11/23/2020 in devlog
Shipbuilding has officially entered the testing phase, and it looks like your pioneers have finally decided to calm down.
Last week I connected some dots by implementing the actual building part of the shipyards. The whole shipbuilding process works now: creating a blueprint, making changes to the layout, creating a shipbuilding project at a shipyard, assigning the building materials and finally starting the construction of new ship. I also added most of the auxiliary functions like context actions and the like.
I then moved to going over the flight model. There are some long-standing and annoying bugs that I promised to fix with Ignition. For example, when clicking the fuel usage sliders several times (at the same spot), the resulting flight times and fuel usages varied a lot, sometimes strangely prompting the mission calculation to use more fuel than was available.
Besides these bugs, Fabian also made some changes to the FTL flight model itself. The goal is to make it a bit simpler. Since these changes require a lot of testing I made my local test environment available to Fabian for some preliminary tests. If everything goes according to plan, I will deploy the current version to our test environment this week as well.
Last week I was finally able to test the shipbuilding feature on Michi's development environment. So I created a whole bunch of blueprints and used them at a shipyard to build ships of all kinds of sizes and complexities. I'm looking forward to the revised ship flight model being implemented now so that we can actually get a feel for how the different ship design settings affect the ship's performance. Of course all of this was roughly planned out in a bunch of spreadsheets, but seeing it in-game is always a different story. Especially taking into account the more long-term effects such as ship damage, fuel usage etc.
While I was making my way through the new buffers, I also took a few screenshots and put together the shipbuilding part of the handbook, which I'm sure we'll release soon for you to check out and get ready for the release.
Other than that, there was some more discussion surrounding planetary populations after the tweaks we made last week which should help stop pioneers from spinning out of control and also make high-tier workforce more attainable. One thing we'll also likely do whenever we get to a reset is to pre-place some ready-to-go ADMs and basic POPI on the starting planets to make sure you can concentrate on getting your own stuff up and running for the first few weeks.
Additionally, I'm currently looking into giving governors more insights into past population reports and the contributions of each piece of infrastructure, so that they can use that information to make better decisions in the future. Working your way towards a good population setup is meant to be an incremental and somewhat fuzzy process, but information shouldn't be lost over the course of multiple weeks.
Last week was a busy week that included getting this ready for Ignition and also putting things together for Early Access. The cat's finally out of the bag, and we were happy with the response from players so far with many good discussions coming from the news. I am also gearing up for another big press push so please cross your fingers that we get another article similar to PC Gamer last year :)
I was also able to hire a freelancer for some social media posts since it was just a far better idea to outsource it than for me to take time to learn how to do digital art. If you want your favorite planet to be featured, please write a description for it on Twitter or Facebook. I'll choose the best descriptions and have the artist create something based off the winners' submissions.