Before Alpha Features Review – part 1
Features Review – Part 1
In this update, we will be reviewing all the new features added since the Demo in preparation for the Alpha release for all the original backers. I wanted to refresh your memory on the new Ship HUD, Tactical View, Fleet Groups, Ship Construction, new Ships (including the larger vessels), new Aliens, along with a few new features as well as code reworks to improve gameplay such as; Mag Drive rework, a new base SpaceShipPawn (base pawn broken into sub-components for optimization, Customization, Multiplayer compatibility). But first, I want to draw your attention to some of the reworks done that will feel immediately different from the Demo.
Removal or Reworks
Auto Roll Removed
I first want to draw your attention to a few gameplay features that were originally in the Demo and since have either been reworked or removed for gameplay reason. The first being the “Auto-roll” on vessels when yawing. When yawing (left/right), your ships would automatically roll in that same direction. This was mainly only used for marketing purposes to also force the camera to roll behind the vessel to seem like more motion and action was going with with the ships (especially the fighters) in the initial gameplay videos. Since then, this auto-roll has been more so an annoyance and hinderance to precision flying and an unnecessary addition and has since been stripped from the flight model. Pilot inputted roll is very much still available ([Q] and [E] with default bindings) and roll still naturally occurs when yawing+pitching at the same time for torque reasons, but all of that can be countered easily by the pilot if they wish to keep their roll orientation.
Auto Aim Removed
Also removed was the Auto Aim when having crosshairs over the weapons Leading Indicators. When targeting an enemy, leading weapon indicators appeared for the target. This shows where you would need to position your crosshairs for the ship in order to have your weapons of choice (usually for the auto-cannons) to be “locked onto the target” and lead shoot the target for you (the Lead Target Indicators changed to yellow and rotated with an additional cross mark in the icon) to show your weapons were locked on and the weapon would automatically lead aim for you. This setup was extremely clunky. It was my hope to have an easier setup for players that weren’t very adapt at precision aiming to allow an auto-aim function take over for you and have you guarantee hit your target if you were lined up properly with these weapons. However, this proved to create a multitude of problems;
- First of all, this made instant hit weapons like Lasers on the Helios insanely over powered since they were the easiest to line up and shoot targets. It was nearly impossible to miss any target with lasers at this point and made using auto-cannons pretty much useless on the ship.
- The auto-aim wasn’t perfect in the calculations – Since we didn’t take angular velocity and only linear velocity into account when creating the auto-aim (same was used for missile tracking), this resulted in several incorrect missed leading shots when either ships was flying in an arc.
- Difficulty between deciding which weapons to use leading to HUD noise – Since the velocity between several weapons made for multiple different Lead Indicators, this just created noise on the HUD and made it very difficult to track which weapons to use at different stages of the fight (long, medium, short) and thus just created far too much noise on the HUD when tracking enemies at close range.
- Future sub-system targeting and attacking specific locations on larger enemies/vessels would be impossible – Since the auto-aim was created only with trying to achieve shooting at the center of the target, nothing was created in mind to attempt to target sub-systems on ships, like Engines or specific Shield Generators on larger vessels. This created the problem of every weapon being forced to aim at the center point of the enemy and not specific sections (like the tail on the Silicoid Worm).
With all the above problems, this just made the auto-aim of the direct fire weapons just annoying to deal with and has been removed in favor of allowing for the pilot/gunner to precisely aim where they feel like on the target.
Of course this should stir up the debate again about Lead/Lag indicators on targets (which I still believe lag indicators are better, especially for shooting at different areas on larger enemies) but we can address that debate when we get closer to the Alpha.
Mag Drive Rework (WIP)
So the Magneto Drive has been a tough issue to address due to a number of issues (even sometimes seen in the Demo). When we created the Mag Drive, we piggy backed off the the movement code of the vessels to forcefully update their transform per frame. As a result, this created alot of precision issues on both Human vessels and Aliens in such a massive play space in orbit around Earth. The Mag Drive initial implementation was kind of a brute force fast travel for vessels which opened up their current Max Speed to extremely fast velocities. Initially, Mag Drive had Acceleration and Deceleration based on distances to have a more smooth ramp up/down between launch point and destination. Also with multiple waypoint satellites to waypoint between there was also a max turning speed for the ships. However this caused major issues with the AI and precision to get to their destination and Deceleration and Turn Speeds were removed from Mag Drive since many tests showed the Ships in Mag Drive missing their target destination or outright accelerating to ridiculous speeds off into infinity outside the bounds of Earth Orbit.
Since the rework of the movement code to create the Ship Movement Component which applied angular velocity to vessels, the reliance on the Unreal Physics engine has been much easier to create the proper movement code and let the physics engine handle the fallout of the resulting applied velocity to ships. This in turn will allow us to have much better control when applying faster speeds/acceleration to the ships.
Furthermore, Mag Drive is getting a bit of a redesign for it’s function. Initially before the demo, the design was setup so if you wanted to “fast travel” to a destination on the opposite side of the planet, then you would have to first target a “Waypoint Satellite” and travel to that point in space before you were able to leave Mag Drive. Even in the Demo, we restrict the access to Mag Drive from the player to avoid the bugs as talked about above and make certain that it’s the AI who is the one who is controlling the Ship during Mag Drive. We never liked this lack of control from the Player and forces a commitment on Mag Drive execution (which isn’t the final design intent). To fix this, Mag Drive is being refactored as it’s own Movement Component that will do a linear “fast travel” in what ever forward direction the ship is facing (even into Asteroids or Planets). This gives the freedom to the Player to execute Mag Drive flight at will if they wish to travel quickly in what ever direction they choose. However, we will still be including a “Flight Computer” that will assist in the auto-pilot function and flight to different destinations (doing waypoint flights to different destinations on the other side of the planet and attempting to NOT fly into objects).
Additionally, we will provide safeguards to the Flight Computer for Mag Drive to try and kick you out of Mag Drive if a sizeable object crosses your path. We will look at options to allow the player to disable this if they choose to allow them to create “Kamikaze” Mag Drive attacks if they get desperate (or for their sick amusement…. you monster).
We’ve touched on this in previous updates as well as this update, but I wanted to reinforce the point of the rework for the parent class of the “SpaceshipPawn”. It was getting to the point where the main blueprint class of the “SpaceshipPawn” compiling was getting out of hand (back on the Windows 7 compiling), but also just the sheer amount of reliance of blueprints and properties running through the old SpaceshipPawn (Not to mention the old movement code was directly tied into the pawn class). There were also a lot of just extra unnecessary additions all running through the SpaceshipPawn itself that just weighed the class down, like the Space Dust particle effects, Asmostphere burn up effect, Mag Drive, FMOD Engine sound components (and VFX), Afterburner thrust, Missile locking, Radar, etc. etc. ALL of these extra components that were all tied directly onto the SpaceshipPawn have been moved off and into their own components for code isolation purposes, modularity, customizability, optimization and most importantly – code organization lol.
Now having all of these “major components” being written first as C++ classes and then added as BP classes allows for far more condense of a component list, but also makes the SpaceshipPawn itself much more light weight on the code side, and allows for multithreaded code support to be included to cut down on gameplay ticks and rely more on component variable updates instead.
The first of these “major components” was the ShipComp_Engine. This Engine Component for ships now handles all the visual and audio effects for the engine/thrusters on the ship. What was once a number of blueprint graphs has now been reduced to a single BP graph that handles FMOD thruster sounds, Thruster effects, and Camera shake (for local player on afterburner). This localized component only references back up to it’s parent SpaceshipPawn and the new Movement controller without needing to push anything back up directly to the SpaceshipPawn. However, what this now allows us to do with this component is to make this “Engine” component (or any “Ship Components” for that matter) become a sub-system for every ship created. This allows for a localized HitBox (to be able to deliver sub-system damage) and be able to control if the sub-system on a ship is damaged/destroyed and prohibit that ship component from working for gameplay! This makes it far more engaging when tackling larger targets, or even for your own ships if they get attacked. Make sure your engines stay online so you don’t get stranded in space!
Weapons as components instead of Child Actors
I addressed this in previous updates, but it bares some repeating. With the Ship Components being constructed as the parent class, this also opens the door to pushing weapons and turrets to belong as components instead of Actors (or Child Actors ). Not only was it extremely annoying when sifting through the World Outliner in UE4 Editor to select all the Ship/Alien actors in the level (since they would always show the Child Actors as drop down listed), but Child Actors became EXTREMELY annoying to properly destroy/remake both in Multiplayer and just for customization purposes.
Now with this change, I not longer have to see a giant list in the world outliner, but also components seems to behave better when they are unified with a single actor and don’t have all the extra baggage of an actor class.
There are some difficulties with components though, but slowly from the code side I am able to get past them, such as the Initialization of the component and setting default properties that are recognized by both itself and the SpaceshipPawn it’s attached to.
I touched on ship customization previously on this update here;
But I also wanted to quickly talk about the implementation side and what this will mean for you on the gameplay side. The idea of the Mounts–>Turrets–>Weapon(or components now in this case, except turrets can also now just be ship components too) hasn’t really changed. It just means now the setup for different loadouts should be much easier to accomplish and should be easy to get online once I have the weapons systems built into the components. I’m still looking into a method (like saving external XML/CSV file formats) to save and share ship loadouts like save files for the community to back up or share with other players and want to see what wild things players come up with, but this refactor will take some time to complete and roll out into the Alpha.
Review of New Features
The difference between the old HUD and the new HUD is extremely striking. The specifics of the new HUD is detailed in this update here and deserves a quick re-read.
Essentially, the new HUD gathers most of the old health, velocity, energy, afterburner, floating crosshair and places all into a more condensed floating crosshair. Along with some basic info about your weapons groups (ready, reloading, etc.), this makes it much easier to read the core information about your ship at all times which flying/dogfighting/gunning down your enemies.
Some additional things to note here are the weapons crosshairs and their lack of auto-aim now. As addressed above, it’ll now be up to you to line up your weapons/weapon groups to achieve a successful hit on your target.
They were unavailable during the Demo, but now have some basic setup.
These Shipyards have been designed to accommodate the current roster of Fighters/Bombers/Corvettes as well as the expanded roster of vessel classes like the Frigates/Destroyers/Cruisers/Battleships. As of current, we have 5 different sizes for shipyard to accommodate their respective sized vessels. Fighter Shipyard for most Fighter/Heavy Fighter/Bomber, etc. sized vessels, Corvette Shipyard for Corvette sized vessels and so on. I am considering for both gameplay and ease of accessibility to allow for these shipyards to access building vessels one size lower than their designed capacity (maybe also allowing for the ships being built to be manufactured at 30% faster rate or something as well depending on balancing). This will mean that Corvette Shipyards could also build bombers and the like, but NOT Frigates.
For a quick recap, we’ve added many new ships since the demo and are even still expanding on the roster. Not only have we increased the number of Fighters, Bombers, Corvettes, but we’ve also introduced even larger vessels such as Frigates, Destroyers, Cruisers and Battleships! The initial scope of the game never intended to include these larger vessels, but since we were able to obtain artwork for them as well as prove out already the majority of the flight and feeling using the Helios in the Demo, we decided to go ahead and include these larger vessels in game!
In previous updates, we’ve introduced the following ships;
Utility – Hephaestus
One of the earliest of the newly introduced ships, the Hephaestus was designed to be the work horse of any construction of new space stations Players may build in the Solar Warden campaign.
The idea behind it is to have it act more like an “SCV” in Starcaft to work as a builder and also a in-field ship repair (slower than Shipyards, but mobile anyhow). Currently no weapons or anything is placed on the Hephaestus and has only some basic flight model setup on it. It’s likely the Hephaestus won’t be initially introduced in the Alpha, but once more of the features for building new Space Stations and Shipyards becomes available, we will include it.
Fighter – Osprey
The agile light fighter of the Aegis of Terra faction and holding 4 small weapon pod slots (originally 6, but that proved to be over powered). More maneuverable than the Icarus, the Osprey will be a hard fighter to pin down, but due to its light chassis, it’ll crumple against any small amount of sustained fire.
Bomber – Typhon
The very bulky and heavily armored bomber of the Aegis of Terra, the Typhon acts as a long range missile boat providing long range barrages and the capacity to hold payloads closer to that of Corvettes and Frigates. Since the Typhon is slower and less maneuverable than the Tempest and with a larger wingspan, once engaged in close combat, this bomber will make for an easy target, but fighters will need to contend with its heavy armor to achieve destruction over this enemy.
Corvette – Nox
Another Aegis of Terra vessel designed for long range engagements, but also with the ability to spool up into Mag Drive faster than most vessels to escape direct engagement. Geared like the Typhon for heavy long range bombardment, the Nox is more suited with direct fire ballistic weaponry rather than missiles or torpedoes. Less agile than the Helios and slower acceleration, however your will find the top speed of this vessel to exceed that of most Corvettes.
Light Fighter – Hoplite
The lighter of the two converted aerospace fighter for space combat, the Hoplite was the answer to the Osprey’s extreme maneuverability. Light in chassis and fast acceleration, this fighter might be a bit too agile for gameplay and might need to be tweaked down just for feel purposes.
In previous updates we mentioned this vessel not having Mag Drive, but we’ve decided to change this to allow all fighters to have Mag Drive to streamline fleet movement experiences.
Heavy Fighter – Myrmidon
Like its little brother, the Hoplite, the Myrmidon is the heavy version of the converted aerospace craft. Heavier in chassis compared to the Icarus, it also comes setup with a secondary seat for a TV guided missile setup as well as directed ECM.
The TV guided missile prototype hasn’t been fully flushed out yet, but this idea was to bring in the gameplay of having a gunner pilot guided missiles to hit their target.
Also mentioned in a previous update, we mentioned the Electronic Counter Measure system being used by the gunner as well. The idea behind this ECM was to have a sort of directed wave jammer weapon equipped on turrets that would disable the lock on incoming missiles, AND also be able to play havoc on enemy HUDs and ship maneuverability (slowing their turn speed or just making them fly straight). However this addition seemed too advanced for the Myrmidon and thus we decided to only include the TV guided missile once fully developed.
The ECM will likely come in on another lost tech vessel.
Heavy Fighter – Aegis
Introduced as one of the “Lost Tech” vessels (will explain later in this update), the Aegis will be the vessel that unlocks the capability of energy shield generation on all your vessels. The energy shield functionality is current still WIP for implementation, but the proof of concept of the Directional Energy Shields has been shown in Previous Updates.
The idea behind these directional energy shields (for all ships and not just for the Aegis) is to be able to focus your shield strength in particular directions depending on incoming fire. Much like other games like X-wing vs Tie Fighter, you can focus front/back, but in Solar Warden, I wanted a full 360 degree capability. This way you can utilized this during Turret View to block incoming attacks from any direction you please. The thought was to have a more dynamic approach to shields, much like imagining the dynamic movement and coverage of a medieval Viking or Swordsman to choose which direction to cover from incoming arrows or other attacks.
Also along with the direction, I wanted the ability for a trade off between focusing strength or expanding coverage around your vessel. This way Players could gamble on focusing strength in a particular direction for more strength against attacks benefit, or decide to equally distribute a weaker shield strength all around the vessel.
The gameplay side of this will allow scenarios such as “dive bomber” from fighters/bombers to push head first into an attack against a Destroyer or large Silicoid and double front strength their shields allowing for a longer attack run on a target before needing to break off. And then also being able to us the turret view while flying away to focus rear the shields to cover the retreat.
The same can also be used for larger vessels like Corvette and above. One specific use in the proof of concept I found was the ability to use Turret view to keep shields facing the target you are engaged with while having your turrets continually shooting that same target you might be exchanging blows with. Further to this was the idea of once this gets put into the hands of multi-crew vehicles that you can let a gunner/turret operator manage the shields for direction/focus while another deals with piloting, making for the potential of really engaging cooperative play.
As stated before though, the shields from the Aegis vessel won’t be made available for the Alpha until a later date. This is just something to keep in mind for feature releases.
Heavy Fighter – Zelus
Since there were already a number of Heavy Fighters for Solar Warden faction, the Aegis of Terra also needed their own Heavy Fighter. The Zelus fights this category perfectly.
The balance of this fighter hasn’t been settled on yet and will likely need more time to discover what works best for itself and how it’ll fit into the rest of the AoT roster, but we will roll this ship out likely in a patch update with a basic setup after initial Alpha.
Heavy Fighter – Hurricane
Promised in the Kickstarter as another ship, the Hurricane was going to be renamed the “Argonaut” to fit the rest of the greek legends and celestial legend name motif I’ve been settling on for naming convention, but since implementation, it has since been constantly referred to at the “Hurricane” and the name stuck. So, we’re keeping “storms” as a name sake too since we also have the “Tempest” and later you will see the “Tsunami”.
As stated in previous updates, the Hurricane will come stock with it’s own lighter Gauss cannons which are classified as Railguns. Also in previous updates, I mentioned that it “comes equipped now with its own Mag Drive” giving the impression that not all fighters had their own Mag Drive. Well for gameplay purposes, this was never fun to deal with, and even in the Demo, we gave all ships their own Mag Drive to fast travel around. So we’re likely going to keep all ships the ability to Mag Drive. I’m debating to see what this will look like for “Drones” and if they too will have Mag Drive or not (forcing the player to recover their drones before engaging Mag Drive), but we’ll see come that time.
Corvette – Eos
Much more bulky than the Helios, the Eos allows for a much larger capacity for both weapons and ammunition. Of course due to this bulk, the Eos is much slower at maneuverability and is likely to be overwhelmed by swarms of smaller targets.
Frigate – Hyperion
As stated in a previous update, the fixed Gauss mounted Hyperion has been shifted to the Frigate sized classification and will be able to be manufactured at the Frigate Shipyards.
Destroyer – Orion
One of the first of the Destroyer class ships, the Orion is a well rounded vessel suitable for the majority of the larger battles against both the Aegis of Terra and the alien threats.
The idea behind the Orion is that it should be the staple goto work horse for the larger vessels. If the Icarus is the go to fighter for Solar Warden, then the Orion will be the go to versatile Destroyer and should be able to fulfill many roles.
Destroyer – Taurus
Designed for heavy engagements, the Taurus comes ready to hold heavier fixed weaponry to help crack open Mega Meteors without the need of deploying nuclear weaponry. As a result, the Taurus class Destroyers require more than the usual resources required, and are more slowly built compared to the Orion class.
Cruiser – Hades
“The need for transporting and deploying fighters among the larger of the fleet ships was quickly apparent due to overwhelming Silicoid swarms, thus the Hades was conceived to be able to both provide heavy bombardment as well as launch escort fighters.” – This blurb isn’t quite correct anymore. Since Drones is being worked on more and more, we’ve changed the Hades from being able to house/launch Fighters to Drones instead due to the Drones smaller size and being able to fit in those hangars. Also the Hades felt like it didn’t belong in the Battleship size category so we demoted it to Cruiser instead and is the first ship to make the Drones proof of concept.
To expand on the Drone idea – There felt like there was a lack in unmanned small attack craft (No Telepresence) that would swarm a target with light weaponry. Much like what you would see a Carrier in Starcraft would be like, the Drones were meant to be an AI driven super light attack craft that would provide cover for their mother ship, or swarm and attack a target. I’m debating whether we will want to include Telepresence into the Drones, but I don’t feel it necessary at this current stage. Plus, the Drones prototype is far from ready and will likely come at a later release.
Battleship – Ares
“The pinnacle of the fleet’s nuclear arsenal, the Ares class Battleship was truly designed for war. Capable of deploying multiple nuclear warheads and high yield torpedoes, the Ares is the Battleship to call on to bring total annihilation to the alien threat.”
The idea behind the Ares was to have this vessel be the top end of the Solar Warden roster and a true “End Game” craft built near the end of the campaign. It was meant to feel like a hybrid of a nuclear submarine/battleship for space that hold a number of Nuclear Warheads for pure destruction. Of course this will have huge ramifications politically deploying nuclear weapons in orbit willy-nilly, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do to save the human race, right? Especially when the Silicoid “Megalith” is approaching (nope I’m not gonna tell you what that is).
Even More Ships!
Because all the above ships weren’t enough, we’ve gone ahead and included MORE ships (which will roll out into the Alpha branch post Alpha launch).
Fighter – Daedalus
(Icarus = Left, Daedalus = Right)
As was promised in the Kickstarter for select backers, we’ve created the “Daedalus” fighter craft. The initial idea behind the Daedalus was that it was the precursor air/space craft that was later to be succeeded by the all purpose spaceborn “Icarus” fighter craft. The fiction behind the Daedalus is that it is the initial prototype spacecraft that housed the initial Magneto Drive which allowed spacecraft to essentially “warp” Earth’s magnetosphere around the ship and allow it to be propelled at fast sub-light speeds to be able to quickly traverse to any location around in orbit around the planet.
In terms of its handling, we’ve setup the Daedalus to have a lighter frame (less health), slightly more speed, but less agility than the Icarus.
Also as a nod to our backers who pledged for the Daedalus and above, we’ve included the “Particle Projectile Cannon” on its default loadout as a call back to our MWLL development days.
Fighters – Aquila and Altair
The Aquila and its sub variant the Altair come from the same core chassis, both with the new High Capacity Power Plants in mind for their design. It was an idea that once Frigates are unlocked within the Player’s Campaign that more research is done to condense nuclear reactor technologies and stuff them into fighters and make them highly efficient in terms of energy output. With that in mind, the fighter frame of the Aquila was developed.
The idea behind the Aquila is to have a late game fighter that has a stronger Power Plant to be able to handle the more advanced energy weaponry such as EMP/Ion cannons, Neutron blasters and Plasma weaponry.
The Altair is a sub-variant of the Aquila specifically designed for ludicrous speed. With the higher power output, the conversion into Afterburner use allows the Aquila not only reach a higher base speed, but also longer afterburner burn time. Making it to be an excellent scout/reconnaissance craft.
This brings up the question of what I’d like to do with Missile/Ballistic weaponry and their differentiation toward Energy based weapons. The idea was that Ballistic/Missiles would have a limited ammo count and use far less energy and also be far more devastating to Hull (for piercing with ballistics) or also have a wider Area of Effect (like for missiles). Of course this wasn’t the case in the Demo as both the Icarus “Swarmer” and Helios “Longbow” had unlimited missile count use for gameplay (and also since no Shipyards were available to restock ammo or repair). It’s likely now we will revisit this concept now that Shipyards are available and I’d still like to test it out during the Alpha.
Bomber – Tsunami
A (Heavy?) Bomber designed for late game created to be primarily a Missile/Torpedo boat. Having a high capacity for Missiles and launchers for them, this is also among the few Bombers that can hold the larger vessel “Torpedoes” used for massive destruction on larger vessels and Silicoid targets.
The idea with the Tsunami was to have a Heavy Bomber for late game destruction. A Missile boat that would launch just an immense wave of missiles/torpedoes at a target, like the Helios “Longbow”, but designed in a smaller package to be made at a Fighter Shipyard. Since also at this late stage in the game, we wanted “Torpedoes” (very high yield, slow maneuvering massive missiles) to start becoming the norm in combat, so we also wanted to have a Bomber that could hold these weapons of mass destruction. Thus, we present to you – the Tsunami class Heavy Bomber.
Corvette – Apollo
Since the Helios was the star Corvette from the Demo to showcase what the larger vessels could be and holding many of the smaller fighter craft turrets, we felt like there was a need to include a sort of upgrade from the Helios to include more end game functionality. Thus the Apollo was created. More maneuverable than its predecessor and having a stronger power plant, this Corvette feels more like a Heavy Fighter than the bulkier Corvettes and some Frigates.
Much like a lot of these additional craft, late game felt stale with the older chassis and some needed some upgrades, like the Helios. But not to take away from the Helios and it’s versatility, we decided to take the Apollo in the direction of making it feel more like a Heavy Fighter in terms of flight characteristics than a slower cumbersome Corvette as seen before in the Demo with the Helios.
Corvette – Scorpius
A pure gunboat. Designed for maximum armaments and to bombard any larger target. Stock equipped with beam Lasers and side arms for Gauss Cannons (like the fixed mounted Gauss of the Hyperion), this late game Aegis of Terra vessel can blast a hole in any fleet deployed against them. Beware when going up against this new prototype!
