Its been more than a year since the last official dev log. So this is a big and important one, and the final one before closed alpha release. This will be a multi part log so you don’t have to read an essay.
I have decided to release in closed alpha first before the early access, for obvious reasons. The game is too complicated for public release right away even in its limited early access. Also, since this phase of coding was the last remaining major section that needed a lot of work, it should mean there will be no more long delays between updates/logs.
So I will begin with what took so long in part 1, the logistics system:
Due to hubris, I decided to add a logistics earlier on in development, and not a regular type of abstracted system you find in most 4x games but a physicalized one. IE: The ships and colonies transport and or hold the resources in a specific amount to do stuff with. What could go wrong, its only a bunch of numbers in some lists, no big deal right? Wrong! Even the tiniest of mistakes can cause massive problems for efficiency up to the point of completely freezing the computer if its not coded well. As another developer I talked to on discord recently said, logistics is like glitter, once you implement it, it gets on and in everything. Thus no sloppy code could be tolerated.
The area of the game that took most effort regarding the logistics is the full 3d level. This is the part which resembles the game Homeworld to many who see screenshots of it. Even more specific was the combination of the full 3d and the highly procedural nature of the base code which the logistics system has to be able to use correctly. As an example one cannot simply instantiate a freighter or ship to hold some goods to represent freight, it has to use the full ship system. IE: The freighters transporting things and doing the logistics have to be fully realized essentially the same way the regular ships are but with an added layer of independence and automation. Also one must not forget the saving and loading of the whole system, which was another pain in the neck. However this whole troublesome phase in development was eventually dealt with, or rather beaten into submission after a grueling fight.
Summary of the current logistics system and its basic functionality for the player. (These are mostly complete, though there are some minor issues and missing bits here and there)
-Moving stuff around between ships and colonies. This can be manually done for specific resources as you wish.
-Mining asteroids and other natural objects.
-Salvaging artificial objects which will retrieve manufactured resources unlike ore mining.
-Construction of stations and ships will have the freight automatically moved there via freighters from nearby colonies or other fleets.
-Characters that are assigned to fleets and colonies will move to the location. They exist in the game within ships and colonies just like any other item would. (Needs a little more work to function correctly).
-Ships themselves can also be stored on colonies.(Hangars for holding ships within ships are in development too).
I will get into more details and the rest of what happened in the last year in next parts of the log, since it will take too long here and I need to finalize and sort out some more of the UI and related code.
The method I used to do the logistics is supposed to be more efficient by avoid certain things and doing some behind the scenes trickery. It should avoid some of the usual performance problems 4x games have at late game. As a whole it was much more difficult to deal with than expected. It needed a lot of trickery and unconventional code to deal with. However, it did eventually get done, and its working for the most part. To be frank its a bit hard to believe even for me. Any how, see you in the next part of dev log 10 and then onto the closed alpha.
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