. About a year and a half ago, I released Starship Command built with Construct 2. And while I’m happy with it, there was so much more I wanted to do with it.

Back in February of last year and had an “A Ha” moment of how to procedurally generate starship hulls and spent two months proving it out (and learning C#). When it was working I set out to actually work SsC2.

Almost 1,100 hours later (everyday @ 3 hours avg, I work 7 days a week and take care of dogs, so I don’t have much free time to work on my projects) Starship Command 2 is closing in on being a minimal viable product!

There’ll be probably one more Alpha update which introduces permadeath. After that, SsC2 will enter Beta and no longer be free for the full game. The plan is to have a full-feature demo available with saving disabled.

So, onto the new build!

Turrets!

Turrets are built into the game now for primary weapons. If anyone target is in the turret’s “arc if attack” it will need to rotate to actually face the target. Thus means ships that are far away will have less angular difference to compensate for while closer ships can streak by without the turret being able to keep up.

ssc2-035-turrets

Planet Rotation!

A small “feature” I was happy to get in is planets and moons now slowly rotate in the sector view. This offers no gameplay features, but does give some extra atmosphere to the view.

Nebulas!

Another big addition is nebulas! Nebulas are not shown in the galaxy view but if you are currently passing through one and engage in combat, you’ll find the battle field is no longer the black, empty, void of deep space, but a colorful have filled with clouds.

ssc2-036-nebula-1 ssc2-037-nebula-2 ssc2-038-nebula-3

Nebulas can interfere with sensor target acquisition and cause shots to miss, or be hazardous and continually damage shields and hulls.

More!

  • You can also now temporarily transfer over to another ship in your fleet during battle.
  • Engines, thrusters, and turrets are now the same color as your hull instead of the default gray.
  • And as usual, I’ve found and fixed bugs from my “programming”.

In Conclusion!

There is still so much more I want to add to Starship Command 2: Space Monsters, actual empire-started battles that you can join in, planetary landings & away missions, enemy ship hacking, detailed fleet management, and so on. But since it’s reaching a what’s needed for a base game, when I enter Beta, I’ll be focusing on polishing, bug-fixing, balancing, adding more jobs. And not focusing on adding new features.

So as usual, bug reporting helps me out immensely, so keep them coming in and happy commanding!

August 8th, 2017 – Ship Boarding! Capturing!! Furnishings!!!

Ship Capture is Up and Running!

Interior generation, room furnishing, ship crew AI, and ship capture gameplay are all working! It took a while but I’m happy with it, so happy, that even in the alpha state (with no real optimizations) since pathfinding, FOV, drawing performance, etc. all work so well that I think planetary landings and missions are going to wind up in Starship Command 2!

Here’s a video of me capturing a ship:

Enough Bragging, onto Gameplay!

The last build has a simple explanation. This build introduces grenades, med-packs, and life sign detectors.

Grenades:

When selecting where to throw a grenade, the game will auto-pause by default and un-pause upon throwing it. When you’re selecting where to throw the grenade, an explosion preview will show you where you’ll be guaranteed to have the explosion hit. The explosion is shaped by walls and furnishing and can destroy said furnishing.

Throwing the grenadethrow-grenade

Exploding the Grenadegrenade-explosion

Detecting Life Signs

detect-life-signs

Detecting life signs will “ping” all enemy crew members and show you their current location. Unfortunately, “pinging” them will also alert the crew to your location. So it’d be wise to only use it when you’re fairly sure you’ve killed most of the enemy otherwise you’ll get swamped.

There still are some errors with the generation of hull interior, so I’ve kept the “Page-Up” key to jump you to the cursor’s location.

The Future

This is probably going to be the last major feature for a while. Ship capturing has been the goal I’ve been aiming towards for the last year. So, I’m going to be focusing on bug-hunting, polishing, GUI rework, and a tutorial.

Eventually, I’ll get back to adding more features I want (because there’s a lot more). But it’s time to do some maintenance.

So go out and forcibly take some ships from the enemy!

July 23rd, 2017 – Interiors!!! Ship Boarding!!!

Interiors and Ship Boarding are In!

It’s very, very rough right now, but ship boarding/capture is working! Wear down your target’s shields, then beam aboard and slaughter the enemy!

Notice the “Board Ship” button is disabled because the target’s shields are too high.

shipboarding-001

Wore them down! Now we can beam over!shipboarding-002

Take no prisoners! Then take the ship!
shipboarding-003

A few notes about ship boarding:

First, some interiors will have unreachable areas, for now you can press the “Page Up” key and your crew will “pop” over to the point under you cursor.

Second, there are no requirements for taking the ship. You can do so immediately after boarding. Ultimately you will have to go room-by-room and eliminate any hostiles.

Since interiors are still in a super-alpha state, I’d suggest NOT playing with them unless you are feeling adventurous. That said, any feedback or bug reports are very appreciated!

There is still much more work to be done, such as furnishing the interiors with computer terminals, cargo containers, bed, chairs, etc. and better optimization, bug fixing. Eventually, races will be implemented, so enemies will have different move speed, health amount, healing rate, sight distance and more.

