The year is still young, but we’re almost back to 100% capacity: While Martin struggled with his post-vacation backlog of admin tasks, Michi was busy upgrading our faster-than-light flight model.
I’m back! Well…kind of anyway. I sat down in the office again on Thursday just to be confronted with the usual “bow wave” of post-vacation tasks that accumulated during my absence. Unfortunately, after many hours of emails, accounting and other admin-stuff, the first item on my list was not Prosperous Universe. Instead, it was a huge release of a customer project which all in all took more than two days to pull off, well into the week-end.
You guessed it…almost no time for the game once again. I did get around to one important thing, though: I finally organized and screened the applications we received for our open PR & Community Manager position, so in the coming week, Michi and I can look into who’d make a good fit. Exciting times!
I spent almost the whole week designing and implementing an addition to our space flight model. The slower-than-light model which allows for flights between planets within a system works great, but the faster-than-light travel needs some updates.
Right now the travel times and fuel consumption are way too low. Compared to the slower-than-light travel it’s too cheap. In the recent tests player even used faster-than-light travel to go to another system and jump back into the original system but to another planet. This is faster than just going there with STL engines. Another point of criticism is that FTL routes start and end directly at a planet. That makes them hard to visualize in the system map.
So to fix the issues I started to implement a departure and approach flight segment. These are right at the start and end of an FTL route and are done with the STL engines. The idea is that ships have to leave the gravitational well of the planets before a FTL jump is possible. The other way round is the same: Ships cannot just jump into the orbit of a planet. Instead they will jump nearby and do an approach. That way we can visualize the departure and approach nicely and we get some leeway for game design: The distance from the planet could depend on ship attributes, the planets gravitation, navigation structures setup by players etc. etc.
Unfortunately I ran out of time, so the implementation is not done yet, updates will follow next week!
As always: we’d love to hear what you think: join us on the forums!