Author Topic: Development Progress - February 2016 LEAPYEAR EDITION!  (Read 4283 times)

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Offline Rod-Serling

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Development Progress - February 2016 LEAPYEAR EDITION!
« on: February 29, 2016, 12:08:31 AM »
Excluding merges, 4 authors have pushed 192 commits to master and 197 commits to all branches. On ECS-Crossover, 510 files have changed and there have been 194,791 additions and 551,674 deletions.



As you can tell, development really picked up this month. Despite that graph, we haven't started slowing down again, we're actually going faster than ever. A few months ago Knitieli developed the new Crossplatform UI, which has proven to be easy to work with and flexible. We're still missing significant progress on the UI side due to a lack of developers. Late this month, new developers firefly2442 and nuvan have joined us. Both are experienced UI designers/developers. They're still getting warmed up to the Crossplatform UI library we're using, but early mock ups are looking pretty good.

On the gameplay side, things are also moving quickly. se5a is developing tools to help us expand our game data quickly, while I've been working on implementing game logic features. We've made progress in network serialization and data-hiding to prevent multiplayer cheating. We've implemented Gravitational survey points and an early pathfinding system. Jump Point generation is in the beginning stages of implementation. expected to be completed within the next week. The library side of the Event Log has also been born and made significant progress.

On the master branch side of things, Nathan_ continues work, and believes that a new alpha version may be out soon™ish.

Overall, I'm very hopeful for the future of this project yet. Feature progress on the Library has really started to hit a good stride, the things on the UI side are looking up as well.

Now there might be a few things about this post that catch your eye.

Firstly, we've had 551,674 deletions and only 194,791 additions. Does this mean we're still gutting Pulsar? Absolutely not. We've lost no features this month. Most of the removals are old, non-functional code that was commented out, or code in different libraries that was completely depreciated and no longer in use. We do continue to refactor some internal parts of Aurora, which lead to sometimes significant improvements in maintainability and reduces line count, but this isn't our main goal currently.

Also, did I say something about multiplayer? Yes I did. Multiplayer support is on the table for Pulsar. It is in no way a focus. We've strived to design Pulsar in a way that multiplayer support can be easily added later, so sometimes we take certain multiplayer considerations into the design at this early stage even for single-player implementation. We do not plan to support multiplayer in Pulsar 4X 1.0 Maybe for 1.1 ;)

Additionally, with the recent surge in Aurora popularity due to the recent Let's Play series, we've been asked if Pulsar was "approved" by Steve, the creator of Aurora. While we have a forum section here (on his website), I personally reached out to Steve to ensure we had his blessing. Steve returned my message with some concerns about Pulsar. His current stance was that he "Neither approves, nor disapproves" of Pulsar. We have had internal discussions on ways we can address Steve's concerns and we are planning on making changes in Pulsar in order to best respect Steve's wishes. One of the largest changes is the overall direction Pulsar is going to take. We've been planning for months to make Pulsar mostly an Aurora clone. We're now looking at different options we can take to differentiate us from Aurora, both in the UI and in gameplay mechanics. While Pulsar will still feel like an "Aurora-like game" it wont be a C# copy.
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Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Development Progress - February 2016 LEAPYEAR EDITION!
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2016, 12:23:19 AM »
What sort of changes were you thinking of making to differentiate it from Aurora? Obviously, it's still based on jump points... :^)

It would probably help if it had totally different <Spoilers>

And different minerals/resources?

 

Offline Rod-Serling

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Re: Development Progress - February 2016 LEAPYEAR EDITION!
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2016, 02:55:26 AM »
It is still based on jump points. Our Galaxy Generation will be significantly different, along with how we connect jump points. We're hoping to produce more... sane... jump point galaxy maps. In addition, we are tossing around the idea of implementing a ship component that allows travel to physically close systems with a time delay. Like a "Hyperdrive" or warp drive. Our systems have actual coordinates in our galaxy, so the further away you try to go, the longer it would take.

Additionally I personally plan on applying some re-balances. The minimum time advancement will be brought down to 1 second, and "Auto Turns" will be the default norm, and "Pause" will be the special case. Beam weapon range would increase.

On the UI side, we'll likely stick with a aurora-format at first, but aggressively introduce design and usability enhancements.

While these changes are limited at first, in the long-run as the differences build on each other they will make Pulsar into its own game. Once we have a very good stable base with comparable features to aurora, we will more aggressively introduce changes. New spoilers, and features, possibly new technology and new gameplay mechanics (I've really wanted to try my hand at a Mass Effect style Heat management during combat) will be developed. We really don't have any extremely hard plans at the moment for this.
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Offline Sheb

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Re: Development Progress - February 2016 LEAPYEAR EDITION!
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2016, 03:50:45 AM »
Out of curiosity, can you tell us what are Steve's concerns, or is that something you'd rather keep private?
 

Offline alex_brunius

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Re: Development Progress - February 2016 LEAPYEAR EDITION!
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2016, 04:14:27 AM »
I would be very interested in seeing more details from Pulsar into the low tech area, from where we are today with rockets and crude ion engines and fleshing out non/pre TN techs more.

You could for example imagine requiring you to make your first small slow explorations out to other sol system bodies before you discover all TN materials and can fully work with them and convert your society.

It always felt like a natural part that was missing, skipped over or hand-waved away for me.



Lots of cool story options also from discovering TN techs at alien wrecks or sites at other solar bodies once you start to explore them in more detail and build up crude small colonies with maybe just a few hundred inhabitants. And from a more "real" or plausible spacerace between several factions of same race.

