Hello everyone! Welcome to the eightieth 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 some more exciting work from Idyllic on gravity systems, this time upgraded to vehicles, as well as some more icon work from Mikey. The shipbuilders took a well-deserved week off after their work last week, in the hopes of keeping up with their real-life engagements.
Since last weeks explorations into planetary gravity, Idyllic has upped his game to work on the constraint vehicle demo from a few weeks back. Vehicles and other debris can be dropped just like they can be on a flat surface, and bounce around just the same with as much work on the physics end done by Roblox, rather than our coders trying to CFrame every little object. With that comes official support, so as Roblox improves these features, we'll automatically reap the benefits.
Early work, shows how vehicles effectively cling to the 'sides' of planets as you drive around, and most importantly, the forces don't pull the vehicle to the centers of triangular faces, which in a triangulated sphere are the closest point to the center. Even with standard Physical Properties, the forces were easily balanced to provide nearly perfect simulation. Driving straight results in a higher speed, turning sharply results in slight drift, all without the need to 'redesign the wheel' and code it from scratch.
The biggest challenge of the week was improving traction on slopes. While relatively flat surfaces, and even up to 30° slopes, performed up to expectations, anything steeper than 45° would result in significant sliding backward down the hill. While that might be realistic for your standard car, an APC with 6-wheel drive would be expected to fare a little better. Attempts were made to increase the coefficient of friction between the two surfaces, increase tire surface area, and even add 'spikes' to the tire to simulate treads, but to no avail. The physical form of the wheel and terrain, a cylinder and a flat plane, did not provide the necessary grip to stop the vehicle from sliding, even with maxed out friction settings. So Idyllic had to get creative.
With a bit of testing, a few hacked together ideas, and a roll of duct tape, he managed to find a suitable solution - whenever sliding is detected, by a high rate of rotation in the wheels without matching forward velocity, the vehicle shifts into 'low gear' getting an extra boost from a bodythrust, to make it up steep hills. The force is just enough to make it up the slopes it should, without making the vehicle climb vertical walls or sail away into the clouds.
Overall, it was a fun and informative experience that provides an optimistic outlook on our plans for the future of ground combat. Going from a vehicle sim that worked well in the normal Roblox world, to our ambitious spherical world was no easy task, but our developers are up to it. And, in the end, having a cool car to drive around a planet and off ramps, was a great reward for a week of hard work.
To go along with this work on ground vehicles, Mikey has been working on the set of radar icons to go along with them, including several classes of tanks, mechs, and various other vehicles that will be seen driving around planet surfaces. The radar system to go along with these icons will be a significant challenge, with a ground plane to match the player's angle relative to the center of the planet, but that too should be an exciting obstacle to overcome.
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 mining operations be able to take control of a whole planet?
A1: We're focusing on a highly player-driven resource gathering plan, at least for the first iteration of RoVerse. An entire planet could be designated by a faction as open for resource gathering, with obvious resulting damage to the environment. Burn the forests, cut down the mountains, make as much money as possible, then move on - will be a valid method of operation. We may consider some automated methods at a later time if gameplay requires it.
Q2: Will mining for resources come out in the first patch of RoVerse?
A2: Resources are planned to be included in the first version of RoVerse, as they play a very important role in gameplay, from providing an occupation for the numerous members of factions, to being the backbone of fleet construction, to providing a source of income to fund those war efforts.
Q3: Will independent planets be able to survive?
A3: While unclaimed planets won't be able to resist faction expansion for very long, we may implement a few neutral locations where people can do as they please. And as always, with 220 star systems and 539 planets, there should be plenty of claimed territory that is too far from a faction's gaze to be well-policed, so I'm sure people who wish to remain alone, will be able to find a quiet place.
Q4: How will Roblox group-game forts be integrated?
Q4: We're planning on implementing a teleport system for the more notable group forts, where if you go to the right location, you can hitch a ride to the corresponding group fort. But it won't have any real impact on the RoVerse game.
Q5: Is Idyllic a god?
A5: He sure likes to think so, so you should keep stroking his ego.
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