Last Day for Engine Fixes
… that might be a bit of a hyperbole, but as soon as February rolls around we are going to shift toward Colony and Empire expansion.
Yesterday and some of this morning, I worked on improving some of the physics of the game world. This proved to be fairly straightforward, as I’d already built a decent physics model for block clumps. Yesterday I made it so that bullets apply appropriate forces to asteroids when they hit them. You can now push asteroids around the galaxy by shooting at them. I also added asteroid-planet collisions. When an asteroid smashes into a planet’s surface, it will create a nice crater and leave some of its resources embedded in the planet. I’ll see about putting up a video of this soon.
Today I’m going to see about improving collisions between block clumps themselves, as well as try to weed out some bugs in the way planets stitch up block faces. We still have a very pesky bug which causes the screen to go irreparably black at seemingly random times, and another which causes a few seconds of terrible slowdown without any provocation. Unfortunately we probably won’t have time this month to investigate those fully.
Time to focus on planets! Building colonies on planets is a huge part of the game, but it’s a mechanic we’ve only recently come to some consensus on. I think what we’ve come up with will be really fun for the player while requiring some decent building strategy and allowing for some nice aesthetics.
When you build a building on a planet, it has an associated sphere of influence over surrounding blocks. In order to create a colony, you place a Government building, which has a large sphere of influence. Any subsequent buildings whose spheres of influence intersect or lie adjacent to the Government building’s will be added to that colony. From there you can chain out and expand over more of the planet surface.
… I’m sure you get the idea. What’s really neat here is the way you can chain buildings together to create a functional little city or mining colony. Want some lasers? Find a planet with the raw materials, set up mines, add factories, and then put in some storage. Now visit that colony and check the storage to see the lasers you’ve made. Need a material not available on that planet? We’ll set up infrastructure to either import it from other colonies or trade with other empires. All in all I think this system will be really intuitive and fun.