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Post news RSS Stardeus Development Update: 2020-12-13

Ship Computer overheating, better AI, Quick Search, more usable UI, electricity grid and other improvements.

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Hey Space Travelers!

It has been over two weeks since the last development update, and there are a bunch of noteworthy additions.

Gameplay

Ship Computer Overheating

Cooldown

To make your story more interesting, the ship computer will be accumulating heat, and eventually will have to perform a cooldown routine. During the cooldown several in-game hours will pass, and you will have absolutely no control over what happens. This will be used to inject various story events. After the cooldown you could find yourself in the middle of a riot, a surprise pirate raid, or a mysterious glowing egg could appear in one of the dark corners of the ship. It is possible to delay the cooldown, but you won’t be able to overclock the CPU to speed up the time flow due to the overheat.

Improved Self Preservation

Self preserving AI

Humans will now avoid taking work that involves going into areas that don’t have safe conditions, and will try to run away into a safer place if the room suddenly loses oxygen or becomes too cold / too hot. Beings will also prevent stopping in doorways, to preserve room airtightness and insulation properties.

Electricity Grid Improvements

Electricity Grid

Since energy connectors have a connection limit, it will be useful to see how saturated the connector is. This will be automatically displayed whenever you enter the electricity grid view mode, select an electricity enabled device, or use a connection tool. Grid visualization was also improved, connections will now look more motherboard-like, and hopefully it will be easier to tell what is connected to what.

Connection Previews

You will also be able to see the connection previews just by hovering connector buttons, so you will know what will be connected or disconnected after you click the button.

Camera Dolly Motion and Demo Mode

Dolly Motion

To create the alpha trailer, I had to build myself some tooling that stores camera positions and allows it to smoothly float from one point of interest to another. I am now using this extensively to shoot all the gifs and short clips. There is also a demo mode where the camera automatically floats through your base showcasing various objects. It is really useful when taking a break during Twitch streams.

Twitch Integration

Twitch

Talking about Twitch, there is an integration that allows playing with viewers. It is easy to configure, and your viewers can use !join to enter your game as a construction drone. They can then use commands like !say to talk, !goto to navigate to the point of camera, !repair to repair some damaged object nearby, and if they earn enough reputation, they could even try to !explode, that starts a 30 second countdown and blasts the drone into pieces, damaging some part of the base. This countdown is preventable, if the streamer finds the drone and clicks “defuse” in time. Twitch integration is built with pluggable commands, so it will be really easy to add new chat commands and behaviors through mods.

Procedural Generation Improvements

Slide

There were some improvements done with the “Wrecked Ship” default scenario generation. First, the ship computer and your robot will be generated in safer spots, avoiding situations where the robot gets stuck or where the ship computer is hanging on the edge of a broken floor.

Dead Bodies

Then, there will be dead bodies near the stasis arrays. It looks a little grim, but it is realistic, since stasis arrays are damaged, people are waking up from time to time, and they are dying in open space.

Raw Materials

Another generation improvement is a nice side effect of a game mechanic where destroying anything produces raw materials, and when your ship is being generated and later destroyed, the debris will show up naturally where parts of your ship were supposed to be, providing plenty of materials for drones to scavenge in the beginning of the game. This will make you last longer without running out of resources and needing to fly to other sectors of the space in search for minable asteroids or planets.

UI / UX Improvements

Quick Search

Quick Search

What frustrates me when playing some more complex games is having to either learn a ton of shortcuts, or dig through endless menus to get something done. In Stardeus there will be a solution for this. You can use TAB to toggle a quick search, where you can type any menu item name, or a name of one of your workers, and hit enter to quickly perform the action, find the worker, or switch into a tool. The quick search is also easily pluggable, so it could be possible to add custom actions or macros in there as well.

Interactive Hint Lines

Hint Lines

Since you will be taking the role of a computer, data is your friend. Hovering some UI elements will show lines from your mouse cursor to the relevant objects, so they will be much easier for you to find.

UI Auto Scale


UI Scaling

Auto scale and UI scaling will now be configurable through a settings panel, and there will be some safety checks, preventing the UI of going too big / too small if you change the display resolution.

Audio and Soundtrack

Audio Settings

Audio settings will now allow toggling a “cutoff” filter effect that cuts the high frequencies in the music when you zoom in, and does the same to ambience and sound effects when you zoom out.
OST was expanded with several new musical pieces. Here’s one that will be used in intense space battles, or when you robots start a riot.


Full list of changes since last development update

v0.2.7 (2020.12.11)
- Make middle mouse button rotate objects before placement
- Prevent confirm and input popups from producing duplicates
- Add input settings panel with interactive rebinding support
- Change UI lines from mouse to object to be straight
- Fix slider background not being auto-styled
- Fix templates generating objects with gaps
- Quick Search will also find your workers and other beings
- Optimize energy grid performance


v0.2.6 (2020.12.10)
- Fix bottom left menu not reacting to hover if root button was clicked
- Add Twitch settings panel
- Add UI scale controls to video settings panel
- Add cutoff controls to audio settings panel
- Add Gameplay options panel
- Make manual UI scale confined to sane values
- Automatically reset UI scale if resolution change made UI too big / too small
- Start building blueprints system for 3D printing
- Start building meals and food system
- Add Vegetarian Food to research tree
- Add Soy Burger item


v0.2.5 (2020.12.09)
- Polish the tutorial, handle more edge cases
- Hint objects that need to be clicked with lines from cursor in tutorial
- Fix a couple of bugs
- Fix race condition with multiple coroutines using same waiter object


v0.2.4 (2020.12.08)
- Add Carbon raw material
- add Ship Computer overheating and cooldown mechanics
- Add mysterious eggs
- Visualize connection previews
- Change how energy connections look like
- Fix a couple of random generation bugs
- Make sure Ship Computer and Robot are generated in safe area
- Produce natural debris from ship destruction
- Add hover links showing target objects for some UI elements


v0.2.3 (2020.12.05)
- Fix lose material pile hauling issues
- Change roaming logic to prevent stopping in doorways
- Make it impossible to "shutdown" humans
- Fix some deconstruction ads being marked as unreachable after save/load
- Make updates public on Discord
- Toggle Quick Search with Tab
- Add pagination to Quick Search
- Improve Quick Search result accuracy
- Improve Context Menu behavior
- Make Research run 5x faster for playtesting
- Make beings take cold and oxygen damage again


v0.2.2 (2020.12.03)
- Add camera dolly motion tooling for trailer capture
- Change some key bindings
- Fix research widget blocks sized incorrectly
- Fix bottom left menu sometimes being stuck in wrong position
- Make tutorial skippable via ESC
- Make detached UI dialogs and boxes draggable
- Confine draggable UI to never leave screen area
- Add quick search (Space)
- Lots of small improvements in gameplay
- Lots of bugfixes
- Balance improvements
- Controller UI enhancements

Curious how I manage to produce so much in just two weeks? View my development streams live on Twitch to find out: dev_spajus

I also post gifs on Twitter pretty often: @GameHeroOrg

And finally, if you aren't on Kodo Linija Discord server yet, join now: Discord.com

Cheers!
Spajus

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