DevBlog :What I've been doing.
As of late I've been working on the main mission.
I hit a small snag concerning the "twist part" of the main mission. Lots of coding to be done and lots of rewriting code.
The NPC A.I. used to be quite simple, but now I added a list of factions the NPC is hostile to. A simple tag system.
Ceres used a much more line of sight/within range any friendly radar system.
That means that any ship that a ship sees will tell others about it. This allow some very sneaky attacks by the hostile game A.I.
Now I'm striving for a more simpler code. Simple radar range and attack range.
But I'm sure it will grow more complex as the game development progresses.
I think I've finished about a third of the main mission. The missions are simple at first but they gain complexity as the player progresses through the game.
A few side mission have been created, mostly for proof of concept
The refit system is mostly done. I've been playing around the idea of adding a gemstone system to it, too boost weapons and mech parts. Still in the works.
I'm planning on adding a personal drone to the game.
Something that will assist the player, follow the player around and attack enemies etc.
I'm constantly adding lore to the game, random wanderers and civilians will provide the player with information about the game and Info data logs that will provide a background history.
It's funny, I thought many time that I wouldn't finish Ceres. It was a big ass job but I got through it and the hellish bug fixes afterwards. Now it's so much simpler.
The Ninth Planet will not be nearly as much of challenge. Simpler game, more experience and overall more linear game design.
Dev Blog Ceres code.
I've been thinking about what I should do with Ceres.
The world that Ceres takes place in is an interesting one, but I have no plans to create Ceres 2 or create DLC.
Ceres was developed in Unity3D version 4.6. Unity's current version is 5.6. (I think)
I've tried on a number of occasions to port Ceres to 5.6 but It's proven to be a hassle.
Ceres was written in UnityScript and I've just recently read that they are dropping it. But they are also going to creature a function to port UnityScript to C#. Hopefully that will work.
My current plan is to successfully port the code Ceres is based on to the latest version of Unity.
Then I'm going to use the code to create a new space game set in a different world than Ceres.
maybe have procedural generated star systems with custom tweaks here and there.
I've been looking at modular spaceship design in the Unity Asset store. Those look interesting and would be a welcome addition to the base game design.
I'm inspired by the Ark Royal scifi books. The Ark Royal universe has the Earth and it's empires, where space combat and conquest is forbidden in humanity's birthplace, but the other star systems are fair game.
I'm planing on doing something similar.
The directional movement proved to be collision prone in Ceres. You needed to be mindful of the direction your ships took.
Some people liked it, some didn't. Ceres was a crowded game. Lot's of asteroids and stuff to collide into and with 6 ships, players were having trouble keeping track of the ships.
The formation feature was buggy too.
Bugs, bugs, bugs.
I've been thinking of just removing the buggy features.
No directional movement, Better ship management. Better formations.
Or not! maybe better pathfinding code and better ship management!
Need to think on this.
Dev blog: 11th of August 2017
I've been spending time bug hunting, doing a short run through the first missions and implementing my fast travel code.
Also some random thoughts and planning.
It's funny how old bugs seem to rear their ugly head again and again. I've been struggling with loot crates in the game. To be specific, the saving and loading part of it. The crates often refused to accept that they had already been looted, but thankfully this was just a simple array bug.
In Ceres, which has long save and load times, the save game feature was added late in the development. So many things to save and I needed to do it quickly. I decided to write a script that read the classes and an algorithm decided what variables should be saved.
It's a sloppy way to do it, but it did have two thing going for it. It didn't forget to save anything and It could be used to save any class.
Another rotten thing about the Ceres save game feature, was that it needed to load and entire scene again to get a fresh scene to load data on.
Planet Nine's save game feature is quick. It keeps tabs on all items in the game, so no new scenes reloads are needed. Nothing is destroyed. It's allows quicker, more precise reloads.
The game also has a random loot drop which is level based and loot comes in multiple varieties.
The item level is simple, 8 stages, from feeble to exceptional. From worst to best.
