Community: State of the Game #3: Thunderstruck!

Hey everyone!

We have been hard at work since our last State of the Game blog, so we have a bunch of new things to show! The most visually impressive things we have added is some cool looking new terrain, damage and destruction effects on ships, and finally the first version of our beam weapons!

Below is an excerpt of the stuff we have been working on, though feel free to ask any questions you might have, we’d be glad to answer!

New features:

  • As stated above, we have finally gotten around to getting the beam weapons ingame! Currently it is just the orange beam seen in the screenshot below, though more types will be added over time, with different colors, effects, durations, and more.

  • The move cursor has been changed. It now shows galactic north, and has a bit of a light effect to it, making it easier to track in combat.

  • There are new ship damage effects, such as electrical discharges, shipboard fires, and destructible ship models. This has immediately made combat much more fun to just look at :) . These effects will be expanded upon as we go.

  • All ships now have engine trails and maneuvering thruster plumes.

  • Models within squadrons now move around a bit, making them look much more organic and help make the game feel more alive in general.

  • A new server has been created by the server team, this server will handle all planetary things that happen. This includes terrain generated as players explore planets, what AI does when players invade planets, and more.

  • The first version of the space terrain generator has been finished. It will be upgraded with new functionality over time, such as different shapes of terrain that can be spawned into the game.

  • New space terrain was added to the game, and what we had was updated to look much better from any map mode. It’s still WiP, but it’s already looking really nice:
    • Ion storm region


    • Destroyed space station (Currently a static area of space, but it will likely have sparks flying, stuff rotating around its axis, etc.)


    • Ice field (Will receive some special effects as well but we are still debating what this will be exactly.)


    • Asteroid field


    • Gaseous clouds (VERY early WiP)


  • Massive performance updates, the game can now even be played on CPU only on the lowest settings. (at ~15 fps). This will likely not stay this way, since we will add more stuff to the game that will reduce this, but it’s a nice indicator of how well optimized we currently are.

  • Camera blur has been reduced on both bridge and in space. It still adds a nice little effect, but should not be really be noticeable anymore.

  • FXAA can now be completely turned off for people with lower end PC’s.

  • Shots fired by ships now fly a bit slower which creates a nicer cinematic effect.

  • The screenshot made when saving formations (for easy recognition when selecting them) has been tweaked a bit so it is brighter and properly placed in the GUI frame.

  • The options menu now has a working reset option which will reset all options to what your previously saved settings were.

  • All asteroid models have had their meshes properly realigned so they rotate around their exact center. This will help if we decide to make them tumble around a bit in space or have other things happen to them. How or what is exactly going to happen depends on the performance hit this would inflict.

  • Ships within a squadron now never overlap.

Bug fixes

  • Player characters on the bridge are now a bit more transparent after the last Unity update; this has been fixed.

  • A few formation designer issues have been fixed and are now considered finished for the time being.

  • The dreadnought’s rotating section has been added to the selection outline. The rotating section was above the actual ship when looking at it from the bridge; this has been fixed as well.

  • We have solved an issue where you could have 2 different versions of post-processing on simultaneously, which would turn the game black.

  • Fixed an issue in the quick construct UI where clicking the construct button would sometimes close the UI.

  • Credentials should now be saved properly again, if you want to have the game saving them.

  • It is possible again to declare war by right-clicking neutral ships. More functionality will be added later.

  • Fixed an issue which was spouting a lot of warnings, though wasn’t producing any noticeable ingame issues.

  • A few of our shaders are currently using too many keywords, which limits how many other shaders can be active at the same time. This have been partially solved, but is still being worked on.

Well, that’s the current state of the game! We hope you guys liked the update, we’ll keep posting these to keep you guys in the know about progress that is being made.

As said above, let us know if you have any questions, and feel free to check out our forum as well!