The on-going space voxel project by the six sibling studio, ZanMgt! A labor of love, Blockade Runner is an ever-evolving development that's currently over going a major engine overhaul (all made from scratch!) to provide a solid foundation for the game's bi-weekly builds. We've found the bi-weekly builds to be an enjoyable and healthy development cycle and are anxiously preparing the game for their return!
This week’s update includes procedurally generated asteroids, new debri physics when chiseling your way through rock, a new toggle-able “zero-g” / gravity boot setting, fixes for long-standing crashes and more!
Posted by [ZanMgt]Aaron on Jul 30th, 2012
We’ll also have a good deal of major topics to discuss this week, so keep an eye on your favorite BR news feed for important news!
Generating a Star Wars “potato” asteroid is harder than it looks! Luckily Zack was up to the challenge and created an algorithm that can produce a decent facsimile! Check out the pictures and video below!
The asteroid can be generated by clicking on the “generate asteroid” button in the editor, or simply by starting a new multiplayer server!
A smoothing algorithm is being worked on as well as an optimization to make the generation faster, but all-in-all we’re happy with the initial results! All kinds of crazy combinations are possible too, from a boring meteor to something out of Armageddon, so you’ll have plenty of variety as BR develops.
Using Thorben Linneweber’s stellar Jitter physics library, we’ve begun experimenting with debri and physics around the asteroids. Just left-click around the asteroids (Launch / Multiplayer) to blast apart rock and have some rock debri scatter about!
Depending on which gravity mode you’ve got on (see below) the debri will react differently. “Zero-g” causes rock debri to float about, and “gravity boots” has the debri fall down to the ground or off the asteroid. Keep in mind that this is just experimental: future gravity devices on the asteroid will probably determine the debri’s behaviour
We had a lot of fun causing cave-ins or shoving out the pile of debri off the asteroid to clear a room out. In some cases, we’ve even had trouble getting through the mess we made, though this would be taken care of when you can smash the debris too. =)
Debris eventually disappear after a period of time and will likely react differently from each player’s perspective in the multiplayer since we won’t be having the server update their positions.
The new way of getting about is either by “Zero-G” (rocket-pack movement) or “Gravity Boots” (pulled downwards if something’s below). Pressing [R] alternates between the two and provides the opportunity to go free-floating when you please, or activating your gravity boots on demand!
We haven’t been able to touch on a visual response so it may not be entirely clear which one you’re in at first. The easiest way atm is to look down and see if you can see your feet, which means gravity boots have been engaged!
The community has been very helpful in spotting and informing us of angle blocks not already included with BR and so we’ve included a bunch of the requested angles to make sure certain ships can be finished off properly!
We’ve had a bunch of problems with the IrrKlang.dll causing people to crash when running the game and decided just to get rid of it for now.
Removing the .dll file means for those of you whose log.txt stopped at “Settings Applied” should be able to run this version of Blockade Runner. If it still crashes, please check the steps here and e-mail us your dxdiag & log.txt.
We’ll be looking into sound alternatives in the meantime, with the BASS audio library looking like a winner!
Part of the development plan these next few months will be to make Blockade Runner regularly playable, and this would include making sure you can play it without your eyes bleeding.
To this end, we’ve taken out the specularity until we can figure out why in the world it tends to flip from one direction to the other as you’re looking around. This is on the hot list for Nathan Zack and Gabe to be dabbling with this week; cross your fingers!
We’re also missing that old moody “evening” lighting that the red dwarf gave off and will see about restoring it.
- added randomly generated asteroid to multiplayer when not in sandbox
- added asteroid rock can now be placed with angles and have interiors/plating placed on them
- added ability to destroy blocks in multiplayer/previewer by pressing left-click
- added asteroid debri when destroying asteroid blocks
- added several new 1 meter angles
- added log out ability to main menu
- added all new prefabs by MrVorgra, Terah, and Micah
- added glow gradient around login/buy
- added asteroid generator to editor
- added warning when entering multiplayer screen "multiplayer is unstable"
- changed gravity boot system: R toggles between "zero-g" and "gravity boots" (note that gravity mode will affect debri)
- disabled specularity on textures temporarily
- fixed some weapons were screwed up
- fixed "F2 to toggle" tooltip for controls in editor
- fixed having a plating surface selected would prevent frames from being deleted
- fixed black bars having an offset in the multiplayer
- fixed purple screen when settings.xml has been deleted
- fixed [ESC] could not be used to exit multiplayer menu
- fixed seam in monkey character's head
- removed IrrKlang audio engine temporarily
- removed left-click magnetizing towards entities while in free flight
- removed roll arrows in multiplayer when piloting a ship
Enjoy the update and keep an eye out for more on the way!