Dev Blog #004 May 10, 2022

Hey all, I've not had a whole lot to talk about from recent updates as I am working on some of the core systems and game networking, it's all behind the scenes tech stuff.

The game is currently very playable and I am starting to do some streams while testing so some of you may have seen some of the gameplay already. Once I get into a better routine with streaming I will start posting some notices in the AQ1 discord before I go live.

It's not all been tech stuff, I have added more features to the game, so here is a quick overview:

Battle preview

Before I start streaming, here is a preview of a few battles going on. Remember this is still work in progress!

Requisition Orders

At stations with mission services you can now find NPCs requesting items they are willing to pay a higher price for, these are generated based on the supply of resources in the current area. You can give the items they request directly to them, avoiding any market taxes along with the higher sale price you can make a good profit on these. However they are open to everyone and the NPC only requests a limited amount, so you will need to be quick before someone else completes their request.

Fighters/Drones

There are two types of ships you can bring with you, Fighters and Drones.
Fighters are fully customisable ships that you buy and equip, they act much like having a fleet in AQ1. I don't have these working yet, but they are on my roadmap.
Drones are smaller and act much like the fighter bays in AQ1, but with reworked AI so they are more helpful and will even fly in formation with you when not attacking. I have these in game, although they are not feature complete.

Standings

While combating pirates in each region you will gain a standing increase, the better your standing the more bonuses to activities in that region. For example your market tax rate will decrease when your standing increases, allowing you to make more profit on trading and mining.
Each region has its own standing level, so once you move from the Core regions to somewhere like the Belt, you will need to increase your standing there.

Deployables

Deployables are new to AQ2, they are items that can be placed in space for a limited time.
For example, the Ore Probe can be dropped in space and will boost mining yields to friendly ships in its area of effect. There are also combat based deployables such as the Shield Hardener that increases shield resistances in its area of effect, and the railgun platform that hosts a static railgun turret.
These deployables can be carried in any ship with enough cargo space, once deployed they will persist in space until they are destroyed or they expire.

Graphics

As always I've been improving the graphics for AQ2, most recently I've added animated damage effects. These patches of damage grow as the ship armor takes more damage, with fire and internal panels showing. These graphics are also toggleable, so if you're running on an old phone or a small screen you can turn them off.

New Map

I've posted screenshots of the new map view in the discord, but if you haven't seen it it was split into two views, one for the universe and one for each area. The universe level map was 2d and the area map was a 3d view you could spin around.

I've now scrapped that, as having two views was confusing. The new map allows you to zoom in and out without having to transition to a new view, it also gives you all the details of events and buildings in one place.

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