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Latest video: Frigates and news


MawhrinSkel
(@mawhrinskel)
Master Chief Registered
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 155
Topic starter  

The latest video shows frigates launching and fighting and the UI starts to shape into something show-worthy.

Over on IndieDB we discuss the evolution of the UI and our inspirations, we start to see the first mock-ups of how ship construction and Officer management could look, James lays out his thoughts as we draw nearer to a closed alpha and musings about the Kickstarter as the lead developer warms to the idea of crowdfunding.

 

http://www.indiedb.com/games/shallow-space/news/alternate-destiny

sspace-teaser.jpg

All that and some juicy GIFs and fresh images.


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DarkOne
(@sscadmin)
Supreme Dark Emperor Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 7670
 

I haven't played Shallow Space, but I have played games like it. And I think the interface is probably the most important part of fleet management type of games and making it simplistic but yet granular at the same time without giving the player too much crap on the screen. You guys spend a lot of time on the look & feel and I for one like to enjoy it as well. This has got to be the toughest area for you because you have arguments on both sides for interfaces in fleet management style games. I don't envy your position.... or maybe you give them both if possible 🙂


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MawhrinSkel
(@mawhrinskel)
Master Chief Registered
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 155
Topic starter  

It is very tricky, but really the way the units interact with each other really sets the UI 'on rails.'

 

There is essentially an awful lot of player AI going on. For example the wing members do their best to keep up with a wingleader, but if they have fixed weapons and the wing leader isn't taking them to a suitable firing position, the wingman will break away to seek an effective run at the enemy, discharge the weapons and return to the wing. The same behaviour is for both small ships and large.

 

But with all this player AI the player can really be left to relax during the battle and soak it up, so the fleet management UI is geared towards pregrouping and prestaging orders - none of this twitch panic clicking, you can relax during combat because your wings already know what to do and if not, sending them to attack is as simple as clicking an icon. The draggable selection boxes and right clicking on single units to attack will take a back seat in this game, it's about prior preparation and planning.

 

As for the configuration UI; well it can be as complex or as simple as we want it to be as no-one in there sane minds should be configuring loadout during battle.

 

Over the last 12 months i've developed a combat simulator of sorts, throwing ships in a pot and giving them brains and seeing what happens. I don't strive to give the player direct control of the ships in the traditional sense, they must guide them naturally to their objective as any real battlegroup commander would. 


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DarkOne
(@sscadmin)
Supreme Dark Emperor Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 7670
 

 

There is essentially an awful lot of player AI going on. For example the wing members do their best to keep up with a wingleader, but if they have fixed weapons and the wing leader isn't taking them to a suitable firing position, the wingman will break away to seek an effective run at the enemy, discharge the weapons and return to the wing. The same behaviour is for both small ships and large.

 

But with all this player AI the player can really be left to relax during the battle and soak it up, so the fleet management UI is geared towards pregrouping and prestaging orders - none of this twitch panic clicking, you can relax during combat because your wings already know what to do and if not, sending them to attack is as simple as clicking an icon. The draggable selection boxes and right clicking on single units to attack will take a back seat in this game, it's about prior preparation and planning.

 

This is great stuff MawhrinSkel. I actually like the fact that I don't have to control every facet of the battle and I can concentrate more on tactics instead of worrying if the fighters are targeting the correct ship or mount point. But this makes total sense really, you have a mission briefing (ie: you giving the orders) and you expect your officiers in charge to execute them. So I think your going about it the right way and if that unit AI is good enough it can adapt to situations of running out of torpedos, damage to ships, reactions to damage done on larger ships with moving into positions behind bigger ships.

 

Oh btw, loved that animation of the fighters leaving the hangers.


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