Avorion Development Update: Features, Story and the Bosses
Great news! We have been making good progress over the last weeks, and now itâ€™s finally time to tell you about it!
We waited so long with this update because we wanted to make sure weâ€™d have some substantial progress. The last weeks have been a lot of internal work, such as implementing the story (more on this later) and lots and lots of work on the scripting API.
Thereâ€™s also going to be some details about the story and the bosses, but there will be a massive spoiler warning before it, so if you want to avoid spoilers, you can read on safely without worrying.
The turret factory is the place where youâ€™ll be able to manufacture your own turrets. Right now each turret factory has their own plan of each turret. You can select the type of turret you want to produce, and will then have to bring the goods required to build the turret. You can also add some additional goods of each type to boost several stats of your turret.
For the future weâ€™re also planning that youâ€™ll be able to break down turrets. This will destroy the turret but youâ€™ll receive its blueprint in return, allowing you to replicate it infinitely at turret factories.
Last time we introduced the smugglerâ€™s hideout, now itâ€™s time for some of the dangers of smuggling. We implemented a control system: Military NPC ships will occasionally scan your cargo once you get too close to them, and if they donâ€™t like what they find they will confiscate it. Your relations will worsen and youâ€™ll have to pay a fine. Or you can run - which will save you your money and cargo, but which will worsen your relations with that faction a lot.
We also added some more traits to cargo - cargo that was taken from a freighter will be branded as stolen once itâ€™s dropped, other cargo is suspicious or even dangerous and you should have a good reputation or permit when transporting it.
We implemented different traits for factions, with which we want to add more character to each faction. These traits are procedurally generated and each trait also has a contrary trait. Some examples would be: Mistrustful vs. Naive, Greedy vs Generous or Forgiving vs. Strict. These traits will have effects at multiple places in the game. For example greedy factions wonâ€™t give you lots of rewards but can be easily convinced to help for money. Mistrustful factions will scan your cargo more often and wonâ€™t believe you - So better pay attention where youâ€™re bringing that stolen cargo!
More UI Updates
We added some more info to the diplomacy tab - youâ€™ll be able to see a factionâ€™s traits and where theyâ€™re located on the map. The inventory is now sortable (finally!), you can sort your items by material, rarity, DPS, or type.
Tech Level for Weapons
In order to add some more transparency, we added a tech level for each weapon. Tech levels range from 1 (edge of the galaxy) to 50 (center of the galaxy) and are rough indicators for the strength of a weapon. We also added the rarity name to the weapon and upgrade tooltips.
In order to give better feedback on how much damage youâ€™re actually dealing, there will be damage numbers for shield and hull damage done.
Something essential was missing in Avorionâ€™s backgrounds, and we finally found what it was! We added some more highlights to the background nebula textures so theyâ€™re more distinct and generally better looking.
Weâ€™ve implemented a mechanism for the building mode that matches edges and corners, basically all triangle-like shapes automatically onto each other where possible. When there are multiple possible configurations, you can swap through them with R.
Carriers & Fighter AI
In order to spice up the combat, we added AI carriers with mutliple squadrons of fighters. In addition to that we also had to extend the shipâ€™s AI, so they can tell their fighters what to do.
In order to implement the story and bosses we have always been reworking, extending, and improving our scripting API. All the content of Avorion is done with this lua API, which will also be available to you guys for modding, including documentation!
We want to give you better means to control your ships, thatâ€™s why weâ€™re implementing the strategy mode. Itâ€™s activated by zooming out, and while youâ€™re in it, youâ€™ll have RTS-like controls for all your ships. We wanted an easily accessed mode, which you can quickly and intuitively switch into and out of. In this mode you can tell your ships to defend or attack other ships or stations, or you can tell them to fly to a specific point or through a wormhole or gate.
The Kickstarter Beta
Everything is looking good so far, and weâ€™re pretty confident that we can start the Kickstarter Beta by the end of September! Please keep in mind that there might be unforeseen circumstances, but so far everything is looking great!
Finally story time! No spoilers yet.
