Shields! Armor! Damage! Tracking?

28 July 2011

I know it’s been a while since the last Distant Star update, but that doesn’t mean progress isn’t happening! Far from it: I’ve been meticulously re-working big chunks of the game over the past few weeks, rebalancing ships and races, improving the game’s early stages, and changing the way tech trees work. Oh, and adding in support for GameCenter achievements.

So, yeah. Progress? It’s happening.

My primary focus right now is on de-designing the way ships are designed and researched. I’ll admit it: pretty much every aspect of ships (and the automatic combat system in general) is horribly, horribly broken. I’d originally set out to build a really clever system where the interplay between stats was obvious, and where you could tweak your ships to counter those of a particular rival; what I ended up with is just a mess of opaque, confusing numbers.

Mea culpa.

So I’m working on re-designing the way ships work; streamlining their stats from a confused mess down into a more manageable handful. I’m also changing things around so that you acquire better ships by unlocking (through research) rather than having all ships available at the game’s start and applying a bunch of small upgrades. Trust me, it’s way more fun this way — the moment mid-way through the game when you finally unlock cruisers and go on a smashing spree until the AI catches up is really satisfying.

As for the rest: tech trees, the early game, system upgrades, achievments, &c? I’ll keep you posted.