In the proudest tradition of the genre, Outlier: Open Skies will allow you to travel through space taking up odd jobs and hauling goods for a profit. You have the ship, and you have the freedom, to explore the universe and go where your adventure takes you. However, space is not for the faint of heart and even your trading habits will cause the factions of the galaxy to change their opinion of you for better or worse.

Upon release, this game will feature...

  • Dynamic universe populated by thousands of NPCs who are in direct competition with you. No matter where you go, or what you do, they will continue to go about their daily lives.
  • Challenging missions based on the current population of the dynamic universe.
  • Multiple story lines to complete.
  • Dynamic economy where all goods are manufactured from raw materials by stations.
  • Empire building features. Build space stations, own as many ships as you like, and use those ships to automate your trading or military empire.
  • Complex standing system that will go beyond the conventions of the genre to deliver a more varied and realistic experience. Faction relationships with you will be more complex than simple friend or foe.
  • Vast procedural universe filled with stars, planets, asteroids, and nebula.
  • Joystick support (naturally)!

Are you big enough?

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Alpha 3.3 Released

News 1 comment

Greetings space friends!

It has been a while. Once again, we aren't dead! Outlier has continued to develop in silence on GitHub most likely well below your radar. I'm excited to write about Alpha 3.3's release because it brings some really cool changes over previous versions.


New Camera

We've done a lot of work overhauling the camera, trying to make the player's view of the world more dynamic and exciting. The new camera loosely tracks your ship similar to the camera in Freelancer. Creating this camera required an overhaul of the internal structure of the universe and was quite a project!

In order to track the player without floating point precision issues, we needed to make the player ship always stay in the center of the universe (and the universe move around it). Needless to say, the new camera broke pretty much everything about the game at first. Hopefully, we fixed all those bugs!

Custom Buy / Sell Prices

In previous versions, your stations used the same calculations to determine buy / sell price as the NPC ones. While this is still the default behavior, now you have the ability to override a ware with a custom price!


Prices can be set for each commodity the station deals in. Setting to -1 will return to auto calculation. This change helps bring station management closer to what has been realized in X3 and will help a creative player be more competitive in the market.

Star Color, Asteroid Size Variations

Previously, star color was always white. Now star color is variable between systems! A similar change has been made for asteroid fields. Asteroids now have variable sizes which makes fields much more interesting to look at and navigate.


We've made some other small tweaks to the way the universe gets rendered, which you may or may not notice as you play. We've also changed the algorithm used to procedurally generate planet names to generate unique names from a long list of real world locations and modifiers!

Atmospheric Flight

Yes, you can actually fly to planet surfaces now. The missing piece was how to do collision testing with the procedural planets, and we've figured that out. Now you can enjoy skimming the surfaces of planets (slowly, or you'll burn up)!


Honestly, there isn't much to do right now with planets. In the future we want to add bases you can land on, and the ability to construct your own factories / mines on their surfaces. But we're not there yet.

New Home Base Options

For a while now you've been able to assign a ship to a station as a home base. That ship would then use the wallet of the station it was connected to. However, that was the end of the home base mechanic. In High Albedo however you were able to tell ships assigned to a station to buy and sell on behalf of that station. This mechanic is now in Outlier!

Now you can assign trade ships to stations to buy what they need and sell what they produce using the supply and represent commands, respectively. Those of you who've played X3 know how useful such a mechanic is!

New Drag Calculation

You'll notice that the autopilot moves faster now. This is because of a change to the way the autopilot calculated drag (read: it now calculates it correctly) to determine its maximum velocity in a given flight mode. As a result, the autopilot will get you (and NPCs) around the universe faster by not selling itself short on velocity to save a little fuel.


Performance / Bug Fixes

There were some memory leaks in previous versions related to a failure to unload skybox textures when moving between solar systems. Eventually, the game would crash. This has been fixed, along with some other potential memory leaks related to the HUD.

There have been many other assorted bug fixes, especially to the UI, and hopefully (cross fingers) this is the most stable version of Outlier yet (assuming the new camera bugs are all gone of course - please report any issues you find).

Improved Logging

I was able to figure out how to pipe the output from System.out and System.err into log files in addition to prepending a timestamp. Now, everything the game writes to the console is logged in text files! This makes it easier to record diagnostic output from game sessions to analyze balance or fix bugs.


It also makes it easy to see just how active the Outlier universe is. NPC encounters are less common than Freelancer or the X series, but they're out there!

The Future

I'm not completely sure what will be implemented next, but I want to implement carriers and bases on planets next. I also want to add more models / textures, and expand the number of ships / weapons in the game. I also want to do some world building to add more factions and make the universe more varied like High Albedo was.


I do know that the next release, excepting any bug hotfixes to 3.3, will not be an Alpha 3 release but will jump to Alpha 4. I want the next release to be a more content focused release.

I'm always open to suggestions! Let me know if there's anything you don't like or want to see added. Remember, this game is MIT licensed. You can always fork it if you want to make your own space combat and trading game!

Fly safe!

A More Varied Cosmos

A More Varied Cosmos

News 0 comments

Those of you who've played Outlier know that there are some things about the universe that are pretty predictable, specifically star textures and the...

Steam Greenlight And The MIT License

Steam Greenlight And The MIT License

News 0 comments

Outlier has an exciting future coming up. It's not only being voted on in Steam Greenlight, it's also now under a new, even more open, license! These...

