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Quicksaves. Engine Sounds Added
Engine and crash sounds have been added to the game. You may have to go into the game settings and check the "Sounds in Space" checkbox for them to work. A skybox has also been added which you can turn off if you desire. Along with these things, a credits page has been added to the game which you can view from the main menu.
Here is a video preview
of the new updates for you to enjoy.. Torque Physics Fixed
I fixed an issue with the torque physics that would cause excess jittering with the vehicle. This would most likely be noticeable when trying to redock with the command module. The amount of jittering due to trying to control the vehicle is almost non-existent now.
As a side effect of this bug fix, the retro RCS thrusters (and possibly the main engine) are now far more effective than they were before.
This issue is not related to any jittering that you may experience in the later levels of the game. That is caused by the Unity engine using 32-bit physics and the planets late in the game being so much larger than the early planets. The 32-bit physics is also why I scaled the planets and vehicles the way I did.. Linux Version + Steam High Scores + Update Notes
There is now a Linux version of this game available (x64 only) for testing with the demo coming soon. The Linux version has not yet been tested on any Linux distribution.
Steam will now store the best score that you have achieved on Solar Lander and display it on the "High Score" leaderboard. The game still stores your high scores in a local file, but that will not count towards the High Score Leaderboard. The old system is likely to be removed.
Other Update Notes:
- Kill rotation toggling timer increased slightly.
- Achievement for Landing upside down Implemented.
- Achievement for first successful redock no longer requires you to land before hand.
. Gameplay Update Preview
Over the past couple of months, I've been working on some more aesthetics as well as gameplay and physics updates.
Here are some screenshots of what's in store for the new updates (starting with the physics):
The unity engine has a collision buffer on 2D collisions that prevent the objects from actually touching each other. Since I couldn't reduce the buffer or scale-up the game, I simply adjusted all of the collision meshes.
Here's a screenshot of the command module being nudged by the lunar module (I advise against that). Most of the command-lunar collisions should look a lot more convincing now. A product of this is that you no longer have that "jerk" that is associated with undocking and staging.
Now for some aesthetics:
The engines now look like their doing something when their fired. I added a particle system to the engine so that you get different amounts of particles at different thrust levels. The best part is that the engine exhaust can collide with other objects. Careful not to fire your engines too close to the command module. Otherwise, you can crash the command module without even touching it!
On the topic of gameplay, I've added upgrades that will give you a variety of items to choose from. I'm still working on balancing the upgrades, but since this game is in early access, I'll let the community help me decide what needs to be tweaked in that department. Here's the upgrades screen (I may make some changes though):
For our final screenshot, we have an updated settings screen. Be aware that this is still a work-in-progress, so what you see here is going to be different than what you see when the update is launched.
As the screenshot suggests, you will be able to change stuff like the screen resolution fully within the game itself. The update screen's width matches that of the help screen, so it's more consistent with the rest of the UI. I still haven't figured out how to change joystick input settings from within the game, but there will be sound, contrary to what the screenshot would suggest.
Among what's not shown in the above screenshot is going to be an update to how controls are assigned. One button per possible assignment.
Here are some other things to be updated that are not shown in the screenshot:
- Reaction Wheel Removed
I just couldn't get a realistic reaction wheel and one that made the vehicle maneuverable. That said, vehicle control is now done exclusively with the RCS thrusters, just like the real live counterpart. And that's going to make the game a little bit harder.
- Kill Rotation Updated
The flight computer is now aware of the minimum throttle setting that'll cut-off the RCS thrusters if the throttle is below that setting. The result is a more accurate kill-rotation mechanism.
- Persistent Stage, Undock, and Kill Rotation
You will no longer have to hold down the key to undock, stage, or kill rotation to ensure the safe completion of said tasks.
- Steam Achievements and Stats
This will be the first update that will contain stats and achievement tracking. You'll get achievements for progressing through the game, being very skillful, and being very stupid.
- Mission/Story Framework
I've put in place the foundation for a story-mode and mission framework, but there are some other things I really need to get out of the way before I start flushing-out a mission set or story mode.
It will probably take a couple more months before the update is out. In the mean time, feel free to leave some feedback on what should also be improved, what needs to be fixed, or what should be added.. UI and Achievement Update
Updated. Project Status Updates
It's been a while since I posted anything here, so here is an update on the status of the project. I'll start with the bad news first: This game is going to spend a bit longer in Early Access as I don't yet have all of the features that I want implemented. In addition, I am temporarily removing the quicksave feature from the game until I can get it working reliably.
Now for the good news: I'm working on new game modes (eg: free roam and scenario), better integration with the Steam API, and new and improved game mechanics. These enhancements will come in several stages over the next several updates. Here's an overview of where the project is going.