utorak, 16. kolovoza 2016.

Library and ship building from galaxy view

As I mentioned last time two new features got in previous release build, library and star system management from galaxy map.

Library is a place where player can see information about all researchable technologies and equipment in the game. Much like civilopedia in Civilization series where player can look up all sorts of information in game instead of resorting to manual or game wiki. At the top left are categories, below it are topics in a category and the rest is information about the topic. There also an input for item level so player can see how technology benefits or ship equipment attributes are progressing. It's not the prettiest user interface but I'm not inclined to improve it at this point. In version 0.6 I'm planning to switch to OpenGL based GUI framework where I'll have much better control over how interface items look like and behave. When I get the framework working I'll gradually convert old Windows Forms interface to new one and library will be revisited eventually. In the mean time I have to rework how text is fetched from data files. Currently each item has a separate reference code for name and description text and with library there is a need for a third one, long description. So instead of actually adding third reference code on each item in game's core, I'm going to remove one and use it differently depending on context. For instance laser cannon will have only "LASER_CANNON" as text entry code and user interface will look under "LASER_CANNON_NAME" for weapon name, "LASER_CANNON_DESC" for short tooltip description and "LASER_CANNON_PAGE" for library text. It will be smart enough to append appropriate prefix on it's own.

Managing star system (the system as a whole, not individual planets) from galaxy is a small feature which greatly improves quality of life. When testing a game I usually need to build a few ships of certain kind and conclude the game in very few turns. This feature greatly accelerates the process and I hope it's usefulness goes beyond being development tool. Once I sort out new GUI framework I might extend the feature to show more star system information on map before it's selected. Much like cities in Civilization series where you can see what is being built, how long it would take and how well developed are the cities by just looking at the map, without needing to zooming in to particular city. And I'll keep adding quality of life features as I notice the opportunity.

Next in pipeline: version 0.6 plans and new rendering loop.