Hey Delphi! Any updates from the front? How's EV4 looking? I'm gonna do the typical thing here and nag you. haha
Want anything tested?
Yes yes, I'm still here. I've been working on a lot of graphics, throwing them out (I'm something of a perfectionist), coming up with ship outfits, juggling work, and raising my daughter. I'll admit, it's difficult to find free time these days.
I've been working diligently on a massive upgrade/outfit table that works based on bit values to make the TC's upgrade system as unique as it is. Instead of just having a general pool of outfits, each hull size gets specific upgrades particular to that hull type, and balanced differently. So, for instance, a fighter cannot strap on artillery weapons, no matter how much a person plays with the ship's mass. This is probably because the ship's don't use "mass" for their upgrades; ships in my TC have complex computer systems with a limited amount of resources. So, instead of a ship having 5 tons of free mass and installing a light blaster that weighs 3 tons, the ship has 2048 CPU cycles/resources and a light Electromag cannon takes up 1024 cycles of processing power. Then, players can install special co-processor modules that set a bit address and unlock other equipment not normally available (like the way that the Starbridge Mod is only available when your ship type is the Starbridge), such as swivel guns for fighters or advanced scouting systems. The trade-off is that you can only have one co-processor installed, and you can't remove them once purchased without selling your ship. Fortunately, most hull types will still have a plethora of general equipment modules and methods by which to expand their systems; the co-processors are usually for very expensive and specialized systems that a player would only buy if they have a very deliberate idea of their play style, such as someone who doesn't care so much about fighting and wants to install a survey suite that gives them better multi-jump and a system scanner instead. Not to mention, having some equipment sets will allow you to do certain missions; a military ship isn't sent on diplomatic endeavors, and only ships with the mentioned survey suite can perform planetary surveys and specialized exploration missions.
I've also been working on "finalizing" the landing interface. It's quoted because I know I'm notorious for using a design for months on end before suddenly deciding I hate it to death. I'm pretty comfortable with this one so far. Here's screenshots/mockups of the interface for all of its typical landing uses (look at the titles for each image).
Main Landing Screen
Things should look mostly familiar here. Typical landing screen with the title of the planet and a brief description. Your local services are visible down the left side; in this picture I have artificially greyed out some to simulate what it looks like when certain services aren't available. "Assignments" is the Mission BBS but re-named to make it more flexible for any task, "Commerce" is the good ol' trade centre, "Command" is where you go to request a new ship posting (the shipyard), and "Equipment" is the outfitter.
"Bar" ("More" from the main screen)
Usually includes a description of some interesting area you can explore beyond the realm of your ship, or just an expanded description of the topography/demographics/industry of a planet. I intend to see if it's possible to have players pick up "bar" missions by going to the "Communications" screen instead of just the bar itself, which will double as the news interface; I felt the news interface was underused, and this lets me create a whole second area to some planets with more information but still keeping special/storyline missions in a space where it makes sense that you're getting in contact with someone else. Alternatively, it gives me the freedom to just have certain missions happen spontaneously when you leave your ship. Greater flexibility, and doesn't always assume that you are meeting every important mercenary/debutante/CEO in a dive, over a whiskey; that thing never really made sense to me.
The usual shipyard. Slightly different grid arrangement to let the descriptive text flow from left to right more aesthetically than in the original EV Nova; I don't like reading columns. I'm eschewing the preview picture from the primary shipyard screen (aside from the thumbnails); it'll appear in the "Info" screen instead. I'm not making full "wallpaper"-sized pictures for ships, so these will beautify the info screen a bit while keeping the primary view practical and utilitarian. Purchase buttons are in the interactive panel on the left, like the main screen and others.
The outfitter looks almost identical, but with "Buy" and "Sell" buttons.
The "Commerce" interface is difficult to dress up because it's so simple to begin with, but I added some textual ornamentation nonetheless. I'll see if I can come up with something like a logo or some other graphic to decorate it, but for now, it has a header and a little disclaimer at the bottom to make it feel more "bureaucratic".
The captain's data management device pictured above is brought to you by the good folks over at Ableford Integrated Systems, makers of exceptional personal devices and starship components.
P.S. For bonus points, see if you can figure out how I'm going to make the corners of the landing graphics appear curved.
This post has been edited by Delphi : 23 August 2015 - 06:49 PM