So far the AI combatants haven’t been capable of collaboration, which is why the cooperative mode is currently artificial and limited: only one AI player against one to three humans. This will change, as 0.5.3 will introduce a fully featured team mode (still limited to four players, though). In the future, human(s) can fight against multiple AI combatants, team up with them, even battle against others with AI wingmen.
As you can imagine, this causes major changes in AI, interface as well as other, yet uncharted places. Firstly, I had to teach the AI not to target or escape its teammates, be careful when they get in the way, not try to shoot through them, and handle their ships as obstacles that should be dodged. Although I would never trust my life with them, the AI pilots already work surprisingly well with those changes. Some sort of tactical awareness must still be added in order to make AI teams battle as a unit. And of course, there has to be lots of issues I haven’t bumped into yet.
Additions to game creation and ship selection screens are needed. Menus will be completely redesigned at some point, but I made a rough implementation that should include all the mandatory functionalities (with lots of unexpected special cases).
Players must distinguish both their own ship and their teammates, which makes it hard to find good colors. For now, all team members share the team’s color, but I will try different red and blue variations for each individual in the future.
Lots of testing is required to make this work, so I have to organize multiplayer sessions at some point. I will post about those later.
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