We mostly wrapped up work on our account management systems and are back at gameplay systems again. While Michi is already knee-deep in work on a huge new feature - ship construction - Martin is just getting started on another one - Foreign Exchange.
Sometimes it can be depressing how much time and effort goes into things that don’t feel like they are part of the game, as is the case with the authentication app I’ve been working on for the past two weeks. That said, I wrapped up work on the most important technical parts of this now, which means that we’re ready to launch the forums as soon as the visual design is in. And I can finally get working on actual gameplay again!
In that spirit, I spent my remaining time budget on initial preparatory work for the next big feature on my to-do list: Foreign Exchange. Each faction in PU will have it’s own currency and there will a central market place that allows players to exchange these currencies. I looked into how foreign exchange (or FX) works in the real world and what common terms and conventions exist. FX is a bit different from regular trade in that every transaction always represents both a sale and a purchase: When you buy X units of currency A for Y units of currency B, you are effectively selling currency B. This leads to some subtle differences in the technical and visual representation of a foreign exchange systems compared to our long-completed commodity exchange system.
FX is the last of the core features that make up our internal Alpha milestone. Once completed, all of the most important features of Prosperous Universe will be functional.
Last week I wrote about the new feature that I started designing and implementing: ship construction. So far the basic creation of blueprints is working and I started prototyping the editor.
Ideally the prototype will show us if we can achieve the ambitious goals we set for the ship editor: We want it to be a full 3D editor, meaning that the player will be able to place three dimensional modules and build unique ships.
I achieved a few goals on the way to this prototype. A new Tile is set up with a 3D context to draw into and I managed to load and display simple 3D models. The server and client now know about modules and how and where to form a connection between two modules. Players can click on icons in the scene to add modules. There is still a lot to do, but I think we’re on the right track.