Unending Galaxy 1.2.5 Beta 20160602

Hi there !

Apologies for the delay, I have been moving to a new flat, and well, it took some time to move all my things from a place to another, get a working internet connection and so on. But, hey, it’s a much nicer place and I am more or less ready to resume work full-time.

Speaking of work, due to the major stability and quality of life improvements I made to Unending Galaxy recently, I think it should be better to release a 1.2.5 version before the official 1.3 release. Changes between 1.2 and 1.2.5 are massive enough to justify a full release anyway, and to avoid another problematic launch, I am publishing a beta version on itch.io and Steam today.

Let’s see what you can expect in this beta version.

Major New Features

Play as any factionSnap3

While in previous versions you could look like any other faction in-game, you couldn’t really take the place of an existing one. This is now a thing of the past: the overhauled “new game” menu allows you to select any of the major factions from the get go.

I played a few hours as the AI Core, and so far it seems to work as intended. Some events may look a bit out of place depending on which faction you chose, but beside that, I think it’s okay. I still expect some minor issues with the diplomacy side of things, but nothing that can’t be fixed quickly.

Ceridans aren’t accessible due to the fact they spawn late. Pirates aren’t playable, nor is the Swarm (because they rely entirely on AI “ships”). I will see what I can do to make both factions playable in the future.

Dreadnoughts, corvettes and dronesSnap8

As explained a couple times already, drones replace fighters.They are fully automated and replace the fighters that were previously used by carriers and military bases. To fill the void, the corvette class has been added. Those are usually fast, but lightly armed. Combat wise between drones and frigates.

I also added the new Dreadnought class. Those are extremely though and powerful combat ships (often coming with drone support), but they are also quite slow and costly. So don’t get fooled by the numbers: as with any large ship, they can be overwhelmed by large numbers of smaller ones if they aren’t provided an escort.

While at it, most ships and weapons have been re-balanced, and the worst looking sprites have been replaced by nicer ones (AI Core cargo ship to name the worst offender). You can look at the various new ships in the updated wiki too! 🙂

Snap10Stability and performances

This is the main reason why I want to publish the 1.2.5 version first. To sum it up it’s much, much better. The 1.2x was known to freeze completely when you reach a large enough amount of agents (ships and stations). On my computer, it was at around 20.000 of those. Said freezes were pretty random but wouldn’t trigger the bug report tool, making things hard to figure out. Without entering into too much technical details, it was due to the way the game allocates and frees memory. Past a given amount of ships, the game was so constantly allocating/freeing memory to manage ship orders that it froze the threads (you can’t multithread memory allocation) and made the memory manager give up. I sanitized the code and ships no longer need to free/request memory each time the get or complete an order. In turn, it leads to much better performances in the late game and a much more efficient multithreading. I tested gigantic maps with up to 30k agents, and it seemed to work much better.

Miscellaneous

Snap5There are so many changes it’s hard to keep track of everything. I’d suggest you to check the full changelog at the bottom of this post for more information, but here are a few of the major gameplay and UI changes.

As you can see on this screenshot, the shipyard menu has been overhauled, it’s much better looking and requires less clicks to do the exact same thing as before (which is normally a good policy :p). Other menus have been slightly improved and will continue to be.

The empire manager allows you to set policies for your factions like the ability for your building manager to build outside of your borders or not, if you want to allow your automated military to defend your allies during invasions (which is a thing now: AI allies will defend each other, and they will defend you too if you have this policy enabled), if you want your faction to generate ‘civilian’ raiders, and so on. I will probably add more policies as the time goes on (suggestions are welcome, just understand those are YES/NO policies, no slider or values as parameters).

Oh, and I know many will like this one: You no longer need to fiddle with the various money accounts when you want to build or buy something. The game will automatically use whatever money is available in all your accounts. For instance if you want to build a space station, it will first use the money in your general account, and if it doesn’t has enough, it will check your building, then military, then diplomatic accounts. I think I got all menus beside the colony building one that I will update before the official launch.

Important Warning

Note that this version isn’t save-game or mod compatible with previous editions. A tool has been provided (located in the data folder) to update old mod files (ships, factions and profiles formats have changed), but it’s delivered “as is” and you will need to review the changes in the game editor.

I cannot guarantee that save-games and data files will be compatible with the official 1.2.5 release. Don’t forget it’s a beta version. That being said, comparatively to the official 1.2 version, it’s definitively more stable and you should definitively try it if you were experiencing stability issues.

Installation and Closing Words

For the steam users, please refer to this post on our community forum. For itch.io users, check the Unending Galaxy page, you should see a beta version to download somewhere. Install as usual and please report any problem you encounter even if it’s a minor thing you assume I already know about.

As you can see, it would be a shame to delay this release in order to get all the 1.3 features ready. And it doesn’t need much, all we’re missing for 1.3 is a fleet builder, some diplomatic options, a better integration of (and additional) defensive platforms (so far only the AI Core as access to defensive buildings), some tweaks and proper fleet captain AI modules.

