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, fly through wormhole, protect specific target, protect fleet, move to sector, move to position, attack target, scavenge, collect specific cargo
  • 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
  • Orders (e.g. dock at.., move to..) can now be issued by drilling down from the universe map into the sector map and then selecting a target
  • Fix where stations are built by factions too close together
  • Missile models (Achilles, Lancer etc) are now rendered and are animated better
  • Faction ships can be given a "team colour"
  • Most orders can now be issued by drilling down from the universe map into the sector map and then picking a target
  • NPC now able to scan other ships like the player can. NPC cannot see another ship cargo other than by scanning. NPC faction will occasionally react negatively when ship is scanned.
  • Fix where some stations are given the incorrect name
  • Fix historic crash when changing sectors
  • Weapon accuracy rebalancing - generally weapons are less likely to hit smaller ships. Lasers have slightly more inaccuracy
  • New faction type - pirates - these will phase out "bandits" and behave more with the intention of raiding cargo
  • Custom universe - Storyline factions e.g. TEF, Lambda will be generated
  • New feature - player has named pilots rather than "AutoPilot". Pilots can be renamed.
  • New feature - fleets overhaul - new UI screen to manage fleets, custom fleet names, no longer limited to 8 fleets
  • Custom universe - game type - start as a 'major' faction (Capital ships pack required)
  • Easier station building - use a simple "Build" button to build. No longer using complicated 'station parts'
  • Increase database of ship names
  • Fix where loading game and NPC fleets may lose their target
  • Custom universe - now generates hybrid NPC factions - e.g like 'Black Sail' faction which are pirates but also employ miners, or a trading faction that maintains it's own navy
  • NPC factions able to protect their own traders/miners with escort ships
  • Rebalance income from passenger missions - income now higher for journeys that cross low-security sectors. Income across high-security sectors slightly less than in 1.6
  • Patrol order (finally!)
  • Stations can surrender to attacking faction when heavily damaged
  • All ships repair slowly over time
  • Custom universe - asteroid fields can be generated in planetary sectors
  • New order - build station
  • NPC factions no longer able build station without having a ship at the location
  • Sector control/claiming - 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. Faction controlling a sector receives income on every transaction taking place
  • Improve efficiency of autopilot fleet when get into formation position
  • Fix where a ship could dock at a station under construction

In progress

  • Increase database of faction names
  • Optimize the size of the save game file to reduce size
  • 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
  • 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)
  • Ship variants become more distinct. Ships intended for mining/trading/passenger transport have significantly reduced combat capability, warships have less cargo.
  • New feature - active effects - modifiers applied to ships/stations over time
  • New feature - fleets will message player in certain situations (e.g. when exploring and discovering abandoned cargo)
  • Additional orders - attack move, purge sector
  • Cloaked stations
  • Asteroid respawning - asteroids will be destroyed once mined to depletion. Asteroids will eventually respawn. The asteroid lifespan will be customizable during universe creation.
  • Speech - the variance of AI "chatter" will be increased.

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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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 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 active missiles lose their target
  • Fix where ships leave wormhole and ships are merged or are propelled at high velocity
  • 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)
  • Option for player fleets to 'Auto-repair' when damaged to a certain extent