Onionman's coding blog
I usually do this with every game I create, keep a little thread going on what I'm working on exactly.
Anyway to start things off, Christmas Eve 2011, I'm mostly working on fixing the multiplayer bugs, cause the game is in pretty rough shape there, as well as some general polish the game needs before we can continue (working on the menu now specifically).
Next I'm thinking I'd like to create some some single player missions. We'll need a mission map (I'm thinking something like in Air Combat personally) and probably 3 missions to start things off.
Mission 1 would be a simple kill some scouts type deal.
Mission 2 thinking fly through some asteroid tunnels to recover enemy plans hidden within them (hoping a descent/forsaken type level)
Mission 3 would involve an assualt and hijacking of an alien vessel (frigate/capital ship...prolly just frigate style).
I know making missions can be pretty daunting task, are you planning any type of utility or docs to help users create missions for Ensign 1?
Because with the ability to have space combat missions and fps missions on ships you have the great ability to mix up the action or focus it in mini-campaigns.
I agree that there are some pretty cool options we'll have in designing cool missions.
Fan made missions are something I definitely encourage. In the end players will probably have access to all the tools I give my development team. The tools are mostly in game, you just press a button to switch to the level editor (currently F1, I know). I'll probably give the tool the ability to see mission goals and such as well.
Rusty (my artist), sent me this as a WIP for the asteroid level.
Asteroid base 😎 😀 will you be able to land here. ❓
Nice concept Onionman, you should also look at Solcommands models (viewtopic.php?f=55&t=622) he makes some good asteroid bases and I think most of the time you can use his models if you give him credit. I would PM him and see what he has to say.
Well, as Darkone mentioned I've got a few asteroid related stations which you can use how you wish, if they fit your gamestyle of course. Some of these models are rather new and some are really old, so quality of model and texture will differ.
- Kono Station http://www.solcommand.com/2011/11/kono- ... ation.html
- Kece 2 Industrial Facility http://www.solcommand.com/2011/03/kece- ... ility.html
- Mal Hideout http://www.solcommand.com/2010/02/mal-hideout.html
- Serenity Outpost http://www.solcommand.com/2010/02/serenity-outpost.html
- Eezo Harvesting Facility http://www.solcommand.com/2010/01/eezo- ... ility.html
- Church Asteroid http://www.solcommand.com/2010/03/church-asteroid.html
Kono station looks awesome, maybe you should get SolCommand to model a few things for you Brandon 🙂
SolCommand's work is indeed excellent. And I've directed my artists at it in case there is anything they can use or get ideas from. One of the things we got hit really hard on with Helena though were the differing art styles used in the game, so it's something I'm trying to keep more uniform in Ensign, and am kind of wary about bringing in another artists work unless I'm sure we could make it fit.
I wish I could hire another artist like SolCommand, I think he has incredible skills and some of his art is exactly what I'm looking for, but at this time we just aren't in a position to bring anyone else on the team :/ Maybe once I make my first million? 😉
Got a little off topic, but back to coding. A lot of the multiplayer bugs have been squared away. We took the game for a test run yesterday and it's playing really nice. It's really cool to fight each other inside a mining colony, and have one person transport you to a different ship. Cool stuff.
Right now I'm working on bringing manable turrets into the game, with a little bit of optimization on the side.
Are these manageable turrets are they deployable via FPS section of the game or are they space turrets that you can deploy?
I'm not sure I understand. These are turrets that are just part of the ship you are in. You get to them through the FPS section and then can pilot them like any other ship. Of course they are attached to the parent ship.
Ok that is what I was wondering, because turrets are used in different ways in games. So when you are on your ship you just go to the turret system and use it like you normally would. I was also thinking if the player had there own mobile turret that they could deploy when you are playing in FPS mode. When you are manning the turret what is your ship doing?
Ah yep, that's how it would work, a turret on a ship or space station. I don't have any plans for turrets to be used in FPS at this time, not that it's a bad idea, it's just not in the game design at this moment.
So manning a turret would mostly only be useful in multiplayer or co-op. The idea is one person could fly the ship, while another takes control of a turret. Like in Star Wars or the new Tron movie. Turrets that you find on space stations and capitol ships will probably also be much stronger than the guns on a small fighter, so there's that as well.
So turrets have been implemented, and I've tried to optimize the collision detection but not quite there yet. I can make it faster, but it gets dodgy and starts missing collisions it should pick up.
Our next update is shaping up to look pretty cool. Some more things I still need to work on are adding ladders to the game, giving capital ships a proper capitol explosion :), and also fixing some server bugs.
After that hopefully, finally, I might be able to take a serious crack at the singpleplayer.
Last night I really improved the multiplayer code. It should be much more stable and sync up much better now. The server is much more accomodating to players who join in mid battle now. I'm quite excited about that. Next on the mp list I'd like to make the server persistent state, so if you were to say log on and fly ensign around, then log off and on again, Ensign would still be where you left it last.
Now I'm going to do some more laser optimizations to slow the game down less with collisions, then I'm going to work on adding some graphical polish like lense flares and laser explosions.
Who long would a players persistent state expire, so if they logged in that they would not pickup where they left off? When the MP game session is over? I would have to look back in previous posts to see if you discussed this, but how many MP users do you plan on the server supporting at one time?
Can't wait to see some of the new laser visuals, especially lens flare.
Well how it is currently isn't really a game. There are no sides, it's just free for all when you join. This persistent state thing would just be for testing for now, but it would last as long as the server is left up.
In the end, I'd like it to last forever. Any changes you make to the world to be real. You kill a ship it's dead until a new one to replace it is built in the construction bay.
Well, got the collision detection moving a lot faster, and have squashed all the bugs I can. The game is just about as ready as it will ever be for our next multiplayer video.
After that it's time to hit the single-player.
I know I've been silent for awhile. Right now I'm just working on the "glue" of the game, the mission briefings and maps. Nothing too exciting to talk about, just things that need to get done before I can move on to the fun stuff.
I know Rusty is making a really cool new frigate to add to the human fleet. It's also his birthday today, so wish him a happy one!
Is Venn Stone doing your mission briefings? And happy b-day Rusty!
Yea, we still have him on board. Plus a few more voice actors added to the team as well, actually.
Working on AI now, but it's proving to be really hard. With the kind of freedom the ships have, it's getting hard to program a computer to pilot them..
I'm not a developer, but I would guess that creating a AI would be quite a undertaking. Especially since it would need tweaking a lot during the process because you could make them too good. Will there be friendly AI in the game Onionman?
Yes, I'm hoping to have at least a few missions where you have a wingman or even a squadron.