I know I promised details of how this all actually works, but I've decided to put that off until at least next week.
Here's a screen of the WIP combat as a consolation prize:
In other webdev news, the Gruedorf Aggregator has new and improved icons for dead feeds and lame updates. There's also a brand spanking new Stats page. Be sure to check it out and tell me what you think!
Now, to the good stuff. The defense design is finally ironed out. I really like the way it's ended up, even if it did take significantly longer than I originally wanted to get to this point. Next week will be all about moving forward with the implementation of the combat and related systems. Actually, that's pretty much what every week will be until release.
Last week I mentioned the ridiculous amount of time I spent messing with slider styles. Today, I present to you what I've settled on (with old style for comparison). I think it looks a lot better (for not being wildly different) and there is only a very slight performance hit. Well worth the trouble, in the end.
Old / New Slider:
That's a lot of information from quiet ol' me, but wait! There's more! I want to take some time to touch on the "original" design a bit, and maybe even get some feedback on it.
Disclaimer: This is an old design. The game will not work this way!
Each planet has an assigned technology. Controlling a planet allows you to utilize that technology. The technologies come in a variety of flavors (shields, weapons, etc). When preparing to attack, you pick the ones you want from those that are available to you and then engage in a space shmup sequence with an appropriately augmented ship.
The actual assault is divided into three phases: Hyperspace, Approach, and Dive.
During Hyperspace, you navigate an asteroid field without the use of your weapons. Afterward, your ship drops out of Hyperspace and the weapons systems are restored. You have reached the Approach. During the Approach, an assortment of drones and fighter ships will attempt to intercept you. Successfully destroy or avoid all of them and you will reach the planet's surface, at which point the Dive begins.
During the Dive, an opening in the planet's surface leads you down a long, roughly contoured tunnel, where you encounter mounted turrets and destructible barriers. Successfully navigate your way through the tunnel without being destroyed and you will reach the core. Destroy the core and you will assume control of the planet.
After a successful assault, you are then be able to configure the planet's autonomous defenses. Each planet has an allotted number of defense points that can be spent, with more effective defenses requiring more points. In effect, every planet has a different level of defensibility, but it is up to the player to you to find an optimal or unexpected combination of defenses. As you maintain control of a planet, it will generate wealth for you.
So, that's a rough summary of what it was. I do still like it, for the most part, but I think it it has too many complexities (despite its apparent simplicity) for the pick up and play feel I want to accomplish. Next week I'll take some time to discuss how the new model works, and maybe highlight some of the more significant differences.
The defense design is finally getting to being done-ish. I need to re-distill the adjustable attributes. As it stands there's just too much to manage; it's like a wall of numbers. Some of us may like things like that, but I really want this to be fairly accessible.
Have a WIP mock-up of the defense setup / editor:
I also dipped my toe back into my main codebase for the first time in a while. It was mostly uneventful. I spent no less than six hours tinkering with my slider styles. No, it isn't super-important, but when making my mock-ups, I ended up with a slider design that I really liked, so I decided to change them. Sadly, It required special handling of the ends to make it look right in all cases and, regardless, there was no way to make it look right without a serious performance hit. This game is definitely going to have an abundance of sliders and eating up that much performance for a little visual couldn't be justified. So, I'll have to come up with something else!
Behold, the ship designer!
Well, a mock-up of it, anyway. You'll be able to tweak various properties to create a customized weapon of death, destruction, and domination. Fun stuff!
I'm in the process of ironing out just what to do with the defensive component of the combat. By next week's post I should have that taken care of and a relevant mock-up or two to show off. Then it's time to dive back into implementation and get this thing out the door already.