Multiplayer Dev Diary, Part VI

Multiplayer

If everything goes well, the co-op multiplayer mode is going to be released next week (24th February).

I spent the first half of the week on making planet and dungeon exploration available in multiplayer games. I also introduced player roles in the multiplayer creation step. When starting a new game or continuing a saved game you can assign rights and crew members to all players.

I am currently doing a lot of testing to make sure everything works well in singleplayer and multiplayer games. If you want to play a test game with me, feel free to send me a message in Steam or write me an e-mail at support@galactic-crew-net.

Feedback

I want to thank all players who gave me feedback about the game in the past weeks via e-mail or in discussions in Steam’s Community Hub. I will use it to improve the game and fix any problems!

Multiplayer Dev Diary, Part V

I started developing the co-op multiplayer game mode five weeks ago by creating the first user interface view. Now, I am almost done!

Multiplayer

This week, I focused on three major tasks. The first task was to make more features ready for multiplayer like trading with spaceships, accepting missions from random encounters, completing mining and delivery missions, adjusting encounters for specific quests, zombie encounters, the AI system, attacking enemy ships’ equipment and crew members with your own crew, etc.

The second task was to add Steam’s communication layer for multiplayer. When you create a multiplayer game or when you continue a saved multiplayer game, you can decide whether you want to use TCP/IP or Steam as communication layer. Using TCP/IP is perfect for LAN games or when you use tools like Hamachi to play with your friends or when you want to play with friends who don’t have the Steam version of Galactic Crew. If you and all of your friends have the Steam version, you can use the Steam communication layer to play over the Internet without using any extra tool like Hamachi.

The third task was testing. The space-related tasks are almost completed and I did some longer games against some of you. It has been a pleasure to play with you! There are some issues I need to solve, but there’s nothing I couldn’t solve soon!

I will work on dungeons and planets today and next week. After that, I will test every single feature in singleplayer and multiplayer mode to make sure everything is stable. If there are no unknown problems, the co-op multiplayer update will come in two weeks on 24th February.

If you want to beta-test the multiplayer mode with me, feel free to write me an e-mail at support@galactic-crew.net

Story mode

While working on the multiplayer mode of the game, several designers are working on assets for the upcoming story mode. Below, you find an image for temple ruins and two teaser images of the new spaceships that will be introduced with the story mode.

Multiplayer Dev Diary, Part IV

It has been a very successful week and most of the work for co-op multiplayer is already done.

Multiplayer

Last week, I put my focus on the user interface related features. This week, I did only some minor adjustments to the user interface. Most of the work time was spent on the communication layer between game’s host and the other players. Here are some of the features I made ready for co-op multiplayer:

  • When starting the game, all crew members are at the same location for all players and when a player assigns a command to a crew member, it is executed synchronously for all players.
  • All crew member skills are now fully functional in multiplayer games! This includes attacking other ships, repairing, healing, resurrecting, navigation and scanning systems.
  • Space combat is now possible in multiplayer games. This includes attacks from the enemy ship, attacking the enemy with turrets and combat/shield drone AI.
  • Asteroid mining, including mining drones
  • Travelling through the galaxy, e.g. jumping to new sectors, getting space events, voting for them, etc.
  • Reward system after completing missions, space events, combats, etc.

As you can see, the development progress is pretty good. Starting today, I will work on the remaining tasks like enemy agents (zombies, space pirates, raiders, etc.), planets and dungeons. I will also do multiple test games next weeks to test everything I have done so far. I think I can complete the co-op multiplayer mode in 2-3 weeks. My early estimation (see my last content update in December) was to complete it until mid February and it turns out, my estimation was pretty accurate.

If you want to make a test game with me before I release the co-op mode, feel free to contact me on Steam!

Other features

I have to adjust or check all major features of Galactic Crew to make sure, the game works smooth in singleplayer and multiplayer games. While checking the code, I found a couple of small bugs that I immediately fixed.

