srijeda, 28. ožujka 2018.

Preview release v0.6.5

New update, finally. In fact a bombastic one! One with splash damage torpedoes and navigable combat map.

Download Stareater v0.6.5-alpha

 Missiles were already present in the Stareater but they were technically limited ammunition beams. Torpedoes are true "fly over there" missiles and they have Expanse inspired look :). They also pack a splash damage which hurts multiple ships in a stack and multiple stacks in the same location. For this to happen stack health has been expanded a bit, now there are armor and shield points for a unit on top of the stack and armor and shield points for the reminder of a stack. Splash damage hits both top and reminder of a stack if the splash is big enough. Once the stack's top unit is destroyed a new top unit will not start with full shields and armor but with what was an average of the stack. Additionally splash damage treats chance to hit a bit differently then direct attacks (like beams and old missiles), torpedoes who are the sole users of splash damage (for now) have two attack kinds: direct and splash. If attacker wins chance to hit roll then top of the target stack is struck with direct attack, otherwise the top is struck with splash damage. So the top of the target stack is always hurt but the difference is by how much. If the splash is big enough (maximum number of targets a splash can affect) then the rest of the stack gets splash damage proportional to number of affected units. And if stack is smaller then splash size then other enemy stacks get splash damage too.

Splash damage is one part of torpedo implementation, the other part is, well, the projectile itself. Launching a torpedo will show a projectile on the map and over turns it will close in to the target. For now it's as simple as that, you can't target torpedo stack and attempt to destroy it before it destroys you but there is a plan to rework how combatants and projectiles are handled under the hood which will make such feature possible if it turns out to be necessary.

For now under the hood changes revolved around certain AI vs AI (or AI vs natives because natives are just different AI under the hood) behavior. Previously the communication between an AI player and the space combat controller (part that decides who is on the move and when a battle is over) was synchronous. Controller would call AI function for playing a unit, AI would then call controller function for a move it chose, controller would call again call AI to play a unit and so on. Once the battle got resolved controller's function would exit and return to AI's function which called, it would exit too and return to controller's function which called it and so on until whole call stack gets unrolled. If something goes wrong and I have to debug it, I'd see kilometer long call stack with a lot of repeating uninteresting entries and if there are too many units this synchronous communication would overflow the stack crash the game. Asynchronous communication, as anything multi-threaded, is bit more complicated but solves those issues and allows AIs to process the battle independently. Also it makes enforcing some move validity checks easier.

There is no new content in this release but I've compensated that by adding zoom and pan to combat map. Now you can zoom in and read unit numbers :). I've also improved how animations work and refactored selected unit pulsing animation to use it so for now this visually changes absolutely nothing but as previous additions in this release, allows for more goodies in the future.

Finally, sorry for delayed release, real life got really busy. The situation will remain like that for a few more months but I'll will continue to work on this game.