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New updates about Gemini Wars: Fighters, visual effects and briefings.

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Hello everyone,

First of all, sorry for the lack of updates. We’ve been busy here at the forge, and we want to share with you what we’ve been up to. Most game mechanics are done, our main development is now geared at polishing, adding details and implementing network gameplay.

One of the new improvements is the fighter’s management.
Fighters were being released by Carriers on player’s demand, and the only way to select them was by clicking on the squadron icon visible on the top left area of the screen. Although this works quite well, some people found it non-intuitive because everything else in the game was just working by clicking on a ship.

To overcome this, each fighter squadron now has a ship Icon located in the average position of all fighters. Clicking on this Icon now selects the entire fighter squadron. Then, we can simply move them wherever we want, or attack a designated target like we do with any other ship.

Let me show a bit of how this works. The first shot shows a squadron of fighters leaving the bays of a USF carrier.

USF Fighters 1

If you take a closer look, you may notice that fighters are casting shadows over the Carrier’s hull.

USF Fighters 2

On the next shot, an Alliance carrier can be seen along with a squadron of fighters in patrol mode. Notice that there are two icons in there: one for the carrier and another for the fighters.

USF Fighters 3

Here we can see the squadron with the fighters selected after clicking on the icon. With the fighters selected, we can now order them to move wherever we want.

What we have still undecided is what to do with the fighters once they are launched. Currently when we select a carrier, there’s a button to release all fighters in the carrier - the fighters aren’t launched automatically. Once the fighters are launched, the launch icon changes to the docking icon. By clicking on it, the fighter squadron that belongs to this carrier will be called and docked safely.

But what happens if the fighter squadron is lost? Should we have a timer that allows the carrier to “build” the fighters inside it, like a small factory? (BSG series style?), or should the Carrier need to get back to friendly space and stay close to a military station to replace the fighter wings?

If you have any comments on these ideas, or any new idea, please share it with us :)

The next shot is about rendering.

Everyone is probably familiar with sun shafts in Crysis 2 and other fps games where the graphics are pushed to the limits?

Well, this is basically sun shafts in space, and works better when there are a lot of asteroids and gas clouds.

Looking at the shot below, you can see the sun going through the gas and casting a shadow on the gas that comes from the asteroids.

Gas clouds

And to finish this blog post with another shot, this one is from a USF commander, briefing the player in the control room.

The control room is the central management for the single player campaign. In it, you can check galactic news, check your achievements, and obviously be briefed by your commander about what’s going on in the war and about your next mission.

Admiral Ragnar briefing the mission

Each mission briefing is about 1:30 to 2 minutes long, each with its own animation and voice over, so we are talking at about 20/25 minutes of CGI with voice overs in this. It’s quite an achievement for a small studio like us.

elite879 - - 432 comments

The way I can think of solving the dilemma is like this:
Depending on the size of the fighters in relation to the carrier model and how many are launched.
If you have fairly large fighter models and a lot are launched, this means obviously there'd be a lot of space inside the real ship taken up by hanger facilities meaning less space for other things. This means a fighter production line ON-BOARD would be impossible. So if there are many large modelled fighters launched in a large squadron then the ship should return to a friendly system to resupply or whatever.

Similarly if the fighter models are small in comparison to the carrier model or only a small amount of fighters are launched at a time this obviously means there'd be more room for a production line so one would be installed on the carrier.

This is all in the sense that you want to think of your ship scales realistically. If you have the mindset that it doesn't really matter what size the model is you can fit whatever you want in then of course you could put in a production line.

Obviously my comment is ALL about aesthetics rather than game play. If you want, disregard everything I've said and take the following as my opinion: Make the player return to home to replenish fighters. If the players know they'll have to go a long way to get their fighters back into action it'll stop them simply flinging them out in battle and try and be a bit more strategic. At least, I THINK it'll make them be a bit more strategic ...

tl;dr Make players return to base to get more fighters.

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AdrianL1996 - - 467 comments

One way I could thing of controlling the fighter squardrons and handling them is that they are launched automatically when the carrier is attacked. You can control them in squadrons just like you can as usual, and once you have selected a carrier, there could be a "Recall fighter squadrons" button that recalls all aircraft to the carrier. Now, to release the squadrons manually, maybe have a button saying "Release fighter squadron" on the HUD when a carrier is selected, and say when its pressed, 1 out of 5 fighter squadrons are released. Tap it five times, and all 5 are released. Press the Recall button, they all return. Simple.

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BlackDanaraki - - 261 comments

very nice looking :D I love how this game is turning out o.o

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Renegade2 - - 184 comments

sounds fun :D

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H4R81N63R - - 10 comments

i don't know if you're implementing a combined health system for the fighters or not, but if its in the not, then we can work out a semi realistic system: the damaged fighters can be repaired while docked inside the carrier, but the fighter(s) lost will have to be replaced by reinforcements from a nearby command structure..

to make it up to a playable system (if the fighter count per carrier is low and players don't want to keep ferrying their carriers), we can allow the carrier to recover lost fighters at a (very?) slow pace which can be quickened by a few times if the carriers is next/close to a command structure?

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BCamel - - 68 comments

Thanks guys.
I think we will go with a on-board kind of factory to replace lost fighters.
Depending on the maps, resupplying the fighters in distant starbases may turn out to be boring, having to move around the carrier from jump point to jump point to resupply the fighters doesn't sound much fun.
Samar.Tareen idea seems cool, the fighters will be built in the carrier at a slower speed, but if the carrier is near a Station, this build will be faster.

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