Hello everyone! Welcome to the 133rd issue of the RoVerse Development Newsletter, where we keep you updated on the progress we've made over the past week.
This week, Idyllic took a trip back in time to work on two of the most-requested features immediately following the launch of the dogfight alpha - boost charge and hit markers. Lordrex has been busy, adding an experience tracking and ranking system and patching some bugs.
If you've spent any time at all playing around in the dogfight alpha, you know that the boost function is a very useful tool for blazing across the map to attack your enemies. But you quickly realize that it's easier to just hold down boost all the time, and nearly always have the advantage over newer players that don't know the controls yet. This wasn't always the plan. One of the features that got bumped to be added "after initial release," the addition of a boost charge meter was mostly forgotten, along with many of the planned additions, that were deemed too complicated to add to the original scripting. Now, after a code refactor and other various improvements, it was finally time to check that tickbox.
Finally adding function to the second set of tickmarks on the ship ui, the boost charge meter does exactly what it sounds like it does - keeps track of how much boost energy you have left in the tank. When not boosting, this power recharges slowly over time. This also means that boost does, in fact, run out. No more boosting non-stop through battles. Sorry.
This addition involved a few tweaks to the code, that all started with Idyllic patching the boost-throttle bug. In the dogfight, if you were to hit boost while also holding 'W' the throttle key would override the boost and you would remain at regular max speed. Letting go would also catapult you forward to max boost speed instantly, and was seriously problematic. Good news, though - this bug has been patched.
Another feature that was highly-requested post-dogfight was a visual hit marker to go along with the auditory ones that play when you hit an enemy ship. The code has always been there to make the sounds work, so adding in a small bit of code that creates a hit marker on the player's cursor was trivial - it was the design that required some thought. There are lots of hit marker effects in sci fi games, from your standard cross or x, to fancier ones that have crazy effects. We wanted to stand out, but not be too excessive, so we went with a simple addition to the existing cursor you know and love.
The key is to not go too big, or it becomes distracting, don't go too fancy or it'll be hard to read in combat, and with enough contrast that you can see it when deep in combat.
Lordrex has been working on an experience and rank system to reward players for completing various activities, and to reward the most dedicated of players with a badge of honor showing their skills as a pilot.
Now you'll get a handy popup notification when you are rewarded with credits or exp, or when you rank up. We're still working on what exactly the ranking system entails, but you might be able to achieve some fancy titles fitting for your position, or even unlock fancier skins. This feature should add a nice extra dimension of depth to the game, to keep players coming back for continued challenges and to unlock cooler things over time - all unlockable with igc, of course.
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: Will the targeting hud from the dogfight alpha be available in the full release?
A1: The existing targeting system will be used, though there will be restrictions to the range you can see enemy ships at, similar to the radar. We don't want to lose all the stealth aspects of the game, but we can't expect players to pick out two moving pixels kilometers away.
Q2: Will there be a release of the RoVerse gun and vehicle scripts so that factions can add them to their bases?
A2: That remains to be seen. On the one hand, security is important - on the other hand a game with as lofty goals as RoVerse is a prime target for exploits and placestealing, so it might be better to release anything ourselves. We'll see.
Q3: Will ground combat become obsolete it the face of overwhelming aerial firepower?
A3: We don't want it to. We'll be setting up ground combat to be equal parts air support, vehicles, and infantry. Expect obstacles for vehicles to run into, small shields to minimize airstrikes, and large distances requiring transport, each playing off of each other in a fun and rewarding combat system.
Q4: What sort of content will come after the full release?
A4: After release there should be a slew of new default ships added, as well as skins to go along with them. There's always room for new weapon types and expansions to keep combat interesting, and the list of features on Idyllic's wish list that would be cool to have, but aren't vital for release.
Q5: Can we program station defenses with targeting priorities for their automated functions?
A5: The full depth of automated station defenses are still being planned, but we would like some way to set priorities - why have the cannons trying to shoot small fighters when a capital is doing more damage. I'd put that on the 'eventually' list.
Q6: Could a subfaction pilot undock a corp ship, fly to a neutral station, and dock it as their own there?
A6: No - ships constructed by a corporation are inherently that corporation's property, a solo player on a thieving streak won't be able to make off with it. In this case, it would remain the corporation ship, just docked at a neutral station.
Q7: Will there be infantry shields?
A7: A handheld shield is a possibility. Depending on how flexible the ground combat system is, we plan on supporting a wide variety of weaponry and arms.
Q8: How many horsepower does the excalibur have?
A8: At least 7.
Q9: Will you be able to stop midway while warping in the middle of space and mine asteroids or build a base?
A9: Definitely. The warp system is just there to help speed along the process of travelling across the vast reaches of space, it's not locking gameplay into small spheres around landmarks. Asteroid belts will stretch all the way around stars, there will be endless risk and reward out in the void for the brave adventurer. And, if you wanted to, you could set up a station or outpost out there, which would then turn into a landmark you could warp to.
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