Alpha 3 Released

Alpha 3 Released

News 3 comments

Alpha 3 covers a lot of ground. There have been fundamental gameplay changes, new features, bug fixes, and performance improvements. This is the most...

Alpha 2 Released

Alpha 2 Released

News 2 comments

Deployment days are always fun, waiting for huge files to upload and videos to render, painstakingly finding good screenshots and dealing with unexpected...

Source Snapshot (Alpha 3.3)

Source Snapshot (Alpha 3.3)

Source Code 0 comments

Everything you need to alter the game! Requires JDK 8 or higher and Netbeans IDE.

Outlier: Open Skies (Alpha 3.3)

Outlier: Open Skies (Alpha 3.3)

Full Version 0 comments

You'll need 7z to extract this archive. Requires Java 8 (Oracle or OpenJDK).

Outlier: Open Skies (Alpha 3.2)

Outlier: Open Skies (Alpha 3.2)

Full Version 0 comments

Joystick dead zones and bug fixes. Requires Java 8 or higher.

Source Snapshot (Alpha 3.2)

Source Snapshot (Alpha 3.2)

Source Code 0 comments

Everything you need to alter the game! Requires Java 8 or higher and Netbeans IDE. Now under the extremely permissive MIT license!

Outlier: Open Skies (Alpha 3.1 Patch)

Outlier: Open Skies (Alpha 3.1 Patch)

Patch 0 comments

Requires downloading full version of Alpha 3. Fixes an issue preventing players from buying ships from busy shipyards.

Source Snapshot (Alpha 3)

Source Snapshot (Alpha 3)

Source Code 0 comments

Everything you need to alter the game! Requires Java 8 or higher and Netbeans IDE.

Comments  (0 - 10 of 16)
masternerdguy Creator
masternerdguy

There will be a new release soon! If you want a preview you can compile the latest release candidate ( Github.com )

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Vladiskov
Vladiskov

thanks, i did, but in both times i got a java exception

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masternerdguy Creator
masternerdguy

You need to have Java 8.

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Vladiskov
Vladiskov

tu puta madre y la peleas con el otro tipo i going to get this game too for the sake of it XD

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masternerdguy Creator
masternerdguy

Be sure to grab the Alpha 3.1 patch or you might have trouble buying a new ship if NPC traders are swarming the shipyard.

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xinsavior
xinsavior

Hey, this seems like an interesting game, I was brought here by your post at SpaceSimCentral and I really like the idea of mixing X3 and Freelancer, though those games seem pretty similar as it stands in my opinion haha

I just had a few questions to ask and I hope you do not take them as an attack on your game, just simply wondering about the direction you are planning to take with the game:

1. Now that there are many sandbox-esque sci-fi games coming out such as Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen, to make the front runners, in which direction are you planning on taking this game's gameplay that will differentiate it from the rest of the games coming out in the next year or so?

2. You talk about the game being a blend of X3 and Freelancer, could you possibly expand on what exactly it is you are, and aren't, taking from the games that would help to expand your game into something greater?

3. Are there any gameplay aspects that are you really focusing on, whether initially or in general, that you hope to make the keystone feature of your project?

Thanks in advance and I will be keeping a close eye on this game to see how things progress! I have high hopes for a very cool game :)

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masternerdguy Creator
masternerdguy

My reply was too long to post here, I've sent you a message.

Short version:

1. First and foremost, none of those are open source. Besides that, neither of those games are going to have the kind of economic simulation and empire building features I am working on. This game is also cross platform.

2. The games aren't really all that similar, although both are set in space they are quite different. In Freelancer you have faster paced action and a more open world than X3 but you don't have the ability to scale (you can't own more than one ship, build space stations, etc). In X sectors are just 200km grids, in Freelancer they are (not scaled realistically) solar systems to freely fly through. I want to combine the fast paced action and exploration in Freelancer with the economy features and scalability of X3.

3. I want to focus on the behind the scenes simulation. I want a universe that evolves over time because of the actions of individual NPCs interacting with each other, where all actions have consequences. I'd like to have a simulation complex and challenging enough that no matter how good the player gets the world is always a threat to them, and ideally they'd learn something new about it every time they play.

I want my factions to eventually be show don't tell. Instead of telling you that they are pirates / navy I want to show this by having the NPCs behave differently. I want factions to be more than just sliding standings bars with different ships.

Hope this helps!

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Guest
Guest

This is looking really great Master!

If you don't mind a bit of questioning, I'm curious as to how you went about the galaxy creation process.

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masternerdguy Creator
masternerdguy

It starts with a seed number and generates planet textures on the fly. A simpler, less advanced, version of the algorithm can be found in High Albedo.

There's also a function that keeps the universe fresh by adding and removing NPCs as needed.

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darkhuntx7
darkhuntx7

Quite ambitious project of yours, but if I may ask why the jMonkey engine??

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masternerdguy Creator
masternerdguy

It's the only decent 3D Java game engine. It's open source and I've been using it since it was in alpha so I've got a lot of practical experience with it.

It is capable of solid frame rates and scenes as detailed as any other major engine, you just have to play with it a little. And since it's open source I have a lot of freedom to modify it if needed to get something to work.

Java was also the language for my previous project High Albedo, but I wrote my own engine for that one.

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Outlier: Open Skies
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Windows, Linux
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masternerdguy
Engine
jMonkeyEngine
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