Update progress

Version 1.7.0

Completed:

  • Upgrade to Unity3D 2021 (5 years of updates applied in one go)
  • Custom universe - new max size of 64 sectors. It will still be possible to go tiny
  • Custom universe - sector sizes are significantly larger
  • Custom universe - fewer "major" factions are generated but those that are generated are significantly more powerful
  • Custom universe - "major" factions now much more likely to start the game with capital ships
  • Factions now able to produce fleets of 8 ships (previously a max of 6 but frequently would be much less).
  • Increased the bar of most video setting levels except "lowest"
  • Balancing - ships are generally much faster
  • Custom universe "preview" - Ability to show the new universe that will be created (like the in-game universe map). This feature will become more useful as new customization settings are added.
  • Custom universe - now generates some "unstable wormholes" - wormholes that have a volatile endpoint
  • Sector map - Able to view the sector map in any discovered universe sector and see what owned ships can scan
  • Sector map - various fixes
  • Wormholes now visible from significantly further away, wormholes recoloured and lighting tweaked.
  • Fix where faction may not build ships when it should
  • Fix where faction may leave itself insufficient credits to trade
  • New database of pirate faction names
  • Fixes and tweaks to the ship/station Info screen
  • Factions screen - now no longer shows "freelancer" factions. Some improvements to the info displayed on this screen.
  • Custom universe - ships/stations/missions are less likely to spawn far away at sector boundaries
  • Fix - a Return to base order is now abandoned if the base becomes hostile
  • Orders screen - reduced lag when shown, possible orders are shown at top of list
  • Orders - allowed stackable (queued) orders. E.g. attack target then return to base
  • New orders - Explore universe, explore sector
  • New orders - Fly through wormhole
  • Faction naming - reduced the number of generic 'corporation' style names - factions are now more easily identified by their name
  • Fix where own ship can be selected. When changing ship, scanner is reset properly
  • Rebalance of missiles - missiles move quicker, have more fuel, are more dangerous and cost more
  • Rebalance of mines - more powerful, costly, more likely to destroy incoming missiles, NPC ship more likely to use these.
  • Replaced the shield impact effect/graphics
  • All ships now have curved collision detectors. This means less ship bunching / ships getting stuck on eachother. Ships collisions now also become slightly more bouncier.
  • The distance at which some ship effects (e.g. thrusters) is now based on video quality setting
  • The camera is now much less jolty when both "Auto-pick target" and "camera lock" are both enabled
  • Small rockets now collide like other projectiles. These are now fired with some inaccuracy (spread)
  • Sensor relay - owned ships will have visibility of targets scanned by other owned/allied ships in the sector
  • NPC ships are now able to intercept targets that are detected by friendlies
  • Fix where ships may not trade with owned stations when they should
  • Fix where some NPC ships may lose their orders after reloading the game
  • Game can now save in the background / reduced lag when saving
  • Improvements to 3D audio e.g. ship thruster / missile sounds
  • NPC ships no longer cloak in combat unless attempting to flee
  • NPC ships are now able to collect cargo around them to rearm or for profit
  • Ships and stations suffering hull damage can leak cargo - provides new opportunities to raid ships or scavenge
  • An in-game cinematic option where the camera will pan around the player's ship
  • Skirmish mode improvements. Upped limit to 8 teams, 12 ships per team, ships are better positioned at start. Fix where some backgrounds/environments weren't used.
  • Fix where some in-game NPC speech isn't created
  • Player ship is stopped from flying too far out of sector bounds - ship is moved back and set to stop
  • The bounty board now shows how long ago the info on a target was updated
  • Factions now make a declaration of war when going hostile against the player, explaining the war motiviation and which factions are joining.
  • Factions can ask friends to join in wars (as well as allies). Relations are damaged if another faction is asked to join the war but doesn't
  • Fix where NPC faction may not go to war when it should when receiving huge damage
  • All NPC factions now rely on their intel database. They can no longer attack what they can't see i.e. they don't cheat (as much)
  • Damage to ship components is now more significant. Damage is shown on the HUD. Components can be completely destroyed but will auto-repair to a small amount of health
  • Sector security level - this is a dynamic value based on the number of major faction forces within the sector. Npcs either avoid or flock to high-security sectors depending on their goal
  • Tweaks to the way that abandoned ships/cargo are generated to favour fringe sectors
  • New station type - bar/tavern
  • New station type - laboratory
  • New station type - satellite - unarmed station that provides intel at deployed location
  • New cargo types / completed the supply chain for Impulse
  • Npc patrols by major factions now favour low-security / border sectors
  • Wars between major factions will be more obvious and deliberate than the hostilities that can happen currently. Factions will track war progress and make peace when appropriate.
  • Universe map - complete overhaul for new engine features, now updates in real-time
  • Fix where some factions are missing their name
  • Fix where spawned bandit factions "discover" more factions in the universe than they would normally meet, causing worse performance
  • Fix where loading game and player ship cannot load any more passengers / various other passenger transport fixes
  • New feature - the range at which ships/objects are detected is now dynamic.. smaller objects are always harder to detect. A number of factors influence detection range (more on this to follow)/li>
  • New feature - nebula/gas clouds - these have a number of different effects on ships - objects inside clouds are generally harder detect
  • Cloaking device rework - the cloak now limits detection of a ship rather than hide it completely - it is still possible to be detected and targetted. It is possible to fire when cloaked
  • When firing weapons ships/stations broadcast their position and become far easier to detect for a short while
  • Rework of how bounty is seeded and placed by NPCs. Bounty hunters now unlikely to go against factions with no chance of successs
  • Fix infamous exploit to hijack ships
  • Fix where a ship could dock without requesting permission from owner
  • Fix to miners - all ships in a mining fleet use all available lasers
  • Fixs when player is docked at a ship which also docks (e.g. equipment dealer).
  • Universe mode - player can respawn after death. Game will track number of deaths
  • Greater variation of sky backdrops. Other lighting improvements

