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Adding many small features

I want to start a closed Alpha phase in August and I am working hard on solving the last remaining problems and on adding new content, which is required for starting the Alpha test.

I did some tests with friends of mine and noticed some codec issues with older versions of Windows. Therefore, I had to write my own file converter to convert between DDS DXT5 textures and the texture format I am using in my game engine. Luckily, I was able to solve this task within a day.

I also added some minor features, which are important for the game experience, like a small main menu in the game so you can quit the game, go back to the main menu, open the settings, etc. While developing these features, I noticed a few minor issues that were solved immediately!

I also worked on the ships’ crew members. Now, it is possible to kill them, if you want and you can also promote them to one of the officer roles: Pilot, Medic, Engineer and Soldier. I also added a lot of game logic into the game. For example, it must not be able to retrofit a ship so that you don’t have enough living space for your crew and officers.

On Sunday, I will start the visual improvements on the laser effects!

Do you want to become an Alpha tester? Write me an email!

Trailer

I spent the entire week on the game’s first trailer. The result is linked below.

Now that the trailer is finished, I will use the next few weeks to polish the current state of the game and implement some missing minor features. The plan is to release a free demo version by the end of the month!

More planets & trailer

Hey guys,

last week I took some days off and visited friends. This week, I went back to work and worked on more planets like a desert alien mining outpost and ancient jungle temples. The image below shows a very early version of it.

I also started my work on the trailer. As I mentioned in one of my last posts, I will start a crowd-funding campaign very soon. Therefore, I am working very hard on a trailer. I hope that I can finish it until the end of next week, but it may take some additional time.

Great achievements!

The week ends and I was able to complete the user interface for the ‘Achievements’ tab as you can see in the image below. While playing ‘Galactic Crew’ you can complete achievements to unlock new cards which can be used for your next games. For examples, once you unlocked the card for the “Aurora” class ship, you can select it as as your starter ship when creating a new game! There will also be plenty of other cards which give you passive bonuses like better market prices, better weapon damage, etc.

I have to spend the next week for administrative tasks, since the date of the foundation of my company and the planned crowdfunding-campaign comes closer. I will keep you updated!

Light and shadow

In the last weeks I had to spent quite some time on paperwork, because I had to register my company, apply for government fundings, register trade marks, etc. Since most of this work is done, I can spend more time on the development of the game again.

The last days I worked on improvements of the game engine, especially on advanced multiple render passes and I implemented several shadow mapping effects. The image below shows the current state of the shadows in the spaceship!

Loading screen

I finished the work on the loading screens. Whenever a large amount of data needs to be loaded, the loading screen will appear displaying the progress and all actions as clear text. This might happen when starting or continuing a game or when you land on a planet. The image below shows an example how it looks like. The main work was not developing the window itself, but modifying the game architecture to support a multi-threaded loading mechanism.

I continue the work on the game engine this week to implement advanced effects like shadows.

Creating a new game

Hey guys,

I visited a good friend of mine this week. Therefore, I did not work the entire week on the game. However, I still made some great progress. Below, you can see a snapshot of the game creation menu. You can select a role, spaceship, background and character you want to play plus a set of bonus cards. These bonus cards will alter the game experience. For example, you can choose to have more dangerous encounters, find more loot, having greater strengths, etc. However, these bonus cards need to be unlocked. This can be done by getting achievements and completing quests.

In addition to the game creation menu, I had to do some paperwork, did some minor content updates and wrote a few new quests.

I will spent my time next week mainly on improving the game engine. I want to add shadows to the graphics engine and improve the game loop with an enhanced thread management.

Planetary quests (update)

It’s been a week since my last post. I had to spend some time on paperwork, but I used the main time to work on the planetary missions. First of all, I improved my pixel shaders. Now, they are able to render the borders between roads and the ground smoother as you can see in the images below. I also bought a new texture set which I will use for the planets’ surfaces. I also had so spend some time into debugging, since some models of an artist did not look as I expected. Gladly, I was able to fix this issue and these models look as wonderful as any other model.

I added more animations to the game, including animations for talking. With the new animations, the NPCs look more natural. Other tasks I worked on were the improvement of the terrain renderer and I created a demo level of an apocalyptic world. Below, you can find several screenshots of two demo planets with the current state of development.

Planetary quests

This week, I had to spent some additional time for polishing my business plan. However, the majority of my work time was used for the planets. In addition to the space quests, there will also be quests on planets. You’re going to explore ancient temple ruins, save villagers from nasty marauders or help the people with their everyday problems.

The mechanics for space and planets are the same, i.e. how to select a crew members, using their skills, etc. However, in program code space and planets are quite different. So I spent my time on making sure, that everything will work for planets and space in the same way. I am not done yet, but I made a big progress. It is already possible to select your crew members, navigate on the planets, select objects, etc.

The tasks for the next week are to improve texturing of the ground (it doesn’t look very smooth at the moment) and to design two demo scenes for planets – including NPCs.

The following image shows a medieval market with the current state of development. The final quality will be better!

Main Menu

Today, I was able to complete the work on the main menu. The image below shows how it looks like at the moment. More features, like multiplayer options are coming in the future. I also completed the work on the business plan and can focus on new content.

In January, I implemented a basic version of outdoor terrain. This week, I want to continue the work on planetary levels!

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