Heheh, well, as always, the original purpose was for personal reasons, lol
The tools have been "released" via a 3rd part file host. I think I'll have them sent over to A2files shortly.
Here's the forum thread
There will most certainly be a FT version of the spreadsheets with the release. At the moment, the balancing isn't exactly complete...
I will try to make a gameplay video for everyone in the near future. My old laptop wouldn't be able to record the game at a decent framerate, but I should have access to a mean gaming machine soonish. Might even do an HD version with the 1.3 Patch, heheh.
Right now we're polishing up the complex unit specialization/matching that is somewhat inspired by rock-paper-scissors style unit matching in other RTS games. So, destroyers and assault class vessels will outmatch large battleships, but may do poorly against cruisers, and so on. But extra depth to unit specialization comes in weaponary. Some weapons are better suited for tracking down fast destroyers, others deliver a punch to battleships. Between vessel class and its armaments, you can have highly specialized ships that can perform one task really well.
Of course, there are also all-round ships that should handle their own in unpredictable situations. This is especially true with the diverse Federation fleet. The good news is that understanding the balancing should be fairly intuitive. You don't need to know the history and the design philosophy of a ship to know what it will be used for; instead, you just see the ship's class and type of weapons, and you should have a good idea of what this ship can do (although each ship does indeed have a history to it that will be revealed later
Also, we wanted to give each race a unique feel, so you may notice that some races will prefer certain ship classes and weapon types. This is done largely to reflect the canon, but also to encourage different strategies. We're hoping that we can maintain game balance by providing more options and strategies for people to pursue. For example, Sernaix have very strong shields, but almost no hull strength. Ships of other races can still take a beating due to their "real matter" ship construction. Shield disabling weapons become really valuable to races facing the Sernaix, just as torpedo tracking weapons become really valuable for Sernaix. Also, the large burst of firepower at the initial attack give Sernaix the ability to take down almost any ship of their choosing.
Right now, I am trying to figure out a way to semi-algorithmically figure out the resource costs. Still a big challenge ahead. Right now I have the costs set up to use a "points allowance", which is split up between dilithium, crew and officer costs. Things that are automatically calculated for a ship that affect dilithium cost are:
system hit points
damage inflict rate
ship specialization (all round is more expensive).
In other news, we now have neater way of using the "warp" speed in A1. Not decided yet whether to perhaps rename it to "plasma overdrive" or some such. Either way, it gives ships a boost in speed at the expense of special energy.
Not using the "overdrive", ships can still have two "speeds"; maneuvering speed when traveling over short distances or in combat, and faster "impulse speed" when traveling over larger distances. The main reason for the two speeds is to separate the fast destroyers from the less maneuverable battleships.
Anyhow, I apologize for the large wall of text. Promise to make a fancy update for everyone very soon.