We collated all the community feedback over the course of the last week and turned them into magical fixes; 30 of them to be precise and we also managed to advance the timetable functionality-wise by adding in a sprinkling of additional content. This content is designed to advance the objectives and abilities systems which will become key to the tactical experience as the title evolves.
The main change in this update which directly affects gameplay is the requirement to scan a piece of sector furniture to know its contents. Any ship in the game can use the ‘Deep Scan’ ability to advance the scanning of an asteroid cluster or gas cloud by ensuring the position of the formation is such that the centre of the cloud is enveloped in the scan radius (easiest done with the 3D range delimiting spheres shown.)
If you increase the range of the ships deep scan zone using scanner modules, or activate the scanner enhancing ability ‘Sector Scan’ these effects will stack allowing you to bring more stuff into your scan radius and scan it quicker. The more ships you have, the quicker scans will be resolved also.
Shown in this screenshot is the Blue delimiting range sphere, this particular sphere is context sensitive showing potential range extensions for abilities or status effects emanating from your units.
So it has to be said that you really should scan sector furniture before entering it because if the enemy manages to attack you when they are concealed, you’ll get hit with the ‘Surprised’ status preventing your ships from firing or jumping for 15 seconds which is bad. That door swings both ways however, and fishing the enemy out of their comfy hidey hole and into your waiting ambush might be a valid tactic for you. We will of course be designing maps to ensure both sides are caught out by that cool mechanic.
The minimap is key as you fly your flotillas around scanning stuff and it’ll tell you how far along the scans you are by hovering over the nebula or asteroid icons. The higher the scanned percentage, the less likely you are to get surprised attacked if there is something lurking in the depths.
This wing flew into an asteroid cluster without scanning it first, a barrage of fire came unexpectedly from an unknown location and the crew was stunned. Watch out for that Commander.
We have the beginnings of the objective system happening in map one and that’s actually the prerequisite to a whole host of cool stuff like statistics collecting, incidental mission objectives which will jolt the player into action and the inevitable win/lose mechanism. We look forward to maturing that a little more in UPDATE 5.
In addition we have all the stuff that was resolved thanks to community feedback! Actually we had a huddle round to discuss our opening week and we are so flattered by the reception we’ve received. Many of you warmed to the empty shell of Shallow Space and are happily bouncing around the forums and it is just so great to see thanks! Of particular note are the subtle fixes to the Ship Config screen that you guys suggested helping you to better plan your configurations and there are more of those to come.
UPDATE 5 will feature more ships, more abilities, more modules, more maps and the win/lose conditions that will bring the instances gracefully to a close. With that we’ll round the edges off the tactical sandbox making it water tight and then we’ll gently but generously pour in the proverbial goodness.
Over at explorminate, Kearon has done a second skirmish video, check it out:
Also, enjoy the first 3 parts of the INC Armstrong cruiser. There's 2 more images in our image gallery here on IndieDB!
Till next time!