The AoT vessels already have the Nox as a Corvette for long range bombardment, why not another for late game? Haha! Originally we wanted to have the AoT have this vessel as a Frigate or Destroyer for the AoT, but thought it was too big and we shrunk it down. Still a interesting and unique design for its weight class and will make for an interesting enemy ship for Players to fight and potentially capture themselves in their campaign.
Frigate – Hydrus
The sleek angular heavily armored Frigate is the first of its kind to be deployed by the AoT as the front line vanguard vessels to get in close and both take and give the punishment in close range assaults against both Solar Warden and Silicoid alike. Equipped with point defense weapons on all sides, this vessel takes advantage of automated-defense turret technology that lets AI shoot down targets independently if either the pilot/gunner doesn’t wish to control that turret/weapon, or if the turret is outside the range of the current look direction.
As seen with Turret View from the Helios, Larger vessels are able to account for being attacked around different sides by toggling Turret View and directing turrets and weaponry toward destroying that target. However for the Hydrus, we wanted the ability to have individually controlled AI turrets, so each turret could handle its own decision making (basically targetting the closest visible target and shooting it until it dies or leaves its rotation range). This way, a Player could choose to deal more with piloting and flight and maybe a few fixed weaponry, and then let the AI turrets handle shooting the stuff around them. The fiction was the idea of like a “multi-headed hydra” having each “head” make their own decision while attacking the same or different targets, but all attached to the same body.
Frigate – Ursa
Since the Hydrus, it was decided that the Solar Warden fleet also required a heavily armored Frigate. Taking design elements from the Orion class Destroyer, the Ursa was developed to fulfill this role. Able to withstand brutal punishment due to its reinforced outer hull, this “loaded for bear” tank in space can handle the most intense barrages and even withstand the crushing gravitational waves of the Sigularity device.
As seen in previous updates, the Black Hole or Singularity device was introduced as an end game weapon capable of causing the crushing of most ships and Silicoid by creating a super dense gravity field in localized space. Well, this overpowered weapon needed some ships to be able to stand up to this level of punishment as well as just needing to fill the space of the Solar Warden side of things for a close range Frigate. Thus this “bear” of a ship was introduced to fill that role.
Destroyer – Pegasus
The Pegasus is the next generation Destroyer. Since the onslaught of the Silicoid menace and the growing need for stronger and faster vessels, the Pegasus was developed.
The Idea behind the Pegasus was to have this class of destroy be among the first of the late game Destroyers to come to the field along with its “Heavy Ion Fusion” drive, granting the ability to upgrade ships with the Ion Fusion Drive in order to allow ships to traverse to the Moon and assault the established moon base the Silicoid have made for themselves.
Cruiser – Goliath
With the “Naval” sized weapons being developed, the Goliath was the design used to equip pretty much all of these massive weapons. Another late game design, the Goliath was made to add to the Cruiser sized vessel roster.
Battleship – Thanatos
If the Ares is the Battleship of the nuclear weaponry, the Thanatos is Battleship of advanced energy weaponry. Built to go toe to toe with any massive Silicoid threat, this highly expensive Battleship will bring hi tech destruction to anything in its wake.
Built for pretty much all the guns and direct fire weaponry for end game, this “Flying Brick” has been built for the end game high tech death. One idea that came up when designing this was the idea of “Mass Drivers” and pushing/flinging asteroids or high density tungsten rods and turning that into a specific naval weapon for the Thanatos. With the idea of the tungsten rods being flung in a silent and pretty much invisible manner, this battleship truly will become the “God of silent (peaceful) death).
Additional ships on hold
There are a few additional ships that were put in, but haven’t quite found a home yet for them. Like the “Anax” Destroyer – which I believe should be sized up to a Cruiser size instead of destroyer based on its look and feel, as well the “Triton” Frigate and the “Deimos” Battleship. The last two previously mentioned will likely get cut since I actually do not like the cosmetics of them in their current form. I may come back to them and include them, but as of current, they will likely be shelved and not released.