In progress

  • Increase database of ship names
  • Increase database of faction names
  • Optimize the size of the save game file to reduce size
  • Easier station building - use a simple "Build" button to build. No longer using complicated 'station parts'
  • Custom universe - pirate sector
  • Custom universe - nomadic fleet faction
  • Pilot avatars - procedurally generated image of every pilot
  • New factory type - recycling plant - will convert any cargo at all into credits
  • Fix historic crash when changing sectors
  • NPC ship will now attempt to avoid missiles
  • NPC ship behaviour is now more influenced by that pilot's 'combat skill'. The NPCs combat skill will be viewable.
  • Various display tweaks to the HUD
  • Saved game editor tool (for 1.7 and 1.6.2 save files)
  • New 'raid' order
  • Better pathfinding - NPCs use a heatmap to avoid danger zones
  • New system of dialog where NPCs speak according to their personality
  • Custom universe - now generates high-value bounty targets (bosses)
  • Sector control/claiming - the ability to own sectors and impose rules on those that inhabit it. A sector can only be claimed by one faction at a time. Some factions will seek to own sectors more than others. The player will be able to claim sectors.
  • Ship variants become more distinct. Ships intended for mining/trading/passenger transport have significantly reduced combat capability, warships have less cargo.
  • Custom universe - game type - start as a 'major' faction (Capital ships pack required)
  • New faction type - pirates - these will phase out "bandits" and behave more with the intention of raiding cargo
  • New feature - active effects - modifiers applied to ships/stations over time
  • New feature - custom fleet names. No longer limited to 8 fleets
  • New feature - player has named pilots rather than "AutoPilot". Pilots can be renamed.
  • New feature - fleets will message player in certain situations (e.g. when exploring and discovering abandoned cargo)
  • Additional orders - protect specific target, patrol, fly to sector, attack target, attack sector, purge sector

Backlog

  • Weapons platforms - replace individual turrets. These will be much much more powerful, combining many turrets into one structure. Allows factions to properly defend their stations
  • Tweaked pathfinding to handle/avoid nebula sectors
  • Improve efficiency of autopilot fleet when get into formation position
  • Faction logos
  • Pilot rankings - a simple levelling system used by computer controlled pilots. Increased pilot ranks will increase combat attributes (shield, hull). This is a precursor for a more extensive ranking/progression system to be developed later.
  • Station turrets - the existing stations will generally be armed, reducing the need to build many laser turrets
  • Point defence turrets - applicable to larger ships. Always AI controlled. Will fire at incoming missiles. Several variants will range in efficiency (as per laser I, II etc)
  • Custom universe - experimental setting - peaceful mode. No hostile factions are spawned and factions never engage in war. Player may attack but AI will not fight back.
  • Custom universe - experimental setting - all hostile mode. The entire universe is always hostile to the player.
  • Custom universe - new settings - level of initial pirate activity, number of asteroids, global ship/station cap, wormhole distance (from center)
  • Custom universe - new setting - level of spawned abandoned ships
  • Custom universe - new setting - faction respawning
  • Custom universe - custom start - pick fleets, stations, credits to start new universe game with. Capital ships pack required to start with capital ships/stations.
  • Speech - the variance of AI "chatter" will be increased. Autopilot will no longer sound like a human pilot.
  • Asteroid expiry - asteroids will be destroyed once mined to depletion. Asteroids will eventually respawn. The asteroid lifespan will be customizable during universe creation.
  • Property screen - will be made more efficient and have more filters to work with many items
  • Option to sell owned station
  • Option to stop construction of an owned station
  • Rebalance income from passenger missions
  • Buy sector intel - make more obvious what is being bought
  • Fix bug where sector map stops functioning
  • Ship size adjustment
  • Ship speed rebalancing (some specific ships)
  • Weapon range rebalancing
  • Ship scanner becomes a customizable component
  • Custom universe - Storyline factions e.g. TEF, Lambda will be generated
  • Custom universe - Storyline characters will be generated
  • Custom universe - Another set or sector names as an alternative to the random ones usually generated
  • Game option to remove the usual wormhole animation
  • New UI screen - contacts list - all ships/stations recently encountered and other options for them
  • Player faction logo customization
  • Option to 'bulk buy' ships at stations
  • Fix where loading game and NPC fleets may lose their target
  • Fix where loading game and active missiles lose their target
  • Fix where ships leave wormhole and ships are merged or are propelled at high velocity
  • Fix where stations are built by factions too close together
  • Fix where some stations are given the incorrect name
  • Ability for player to place bounty
  • New feature - abandoned stations
  • Ability for player to place distress calls
  • Option to freely rotate camera around ship
  • Ability to restrict the amount of credits that player faction NPCs will spend
  • Targetted/focused weapons fire (e.g. target weapons against certain components or hull)