Story mode

In the current poll, you can vote if you want to have a story mode or not. As it turns out almost everyone wants to have one. After finishing the multiplayer mode in 2-3 weeks, I will start working on the story mode. It will be a small campaign with different endings and built-in optional tutorial. New players can jump right into the story mode without having played the game before and veterans can disable the tutorial and enjoy the story. The story mode will also reward you with new achievements, new ships, etc. that you can use in normal continous games. Several 3D artists are working on it since end of December and I will give you more information soon!

Multiplayer Dev Diary, Part III

I am completing the third week working on the co-op multiplayer for Galactic Crew and I made some great progress.

Multiplayer

User interface
Most features of Galactic Crew are identical in singleplayer and multiplayer games. However, some features work in a different way like events in space. When you are playing a multiplayer game with friends, each of you can vote for the event option he/she wants to select. Each vote is marked with a colored ribbon so that everyone can see the votes. After all players selected an option, one of the selected options is randomly chosen.

Example: If two players vote for Option A and one player votes for Option B, there is a 2/3 chance that Option A is chosen and a 1/3 chance that Option B is chosen.

Communication
This week’s main work was enabling features in co-op multiplayer. Here is a list of some things I enabled in multiplayer: trading goods and items, retrofitting your ship’s room, replacing weapon turrets, selecting drone types, renaming characters, promoting characters, skilling your crew members, using useable items, …

Today, I will spent most of the day making the communication layer more stable. Events like a leaving game host must be handled and I want to make sure that opening, closing and updating user interface controls remotely doesn’t cause any trouble.

Other features
I spent most of the development time with the multiplayer mode, but I found some bugs that needed to be fixed. I will include a full list of bug fixes in the content update’s patch notes.

What’s next
I plan to spend the next week entirely on the communication layer. I want to synchonize all characters so that the position and action for all characters is identical for all players. After this is done, I want to start synchonizing the tool bar actions and travelling.

Multiplayer Dev Diary, Part II

Dear players,

It is the second week of the multiplayer development phase and I want to inform you about my current progress.

Multiplayer

Communication
Last week, I created a new view that is used to configure a multiplayer game. I used the first working days to put life into this view. Now, when a client connects to a game host, both see the same view and when one of the players makes any change (like assigning crew members) all players see these changes immediately. I also put additional validations in this view to make sure everything is okay, when the host starts the game.

The second task of this week was to share game information with all players. When the host creates a new game or loads a savegame, the clients do not know anything about it. Therefore, when the game host clicks on the start button, all clients download the current game state.

User interface
I also continued to work on the user interface. This week, I put some time into the crew panel on the left side of the screen. As you can see in the image below, the names of the crew members are color-coded so you know which crew members belongs to which player. When playing a singleplayer game, the color-coding is not used.

Other features

I also worked on other features that are used in any game (multiplayer and singleplayer). Most of them were requested by players. Please feel free to send me an e-mail if you think something’s missing in the game!

Experience bars
So far, all characters had a green action bar. This is relict from the earliest version of the game. Since the action bar was never used, I replaced it with an experience bar. Now, you can clearly see the levelling process of all your crew members as you can see in the image below.

Status icons
In one of the first updates of the game, I added status icons to each piece of equipment to make it easier to see which objects are damaged or disabled on your ship. Now, I also added a summary of all pieces of equipment in the ships’ status panels. As you can see below in the upper corners, a new status bar shows you the status of all pieces of equipment. These status bars can also be used to repair or attack items. When you use a repair skill of an engineer or one of your crew members, you can click on one of the symbols in this bar and the crew member starts to run to the proper piece of equipment and repairs it! You can also use your attack skills on the enemy ship’s status bar to attack an item.

More tool-tips
I also added more tool-tips to show you additional information like how much threat you need to advance to the next threat level.

More languages
Galactic Crew already supports several languages, but starting with the multiplayer update in February, more languages will be added. This week, I hired new translators to translate the game into Chinese, Arabic, Thai and Korean!

