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Post news RSS Space Crusade December 2013/January 2014 Update Report

There is a lot to go over so check inside! New Version Released!

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Hey everyone and welcome to our Dec/Jan update report. I do not get to say this often here on ModDB but there is literally too much progress to report every little detail. I have over 40 pages worth of change log notes for the past two months, almost half of the entire log so I will just do the highlights and you can read about the rest of the changelog wiki page here.

So my goal was to get the game playable; that goal has been achieved, somewhat. In just a little while after posting this news report I will be uploading the installer for Space Crusade 0.5A. See the description for the download for important information about the game and some problems to expect.

For the most part the development was stable without too much interruption. I had to recode the database class several times as the cycle went on due to things I had found out through testing and suggestions on how to fix bugs that had cropped up. Another thing I have found as I have tested is that everything has had at least one problem with it so far except for the saving and loading; there were tons of problems through out the code for those.

I found several issues with the planet generation which were causing or would cause some serious bugs and I also fixed several issues in other related areas of the code. Several new variables had to be added to planets as a result and those were propagated throughout the other portions of the code where necessary. I added in the code to generate random planetary defenses and shields just yesterday and debugged that, finding several problem areas in the saving and loading function previously unfound because I had never had to use the code to deal with those before.

As a boon to you I added in a few couts that will allow you to visually see the progress of the game saving. It takes quite a while because of the way I coded the save queries but I will be fixing that in the next version. Saving and loading DOES work though, I wanted to make sure of that; you may just run into problems saving certain kinds of data of bugs in the code that create that data in the first place are not bugged (like station creation).

Clones have now been added to the game. Only three are available at this time but I will be adding more in the future. If battling is possible (I have not yet tested it) and you lose and the game finds that you have bought a clone then it will begin the process of using it. Note that when you use a clone you will lose a certain amount of your experience. How much you lose depends on the clone. The least expensive clone eats 12% of your total exp. This will cause you to de-level if you lose enough exp and may even cause your rank to lower although this still needs to be added into the code.

I have kept the logging system I used during my re-recode I started last year and expanded it into other areas of the game. Many areas will produce error logs so if you run into problems be sure to check it first as it will be able to provide much more concise information such as the file and line number where the error was generated and other specific information that I can use to track down the problem. the SC Log is located in the game directory.

I have added in the code to display much information on the player, the player ship, and other infomration in the game. It can be located from the main menu option 3 (the menu title is currently Ship Status). You can view all kinds of information here from your own stats or the stats of your ship to your relationships and missions. More information will be added as time goes on.

Much of the damage class had to be copied to allow for different battle types. I found this much easier than having to make multiple if blocks for different situations in the already existing code, causing the functions to become overly complex and confusing. There may be some issues still existing from previous work done.

I have added in over 100 new messages for the hailing system. Most of these are generic messages to be used by all of the various races until I can add dialog for them all but eventually each race will have different messages. What you can see will depend on how well versed in linguistics for that race you are starting with the native written language if you have not trained in that language. I will be creating these as well and that leads us to our next area of discussion.

I will be implementing a skill system by version 0.7A. It will function much like Eve-Online's skill system does except that the wait times will be drastically reduced. The times in the text version will be based on the number of times you go to the main menu from somewhere else in the game, excluding the status information screens. In the full version it will be time-based like Eve's is.

These skills will effect many things from your total damage output to the effectiveness of your shields or armor. Some will also effect how productive your planets are (will be adding player ownership of planets in 0.6A) and also can be used to lower your chances of encountering enemies. Skills will be purchased from skill books at stations.

Not all of the station areas have been coded but I did get the more important ones done including the docks. The docks are where you can repair your ship and now the amount you pay also takes into account your affinity with the group that owns that station. If you are friends with them you get a discount, if your are not then you get robbed, essentially.

While you can add stuff to the database it will not likely show up in game or be recognized by certain areas of the code, creating bugs. Please wait for me to add the configuration system in 0.6A before you begin modding. What the config system will do is allow you to set certain range values on randoms that are used to locate items within a range within the code. These are currently hard coded and cannot be changed from outside of the program. The configuration system will allow me to export these settings so that moders can add things, move them around, or change them and then change the ini settings so that the changes are reflected in the code.

As I have mentioned before, SC will be 100% mod friendly and allow you to add almost anything to the game from epic multi-mission quests to something more humble like a huge honking space cannon with which to blow your enemies away. In the full version you will also be able to add models for new stuff through the database as well.

To find out everything I did, and waste a day reading all of the information, see the change log linked at the top of the article.

Now that I have my A300 Pro keyboard I am going to start getting a but more aggressive on the music side of things. I have another music test for you. I meant for there to be two but I could not find the time to get into FL Studio to work on a test battle song.

Here it is:

And here is the first of 10 developer's vlog videos. Two of them are about the creation of the audio track above:

So that is everything for this update report. Be sure to check out the new alpha version and let us know of any suggestions or bugs by posting on the forums or bug tracker (see file description for a link to that or the README). I will be releasing new builds of this version each week as I fix things. I will make mini update postings for those probably on Friday or Saturday.

Thanks for following the project,

-SC Dev Team

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