Make sure to read the following list to know about the currently hidden commands. Click here to play version 0.02.

  • There’s a new mission screen. Just click on “Sector Alpha” to start building a ship.
  • Again make sure your ship has enough engines. Reactors and shields are not important for now.
  • Click “Assemble” (lower-right) to start the mission.
  • Press SPACE to pause the game.
  • Press A and S to zoom out/in.
  • Click and drag to move around.
  • Click the new bottom-left button “Focus on ship” to find back your ship if you lose it.
  • Click on your ship first before issuing orders (a new toolbar at the bottom will appear).
  • Double-click somewhere in space to set a destination to your ship. Beware that if the maneuverability of your ship is poor that it might end up going in circle over and over.
  • Double-click on an enemy ship to set it as a target to chase.
  • Locking view on your ship is currently badly bugged when zooming so avoid that.
  • Turrets on your ships will automatically fire at enemies when in range and when the angle is appropriate (45 degree range).
  • Damage is not considered so you won’t be able to destroy anything.

Forget the minimap there’s a zoom now!

It didn’t took long before realizing that my previous idea of minimap just wouldn’t work. In an RTS you want to be able to quickly see what’s going on so I had to work on something a bit more helpful. The only problem is that with the technique and tools I’m using I just couldn’t (or didn’t know…) use a movieclip I would scale up and down. That lead to an interesting challenge.

When you zoom out you’re not actually seeing the real-size ship you were seeing to start with. It’s another sprite that’s been scaled and follow the now invisible real-size ship. Same thing for projectiles. It’s something similar to a technique I used for my JavaScript experiment but here only the visible “layer” is active to prevent performance trouble and all “layers” are created dynamically when required. I wasn’t sure if it would perform well but so far so good. I don’t expect to have hundreds of ships on the screen anyway so everything should be kept under control.

Missions

It’s still fairly basic but the 2 ships attacking you are generated from a mission class that will allow me (and players) to create a specific setting. The big part missing is winning condition but that will be kept simple to start with. Probably something like “destroy the space station”. Once I have a nice game of “destroy the space station” I’ll start bothering with other stuff. I have some ideas on how to expand this but right now I’m looking at keeping things as simple as possible to be able to release something ASAP.

While you can currently control only 1 ship this won’t be the case in the final version. You’ll first see the mission setting and then will decide which ship you want to use for it. Each mission will have a “ship value limit” so you won’t be able to throw an armada to complete a mission. All parts of a ship have a “credit value” and the total of those parts is the value of your ship. To play a mission you will have to make sure the total value of all the ships you will use is equal or lower to the mission limit. This is so far how I consider missions unless I decide to go with a “if a ship is destroyed then it is permanently lost” approach.

Some info about multiplayer

There won’t be any synchronous multiplayer. Too much trouble for a project I want to remain “simple”. Instead it will look a bit like those turn-based web games where you can attack another player while he’s away. Each player will be assigned a sector he must protect. He will set ships in his sector (that won’t be permanently lost for sure but there will be a penalty for losing a battle) and also setup his reinforcements calls. Reinforcements will be time invoked and serve as an element of surprise to the offline PvP. The attacking player will also be able to call reinforcements but it won’t be instantaneous meaning the defending player will have a slight advantage to compensate for having only the AI defending him.

When the defending player lose the battle he doesn’t lose control of his sector but I’m currently working on a draft for sectors that can be stolen from other players. Maybe sectors that gives some kind of bonus. That’s still a work in progress for now.

What’s next?

Still a lot of stuff but each time I’m tempted to add a new idea I fight against it. This project could easily become huge and right now it’s not my goal to build a game that match completely my wildest dreams. My goal is to keep development under control to get to release and THEN expand. Or at worst release a sequel or something like that later. So beside the multiplayer part you already see most concepts the game will contain at release. The point is to make this part fun to play first and prevent myself from taking a year before releasing this game. Stay tuned for more!

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