Post news RSS November Update: A Million Ways to Die in Space

Where we talk about a little about simulating a spaceship, and our helm view.

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Helm View WIP

Hi everyone! Just dropping a quick post to update you on progress over the last month. It’s been pretty intense, but we’ve managed to make some fairly huge progress on a lot of the more detailed systems in the game.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, we’re aiming not just to simulate spaceships, but to simulate a whole host of systems which, when combined, result in a spaceship. This distinction may seem subtle, but the result is a unique vessel which contains a number of discrete, simulated systems attached to it. Each one is consuming power and producing heat as it operates, and each has its own effect on the ship’s performance, can be targeted individually, takes damage individually, and so on. All equipment also has its own fully configurable link to the ships reactor – power conduits are configured by the ships engineer, and careful management will be required to make sure everything is getting the power that it needs. Individual pieces of equipment can be configured on the fly to consume more or less power as required, and as these systems become damaged it becomes vital to manage their heat production and power demands carefully. By simulating each of these systems, we get a lot of emergent behaviours and scenarios that couldn’t otherwise exist.

Speaking of damage, taking hits from enemy fire can also result in those power conduits we mentioned earlier becoming overloaded. Engineers will need to be able to think on their feet to keep everything hooked up and operating without exposing other systems to power surges from damaged equipment. Think of it as trying to connect a whole bunch of Christmas tree lights to a limited number of power sockets while the neighbours kids are shooting you with super soakers and your entire family all want their set of lights to be plugged in first!

We’ve also been working a lot on the UI, pretty much across all of the crew positions. Just as one example, we have been developing the view used by Helm to control the ship’s movement in space. There are a number of cameras positioned around the ship, each showing a different viewpoint – you can see this in the image above, in which a wily UNION crew has reduced a CA frigate to cinders. Each camera can be rotated, customised, set to track enemy ships or other objects, etc. Please note, this is a pre-alpha build of the game, and the UI and graphical elements you can see here will change as we continue to move forward!

Well, that’s about it for now. There are a whole host of other things I’d like to talk about, but I’m already running on a bit too long as it is! Currently we’re building up for a big round of internal playtesting in the coming weeks, so we’ll certainly have some more news, as well as some battle reports, to share at that stage.

In the meantime, we at Wired Games would like to wish all of our cyborg fans a happy Cyber Monday! I think it’s great that you finally have a national day of recognition for the cybernetically enhanced who live amongst us. Please remember our kindness today when the inevitable cyborg uprising begins.

- Malboury

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