The past few weeks have been great for Skyfire development. I've been working on re-factoring the ship AI, creating interactive menu scenes, and honing a few effects for space combat.
The previous AI was really lacking. Collision detection, chasing enemies, and turret targeting were big trouble areas for me in the past. Trying to compile all of the fast-paced and ever-changing mission situation was pretty complex for me and I really had to sit down and re-examine the system as it was.
After making some really basic changes, I think I have accomplished what I was going for. The AI feels smooth and challenging. I've enhanced the Hanger system to be a bit more intelligent and have also added in some patrol way points for ships that have nothing better to do with their time. Previously they would just fly around in circles.
Interactive Menu Scenes
Keeping in the spirit of old space combat sims, I decided to create interactive menu scenes with interiors and characters. It really adds a bit of immersion, and gives you sneak peek of what's actually inside of the ships you see in the simulator.
From these different menu scenes, you will be able to access your profile ( character in the game ), select the ship you want to fly, customize the ship, and launch into the mission.
I hope it's something that you guys will enjoy and immerse you into the experience that much more.
Effect Tweaks and Warp Arrivals
Messing with the effects is something I do on a regular basis. In fact, I would probably say it's the thing I'm most obsessed with ( which can be a problem at times). I've changes a few elements of the destruction system and added some better looking explosions and a core breach finale.
Looks like they are having a bad day.
A huge explosive blast will be the finale, expanding and contracting quickly, like a singularity. In lore speak, it's the side effect of the core being breaded by explosions and releasing the fuel in a huge violent burst and consuming itself.
I've also added a basic warp-in effect for ships. It isn't at all final, but It gives a better visual of arriving ships in the distance. I've decided that smaller craft will be unable to warp, and will require larger craft to do so. For instance, a carrier may warp in and launch 50 fighters you will need to deal with, but if that carrier is destroyed, they are stranded. No escape ( the same goes for you! ).
I'm shooting for this Christmas for an alpha release of Skyfire. I'm going to try my best to attain this goal, and I think it's totally possible. I want to make sure everything is fairly smooth and playable before I give it to you guys to run through. So hang in there cadets, and thanks again for your interest.