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Post news RSS Update 0.9.7 - New HUD, upgraded engine, redesigned asteroids, major fixes, and a new trailer

After several months of work, I've released the next major update to AK. This update includes a redesigned HUD that is more information-dense and user-friendly (and even color-customizable). It also includes a new asteroid/debris system with rebuilt models/textures, which improves the overall aesthetics and realism of the game. Also, the engine has been upgraded to Unreal 4.21, providing the very latest UE4 features/fixes.

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General

- Upgraded to Unreal 4.21.1
- Redesigned entire HUD with customizable colors
- Replaced all existing asteroids and debris with new meshes and textures (more varied and realistic)
- Mission load-times reduced significantly
- Added color-themes that affect the entire HUD and some menus
- 4K displays are now properly supported (HUD-resolution scales up/down accordingly)
- Desktop resolution is now used by default on first startup

Gameplay

- Created a new objective-system that displays major and minor objectives (and their progress) on the HUD
- Relative movement is now shown in the center of the HUD with a colorized moving reticle
- Added several more objectives to each mission
- Rebalanced all missions and updated difficulty levels
- Damaged frigates now display accurate hull-damage
- Players are now warned as they near the edge of the playable area
- Health-icons are now shown near hangar-bays
- Squad-members now arrange in a dynamically adjusted formation behind the squad-leader
- Increased squad-member spacing to greatly reduce the chance of ship-collisions

HUD

- Redesigned entire HUD for a more realistic look and greater practicality
- Reticles now fade and change size to reduce on-screen clutter
- Dotted lines are now drawn to leading reticles
- Reticles are now shown for missiles and mines
- Created a new radar-ball that shows the relative location of targets more clearly (can be zoomed in/out via CTRL+mouse wheel)
- Reticles are now rendered using the custom depth buffer
- Replaced existing 2D-billboards with a new 3D-billboard system (works better with VR)
- Radio-icons are now colorized based on friendly/hostile origin
- Opponents of different types are now displayed with different reticle-shapes
- Created a new instrument-system that allows for each instrument to operate independently (significantly increases overall cockpit performance)
- On-screen status messages are now more user-friendly (cryptic opponent codes no longer used)
- Distance and relative motion to target are now displayed on the target-panel in a single readout

Graphics

- Tracers are now rendered using a new technique that takes into account both absolute and relative movement (much more realistic appearance)
- Projectile-impact flashes and light-beacons are now rendered using a sphere instead of a 2D-billboard (improves impact visibility)
- Lasers are now rendered using a 3D-mesh instead of a particle-system

Scenery

- Rearranged asteroids and debris in all missions (very tedious)
- Created a new debris-system that allows for larger moveable fragments and raining debris (seen in some missions like Firefight)
- Created icy asteroids and debris for "cold" levels
- Created destructible, glowing embers for "fiery" levels

UI

- Added live scenery behind main-menu (dropships and fighters attack each other)
- Cursor is now controllable in VR and non-VR modes by all controllers
- Hardware cursor is no longer used (blue/flashy cursor now used in all modes)
- Stats in various menus are now colorized to indicate "good" or "bad" numbers
- Stylized AK and Doomsday logos
- Mission-buttons are now disabled on locked missions (lock-icons are no longer shown)
- Last played mission (or next campaign mission) is now displayed by default in the Missions menu
- Updated all mission splashes and descriptions

AI

- AI is now capable of targeting frigates (if they have any weapons that can damage them)
- AI now detect missiles and mines (and share the information to teammates)

Input

- Modifier keys can now be used when creating key-mappings (ctrl, alt, shift, etc.)

Audio

- Increased radius of debris-explosion sounds
- Master volume is now limited to a minimum of 5%
- Added new "super laser" muzzle-sound (more intimidating)

Bugs

- Fixed issue with game-over menu not displaying in rare cases (spectator-camera would become misaligned if target was destroyed)
- Current resolution is now correctly shown in the Graphics menu
- Fixed null-spawn warning that occurred when missiles were fired
- Fixed some preset resolution-strings with incorrect characters
- Eliminated invalid-object-type warning
- Fixed issue with laser-beams becoming misaligned with ship

Comments
Guest
Guest

What is the general roadmap by now?

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astrokill Author
astrokill

The general roadmap is to build/add more 3d assets that will further expand the gameplay and variety of missions. After that, it will be in 1.0 territory. Programming-wise, I consider the game complete. After a few years of dev, it sits on a pretty solid codebase. It's just a matter of adding more art at this point.

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Juris3D
Juris3D

Super, i knew you will be back on this project! :) My best wishes!

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