Current weapon types in the game is : missiles, grenades, machine gun, Sniper, Laser and flamethrower.
I will be adding Gauss, Minigun, lightning gun and other weird stuff.
I am planning on having unique items and set items for your mech. Find the legendary Bunny mech, kinda thing. Combining the set item will give bonuses.
I've been thinking about having crystals or some nano items that will give boost to items.
A bit more customization for the player. Always fun.
Currently when refitting your mech, you can add up to 3 weapons to it, each weapon is fired with mouse0, mouse1, mouse2 buttons.
I'm planning on allowing more weapons added to the mech. The asset I bought supports it, and coding it should be no hassle.
Currently I'm thinking of linking the weapons to each mouse button. Mouse0 would for example fire all lasers or a laser and a machinegun, while mouse2 would fire gauss cannon and machinegun.
I remember playing the Mechwarrior games (1989 to 2001 releases), the mechs there had a similar control. You hotlinked your weapons to list to control what weapons were selected to fire. Fun times. I used to create mechs that got in close with flamethrowers and have lots and lots of machineguns. Get in close, overheat the enemy and then unleash a storm of bullets on him. Worked like a charm for close quarter combat.
The fast travel system was quick to make.
In the game there are these Control towers which the player can activate.
When activated the player can fast travel between them. Simple and nice.
The story so far...
Planet Nine takes place on a planet that appeared in our Solar System.
An expedition was sent to colonize it and learn its secrets.
a fleet of ships and around hundred thousand of people were shipped to the planet to establish bases, towns and become self supportive.
The planet is far away from the sun, further than Pluto, yet it can sustain life.
A megastructure surrounds the planet. It provides life and light. It provides life.
It also provide curiosity, and curiosity supposedly killed the cat.
Shortly after colonization something cataclysmic happened.
Through the game the player will discover what happened and what has happened until game time.
The game has various data logs scattered around the game area. Mostly logs from scientists, military or just ordinary people.
The player can find them and piece together what happened.
The game also uses a simple dialog delivery system.
The game starts with an A.I. telling you what to do, guiding you through the first missions..(I'm currently using the same avatar guide in Ceres.)
The player can also talk to various people in the game to get information about the world.
I'm planning on including a database to the game. Information about various areas, people , mechs and weapons.
When I did Ceres, I added the localization mechanism afterwards. That was a costly mistake. It took tens of workhours to scan the code and modify it to handle Localization.
I believe I'm probably leaving some code in the game which I will need to hunt down later to fix localization, but all the dialogs, data logs and database info will use localization code.
A new game...
Project Planet Nine is a mech game.
A mech rpg game where you explore a mysterious planet...
The game is open, you can explore the map to find interesting data or something.
Currently the game is played in a top down view, this lets me get away with less work on world construction and give the game more strategic gameplay.
You can refit your mech. Change the locomotion, exchange weapons, swap out the cockpit, upgrade all parts, etc, using scraps.
Your mech uses energy to run, power its shield, sensors among other things.
You can deploy turrets, call for artillery and launch flares to light up the dark night or cave...
Below here are images from early stages of development.
A lot has been improved since the images above. But the concept remains the same.
I've adjusted the camera angle a bit. Added more content. Updated the bottom buttons. Added improved loot drop, deployable turrets, flare launching and more and more.
I'm currently adding the finishing touches to the save game feature. It's quite different than the mess I did for Ceres. The game loads usually within 8 seconds. Smaller files etc.
I'm using Unity3D for development. I've come to know unity quite well after Ceres and I'm quite confident I can pull this game off. The biggest hurdle will probably be animation for monsters. But I'm not expecting much trouble.
The game will mostly use bought assets for graphics and sound, I'm trying to do this completely on my own, but I know I will need help some day in the future.
I've just received some tools that Unity has gifted me for being such a loyal customer.
Fog volume 3 which is a volumetic fog renderer and Octave3D for level design.
Both needed tools which should speed up development.