Just a few quickie updates today:
- Of the few people who have helped play test our pre-Alpha version, ~50% said they wished there was an option to perform a full stop. In some ways this feels like cheating because you don’t have to learn and work to counteract the physics system. On the other hand, having that option would help lower the barrier to play-ability. Plus, it’s hard to argue that any kind of spaceship technology wouldn’t have the capability of a computer controlled burn to stabilize motion. So I added that option in to the game ( currently accessed using the space bar. ) It’s not a magical instant stop… Just that your ship-board computer takes over the controls and uses your engines to slow down. ( Only minor fudging was needed due to impreciseness in float math and delta times. ) I don’t know if this will be a regular ship function or perhaps a technology you have to open up through crafting. We will see.
- Fixed some physics issues with the explosions, and made them use fewer particles in an effort to keep the game from bogging down when multiple explosions are occurring simultaneously.
- Modified the Physics to not run every single frame, but rather every ~30 milliseconds. This gives us better than 30 physics ops per second which should be plenty, but also keeps the game from bogging down. I could easily keep my fps ~900 with just two ships in the world, but once I started keeping 20 to test explosions, it slowed to ~200-300 even with everyone sitting still! Now I’m back up to 600fps with 21 ships sitting still, which is much more acceptable. The only noticeable hit the game took was that ship turning is not quite as buttery smooth as it used to be. However, it is still very playable and honestly it was going to degrade anyway once the server started controlling things.
- Got a DropBox account and started backing up the game there. I refuse to be Zomboid-ed.
- Going for a different kind of screenshot today. Here’s some of the code: