Hello everyone! Welcome to the ninety-eighth issue of the RoVerse Development Newsletter, where we keep you updated on the progress we've made over the past week.
This week we got down and dirty on the programming side, with significant updates and additions to the Capital Update code, including turret assignment and gui integration - as well as some design work - and an expanded weapons list, adding beam turrets to the list of functioning weapon systems. On the backend, lordrex has continued his work merging the lobby and our server code.
Early work this week on the Beam weapon type was pretty rough - we had several versions that didn't perform up to our standards. Seen below is one such version - the beams fire from the turret to the mouse, and update every heartbeat, but stutter significantly when there are several firing at the same time, or the ship is moving. Both cases are likely to appear in the Capital Update.
So Idyllic went back to the drawing board. Rather than creating and destroying a 'bullet' for the beam each frame, he modified it to create one and the update it each frame. This, too, stuttered significantly. Where the other turret types fire off their projectiles and are free to leave them behind, the beam turret requires stability, the failure of that becomes immediately obvious. So how do you code them to keep up with the ship?
Well, first of all you make them shoot straight from the barrel like every other weapon coded so far. But after that, you work on parenting the object anchoring the beam effect directly to the ship - that way you don't have to update their position every frame, and the move along smoothly.
Now the only stuttering is the pulsing of energy traveling along the beam towards your enemies!
Though quite simple in the end, this experience was quite entertaining to figure out how to code, if only because it was a departure from the modules used for the other weapons. It goes to show that a one-size-fits-all approach to weaponry isn't always the best solution, and that even if it is a little bit more work, taking the time to individualize and customize different weaponry types creates better, and probably more fun, results. You may remember the initial Capital combat demo video - the different weapon types were just edited rate of fire stats, with different colored neon projectiles launched out, so the steps we've been taking since then to expand on the weapon variants have been quite important to us.
Some notes on the beam weapon type - it emits a constant stream of energy traveling incredibly fast in the direction you aim the turrets, with a high degree of accuracy, even at long distances. Unfortunately, it trades accuracy and range for damage - low individual hit damage, but if you manage to keep your target in your scope, the damage will add up. Also helps keep shields from cycling and recharging, so it offers some tactical benefits so it's not completely useless for all but the most accurate snipers.
In the coming weeks, we'll be refining the weapon type further, including a short charge up delay, and overheating systems, all taken care of in the data tree.
With several of the weapon types up and running, it was about time for Idyllic to dive into the turret switching menus and integrations for Capital ships. We released a demo of the fighter rekitting process quite a while ago, but since then we have further developed our aesthetic, and will probably be updating that soon. For the capital ships, though, we had a blank slate to work with. On fighters, only a few turrets were available to swap out, so a few hovering buttons were manageable to use. With the possibilities of hundreds of turrets kitted to an XXXL capital, we needed a more flexible solution.
Enter the newest ship-editing interface!
Improving on the original design, this newest ship editing screen has lots of important info to help you make your purchasing decisions - will you change your forward gun batteries to missiles, to chase down fleeing foes, or protect your flank with a spare flak gun to take care of those pesky fighters and missiles? It's up to you! Featuring stat comparisons between currently-kitted mounts, mount locator for easy identification of which mount you're switching out when zoomed in, overall ship stats and class names, all to improve the user experience.
It's still in its early stages, so if you have any feedback, let Idyllic know.
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 there be limits to the number of ships a faction can produce at once?
A1: There will be no hard limits instituted by us, but if a faction gathers the resources required to build an excessive number of large capital ships, good for them. Obviously if things get ridiculous, we'll start tweaking costs to keep things balanced, but other than that, we won't limit a fleet to, say, 20 Large capitals at once. If we tried doing that, they'd probably just start making alts to hold ships for them.
Q2: What sort of interactions will there be with planets from space?
A2: From the star system server, you'll be provided with, or have to scan for, basic information on the status of the planet. Planet name, environment, resources, who owns it, etc. To get a good look at a planet, you will have to send a landing party, as they have done many a time on Star Trek.
Q3: Will there be giant railguns to shoot capital ships with?
A3: By comparison, the small turrets we've been demoing the past few weeks are dwarfed by the ships they are attached to. Further down the line, we will be adding the different tiers of turrets, and tiers of mounts they can be attached to. For example, a ship may have 10 light turret mounts, 4 mediums, and one heavy mount for a large weapon, sorta like what you described.
Q4: Will there be QA to ensure faction-submitted ships aren't weird or low quality?
A4: There will be an approval process as part of the rigging process. We want as many factions as possible to submit their designs, but a faction not putting much effort into their ships breaks the whole thing down, ruining immersion, and reflecting the game poorly. The devs will try to help out in these circumstances, if only slight modifications are required.
Q5: Is there a formula to generate ship stats, or is it faction- or developer-picked?
A5: We have been working on a formula that considers a wide variety of factors to calculate different stats like turning speed and radius, and there will also be limited faction input on how they want their ships to perform. If a faction builds a heavy cruiser that the formula spits out as low-armored, no one would be happy. So a limited number of points will be able to be spent to determine base ship stats, by the ship creator when submitting. The nature of this platform requires things to be both fair, and functional.
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