Early manned spacecraft could ofcourse be exceptionally expensive, guzzle huge amounts of fuel/resources to get into orbit and once there be very unreliable. All fun stuff :)
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 04:37:46 AM by alex_brunius »
 

Offline Rod-Serling

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Re: Development Progress - February 2016 LEAPYEAR EDITION!
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2016, 05:07:48 AM »
Out of curiosity, can you tell us what are Steve's concerns, or is that something you'd rather keep private?

I would rather keep them private but we do plan to address every concern he has to the best of our abilities. I only felt the need to share this because I have been fielding a lot of questions about Steve's current stance on Pulsar, and because Pulsar's path forward has been altered.
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Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Development Progress - February 2016 LEAPYEAR EDITION!
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2016, 05:34:44 AM »
Here's what Steve's said publicly

Quote
I'm not for or against Pulsar. A group of developers are trying to recreate Aurora in C#. As long as they don't try to sell it, or cause any licencing or legal issues, it should't affect me.
 

Offline boggo2300

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Re: Development Progress - February 2016 LEAPYEAR EDITION!
« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2016, 02:52:58 PM »
Beam weapon range would increase.

aaaand you just lost me
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Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Development Progress - February 2016 LEAPYEAR EDITION!
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2016, 02:55:33 PM »
well, if the increment goes down to 1s, the beam weapon range would have to decrease to 1 light second to stick to aurora rules

so you'd need to be handling beam weapons outside the 'light speed within the increment' system anyway
 

Offline boggo2300

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Re: Development Progress - February 2016 LEAPYEAR EDITION!
« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2016, 02:57:27 PM »
My problem is once you start with the superluminal beam weapons it's only a short hop to the $&*(@#(%  intergalactic laser nonsense in Force Awakens.

Which immediately takes you away from one of Auroras main advantages over pretty much all the rest of the 4x field.


« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 02:59:29 PM by boggo2300 »
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Offline Mor

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Re: Development Progress - February 2016 LEAPYEAR EDITION!
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2016, 03:00:03 PM »
It is still based on jump points. Our Galaxy Generation will be significantly different, along with how we connect jump points. We're hoping to produce more... sane... jump point galaxy maps. In addition, we are tossing around the idea of implementing a ship component that allows travel to physically close systems with a time delay. Like a "Hyperdrive" or warp drive. Our systems have actual coordinates in our galaxy, so the further away you try to go, the longer it would take.

Additionally I personally plan on applying some re-balances. The minimum time advancement will be brought down to 1 second, and "Auto Turns" will be the default norm, and "Pause" will be the special case. Beam weapon range would increase.

On the UI side, we'll likely stick with a aurora-format at first, but aggressively introduce design and usability enhancements.

While these changes are limited at first, in the long-run as the differences build on each other they will make Pulsar into its own game. Once we have a very good stable base with comparable features to aurora, we will more aggressively introduce changes. New spoilers, and features, possibly new technology and new gameplay mechanics (I've really wanted to try my hand at a Mass Effect style Heat management during combat) will be developed. We really don't have any extremely hard plans at the moment for this.
Sounds like a good plan.
 

Offline Rod-Serling

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Re: Development Progress - February 2016 LEAPYEAR EDITION!
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2016, 03:23:58 PM »
My problem is once you start with the superluminal beam weapons it's only a short hop to the $&*(@#(%  intergalactic laser nonsense in Force Awakens.

Which immediately takes you away from one of Auroras main advantages over pretty much all the rest of the 4x field.

Nothing is final. That said, my plans for beam weapons are as follows:

I will not be implementing superluminal beam weapons. I've discussed with some members of the aurora IRC chat, and we came up with a system that I think works nicely.

Code-wise, under the hood, beam weapons would create a tracking projectile that moves at the speed of light.  At the time of impact, The Beam Fire Control (BFC) will perform its accuracy check to determine if the beam hit or missed. A ship changing direction between when the beam weapon fires and when it impacts will not impact accuracy.

Lore-wise, the BFC is no longer like a normal tracking fire-control. It isn't "Point and Shoot" instead the BFC creates a quantum ion path between the firing ship and the enemy ship. Once this ion path is established, the ion path itself tracks the moving ship. When the Laser is fired, using hand-wavy TN mechanics, the beam travels along the quantum ion path to the target. Similar to lightning. Strong BFC's can create more larger and more powerful ion paths, and ECCM can stabilize the ion paths to be more coherent. ECM on the other hand, destabilizes the ion path and increases the likelihood of a miss.
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Offline boggo2300

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Re: Development Progress - February 2016 LEAPYEAR EDITION!
« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2016, 03:30:34 PM »
that I have no issues with,  ok I'm back,  though you probably don't even need to make the technobabble for the Fire control that complex,  it's just really good predictives.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 03:41:43 PM by boggo2300 »
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Offline Rod-Serling

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Re: Development Progress - February 2016 LEAPYEAR EDITION!
« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2016, 03:46:57 PM »
I have to convince myself too ;) I like my Scifi to have a bit of hardness to it. Or at least be internally consistent.
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Offline boggo2300

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Re: Development Progress - February 2016 LEAPYEAR EDITION!
« Reply #14 on: February 29, 2016, 03:50:48 PM »
mind you I'm kinda riffing on the concept of being able to turn out of the path of long range beam shots,  though I'd think you'd need some kind of limit on how quickly a ship would respond to orders to change course,  do it with crew quality, and perhaps ship agility causing a delay between order to turn and turn.  that could be very interesting
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