This is the part that we worked the most on lately. As we already said during the kickstarter campaign, the story is meant to be a driving factor leading the player to the galactic center. Avorion is a sandbox, and we want the story to fit the character and genre of the game. The story will feature several boss fights (with epic loot!) and puzzles which youâ€™ll have to solve in order to get to the center.
You can either go ahead and explore for yourself, the story is meant to unfold itself automatically while playing, but weâ€™ll also give you a lot of NPCs with hints on what to do, just in case you get stuck.
We thought a lot about how to combine a sandbox-style game and a story. We want to allow the players to go everywhere and to play his own way, but at the same time a story sometimes adds restrictions (classic example: Get an item first to open this door). We canâ€™t and donâ€™t want to add restrictions for the players all the time. This is especially hard in multiplayer. Additionally, our resources are limited and we canâ€™t afford to create a massive storyline which will, on top of all, still be great in a sandbox. With all this in mind, this is what we came up with and we hope that youâ€™ll like it as much as we do.
We also wanted to make sure that you can beat the bosses in your own tempo, which means that you decide when you take them on, and you decide when you're prepared enough for them.
The main story objective in Avorion will be getting to the center. Enemies and loot will get stronger the closer you get to the galaxyâ€™s core, factions will get richer and you will find better materials which will allow you to build better ships.
For all those who donâ€™t want to know specifics about the story and bosses, this is the place where you should stop reading. Everything following this paragraph will be about the story, so you wonâ€™t miss any other updates. For those who want to read on: I wonâ€™t be telling you everything of course, I donâ€™t want to spoil all the fun! 🙂
Okay, last warning, major spoilers ahead!
Several hundred years ago, a cataclysmic catastrophe nearly ripped your galaxy apart - an unsurmountable ring of torn hyperspace fabric appeared in the center, and now normal hyperspace engines canâ€™t pass through to the center.
Since this event nobody has managed to get near the center of the galaxy. All the player knows is that this event also spawned multiple unsurmountable hyperspace rifts throughout the entire galaxy, and that a strange race of aliens, the Xsotan, has appeared in the center. It looks like these aliens have found a way to surpass the torn hyperspace fabric, but so far nobody has managed to establish contact with them.
People are also talking about a strange new metal called â€˜Avorionâ€™, which has appeared in the center of the galaxy, at the same time as the Xsotan arrived. Apparently the aliens use this material to build their ships.
The Journey to the Center
In order to get into the center, you will have to find 8 keys, system upgrades manufactured by the Xsotan, which they use to somehow pass through the barrier. You will find these keys by following hints from NPCs, solving puzzles or beating bosses. Some will be dropped by bosses, in addition to some other cool stuff, such as epic weapons, resources and ship upgrades.
About the Bosses
There are going to be at least 6 story boss fights, each of which will require slightly different tactics to beat. We will also be adding more, even stronger super secret bosses for you to beat in order to collect even cooler loot.
The Pirate Captain Swoks
The self-proclaimed â€œscourge of the outer sectorsâ€. A greedy, but smart pirate captain who, together with his followers, raids helpless freighters in the outer regions of the galaxy.
Once meant to be great warmachines in the fight against the Xsotan, these centuries old machines stray through the galaxy attacking everything that they think is Xsotan.
A coward who recently got his hands on a Xsotan artifact which he used to upgrade his hyperspace engine, which makes it impossible to catch him with conventional methods.
The Mobile Energy Lab
Funded by the M.A.D. Science Corporation, this mobile energy laboratory does state of the art research on energy generation and weapons.
A group of four rich explorers, each with their own ship and crew and armed to the teeth. Like you, they want to explore the center of the galaxy and are looking for Xsotan artifacts. Maybe you should bring some friends, too. Yes, that's four bosses at the same time, and they work together.
And last but not least ...
â€¦ in the very center of the galaxy.
But no spoilers for this one, you'll have to check him out for yourself!
Alright folks, thatâ€™s it for now! Weâ€™ll release another update about the Kickstarter Beta once it draws near.
Have a great time!
Konstantin & Philipp