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0.5.0 Status Update

Empire Hawking shooting a Llama showing ewarfare turret tracking.

We haven’t posted in a while, so I decided to update even though we don’t have anything spectacular done (depending on your definition of spectacular). So what is going on? As you may know the current development and broken branch is the balance branch. This branch is active and will mangle your saves if you load it. Why? It’s caused by the implementation of the weapon rant, which makes it so all the weapon are changed. Some retain their name, but most get lost in the transition. This is unavoidable and will happen to everyone once it’s merged back, but it shouldn’t happen again then.

Other things, ewarfare has more or less been balanced. We’ve introduced another parameter for heat. So the more your ship heats up, the more visible it is. The equations are also tweaked in such a way they make more sense and are cooler overall. Also turrets finally use it, so you can’t track a fighter with a long range anti-capship turret. This all may still need fine tuning but it is working quite well.

Another major change which has broken a lot of missions is the fact we’ve changed the time model. Previously time only changed when you landed or jumped. Now time will change while flying too. That means that slower ships will waste more time in system while jump times will be very similar. This sort of makes everything more interesting and realistic which is quite cool. However it means we have to revamp all our cargo missions which we want to rethink anyway when we do economics. For now we’ll probably keep them similar to how they’ve always been, but in the future we’ll change it.

Finally mentioning some changes we want to do. With google being more and more evil, we’ve been thinking of completely foregoing both google code and google groups. We’re working on having our own wiki which shouldn’t take too long to be available. If someone is really interested in helping out we can sort of speed it up and spread the half-finishedness. It still needs lots of love. Secondly we’re considering the possibility of also hosting our own mailing list, but we’ll see about that. That hasn’t even been started.

Closing words on the release. The original intention was to release end of 2010, however we believe it is much more important to have a good solid release than a half-finished rushed release that will need a dozen bugfixes to be playable. We would like to still release at the end of 2010, but chances are we’ll just do a beta at the start of 2011. There’s still much to do, need to finish some stuff and then fix everything we broke. To speed up the release we are trying to delay changes that aren’t fundamental, however we also want this release to sort of establish the maturity of Naev, but chances are 0.6.0 will be the true maturity once we get there.

tl;dr We’ll release when it’s ready :)

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5 comments to 0.5.0 Status Update

  • I agree, it’s better to wait a bit if you feel like it’s not ready. Also, this is the first screenshot of 0.5 I see, and I love the changes in the GUI, looks much more polished.

    Keep up the great work!

  • mazling

    It is sounding better all the time. Release when it’s ready, when the only goal is to produce a fun game and not a cash cow.

  • Sandro

    I would strongly recommend against setting up your own servers. It’s just busy work that will leave less time to work on this great game you have. Google isn’t so bad overall, and there’s always Sourceforge.

    The 0.5 release looks great so far, though I will say that I prefer the HUD being on one side of the screen. Most people nowadays have wide screens, so taking up horizontal space is much better than using vertical space.

    I like the changes to the time model as well. As long as you give the user simple ways to predict how time flows (how long landing takes, jumps take, etc.).

    One thing I do find odd coming from the EV series (and real life) is how energy is distinct from fuel, and that fuel is never consumed for energy. There is an odd incongruity here. Your car stereo uses energy from your battery, but the car can charge the battery by burning fuel.

    The distance limitations of projectile weapons like rail guns and missiles kinda bugs me too. Missiles should run out of fuel, granted, but they don’t become inactive. Rail gun projectiles similarly don’t just vanish, they keep going with all of their initial velocity. Energy weapons do dissipate over distance, so the way they currently work is probably fine.

    The final suggestion I would like to make is to model the actual physics of flight: there is no such thing as a top sublight speed, there is only acceleration. A capital ship should be able to outrun a fighter over a short distance if it’s given more time to accelerate, though the fighter should be able to quickly catch up given its higher acceleration curve. The top speed properties of EV and now Naev just bug me as an engineer. :-)

  • bobbens

    As I’ve always said, we aim at realism except when it’s detrimental to gameplay. The reason for serving our own facilities is the need for an integration and flexibility which we cannot find otherwise. We’ll see how it all winds up however.

  • fan

    I check this site three times a day because i can´t wait to play this game. I thought 0.4.2 was the best game i´ve ever played. but this is just awesome!!
    Keep up the good work :)

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