Full Changelog

This includes both the changelog for the 1.2.5 alpha test that was available on Steam and the updated changelog for the version released today.

Faction AI

  • Better allocation of money
  • Better at detecting and responding to building of military bases in territory
  • Allied factions can defend each other against invasions.

Balance

  • Shipyard Build time proportional to ship value
  • Bounties proportional to military strength
  • AI Core gains the “fast shipyards” trait
  • Added “armored” ship tag: hull absorbs 50% of damage
  • Increased colony building time x10 (takes a few minutes instead of seconds)
  • Large shield systems need a longer period of time before being able to charge after a hit
  • Killing a carrier will deactivate all its drones

Gameplay

  • You can now play as any in-game faction
  • Ships are using a tag system to determine how the simulation is going to use them
  • Military bases and carriers use drones instead of fighters
  • Drones can’t be piloted directly and come with preset weaponry
  • New faction trait “fast shipyards” : 30% faster ship production
  • SPQR has gates closed to non allies until the SPQR related event fires
  • Pirates use more ships
  • Warpgates can be destroyed
  • Small chance of spawning capital class raiders and bounty hunter after an hour of gameplay
  • Ceridan (AI) get more money on spawn so production isn’t crippled
  • You set various policies for your faction to follow
  • Claiming all sun/planets in a system will convert *empty* sectors even if already owned by other faction

Game Data

  • Weapons fire rate reduced, damage increased (keeping roughly same DPS)
  • Rebalanced weapon prices, damages and energy consumption
  • Rebalanced stats of most ships, too many changes to list
  • Added many drone variants for each tech group
  • Addded corvette class ships for all factions
  • Drath : new dreadnought and armored cargo
  • Federation : new dreadnought and changes to existing ships
  • Siraks : new dreadnought, new corvette, and replaced frigate
  • AI Core: new assault cruiser, old cruiser become a frigate
  • Slightly reduced AI Core shield stats to make up for increased production

Graphics

  • Higher quality sprites for the Siraks
  • Resized many ships
  • Replaced a few sprites by better looking ones
  • Improved Ceridan battleship sprite (added border, reworked glow)
  • Newly built docks fade in instead of popping
  • Replaced AI Core cargo ship sprite by better looking one
  • Replaced SPQR frigate ship by larger one, old one reused as corvette

Modding Tools

  • Improved ship and weapon editors (filters, list, stats)
  • Improved faction editor (additional flags)
  • Included file format convertion tool for modders
  • Added option to auto set weapon prices (approximate)

Performances / Code Stuff

  • Improved performances all around in a major way
  • Much faster savegame loading (3-4x faster)
  • Ship order management should use less CPU cycles
  • Ship order managers no longer continuously get and free memory
  • Adding and deleting of objects optimized
  • Large fleet battle should run better thanks to less bullets
  • Killing a carrier ship no longer use way too many CPU cycles
  • Misc stability related improvements
  • Game can recognize outdated, unusable savegames (and warn you about it)
  • Save system error correction mechanism improved
  • Reduced CPU cost of scavengers
  • Some new functions added to debug/cheat menu
  • Removed useless cargo component from asteroids saving ram, disk space

User Interface

  • Manual money transactions and dock building no longer need funds to be in specific accounts to work)
  • Click homebase in ship scan to center camera on it
  • Small improvements to shipyard build queue
  • Added command to sell all cargo in Ship Setup menu, with optional notification
  • Move Cargo menu is larger
  • Improved New Game menu layout
  • Added option to filter out drones from asset list

Bug Fixes

  • Game freezing due to memory management (usually in large / long games)
  • Game crash due to sound library
  • Free traders trying to sell to hostile factions
  • Potential issue in cache system which could cause the game to slow down and crash
  • Money management wasn’t thread safe
  • Carriers able to auto build their own drones would ignore manual ship type selection
  • Minor display bug in colony build menu
  • Minor display bug in station setup menu if player is using a transparent logo
  • “My Assets” map filter is counting bullets in currently focused sector
  • It was possible to click game editor button while database is still loading  [modding tools]
  • Saving weapon in editor doesn’t auto update ware [modding tools]
  • Updating ware data in weapon editor delete ware’s picture [modding tools]
  • FPS counter obstructed by money widget
  • Small issue with ships calling for help
  • Station destroyed with a carrier docked to it would cause problems
  • Rare bug where the pirate guild would ask for way more money than necessary
  • Galactic map would show gates that are closed to you
  • ships escorting raiders could still call police for help causing relationship issues
  • Rare case of ship/object duplication
  • When spawning, ceridan could (temporarily) declare war to self, locking military fleet in place
  • Ships visible in unexplored sectors when fog of war is disabled
  • Crash when reloading database [modding tools]
  • AI Core couldn’t build colonies on non capital icy and oceanic planets
  • Some issues with tech group selection
  • Fixed color of some clouds on Imperium map

 

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