Day 80: 7 May 2013
First off, there’s a new update to the game. If you’ve already got it, just running the game should update it. If you’re new here, here’s the download link: http://100ExperiencePoints.com/daily/100XP-Setup.exe
Here we are at the end of a day that I somehow managed to put a lot of hours into this game. My momentum is building, and that’s a good feeling. Let’s just hope we can avoid anything that would derail it.
At the beginning of today, there were three weeks left. I guess that means I’ll be done on a Monday night. Maybe I should consider taking that day off from work. I think it would be way more fun to end with a three day code-fest than a shortened evening. Hmm… I’m seriously thinking about that.
Wait a second… that’s Memorial Day weekend! I already get it off!
Wow! I’m really excited now! Heck, maybe I’ll take the Friday before off as well.
At any rate, I’d better decide that sooner, rather than later, to give work enough notice.
End of detour.
So I’m putting out an update to my game. I think you’ll be impressed with where things are at now. It really is coming together. The major accomplishments are these:
- Revamped the radar/visibility engine. You can now see only what you’re supposed to see, and with a couple of bugs (which I’ll describe in a second) you and your enemy can only attack what you can see.
- Completely reworked the way ships/fleets are managed, and the way the player controls their own fleet, from a code perspective. This was to pave the way for multiple players (AI players for now).
- Very basic AI is working. The enemy shoots at stuff. They don’t move yet. But the reality is, that’s probably a good thing, because the enemy fleet is on the big side (I still need to limit the number of points that you can spend on your fleet, and limit the enemy to the same thing.) So the fact that they’re all sitting ducks (with BFGs) gives you something to work with.
- Made some performance improvements. Each ship now has it’s own bounding box. This one change made a pretty big difference in the end.
Here’s a screenshot:
Interestingly, there’s a winning strategy right now. Basically, build one ship with tons of radar domes on it. Like just plastering the whole thing. Then build a few ships that have laser cannons (which happen to be the longest range weapons right now–that will be changed soon). When the battle starts, make sure your fleet is far enough away that the enemy can’t see you. Because of your all-seeing Eye of Sauron ship (you should totally name it that, by the way) you’ll know exactly where their fleet is. Since they don’t move yet, they’ll never find you. Keep your laser cannon ships in laser range, but outside of what they can see, and pick them off one at a time.
Obviously, once the enemy is smart enough to move, this won’t quite work.
A few notable bugs (though if you see things besides this, I’d love to know, either as a comment, or via email):
- You can still hover over enemy ships that are beyond what you can see.
- If you can hover over them, you can click on them to attack them.
- You can see projectiles (missiles, rockets, torpedoes) even if they’re outside of the range that you can see.
- If a ship that is firing a laser cannon at you is too far away to see, you won’t see any part of the laser beam, but you’ll still take damage. It’s like a ghostly laser.
- If a ship is within range and targets you (I think this goes both ways) even if you turn around and escape their visible range, they can keep targeting you.
Now for another point of discussion, to try to get some more feedback from you guys. I’m thinking it would be really nice if you could hover over a weapon and see its range. Perhaps with an orange ring or something. And you should be able to hover over a radar dome (any radar module) and see how far a ship can see. And I’m thinking you should be able to do the same thing by hovering over enemy ships as well. This way, you’ll be able to more quickly answer questions like, “How much farther do I need to go before I’m safe from this ship?” or “Can this ship see me over here?”
Does that sound like a worthwhile idea?
And of course, with this new update, like me, you’re getting your first glimpse at how the game might actually play. So any other feedback that you have, I’d love to know about it.
Sorry for such a long post. Maybe it makes up for lackluster weekend though.