Continued in next update
Well it seems like this is FAR larger of an update than I initially imagined this to be. But perhaps this is for the best to allow you to comb over what was covered here in this section of the update prior to the Alpha. It is likely the next part of these reviews before Alpha will have even more additional parts just to cover all the detail involved. Still to come in review and new features are;
- New Aliens
- Review of the Mega Meteor
- Tactical View
- Fleet Groups
- Ship to Ship Telepresence
- Ship Customization
- Ideas behind Technology unlocks (basically ship chassis research will unlock the piece of tech)
- Lost Tech (Recover tech from different location around Orbit)
Opening Previews for Alpha
So the idea of the Alpha launch was initially to have all of these things listed in these reviews/new features placed in as a Sandbox Earth Orbit level for everyone to play in, however it’s likely this will be piece mealed out into updates on Steam just to make certain nothing crazy is broken. Currently with the Mag Drive and SpaceshipPawn reworks from the ground up, I want to keep the initial Alpha release small with different “levels” to showcase different features of the game. For instance, I will likely have the “Mega Meteor” as it’s own stand alone level for Players to fly around and I will include some fighting with Aliens there.
Potentially what I might do just to give a feeling for it is I might restore the basic “Waves” setup of the Demo with the old SpaceshipPawns setup for each ship and allow Players to build the ships from static Space stations to try them all out.
Again, these old SpaceshipsPawns are heavy on the CPU side so I do caution building too many ships.
I thank you very much for all your patience as I now feel like I have the capacity to get back to working on this project and reviving its production. Rather than promising any sort of time frame, I’d rather just prove out releasing both updates and the project to fulfill my obligation to the original backers of the project. I very much look forward to reviving Solar Warden with you all and look forward to seeing what you guys do with the upcoming Alpha release.
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- Utility spacecraft
June 14, 2018A tugboat like craft (maybe variant(s)s of the H.U.R.K. transport?) built for dedicated reclaiming of resources, destroyed Warden craft and Silicoid husks, pilots and API boxes that successfully eject from destroyed Warden craft, and moving satellites ...
- Artificial Pilot Intelligences
June 14, 2018APP or API - artificial pilot personality or artificial pilot intelligenceFielded after research into artificial intelligence nets the necessary breakthroughs, artificial pilot computer systems could be installed into Warden craft to function as human...
- Shell company space-missions
June 14, 2018The idea: using shell companies for deploying civilian cargo into space to make money on the side. Such missions could also use transport craft to get other, more important resources into space. Thus with limited transporters the commander would have ...
- Asteroid-based resources
June 14, 2018The idea is that resources could be reclaimed from asteroids that Silicoid arrive in, are sent to distract fire in a Silicoid rush/damage Earth's surface, or end up on a course to just pass by.H.U.R.K. transports could be deployed to carry a mining la...
- Re: Capital ships humans-aliens
February 17, 2018OMG you just make me happy to hear that ty agent for the replay beautiful i can't wait to play your game
- Re: Weapons rarity alien containers and Bosses
February 17, 2018ty for the replay is sounds good can't wait to see what the game hase to offer once it is realised
- Re: Capital ships humans-aliens
February 16, 2018Thanks for the support!To answer your first question. We do have ships that are larger than the fighters which are the "Corvettes". They are much slower in handling, but pack quite a punch with their multiple turret mounts as well as larger weapons yo...
- Re: Weapons rarity alien containers and Bosses
February 16, 2018No worries, your English is fine .We don't believe in an RNG loot drop system as we feel that it pulls Players out from the immersion factor and reinforces a more "gambling style" reward, rather than a hard work pay off. However there is still RNG, ...
- Weapons rarity alien containers and Bosses
February 13, 2018Hello all me again any plans for Weapons rarity and alien contaners for the game for as example alien contaners where you need to hack the container to get a RNG alien Weapon rarity ore armor parts from tier 1-5 Killing a alien boss to get the weapo...
- Capital ships humans-aliens
February 13, 2018Hello all first i will like to apologize for my bad english i help my self with google second amazing game 110% i will buy it now for the mane topic will the game have capital ships like cruisers battlecruisers battleships carriers dreadnoughts and log...