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Development log showing the research system and some other recent progress.

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Research

The research system in Galaxial has undergone many redesigns over the summer and has turned out quite different to what I originally had planned. The user interface still needs some work but is now mostly finished.


Once you have enough research data it can be spent on projects to instantly 'unlock' them. Rather than choosing what to research and then having to wait for it to be completed. The reason I choose to do it this way is because the research data already takes a long time to accumulate and will also be required for building really advanced ships and modules.

The technologies shown in brown are unique to the faction you are playing and will generally provide strong bonuses. The same basic technologies, ships and modules will be available to all factions but there will be a lot of faction unique stuff that is more specialized and will allow different play styles and strategies.

I am still undecided on how many levels to have for each research project. I would like for there to be no limit (unlimited research) possibly with diminishing returns the more you research a technology, but this could potentially lead to a lot of balancing issues.

Maybe its not a problem? For example if the player becomes too powerful then all other empires could become afraid and form a coalition against you.

Resources

A resources bar has been added along the top of the screen to show your empires total resource stockpile.


The resources are (from left to right): Credits, Research Data, Crew, Troops, Common Metals, Rare Metals and Precious Metals.

Crew and Troops are a recent addition and I will explain how they work in a future development log as they are not quite finished yet.

Ore mined from asteroids require transporting to colonies that have refinery facilities and after being processed into metals they are then added to the resource stockpile.

Colony Graphics

Graphics for the colony populations have been improved slightly again to match the same style used for the ships. Facilities such as shipyards, refineries, hydroponics will be constructed at the empty inner circles. New graphics for those haven't been created yet.


Minimap

Added a button to lock the minimap viewing position so you can keep an eye on two locations at once. You wont have to rely on just this as there will eventually be some kind of message/alert system for when important events happen.


Most of the user interface windows/widgets in the game look much cleaner now after removing a lot of the inner white outlines and added some subtle gradients.

Galaxial is proving to be an enormous game to develop solo!
Thanks again for your patience and I hope you will really enjoy it when you finally get to play.


Development Blog: www.galaxial.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Galaxial
Twitter: twitter.com/stuart_morgan

Comments
Dark_Sentinel
Dark_Sentinel

Sounds awesome so far.
>Common Metals, Rare Metals and Precious Metals.
Probably I've asked earlier, but what about modding? So that hardcore players could mess that into "steel, wolfrahm, gold, water, rocket fuel, nuclear fuel" and so on?
>Unlimited research
Not sure. If we take modern day laser weapon - there's a LOT of room for improvement, but say missile weapons cannot be revolutionary improved... well, I think so. Well depends on how you see the unlimited research.

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Mc_Intire
Mc_Intire

Open researches are a way to keep your research facilities useful in lategame when most researches are done. Given, in galaxial there are other ways to spend your research data there should still be a way to improve your empire through it.

I was thinking that maybe your industrial structures could have negative impact on the planets they are located on, depending on their type. At the beginning of the game, the effects are weak, but with advancing industrial research it gains in strenght. Research data could be used to stimulate projects to remove those negative effects, maybe even turn them into positive ones.

The effect would accumulate over time, but the ability to negate them would only appear once the effect is strong enough. There would be a limit that the effect reaches after some time that could be dependant on planet type and number of structures causing them. Any positive traits would stay and nullify the accumulation of new negative traits until the project runs out of "funds".

Possible negative traits could be: Pollution (declining population and loss of tax income), energy shortages (extreme reduction of productivity), high unemployment or overpopulation (sharp decrease of resource income), fluctuating gravity (greatly slowing ships in orbit) or space junk (damaging ships in orbit)

There should not be too many negative effects, to keep it simple. But maybe there could be different ways to solve them. Space junk could be recycled for temporary additional resource income or turned into a minefield to hurt enemies instead of your ships. Overpopulation could be solved by "cheap" birth control programs or by "expensive" megacity projects, giving a big temporary boost in maximum population. Unemployment could be amended by interplanetary commuting services, slightly decreasing structure and ship build times on surrounding planets or by mandatory military service, making ships cheaper on the given planet.

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StuartMorgan Author
StuartMorgan

@Dark_Sentinel

Most things in the game have modding support, but not the resources, user interface or AI unfortunately. You could change their names but not add any extra ones.

Lots of things I can think of for research to improve missiles. shielding/armor to prevent them being intercepted, micro-jumpdrives to penetrate shields, energy warheads, cloaking... :)

I think there is just as much room for improvement as lasers.

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scratch
scratch

Yay, update, awesome! :)

Regarding continuous research i think it can't hurt to have unlimited levels with diminishing returns that might also need more and more points. Maybe you will be able to excel at that particular field with lots of levels researched, but this will come at the price of neglecting other research projects (which could also happen on purpose depending on the player's situation, so it also opens up more opportunities). I understand that this might be hard to balance, but it might be worth it. I think the game "Space Empires" is using a system like this, too.

UI: I think you could still reduce the width of ui borders a bit to make it look more sleek, and maybe try a somewhat cleaner, sharper looking font? The current one looks like it's been affected by antialiasing quite a bit.

Looking forward for more news, hopefully more regularly ;)

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StuartMorgan Author
StuartMorgan

Haven't played Space Empires but think it has 100 levels for most projects I think, not unlimited but would feel like it is.

Having some kind of (high) maximum limit might be a good idea, as then will have a reference point to balance things around.

The font should look a bit sharper than the first screenshot, think its a problem with blogger resizing the screenshots very slightly.
This should be more accurate: 1.bp.blogspot.com
I quite like the font but there is a few things I will try to make the text cleaner.

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LSFRA
LSFRA

Hi StuartMorgan this it a verry good game.But I have a question, this it a free game ? What's the weapon ? The ships can to use somes abilities ?

Good developement.

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StuartMorgan Author
StuartMorgan

Hi, the game wont be free.
When you design a ship you choose which modules it has, for example there are modules for weaponry, armour repair, mining, energy regeneration, power and many other abilities.

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.JAS
.JAS

The minimap locking system is a brilliant idea!

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