A freeform space-based realtime strategy game where the player controls groups of starships and fighters. The game is built around a randomly generated starmap which the player must rid of all enemy ships. During this quest, stations around the map can be used to purchase ships, weapons and modules. The enemy will be trying to seize control of your stations, and take the sector for themselves. Through a variety of mission types, you must capture stations and push forward until the Dust Zone is safe once again.

Report RSS Dev Blog #13: Dust Fleet

In this update: a new name, a new UI and the path to the finish line. It's time to focus on the details that make the game feel fun, and the mechanics that make it complete.

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Dust Fleet title card

When I started working on Fleet, it was because I had a vague idea about giving space ships orders to shoot at each other. I didn't have an end point in mind, I just wanted to see what I would make. I had lots of ideas about where it could go. As time has drawn on and the game has solidified, those ideas have changed considerably, but the core game is exactly as originally envisaged.

Last weekend I wrote a document that described the next phase of development, intended to get the game from where it is now, a solid base, to where it needs to be - a fun, polished game. It's basically the final roadmap to a release, which is pretty exciting. There's a lot to do, though.

First thing on the list is to give the game an identity. "Fleet" was a working title that I got attached to, but as a name it's own it's painfully bland and generic. As you have no doubt spotted from the image above, the game is now called "Dust Fleet".

The game takes place in the Dust Zone, a sector of space devoid of planets, containing a network of ancient wormholes for reasons no one has ever understood. Your fleet has been sent to investigate attacks on mining stations in the Dust Zone, and that's where the name comes from.

A new name isn't really game development, though, is it? Don't worry, I've been doing real work too.

Target their weapons

An always half-complete mechanic, turret targeting is now a finished, easy-to-use function. It's as simple as clicking on the turret you want to attack, and your fighters will do the rest.

Turret targeting

Okay, maybe their aim could use some work ;)

UI Improvements

I showed off the redesigned outfitting screen in the last update, and since then I've been applying that minimalist, uncluttered style to the rest of the game. It wasn't an easy task with the fitting screen, which is, by nature, complicated. I ditched the symbolic white icons in favour of more vivid, colourful icons for the weapons, as well as scaling down the button sizes. I also stripped out as much information as possible, instead using the already-present details windows to show information about what the mouse is currently hovering over. There's still more to do, but it's feeling much more intuitive and less complicated than it used to, without sacrificing any features.

A closer look

If you're wanting a closer look at some of Dust Fleet's ships, I'm starting to upload them to Sketchfab. In-game, they're sporting turrets and team colours.

This is a nemesis-class cruiser:


And here's a command cruiser:

And finally...

Here's a picture of a gunship having a bad day.

A gunship taking fire

Until next time, spacers!


Comments
yhoyhoj
yhoyhoj

Great news !
I just wanted to comment on this awesome UI work. It looks really clear and modern. Really good job.

Do you plan to work on the graphics other than the UI ?
That's not a new issue but I have always thought that the ships could use more modern shaders. They look a bit too uniform/mat.
But well, it's obviously a superficial issue.

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DiscoJustice Author
DiscoJustice

Thanks!

Regarding the ships, I agree, I've been thinking the same thing lately. The lighting probably isn't helping either. I've got a few ideas I want to try out, but for now, it's all about the gameplay.

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Trooper_
Trooper_

Game is shaping up more and more since I tracked it long ago, nice work Disco.

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DiscoJustice Author
DiscoJustice

Thank you! Feels like I've been working on it forever ;)

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APPS-TRANS
APPS-TRANS

Hello. We have a business offer related to your game. We get interested in gameplay, but then understand that you have no Russian language.
Apps-Trans company can help you to localize your game to Russian. It would help you to bring more people to your game, and make it more popular.

Facebook.com

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Nutter2000
Nutter2000

Looking really good, mate
I like the name change too, much more memorable than just "fleet"

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DiscoJustice Author
DiscoJustice

Thanks mate. Yeah, really happy with the name. No one was gonna remember "Fleet" ;)

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Dust Fleet
Platforms
Windows
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DiscoJustice
Engine
Unity
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