Weekly Update: February 23, 2024

Another busy week of development– this one produced more visible progress than the last.

I started by working on revisions to the assets necessary for Steam trading cards. In the process I had created a QHD resolution image of two planets in a nebula that I use as my desktop wallpaper. Steam limits the asset resolutions, but I’ve uploaded theĀ original here if anyone wants it.

Next, I worked on some minor issues in the latest Jupiter opt-in, then created some new content including a “mini quest” and five new anomalies. This brings the game to over 200 unique anomalies!

I also got Moritz, the game’s composer, started on some track needed in the late game.

Finally, I implemented some changes to the shipyard. Like last week’s multi-module select, these had a bunch of corner cases that were complicated by being build around the existing design.

The first change was a “design mode” checkbox that allows the player to ignore resource shortfalls while planning their ship.

The second change, which required the first, was saving blueprint designs as a “goal”. If a design is set as a goal, a new column in the trade screen will show the values for the “in cargo” resources the player needs to build that design. E.g., if you want to build a ship with two more Mk II plasma and an extra engine relative to your current ship, when you go to trade with a faction, you’ll see exactly the aluminum, titanium, yttrium and gold you need to buy (or could sell) in order to be able to build it.

One of the challenges of these two new systems was trying to present the necessary information in a comprehensible way without making it overly complicated from the player’s perspective. For example, if the player wants to build a ship that requires 100 Titanium, and their current ship is built with 52 Titanium, and they have 20 in cargo, what value should the system calculate and display in the trade window?

My first thought was 28, the amount they need to buy. Then I switched to 48, the amount they need to have in their cargo hold. I’ve gone back and forth. Should the “need” be constant and the player buys and sells until their cargo equals that value, or should the “need” go up and down as they adjust the trade value and equal 0 when they’ve reached the goal?

What do you think?

I’m going to try to get this update to the Jupiter opt-in deployed in the next couple of days so players can weigh in on how well the new shipyard features work (and if they create any bugs).

As a reminder, Jupiter is available as an opt-in beta at the moment. It is not save compatible with Icarus, but if you’re starting a new game you may want to switch to that build (the build apparently is more stable than that announcement might lead you to think).

Until next week!
– Kevin