An idea is only as good as its execution. Pytheas is quite an ambitious project and I aim to deliver whatever technology the game engine needs to make the experience engaging and fun. For the first alpha, the feature list will include the aspects that make Pytheas unique. The list I've compiled gives me a realistic set of goals to be completed in 3-4 weeks time. Before I go into details, here are the videos I promised!
1. Full Dynamic Collision
The physics library is a custom system I am developing for the DyVox Engine. It still needs to be streamlined and optimized but the concept is programmed and it works. The space combat is only part of the war you'll have to fight in Pytheas. When gathering resources you'll find yourself engaged in a fierce battle against gravity, the environment and physics.
2. Combat Concept Video
Combat in Pytheas is designed to allow you to play in whatever style suits you. The on-board controls will let you change the way the ship flies, fights and functions. You'll be able to lower the power on all your systems so you can fire the massive rail gun you have running through the center of your ship. If this isn't your style, you can ignore all the optional tweaking and load your ship with a balance of many weapon types and shields. At the end of the battle, make sure there is enough of an enemy left to loot! (Tip: think like a pirate!)
3. Mining Planet Side
This video shows the rough idea of resource mining in Pytheas. Heavy equipment will allow you to open up large sections of terrain. Bombs are mainly for cleaning up spots the mining lasers uncovered but did not blast the materials out. You may also need bombs to remodel the environment while exploring. Remember to make sure your lander can survive the landing AND get back to your ship. Gravity can be a real pain.
The alpha will include enough of the base programming and game play elements to build ships, experiment with the combat and explore a semi-terraformed planet. I will rework the inventory and GUI to ensure it is user friendly. Within the next week I will release an internal alpha to my testers and act on their feedback. I will work on polishing the strongest features and pull out anything that is too incomplete (or require console commands). Then I will fill in any models that are lacking and texture everything that is still blank. Once that is complete, it will be time for the alpha!
Here is a general list of what to expect; there are a lot of details that aren't mentioned below but are not forgotten!
What it will include:
- Construction of shuttle/fighter size ships
- Save/Load ship designs
- Enemy patrols/groups to fight and loot
- Basic crafting on-board the Pytheas
- Power Management
- Seismic Scanner and mining equipment
- The suit's gravity "simulator" for walking on ships in any orientation
- Dynamic Collisions
What will come later:
- Map-specific logic scripts
- Friendly ships/fleet building
- Construction of larger class ships
- Construction/Remodeling of your home ship
- Planet-to-planet and star-to-star navigation
- Expanded ship controls
- Integration of the storyline
More details will come! If I finish earlier than the timeline I've set, I certainly won't hold back!