News Archive

  • Test Voyage, and Website Issues

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! I apologize for the down time this morning. The website was under a pretty heavy load from spambots, and I had to call in the cavalry to help break the attack. I think things are getting back under control now. It just unfortunately cratered the morning's productivity.

    Back in gamedev land, I decided to take a test ship for a spin from Tharsis Landing (MTRS) on Mars surface to Hangzhou Station (MHNG) in orbit. Short trip, so it was a good test for checking the whole station-to-station loop without waiting ages or artificially accelerating time.

  • Actually, Cloning Works!

    dcfedor's picture

    Good news, everyone! It seems cloning might actually work after all. While there was definitely a bug in there, it might've been smaller than originally thought.

  • Art Briefing, Pallas, and Titan

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. The little one had a birthday party to attend, so it was a social weekend for us. Plus, milder weather meant yard work!

  • Loading Snag, Fixes, Art Help, and OOO

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! Bit of a mixed bag today, split between fixing some smaller bugs, discovering an iceberg of a bug, and looking for artists.

  • We're Loaded!

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! I think loading is mostly working now.

    Today's screenshot shows a sample game I loaded from a json file generated in an earlier session. Notable features include:

  • Loading...

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! More work on the loader today. As you can see from today's screenshot :)

    It's coming along, but not without some expected speed bumps. I wasted a good hour or two on LitJson again, debugging its cryptic error messages. In the end, it turned out I had two issues.

  • Load/Save Compiling, Main Menu

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! Finally got a chance to dive into some code today. And as you can see from the image above, I did a bit of main menu prototyping.

    First, however, I had to fix-up the remaining compiler errors. And that meant figuring out where I left off before vacation. Fortunately, I kept pretty good notes, so it wasn't too bad to reorient myself. My main goal before break was to get save/load working, and it was almost there. I was basically trawling through the compiler error log to tie-up loose ends in the code.

  • Welcome Back!

    dcfedor's picture

    Happy 2018, Folks! After two weeks of (mostly) trying to stay away from work, I think I'm pretty well recharged and ready to get back to business.

    Unfortunately, those two weeks of absence meant a lot of email and admin tasks piled up. So that's where today started. Getting various federal tax forms collected and sent, paying business license taxes, catching up on emails and forum posts...such is the exciting life of running a business.

  • Happy Holidays!

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! Short news today, as I have to head out to meet the fam. Mostly tax and accounting stuff today, anyway. I did manage to get more done on saving/loading, but there's still a bit to go. Basically, almost to the point where it'll compile, then the real fun begins :)

    More importantly, the holidays are here! I'll be home over the next 1-2 weeks, but not working, so I might be slow to reply to any emails, etc. I'll be busy smashing chocolate into my face and usual traditions.

  • Saving Works! Now to Load It Again...

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! Got the save system working today, and have written out my first few save files successfully. They're doozies, too. 700kB of text data just for that cramped ship layout you see above with two crew members. Lots of stuff to save, I guess. Star system info, every object in the game, the ships, waypoints, message logs...the works. It'll be interesting to see how this pans out with larger/longer games.

  • Json json json json beans json...

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! Sorry in advance for the less exciting post today. I actually did quite a bit of coding, even going as far as closing email and other non-essential apps to focus. But it's not anything to look at, really, unless you like data.

    Json data, that is :)

  • Air Pumps, Backups, and Save Files

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! More clean-up and prep today, plus a bit of investigation into what will probably be the next big task: saving game state.

    After yesterday's performance housekeeping, the game was a bit more usable with large ships loaded. And one of the finishing touches to that change was to fix the camera panning to be independent of frame rate. A large part of what alerted me to the low framerate was the hitching camera panning. Now, the camera feels much smoother regardless (which will be a big deal in scenes where cpu/gpu usage spikes).

  • Performance Housekeeping

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Fairly low-key, here. What spare time I had I squeezed in some Stellaris, where I finally managed to have a competent empire. My usual "nice guy" empires always failed/were defeated, so this one's pretty cutthroat :)

  • Resupply Is Go

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! I think I've got the station resupply UI just about working. There seems to be a weird calculation error in O2 levels, but apart from that, I successfully resupplied today!

  • Refueling Code, O2 Canisters, pV = nRT

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! I've gotta say, this refueling thing sort of side swiped me. I was sort of picturing it as being a really simple, almost throwaway piece of code to bridge the gap until I came back to it later. But it turns out to have quite a few tricky (or at least non-trivial) parts to it.

    With the UI mockup done yesterday, I started writing code to handle all of the dynamic data. So far, so good. There's a lot of data in here, but that's not really too challenging.

  • Spreadsheets!

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! I think I've narrowed down the short term goal list to two things: refueling the ship at a station, and some sort of encounter system. And since the former is probably quicker to do, it's spreadsheet time!

    What you see above is an in-game UI I mocked-up in Unity to cover the ship refueling and restocking operations at a station. Similar to the air traffic control UI I made earlier, a lot of this is just for show. But it does illustrate some of the stuff I want to model in the game.

  • PR Planning, Stations, and Performance

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! Sort of a mixed bag today, as I tackled a few tasks of different colors.

    First order of business was chatting with Fernando Rizo, who's been helping me prepare to announce this space prototype more officially. Originally, we were talking about trying to get on some publications' radars for 2018 lists, but since this is likely going to be the first official announcement of the space prototype (including a name!), we're talking a more general, long-term strategy.

  • AI UI: Improved Edition

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. I apologize for the lack of a post on Friday. Our fridge bit the big one Thursday night/Friday morning, and we were scrambling to get the house back in order. Fortunately, we have temperature controlled food again, and no longer have to store our perishables in the cold wilderness like savages.

    A lot of today was spent catching-up on emails that had collected during my absence. Though I did finish up a bit of UI work I started late last week. Namely, making the AI GUI a bit clearer.

  • UI Spitballing

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! More experimenting today, as I messed around with ideas for showing what's going on with AI on the ship.

    In today's screenshot, there's a new UI feature to show the currently selected AI. It only shows up when AI is selected (and not, for example, a door). The rough idea is to give a bit more situational info about what this AI is currently experiencing. It's pretty self-explanatory, but I'll go clockwise from the top left.

  • Motley Crew

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! We're definitely making headway on the crew portraits.

    As you can see from today's image, I finally figured out how to texture swap. After a couple of hours of failing to do things the "right" way, I just hacked some code to do it my way. (Basically, exposed a texture property that would otherwise be private on each SpriteMeshInstance.) And it worked!