Christmas Update

Progress on the game continues, although I really ought to pick up the pace. You can build new ships now (you could before, but there was no UI to change the type, so all you’d get are scouts). I’ve largely fleshed out how technologies work and coded definitions 60-70% of them – weapons, shields, armor, engines, power sources are all done. Research is half done, with some UI work left to finish. I’ve also done various optimizations, tweaks, fixes, and other uninteresting work.

Combat will be tactical and turn-based. It will be  halfway between the combat from MOO 2 and what Gratuitous Space Battles should have been, if you could control the ships rather than idly watching them. After mulling it over for several weeks, I’ve settled on using normal-mapped sprites rather than plain sprites or 3D models for the ships. This will let me add a high level of detail to the ships, with lower system requirements (maybe), while still being able to light them realistically in 3D as they turn and move. The trade-off is that it forces a fixed overhead perspective, but I think that’s fine. You’ll still be able to zoom in and out, and 3D cameras in a 2D battle space don’t add much value. I dismiss the alternative of conducting battles in full 3D as being cumbersome and inappropriate given that combat here is just part of a larger game. I’m excited and eager to get working on the battle engine.

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