Hi everyone. Another weekly progress update.
This week I spent a lot of time on Ship AI including enemy AI collisions, faction through the universe and cleaning up a few long standing bugs in space. Asteroids now have collision and enemy ships avoid stars, planets, space stations and asteroids. See the video below for a few highlights.
A big chunk of code that had to be written was the faction system. While the basics were already in, they weren't exposed to the enemy ship AI. Here is how faction works in Stellar Tactics:
--When you start a new game, the universe is generated. Every system gets a certain main faction with Achmedius, the starting system, being a Halamis system.
--The AI starts to launch ships with various jobs based on that faction - patrol, anarchy, trade, explore, faction warfare and a few other tasks.
--Ships are launched from stations and begin their various roles, traveling between systems or staying within systems depending on their role.
--You can engage any ship in combat, hostile or friendly. The act of initiating combat causes a minor faction hit with that faction. Destroying the ship generates a higher faction hit to that particular faction. Destroying a ship aligned with a faction generates negative faction with all aligned factions and generates positive faction with factions that are not aligned.
So, there are consequences. This lets you explore the universe and shift your alignment by targeting enemy ships and taking ground based missions that target a specific faction so you can begin to move your faction in a direction where a certain faction you are interested in will do business with you. You could conceivably become aligned with Phage, Scavvers and Raiders if you wanted to. Just know that eventually (not in the space combat build) some stations will not allow you to dock to do business with them if you end up an enemy of that faction.
Hostile factions, Raiders, Scavvers, Phage start out as hostile. All other factions, including the various Houses (Halamis, Aralion, Conrair, Cilivon, Shikaru and Varadyn) start out neutral or wary. If you have been gaining faction in the Abandoned Research Facility, you should have a slightly higher faction with Halamis depending on how many missions you've taken.
There are other factions that are tied closely to the story:
--The Syndicate - Outlaws tolerated by the powers that be. Need something? No problem. Want someone eliminated? Of course! Smuggling? Oh yeah! Masters of stealth, on the ground and in Space.
--Kchor - Blue skinned mutants, wise and secretive. The Kchor are one of several mutations that arrived after the long trip through space. No much is known about the Kchor though they have been called on by The Sovereignty to keep the peace in the various wars that have taken place since the Arrival. Their reward? Autonomy.
--The Fabricants - Purveyors of the finest augmentations and equipment upgrades, the Fabricants also dabble in the darker arts of melding machine with flesh. Some call them Necromancers, others shun them outright.
--The Coven - Outcasts from the time of the Arrival, not much is known about The Coven. It is said that when they arrived, they woke from sleep with incredible Psionic powers. With no understanding of their immediate powers, they nearly destroyed themselves and anyone who contacted them. They were given an ultimatum - leave or be incinerated. They left to the far ends of known space and only have dealings with the Syndicate who smuggle supplies to them on a regular basis.
--The Traders Guild - One of the most powerful guilds, the Traders Guild controls commerce between systems. They will need your help and your alignment with them could make you a smuggler or a wealthy merchant. Your choice of course.
--The Order - A radical religious order that believe in the Old Gods. They are tolerated by The Church and the Sovereignty and actually align on the side of good throughout the Universe. They are the Paladins of Stellar Tactics and merge powerful ancient rituals with melee and ranged combat. They are fierce opponents.
--The Church - The primary religious order of Stellar Tactics Universe. They are primarily political as church and state are one. They are also aligned closely with the Sovereignty and have vast holdings across the known universe - however, something is amiss and you will need to make difficult decisions as the story progresses.
--The Jhemm - You encountered them in the Ruins in Achmedius - You are the only known contact and the Jhemm chose you for reasons you do not yet fully understand.
--The Sovereignty - The Sovereignty are the reigning power in the Universe. One of the first Houses to arrive, they quickly gathered power and subjugated the rest of the Houses as they arrived. Several wars have been fought, however, The Sovereignty has maintained power. A Republic, The Sovereignty imposes limited laws and an iron fist when needed. They are aligned with The Church and share power with them. The Church is the law and The Sovereignty enforces the law.
I'm now down to one major feature that needs to be done for the space combat update. That is, random missions. It wouldn't be much fun to hope an enemy ship wandered into Achmedius so, this next week I'll be focusing on adding missions that can be taken to defend certain points in space like asteroid fields, stations and planets. Some of these will be random events and others missions that you pick up on the trade station.
Once that's in I'll be testing and cleaning up any bugs and then I think I'll be ready to release the space combat update. I don't have an exact date, but soon.
Have a great weekend!