Hotfix

You may have noticed that the game updated itself yesterday and last week. When I get a bug report with a game crash, I immediately fix it. As soon as I get the confirmation from the player that a fix works, I put it on Steam to make it available to everyone. When your game runs fine, these updates won’t affect you.

What’s next
I had to spend some time on fixing an audio-related bug. Therefore, I wasn’t able to add the voting system to the quest dialog. So, my goal for today and the upcoming working week is to adjust the quest dialog window and to make a lot of small adjustments. For example, a player must only be able to select his own crew members.

Another major topic is the synchronization of all actions. When a player assigns a task to a crew member, the position, animation and action must be synchronized with all players. I need to adjust the communication and game layers. If everything’s going well, I should be able to do it next week.

Multiplayer Dev Diary, Part I

Dear players,

The past Winter Sale was very successful and I would like to welcome all new players to Galactic Crew! As I wrote in the previous patch notes, I started developing the co-op multiplayer for Galactic Crew this week of 2018 and I promised to keep you updated. Today, I want to present you the progress of the first week. Please note, all features and changes listed below will be part of a single massive content update in February.

Multiplayer

User interface

The very first step was to create a new view to configure a multiplayer game session. I slightly adjusted the existing game creation view by adding a new button to start a multiplayer game and by adding input boxes for IP address and port number. These information are only required for multiplayer sessions and can be left empty when creating a singleplayer game.

The image below shows the current state of the multiplayer session view. Its design might change until the release of the multiplayer patch! On the left side, you see all players and a list of crew members. You can assign each crew member to any player. On the right side, you can see the ship you will be using on your space adventure. Players can join your game by using a new function Join Game in the main menu or you invite them by using Steam’s game overlay. The displayed player name and their avatar are equal to the ones used in your Steam profile.

TCP/IP Layer
The TCP/IP network layer which is used for data transfer is almost done. You can already join another player’s lobby, exchange game information with him, etc. I will finalize this layer next week.

Other features

The main focus is on co-op multiplayer, but I am also working on other features!

Multiple savegames
So far, there is only a singleplayer mode in Galactic Crew and you can only have a single savegame. With the co-op multiplayer patch in February comes the option to use up to ten different savegames. This way, you can host multiple multiplayer games or test features in different singleplayer games without overwriting or discarding your old game!

What’s next?
My goal for the next week is that hosts can start multiplayer games and all players share the same game information (ship, equipment, rooms, galaxy, money, …). I also want to adjust the user interface so that players can see who controls which crew member and players should be able to vote for space events.

New spaceships and new weapon turrets!

New spaceships

The last content update of 2017 brings you two new spaceships: the Manua-class battleship and the Heimdall-class cruiser. They were made by the same artist who created the Var-class and Haika-class spaceships. The new spaceships have properties similar to the Demeter-class and Zeus-class, but with a different design style.

The new spaceships can be either bought at any shipyard when you upgrade your current ship or you can select them when creating a new game. To unlock these ships, you just need the second and third “The clock is ticking…” achievement, i.e. you must have played Galactic Crew for around two hours.

New spaceship weapon turrets

This updates also introduces four new spaceship weapon turrets: three new beam laser weapons (light, medium and heavy) as well as a new medium sniper laser turret. The beam lasers are stronger than the normal laser weapon turrets, but are much rarer to find. Of course, you can buy them at any shipyard, if you don’t want to wait for an enemy to drop them!

Roadmap for the next two months

As I wrote in the last update news, there won’t be any news or update next week, because I make a short vacation. Hoewever, I will still be available on Steam and via e-mail for player support!

After that, I will work on the co-op multiplayer and some other features, like new dungeon types, multiple save games, new language localizations, etc. Starting at 13th January, I will give you weekly overviews of my progress here on Steam, the game’s website and on Twitter. I assume to finish a beta-version of the co-op multiplayer in mid February 2018.

