Dev Log 3: Colony functionality change and procedural AI.

Star Zeal development has been quiet for over a month but for a good reason.
There was a lot of coding done on more core features and a few changes.

1: Major change in colony management and resources.

Dev3 pic1

 

Colony management is now dealt with by points allocation between four priorities, Civil, Industry, Science and Military. You no longer have to worry about constructing specific buildings to mine specific minerals and other similarly mundane tasks. However, the player can still construct special buildings like wonders and other unique objects.

With this change the player essentially sets the direction of the colony depending on what is wanted/needed. You can create different types of colonies based on priority points set and the capability of the planet, after which the colony will gradually develop accordingly. For example, you could create a pure military, or a mining colony that provides resources and production or military support to linked colonies via trade lanes.

Different planets have different capacities or capability that determine the maximum amount of priority points you can set. Many planets are desolate and have little going on but it might be useful to create a small colony on them to get a bit more access to resources. You could even set lower priority points than the max of a planet so it won’t grow larger than you need.

Dev3 pic2

These changes to colony management are meant to allow for more automation and less micromanagment and to make room for manufacturing of certain resources. Previously  there was too much the player had to worry about on the colony level which took away from other parts of the game.

Another change are to resources, as they now function on the basis of availability instead of raw counts, IE the number in mega tonnes. You don’t have to worry about specific amounts of resources, only that they are available to whatever needs it. Trade lanes can provide resources for places that don’t produced or have them on the planet on their own. The player still has control over what resources are available, particularly those which are manufactured as they require certain levels of the colony like production to be reached. Other resources that are special and very rare will have limited counts like void crystals.

The resources themselves have also changed somewhat. Basic minerals are now condensed into metals and gases making way for more important resources like Zorium and Tritanium.

Finally the colony governor dialogue system was added, the governor basically tells you whats going on in the colony and gives you some suggestions or opinions with a bit of personality added to it. Do note the current dialogue in the screenshot above is very early. Proper dialogue will come after more of the lore per faction is fleshed out.

 

2: Progress AI factions, particularly procedural pirate and criminal factions.

Procedural AI factions and random unknown fleets WIP

Procedural factions and random fleets that are based off main factions now show up depending on some global situations, like political upheaval, rebellions and particularly factions vulnerable to crime, aka pirates. Also they can be discovered randomly while exploring. These factions are generally not as powerful as main factions and don’t expand much but they can still grow and colonize new systems and given enough time, can become a serious threat… or good ally.

3: Small graphical improvements.

This dev cycle had little art but there were some improvements in the UI and some general progress on other art like planet surfaces and so on.

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Remember, if you want to support development check the funding page or use the direct paypal widget on the right hand side of the website.

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