But, the basics are in and working. So, go forth and capture some ships for your empire!

New Build for June 28th, 2017

No Interiors Yet

It’s been a lot more work than I thought and with my job getting in the way, I haven’t had as much time. So this build mainly focuses on improving the ship AI.

AI now uses power more aggressively, so battles will be harder. The AI will fire more often, supply more power to their engines and FTL, etc.

Speaking of FTL…

Collision are re-enabled but with damage! So, you may or may not experience the enemy try to FTL their way through you.

A New Empire

I came across a new empire that SsC2 generated in my testing and I liked them so much, I made them a default!

Arulzi Collective

arulzi-collective

Aggressive, neutron weapon wielding, bastards.

Wrap Up

So, interiors are still a build away. But getting there. As usual this build also fixes some crashes. So happy captaining!

Extra

I’ve been playing around with recording full AI battles and put a couple up on my YouTube channel. Here’s the latest one set to the William Tell Overture:

New Build – Getting ready for ship boarding

New Build!

This build introduces camera options such as angle-locking.

This keeps the camera’s angle matched with the camera’s target, so when it turns the target will stay oriented to the right. This will be important for ship boarding so you wont have to chase the rotation of the interior around.

The generating of the interior is working well enough to start getting it running in the game. Soon you will be able to beam aboard enemy ships and capture them.

Also as usual, I have found and smashed some more bugs.

Long Time, No Update – 5/20/2017

Sorry for the lack of updates took a break from development, got swamped with work, then back to development and the website just slipped through.

What’s Been Going On?

Bug fixes, asymmetrical hulls, crash logs, and more have been added. But as of today, the big news is ship interior generation is working and getting added! This will allow me to add in ship boarding and capture and lay the groundwork for away missions!

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Starship Command 2 New Build: 170318-0608

A new build is out!

The Help Button:

I’ve added a help button, that should make SsC2 easier to understand until I can make a proper tutorial.

1Clicking the help button and then on the part of the GUI you want to learn, will pop up a message ox giving a quick explanation about it.

2

Field Weapon Improvements:

The AI now knows how to use field weapons instead of hanging back out of range. Field weapon graphics have also been improved:

Pirates:

Arr… Pirate ships are now roaming the galaxy, especially close to unclaimed sectors, so be careful when exploring.

Starship Command 2 New Build: 170302-1730

Most of the work this last build was in the framework for missions, (which includes) first contact scenarios. So, this build may seem a little light, but it allows for a much greater expansion in the future. That said…

Missions!

Missions are up and running!

jobboard1The Job Board can be accessed at any habitable planet that your empire controls.

jobboard2The yellow ring in the galaxy view highlights which sectors have an ongoing mission.

jobboard3In the sector view, the yellow ring will appear around the planet the mission is looking for.

jobboard4Upon visiting the target planet, the next event in the mission will trigger.

So, that’s it I also have a tool for creating missions, but that needs a little polishing before release.

Starship Command 2 New Build: 170217-2124

New build time!

Control Panel Update:

ai-proximityWarhead Proximity

So, this build introduces the proximity slider for warheads. The fuller it is the further to the edge of the explosion the warhead will detonate:

 

proximity-example

This allows the warhead to have a better chance to strike the target while under point defense. This also gives function to mines! Now you can lay a field down that will trigger when an enemy gets near it instead of colliding with the mine.

AI Control

Also added is the AI toggle for your flagship. Enabling this will let your ship adjust heading, fire weapons, manage reactor plasma and such while you sit back and watch.

Advanced Sub-System Control

advanced-sub-system-panel

Also new is the Advanced tab in the control panel. In it, you can reinforce a sub-system (engines, FTL drive, shields or weapons) which will decrease the chances of the selected system to fail while under attack.

Along with reinforcement you can also increase the charge rate/performance of a sub-system (FTL drive, shields, weapons increase the charge rate, engines increases the thrust, and sensors increase the targeting of enemy ships) for a increased chance of failure.

Fleet Control

fleet-control-panel

In the updated fleet control panel (which has been moved to the control panel tabs), there is a new slider for the “Follow Me” distance. This controls how close your fleet will try to stay to you. And the “Retreat Auth.” This overrides “Follow Me” and allows the ships to run from the battle if their hull strength drops to low.

What Did You Say To Me?

comms-panel

The Comms Panel is a new feature that will alert you to changes in your ship’s status (shields failing, components damaged/repaired, etc.),  arrival and destruction of ships and enemy ships will taunt you. The taunts appear in their native language and as your computer learns the communication will be translated.

What Did You Call Me?

captain-naming

You can now name your captain! It’s no longer fixed to Dunsel (high-five if you got the reference).

hull-naming

Along with your captain’s name, you can also name your hulls and your empire’s planets!

planet-naming

Key mappings are added in this build, too! To see the current list of keys go to “<GameFolder>\Data\Mods\Standard\misc\keyMappings.json”.

And as usual, small bug fixes have been included.

Happy Captaining!