I wish you all a happy new year!

Zombies!

Zombies!

You had to fight against space pirates and against raiders in dungeons and in pirate outposts. Now, you have to face a new threat: Zombies! New space events and new dungeons were added that feature the new type of enemy. You might find a long-lost spaceship without any life support and only strange life signs… They won’t attack your ship, but when you board their ship, you might find some valuables in their storage rooms! The new zombie dungeons can be accessed by getting a proper mission from a space station’s security office.

New skills

Three new passive skills were added that give you advantages while exploring dungeons and planets.

The medic has a new skill that gives him a certain chance to find medical supplies while gathering food. This might result in a great profit when visiting places like the medieval village!

The pilot got a new skill that increases his movement speed on all planets and in all dungeons.

The soldier’s damage versus Zombies can be increased with his/her new skill!

Minimap

A minimap is added to the game’s UI when you explore dungeons. The dungeon’s wall, the position of your crew members and the camera’s field of view are displayed that makes a camera navigation much easier.

Bug Fix

  • After teleporting dead crew members, they were standing, instead of lying on the floor.

Coming up next…

The last update of this year will add two new spaceships and four new weapon turrets!

Roadmap

In the first week of 2018, I will take a few days off, i.e. there won’t be an update on 6th January. However, I will still be available for player support and bug fixing!

After that, I will start developing the co-op multiplayer mode for Galactic Crew! Although I already prepared the game engine for multiplayer support in the past months, the implementation is too complex to fit in a single week’s update. Therefore, there won’t be weekly content updates until I am finished with the multiplayer mode. This is expected to be in mid February 2018. After that, I will return to the normal, weekly content update shedule. However, I will post weekly news about the progress of the multiplayer to keep you informed!

More dungeons and useable items!

More dungeons

The last update introduced dungeons to Galactic Crew. This week, more dungeons are added with additional content. You can request a new security mission from any space station or you can ask space encounters for work to visit the new dungeons. I don’t want to spoil the content of the these dungeons, but I want to give you a hint: The generators in the new dungeons are destructible for a reason!

Recuiting new crew members

The initial number of crew members depends on your ship’s size. So far, you could get more crew members from certain space events. Now, you can also recruit them on planets. I won’t spoil where you can find them, but you will notice them. In addition you can recruit freed prisoners in underground pirate outposts.

New useable items

This week’s update adds three new useable items to the game. There is a certain chance to get one of these items after defeating an enemy in space.

Weapon crate

When using the Weapon Crate, you will receive a random epic spaceship weapon turret!

Potion of Regret

After using this potion, the skill points of all crew members are reset and you you can assign them again.

Life-enhancing Pills

Increase the maximum hit points of all your crew members by taking these pills.

Balancing

The reward of space station missions has been adjusted.

Coming up next…

  • Mini map in dungeons
  • Zombie encounters in space
  • New dungeons
  • New skills for crew members

Dungeons!

Dungeons

This week’s update introduces dungeons to Galactic Crew! In this update two dungeons are available for you to explore: a long forgotten mine and an underground bunker. Both of them offer resources and items for you to loot. While travelling through deep space, you’ll eventually get one of the new events that leads you right to the new dungeons. Please make sure to have a teleporter on your ship! Otherwise, you can’t leave your ship.

The next two updates will focus on more dungeons and planetary content.

Improvements

Last week, the ship’s walls and floor were replaced with new models. This week, the spaceship engine is replaced by a new model to improve the visual appearance of the spaceships.

Bug Fixes

  • The game could crash in some occasions when gathering all resources on a planet.
  • After resurrecting a dead crew member with a medic, his/her life bar was sometimes hidden.
  • After teleporting your crew from a planet back to your ship, the ship’s walls were rendered with the wrong shaders.

Coming up next…

In the next two updates, I will focus on dungeons and planetary content. There will be new items, new missions, new dungeons, new stuff to do on planets, new skills, …

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