Greetings, Ladies and Gentlemen!
The Defence Line project celebrates its 5th anniversary. We’ve been silent for a year, and you could consider DL dead. Well, that’s not true. Now I’m going to tell what has been done since our last news report.
Five years ago our project leader was a schoolboy whose enthusiasm started our DL project. He was just an amateur solo developer. Since then, the old Defence Line had been under construction. Of course, the amateur programmer had to make his own billion of mistakes. The project had a dreadful amount of troubles and bugs, and each next got was more and more difficult. So our project leader had to start the re-coding the game mechanics from the beginning.
After a year of working we finally got to the point where we left the old Defence Line.
1) The main part of game mechanics has been successfully recreated. The game feels as it used to be before the “reboot”.
2) The building system is much better and more stable than in the old DL. The player can select unconstructed stations and decommission stations and ships.
3) Each starship or station has its own building animation (Armada 1-2 style — polygon by polygon).
4) The starship’s or station’s icon now has a faction background that shows which faction controls it. The colour of the selection circle shows the colour of the player:
5) A small but very nice effect for phasers: arcs are now visually loading before firing. USS Typhoon is about to fire phasers:
6) We have upgraded the MSD system to display systems status in colours. Green, yellow and red on the MSD icon of the ship or station:
7) We’ve improved the sensors. Their effectiveness depends on alert status. The range is not affected but if your ship is on Green Alert, the full range allows you to see starships and stations, as well as all the data about them. If the ship is on Yellow Alert, only part of the range is fully informative. The outer part of the range shows only a noisy shape of the ship, without any info about it. If your ship is on Red Alert, you can see only full data in close range, in the middle range you can see a noisy shape, and the outer range shows you only noises, even without a shape to guess the nature of object or its side:
Impulse engines now stabilize the ship’s position if it got impulse after impact. If the engines are down, the ship or station will keep drifting through the map until it is destroyed by stellar bodies or leaves the map boundaries.
9) We started created special abilities of ships. By now we have antimatter mines (Defiant class) – mines model is needed; and phasers sheaf (Saber class) - 4 accurate shots at the selected target or its subsystem with heavy damage to the shields or the selected subsystem.
10) The main death explosion effect is now preceded by small explosions:
11) We have added pulse phasers for the Atlantia class:
12) The research system has been completely changed. Upgrades are now located not in the science station menu, but on the separate screen where the player can choose which station or facility should conduct the research.
13) Asteroids are now selectable and mining ships are gathering dilithium from them.
14) The light has been changed. The skybox now creates soft illumination.
15) And perhaps the most odd thing is that now the name of the ship is displayed on its hull. The NCC numbers will be added a bit later.
16) Ships now can change the altitude. It allows you to build your fleet in formation in full 3D.
17) If the ship is severely damaged its lights (nacelles, impulse engines, etc) will wink.
18) The ships’ “parking lights” added.
19) Thanks to TUB_Husker we have Defiant class, Prometheus class, textures for some models and drydock model.
Along with the good news we have some problems that still take time to solve:
1) The engines works a bit oddly (we cannot find the reason for ships’ short range teleportation. Spore-drive experiments? XD).
2) The fleet control menu is now absent. It will be added after fully functional MSD and Specials.
3) The Borg Collective is still needed to be created. We plan to make the Borg very different from other factions. One of the reasons is to make the game for the Collective more complicated as the Borg is outbalanced.
4) Borg ships moving needs to be created.
5) The trading station and the trading itself have not been created yet.
6) The AI is lost and needs to be recreated from the beginning.
7) The cursors system needs to be readapted from the old DL.
The Main and Pause menus are lost and the only way to exit the game is with alt+f4.
Here is our leader’s attempt to texture. Klingon construction ship.
As you can see we are still fighting and have the desire to win.
Live Long and Prosper!