From: Brighton, UK
I hope you're all well and that you're enjoying the weekend Development on SPM is moving along steadily, and I want to share with you the things we are working on so that you know what to expect in the next update, which will be released sometime in March. As we've mentioned in the past update, we're adding a mix-and-match functionality that will allow you to select any booster, provided it has the power to lift the payload and, in the case of manned missions, there's a strict requirement for the rocket to be man-rated. The code for this feature is complete, we're now working on the visual aspect of it, which involves creating new animations for the deployments and the launches of the manned rockets (see the images below). As a nice bonus, we found a much more clever way to store the animations and now the installer size is 1/3 of what it used to be! Successive patches will be a lot smaller as well.
On the UI side, Boris has been busy creating the space complex for the Soviet 'race to the Moon' campaign. Here's some work in progress, which features elements borrowed from Baikonur and Star City.
Mauricio is cracking on with the 3D models and the renders for the Soviet missions. He's finished work on the Voskhod missions and is now working on the different flavours of Soyuz that will be featured in the game. See some of the new renders below.
From a gameplay point of view, we have some suprises in store:
* Random events: There will be both 'good' and 'bad', and they will be displayed in the News screen at the beginning of every season. The code for this feature is ready, but it still needs to be playtested and tweaked.
* Decision events: These ones will be shown at the beginning of the season and will require the player to select one from two options. Some examples include spending money in order to avoid a reliability hit or a morale drop. This feature (which is not ready yet) will surely provide a great replayability value when coupled with the random events.
* Completely revamped mission list: Some members of the community are kindly giving me a hand on this one by creating new missions scripts and animations featuring more options than the ones originally provided by us. Now you will be able to run test missions in Earth orbit for the Lunar Gemini programs or perform an unmanned test of the LEM in Earth orbit, as performed by the Apollo 5 mission.
* Database improvements: Tied to the point above, we're also revising the whole master spreadsheet and tweaking the goals dependencies and penalizations among different programs. We're also removing the existing X-15 -> Mercury -> Gemini -> Apollo dependency, which made the game a little bit rigid. Once the changes in the database are complete, you'll be able to skip some of the basic programs (at the risk of suffering a penalization, of course). This feature will give you a lot more flexibility in your approach and, personally, I cannot wait to see AARs from players showing how they dived straight into Apollo and managed to perform a successful lunar landing with it!
* Failure systems: Not sure if we're going to be able to fit this in the next update, but we have reworked the code in order to support different types of failures. At the moment we're creating a database of failure messages, which will cover both general problems along with specific problems. Creating this database takes quite a while and that's why we cannot promise this feature will be included in 0.7.16, but we'll do our best.
As you can see, there's a lot going on here. Unfortunately, implementing these features is not a one-week job and, since nearly all of them have such a big impact on gameplay, we've decided to release an update once they are all ready, so that you can test how they interact with each other. So... allocate some play-testing time for 0.7.16! I'm sure you'll find that all this flexibility will allow you to try many wacky approaches, and we're certainly interested in hearing about them!
Please, let us know if you have any questions.
< Message edited by Nacho84 -- 3/9/2014 3:55:06 PM >