Hello everyone! Welcome to the 126th issue of the RoVerse Development Newsletter, where we keep you updated on the progress we've made over the past week.
This week, we have continued work on Capital features from Idyllic, coding work from lordrex on gamemode and menu systems, Juszl has begun work on a new map for the Update, and skinny has progress work on a medium Capital turret.
First up is the weapons work Skinny has been up to. We have here a double-barreled Plasma turret fitting into the medium turret category, comprised of 2 (two) single plasma turret barrels welded together, showing the adept engineering talents of the designers over at the Celestia Vega Defense Incorporated.
Early progress this week involved defining the form of the turret, then going in and adding detail as needed.
With results looking excellent. Earlier versions had neon loops at the ends, but they kicked the triangle count through the roof, so neon spikes have been substituted.
Juszl has been hard at work on his studies, but also a new map for the Update. Featuring mysterious and alien rock formations, and a sinister environment, intrepid explorers and seasoned fleet commanders alike are cautioned against entering this field of battle, for within it lie the wrecks of countless precursors who have fallen before.
Building a map for the Update isn't as straightforward as setting up a randomized asteroid generator, adding a few spawn points and calling it a day - real planning has to be involved to create an interesting map with variety and opportunity for unique engagements. Picture your favorite FPS map - there should be different paths to take, different heights to be at with opportunities for advantages and disadvantages based on your team tactics. In space we have a lot more degrees of freedom for players in combat, so to keep the map interesting special care needs to be taken.
A feature that sets us apart from other games in the genre is the variety of scale in our ships - from the minuscule Excalibur to the behemoth Capulus, but that also leads to a problem - designing maps to work at different scales. A Capital ship may want a clear area with lots of large rocks and debris to maneuver around, but to a fighter a large empty space means being stranded if they get caught. This doesn't mean there won't be gulfs of space, just that we have to be careful with their placement.
Lordrex has taken on the task up updating the dogfight alpha's ui elements that tie into the gamemodes we plan on adding, making UI mockups like the image below into functioning team lists and leaderboards.
This is no easy task, though - these menus were designed by a visual artist, not a ui designer, and as such aren't properly set up to code right out of the box. But they are pretty sweet.
Idyllic's work this week focused primarily on the systems that have been in development for the past few weeks, like shields and nameplates, and a few older features like lights and engine effects - rigging and adding them to the rest of the roster of ships we have awaiting the Capital Update. This is no small task, however, so he's been working on processes and automation to make the whole thing easier.
Part of this task was rigging up a high-quality mesh created by skinny to test the triangle limits of the system, as a sort of impromptu-capital ship. This 400k tri, 56 meshpart ship functioned perfectly under normal conditions, casting a positive light on future ships having a quite substantial triangle count.
The gif above shows the hitmarker system developed this week as an addition to the shields demoed last week, in it's most basic form. The effects will eventually be scaled to fit the size of the ship they're hitting, as well as consider the size of the projectile hitting them - a pea shooter wouldn't leave a mark on a battle tank.
The images below are a selection of the ships that have been fully rigged and are ready for combat.
Each week we compile a Q&A section here whenever there are any new questions posted on the RoVerse Community group wall or in the Community Discord Server. Be sure to join if you have any questions about RoVerse:
ROBLOX Group: https://www.roblox.com/My/Groups.aspx?gid=2948290
Discord server: https://discord.gg/npxBGwJ
Q1: How will managing stations work?
A1: The idea is that a Faction leader assigns someone the role of stationmaster, who has access to all the controls involved in managing and operating a station - for an industrial station this would include setting prices to purchase ore from independent contractors, for a military station it would be managing fleet storage and access. These players would have access to the menu systems that allow all sorts of controls.
Q2: Can faction devs have input on their ship stat style?
A2: Faction-submitted ships will be able to be customized to faction specifications within reason - if your faction prefers meters of armor over advanced shield systems, we will buff your ship armor stats and debuff shield power. A faction has already requested such variations, talk to Idyllic if you have something else in mind.
Q3: How does the inter-system drive that ships that can't fit in jump gates work. Is it like cynosural fields where there has to be a ship on the other side making a beacon?
A3: Our current plans are nowhere near that complex - a large Capital would trigger the wormhole device, and it would connect with the nearest system in that direction. Vectors will be calculated to determine the exit point of these temporary rifts.
Q4: Can you upgrade your FTL drive for more speed?
A4: We don't plan on allowing this at the moment, as ftl is planned to be a really fast speed close to the max the server can handle us slinging players around at. I'd look for more useful modules to add first, like shield enhancers or repair bots.
Q5: Can you upgrade turrets to be more powerful than usual?
A5: This isn't currently planned. There are the different turret classes and mounts, and the variations between fixed, gimbal, and turret types, as well as faction asset custom stats, but other than that it will be a fair playing field.
Q6: What would happen if an XXXL rammed an outpost?
A6: Someone would get fired. Imagine going through the months to years of effort to construct the largest most devastating weapon in the galaxy, then destroying it by crashing it into a solid object. I highly recommend using the actual weapons we so helpfully provided on ships to attack things, not destroying yourself by running into an immovable object.
Q7: Can Capitals dock with other Capitals?
A7: No. Find a station or use a shuttlecraft to transfer personnel between ships.
Q8: Can ships honk?
A8: I just might put our best audio engineers to work on making that happen...
Q9: How long does it take to get a ship rigged and ready?
A9: Now that Idyllic has had plenty of practice, rigging a capital for flight is a matter of minutes, when the ships are set up nicely to let him work. Grouping attachment points for weapons together, engine particle emitters, and nameplate surfaces makes his job easier, as well as placing a center core for the ship and anchoring all the parts before submitting it.
Q10: Will lunar mining be a thing?
A10: There will be all sorts of mining possible, from using a mining ship in space armed with lasers that eat through rock, to landing on planetary bodies with a hand tool or heavy equipment to scour the surface for minerals - moons being no exception.
You can support us by joining our Community Group or Discord server! So far, the community has been absolutely amazing, supportive, and very friendly. We are very appreciative of all the support you guys show us!
If you want to catch any of our developers streaming, you can always follow our official Twitch channel here!
Remember, we are always looking for new, talented builders, scripters and artists! If you’d like to help us you can always get in touch with us through RoVerse_Official on the ROBLOX website, or by contacting an Administrator in the community Discord! Don’t worry, we don’t bite!
Vaktus: Leader of the Vaktovian Empire and head of the RoVerse Project