Rooms and Atmo

Hey Folks! Quick update today, as I have to run to a toddler gathering.

Most of the day was spent tracking down a weird atmosphere sim bug in the load/save system. It looks like some of the save fixes I made mishandled loading of rooms, and they were ending up both disabled in-game, and with zero volume.

I was able to fix those issues, and in the process, reduce load times a bit by deferring loading any objects that aren't immediately necessary. So the save game loads a bit faster, and we get less orphaned and disabled objects sitting in the game hierarchy until their parent ship is fully loaded (e.g. by docking to it later).

So overall a big improvement to the system.

I think my atmo sim is working again, though I have one more bug to figure out. Rooms appear to reset to zero gas when loaded from a save. But I'm optimistic I can get that solved Monday.

Have a good weekend, all!

Comments

Rovlad's picture
Rovlad

Neat to hear the stuff is moving along! Been a while since we got so much news about the space game.

Official announcement when? I'm 90% sure it'll be called NEO Privateer or something along those lines. :) Maybe NEO Spacefaring, but that has less bite to it.

Oh and, about there being not much to do while trip/drama plays out, I think you already have fast forward function, so maybe make it "a main button", like pausing in CPRG combat. Then you can have it unpause itself if something important happens, or let people who enjoy the downtime or want to micromanage every second of the trip just have it all play out at their own pace.

"Choose your own pace" could also be an attractive bullet point as well, come to think of it!

And of course, stuff should happen outside of the ship, like oops, there was an uncharted asteroid belt in our way. Or wait, some pirates are hailing us and want to drop off some stuff so they will leave us alone. It doesn't have to be a "real" thing already on the map and waiting for you to bump into it (NEO Scavenger arguably suffered from most encounters being in fixed places btw), just kind of random stuff happening along the way, depending on how short or long your trip is, of course.

Rovlad's picture
Rovlad

There must be some very heavy restrictions on ship-to-ship combat near space stations and other habitats, because it would not only endanger people on the station, but also the planet they're orbiting. I think anything endangering either of those should be considered a class 1 threat and make you an outlaw everywhere in the civilized regions.
It's going to be great, I can feel it. :) You just keep at it.

matsy's picture
matsy

You really should consider some sort of unit tests to cover loading and saving. It has sprung up a few times now, probably more integration tests come to think about it. Although not sure it is even possible in Unity.

Could it be that I was loading properly, you just had a hole in your hull?

dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

@Rovlad, it's encouraging to hear you talk about the game like this. After staring at the same code for such a long time, it can be hard to see the fun.

The official announcement could be any time, really. But I've been holding back until I could muster-up at least a teaser video to put on the announcement page. And for that, I wanted at least a little bit of gameplay to show (to ensure it's interesting, but also to avoid people having the wrong expectations).

And yeah, you may be right about the fast-forward. Maybe it's just best to let go of continuous monitoring for now, and let the game decide when the next "interesting" thing happens, warranting player input. I can always back-fill stuff to do in-flight as the game develops, and maybe players will need FF less and less often.

I'm picturing the random event model being more time-based than location, so hopefully it does what you're describing. A hypervelocity meteoroid or debris puncturing the hull, a period of high radiation, contact with another vessel, failing water purifier...lots of good stuff to throw into an otherwise smooth trip!

As for combat near a station, it's probable that anything other than monopropellant maneuvers within 400km of a station is prohibited. That means fusion start-up, engaging main thruster, even just maneuvering too suddenly are going to be perceived as a threat. So yeah, arming a ship-to-ship weapon is probable cause for insta-justice :)

@matsy, unit tests are one of those things I agree with in theory, but always balk at when it comes time to do them (and maintain them).

I suspect some of the tests could be pretty easy to fire and forget. E.g. save/load parity on smaller things like conditions on an item, or even items themselves (positions, stats, etc.).

A lot of the trouble I'm hitting, though, feels like it'd be hard to design tests for. Or would require constant maintenance. And I'd probably just talk myself out of doing certain features because I dreaded the "homework."

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Rovlad's picture
Rovlad

>As for combat near a station, it's probable that anything other than monopropellant maneuvers within 400km of a station is prohibited. That means fusion start-up, engaging main thruster, even just maneuvering too suddenly are going to be perceived as a threat. So yeah, arming a ship-to-ship weapon is probable cause for insta-justice :)

Yep, that's just about what I was picturing myself. Considering you're doing a more realistic approach to sci-fi, that would be the most likely scenario simply because of all the safety measures and precautions, not to mention politics.

It might feel less glamorous for some people than zipping past asteroids shooting up aliens (which you can find in 90% of space games), but hey, it just so happens that I like settings based on reality. That doesn't mean there can't be fantasy elements in there; like in NEO Scavenger, all it actually takes for a setting to be believable is for people to behave like people.

dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

zipping past asteroids shooting up aliens (which you can find in 90% of space games)

I think that's a big part of my motivation for choosing the features I have so far. There's so much out there that retreads familiar paths, but there are some experiences that seem completely untouched in the space sim genre.

The biggest one for me, by far, is the immersion in spaceship life. The ones where you can sit back and admire the life you've built aboard your custom ship, secure against the harshness of both space and mankind. At least for a little while.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games