As promised, here’s our big-ass update on what’s been happening with the game recently. We recorded a new podcast episode (http://objectsgame.com/podcast-in-space/) which you can listen to, but I’ve also put together a written summary for the forums and mailing list of what we spoke about (for you time-poor people who just wanna skim read and get on with your days).
We mention at one point that we’re currently talking about a May release date with the publisher. We haven’t locked this in, but this is what we’re talking about at the moment.
Here goes the podcast summary:
Space Station Design: A room editor which allows Leigh to assemble space station rooms out of modular assets is fully functional and tested, and we’re only a few dozen rooms away from the target of 300-ish rooms the player can visit.
Star Systems: You can now travel to any corner of the galaxy and find a fully-fleshed out hand-crafted star system replete with nebulae, asteroid belts, pirates and hidden treasures. Some still need touching up, and other nav meshes will have to be added for different NPC ships, but they’re all populated now.
Stat Tracking: The game now tracks the actions a player takes so that (for example) a player who engages in a lot of illegal smuggling will be more likely to be offered smuggling jobs in the future etc.
Advanced Flag Logic: Some more detailed flag-setting logic in the background will allow us to set timed delays between some tasks being completed and others beginning, as well as more complex sets of ‘if’ statements to determine what the next course for a player should be.
Tooltips: If you hover your mouse cursor over objects on your ship, a tooltip will explain what that object is. One of many ways we’re giving the player ambient ways to educate themselves about the functionality of their ship.
Buying / Selling Ships: You can now buy or sell ships, as well as board them to view them before you make your purchase.
Derelicts: You can also now board derelict ships adrift in space, which will often house ample goods for the player to ransack and on-sell.
Intercom: Passengers aboard your ship can now hail you via your ship’s internal intercom, providing massive opportunities for mid-flight interaction with story NPCs.
Inbox Notifications: When players have new messages available to download to their inbox, a notification informs them of this on the ship’s bridge so players never miss a job opportunity.
NavCom Upgrade: We’ve worked to make detected objects have a uniform ‘cone’ which projects its rough location outwards from your ship upon detection. This cone narrows over time as your lock on an object increases. The idea here is to make sure any new object could be anything until you’ve observed it long enough to determine it for yourself.
Infopedia: A one-stop-shop for information about the game mechanics and functionality, the Infopedia can be accessed via a ‘?’ in the top-right of any monitor and allows you to browse categories to learn more about how the game works.
Seamless Transition to Open World: Previously, the tutorial / intro sequence to the game existed in a separate instance of the game to the core open world itself and players were required to quit the game and re-launch to skip from one to the other. This is now a seamless experience.
NPCs Disembarking: Functionality for NPCs to disembark at allows for story missions or basic passenger jobs to be ended if the player takes too long.
Multiple Save Slots: You can now have up to three games going at once.
Moving Space Stations: For missions where the player has to find a space station at an unknown location, the game can now spawn it in one of several locations.
AI: Starting this month, Elissa is tackling AI in earnest including aggressive, defensive, neutral and stealth states and advanced pathfinding logic.
Lighting: Matt has finalised the system for implementing lighting into the space station rooms.