Weekly Update: Feb 2, 2023

(Posting earlier than usual because I’ll be traveling this weekend.)

Last weekend I posted Draconis as an opt-in beta. Currently it seems to be free of major bugs, so I plan to make it the default build in the next week.

While working on a side quest, I found it necessary to work on the “sector normalization” logic. I’ve discussed this previously in the context of Starcom: Nexus— in order to support a universe of nearly infinite size with floating point numbers, the game re-normalizes positions when switching sectors to keep coordinate values of reasonable size. There are some side effects from this system. For instance, when an NPC vessel tried to cross sector lines it could get “stuck” as the game decided to move it to the new sector, but due to a small difference in coordinate systems it might get snapped back. Or you may have noticed that non-persistent objects like projectiles vanish when crossing sector boundaries because they weren’t being moved.

I spent a couple days improving that system and testing the changes. There’s still a shift in the nebula backdrop on sector borders, and a potential lag if a region needs to be loaded, but fewer other side effects and slightly lower CPU usage.

Besides that, I also worked on:

  • Fixed a later mission bug that could potentially keep players from completing it
  • Created two new anomalies
  • Created several new “mini” side quests
  • Ring planets
  • Changed fixed guns so they favor the weapons-lock target
  • Optimized and improved sector normalization logic
  • Investigated ways to improve the skill check system

As always, these changes will not be available until they are incorporated into the next opt-in beta.

Until next week!