Post news RSS Missiles, Targeting, Etc

I have made enough progress on the combat system to share it.

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Intro
Until recently, there has been no combat of any kind, only economics and flying around. You could die only by ramming yourself into a station repeatedly, or perhaps by flying into a planet. Since that's kind of boring, I've started the combat system

Missile Demo
This is the missile and targeting video. The UI for this isn't complete (right now you know something is targeted because its yellow in the sensor readout) and the missiles are placeholder models, but you get the idea.


That demo has infinite ammo and only one kind of missile, and zero hardpointing for the launcher. These are things that are easy to implement, and can be expected before my NPC combat demo. But one permanent feature works as intended: clicking on a ship to target it.

Missiles in Detail
Like all the other objects, missiles are defined in flat files. Here's the definition for the test missile seen in the video.

<missile=Viper I>
	scale=0.25
	antimatter=0.01
	#engine
        topSpeed=3.0
	acceleration=0.1
	manauverability=0.15
        #thermodynamics
	heatDissipation=0.05
	maxHeat=10
	#defense
	shield=1
	hull=1
	shieldRegen=0
	#payload
        isGuided=true
        shieldDamage=10
        hullDamage=10
        #sensor
        sensorRange=15000
</missile>

Notice that missiles have a sensor range. If the target gets too far from the missile, the missile stops tracking it and flies off in a straight line. Shield and hull damage can be specified independently, so we can have Colony Wars anti-shield and anti-hull weapons, if I decide to be evil. Finally, the antimatter pool means that missile flight time is affected by how many turns and accelerations it has to make. Missiles that can fly directly to their target can fly longer than missiles that need to chase something!

Missiles will be loaded into launchers based on their volume, but the ammunition will be stored in the cargo bay. A small launcher can handle any small missile, so you can switch ammo types on the fly.

I am debating whether or not to allow small missiles to be loaded into medium/large launchers, you should give me feedback on that.

Missile launchers will be modules that can be fit onto hardpoints on a ship. While normal modules only take up volume in the cargo bay, weapons will take up volume and a hardpoint.

Autopilot Changes
As you can see, you now have the ability to follow a ship and make a ship you own follow you (or one of your ships). This is going to be very useful for things like formations and dogfighting. Combine the follow function with some evasive maneuvering when fired upon, and you have a working combat model.

There's also a HUD object that appears when you're autopilot is active in any capacity. This is a useful indicator since, rarely, autopilot may not properly shut off when the destination is reached. Pressing TAB, the all-stop command, will take care of that.

Combat Vision
I want to see an Ace Combat style combat system in the final version. I always thought AC would be more fun in space, and there aren't any games I can think of that focus on missile oriented space combat (notice focus on, not include).

For larger ships, I am envisioning flak turrets and really big, slow, missiles. I want to make flying larger ships natural (X-Universe) instead of tacked on (Freelancer mods). But for all ships the fundamental behavior will be the same: follow at weapons range and fire when ready, entering an evasive mode when a missile lock is detected.

Comments
Feedback on these ideas, and the demo, would be appreciated. I know that the HUD needs work to make the current target more apparent, but what else can you think of?

Comments
Razihel
Razihel - - 167 comments

Feature I say.

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SIGILL
SIGILL - - 1,157 comments

"I am debating whether or not to allow small missiles to be loaded into medium/large launchers, you should give me feedback on that."

I think medium/large launchers shouldn't be able to launch small missiles. I like having to choose my weapons wisely ;)

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