Major UI Overhaul and Other New Cool Stuff
It’s been quite a while since my last post but it’s all for good reasons!
The pixel art style has been shelved a little (not totally) in favour of a more sci-fi focused art style for the user interface.
The planet selector and title screen have seen the biggest visual changes.
The station itself is now much bigger and comes complete with two docking bays when the player starts a new game. Infoboxes appear above rooms when the player hovers over them with their mouse cursor. These boxes will tell you what a room is used for and it’s current status.
In other developments. you can now recruit a crew member and have a ship fly in to drop them off. At the moment this happens within one in-game hour of you recruiting the crew member. This will change, as even at faster than light speeds you are still pretty far away from Earth.
I’ve spent a lot of time working with pathfinding in the last few weeks; particularly with regard to ships. At the moment the only use case for ship movement is the transport ship that arrives to drop off crew members.
I’ve also had a lot of work to do on the Space Traffic Control element. When a ship is needed (eg: a new crew member has been recruited) then they will be seen on the arrivals board with an ETA. When the ship arrives. it will wait at a pre-determined point and then request docking clearance. The player can then choose whether to clear the ship for docking or to turn it away. In future, there will be negative consequences to turning away a scheduled ship, so you have been warned 🙂
For this to work, I’ve had the task of programmatically simulating the conversation between the ship and the station that allows the ship to request clearance. the station to reply with ‘yes please dock’ and then for the ship to find the next available docking back and move to it, stopping when it arrives. It’s just logistics and should be really boring but I have to admit it was fun to produce.
You can also now purchase and install systems. Each system produces vital resources for your station. At the moment there are only some basic starter systems which produce essentials like water and oxygen but I will be adding more as the need arises.
I’m moving on to work with how the crew will live on the station and how they interact with their surroundings.
Things are still a little rough around the edges and there is a long way to go but it’s a lot of fun. I’ll try and be better at updating this blog with developments now that things are moving along nicely.