Despite what has been a really bad week IRL, I still managed to make quite a lot of progress on Unending Galaxy. A bit unfocussed, but progress nonetheless. I am more or less done with the diplomatic portion of the game that I explained in the previous post. I also implement the new Swarm baddies featured in the screenshot. More importantly I added a proper shipyard component and menu with the ability to queue ships to build and so on. There’s also a bunch of misc optimizations, rebalancing, and fixes.
As usual, those changes will be detailed in the article.
Faction War and Diplomacy
So, as I said, most of what have been talked about recently is implemented. It’s possible for factions to ally and sue for peace. Small factions tend to ally against larger foes except if they hate each other of course. Cease fires and minimum war durations are implemented, war weariness is taken into account, etc. I have yet to add military passage and trade agreements, but they are secondary and need some additional tweaking in other parts of the code. While the system is relatively simple, there’s no obvious flaws and it works well enough for a beta version.
While tweaking the diplomacy, I also slightly improved the “war” part of things. Factions are a bit more clever at dispatching their defensive military ships. It’s still far from perfect, but I improved where ships are sent by taken more factors into account.
My main issue is that the code was initially made to handle one war at a time and for a single sector. Now that we handle much more complex situations, the old code is kinda outdated, and sooner or later I will have to rewrite large parts of it. It’s not a very complex task, but it’s a long one where I will have to spend more time watching the game unfold than actually coding. So, as it’s not broken, and that there’s still a lot of work to do on other parts, it’s not a huge priority.
From time to time a rift will open in a (semi) random part of the universe. From this rift will exit a Swarm Queen or two. Queens are massive creatures that feed on asteroids and hatch smaller swarm guardian and drones.
While not hostile unless provoked, they don’t like other people touching their food. As such they can become quite a nuisance if they decide to set home in one of your mining sectors.
Queens are extremely large (2 times your average battleship), slow, have a massive amount of HP that slowly regenerate, and attack with dangerous energy bullets. But the main threat is the fleet of swarm guardians and spores a well fed queen can hatch quickly mid battle.
To keep things under control, there’s an upper limit to how large a swarm can be, and no more rift will open while there’s still a swarm on the map. Also it’s not possible for a rift to open in a capital sector (and while there’s still free sectors on the map, such rifts won’t open in a faction’s territory either).
Rifts and the swarm are the first addition to make the map more interesting. More stuff and “special / hand-made” sectors will be added later on. Most of it will be optional.
I also properly implemented shipyards. From now on, ships take time to be built and need ship parts, connecting the economy to the war production capacity. Of course, It’s still possible to buy ships directly with credits as a player.
The screenshot on the right shows the menu that will be opened when the player is selecting one of his shipyards. From this menu, It’s possible to queue orders, loop production, give various orders to the produced ships and so on. It’s also possible to prevent the empire manager from using said shipyard. Right now it’s not possible to select which weapon you want for each ship (they get equipped with whatever is available for their class or one class below) and I am not sure how I will handle that part yet.
To be honest, even if I agree that customization is a good thing, once you reach the empire stage, I am not exactly sure that you’d really want to customize each one of the dozens of ships you’re going to produce all the time. I may add the ability to set a template for each class later on.
Also, I still need to allow the production of a shipyard to automatically join a specific control group or location. That should be done before the beta, though.
I began the long process of balancing the game’s data files. In no particular order:
- Added new Core heavy fighter
- Altered and rebalanced other AI Core ships and stations
- Rebalanced core shields (a bit heavier) and weapons (longer range)
- Rebalanced energy recharge rate of battleships (increased)
- Added minor faction (steel dominion -> human splinter group)
- Made laser beams less godly
- Rebalanced some factories production and needs
- Added illegal pirate factories (drug lab, slave pits and small arms factory)
- Added unique Drath Heavy Plasma Launcher
- Made pirates use their own stations only
- Added new and improved some existing sprites
- Replaced buggy vulture cargo ship graphic by another sprite
- Made the Drath Solar Power Plant better than the stock counterpart
- Updated factions’ descriptions
There’s a few others minor changes and improvements here and there. But that’s mostly under the hood and extremely boring for anyone else than me, so I will spare you of the details 🙂