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Negotiate, Trade, Dominate, Deceive in a Persistent Universe with thousands of players.
Negotiate, Trade, Dominate, Deceive in a Persistent Universe with thousands of players.
3,900 backers pledged $268,875 to help bring this project to life.

Developer Blog #45 - Rebooting the Universe

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Hello everyone, it’s been a while!

Before I get into the details of the progress made we have made I would like to make a heartfelt apology for all the delays and also for my lack of communication. We ran into many structural issues with our old client engine, and after wasting months trying to figure out ways around them we realized the only solution was to completely rebuild the client on a new engine.

This was quite demoralizing for us, as we felt we were so close to having the game at a really solid place, but even the smallest of additions to the game became monumental tasks. We felt very guilty because there was no way we could be able to achieve the timetables we promised.

In addition to the old client engine’s issues, I was working on a business partnership which would have brought us more funding (which due to the costs of rebuilding the client we desperately needed) and have drastically expanded the Novus universe. Unfortunately after about a year of talks and negotiations the deal fell apart due to external factors. (unfortunately due to NDA’s I really cannot go into any more detail)

This lead me personally to just bury my head in development and funding, because honestly I did not know how to face our community at that point in time, All we could do was Carry On(Cue ManOWar song).

I am sorry for that, and I hope that you can appreciate the progress we have made in the meantime and forgive us for the delays and lack of communication. It will not happen again.

As to a exact date when players will get access to the new unity client, I will have the date for you in a update in a week. we are still sorting out some bugs and getting combat working. Stay tuned for a exact date. Once again thank you for all your patience and support.

~Nick

The Switch To Unity

We have plenty of exciting improvements coming to Novus Aeterno. The first of which is the entire recreation of the client from the ground up in the Unity engine. In the past year Unity has really made itself stand out from the crowd and we decided to make the switch. Novus Aeterno now looks better than ever, our development pipeline is more streamlined, and we’ve had an opportunity to alter architecture holding us back and improve adaptability of game systems.

One of the major advantages of Unity is the ease of bringing it to other platforms. This means Novus Aeterno will be supported natively on Linux and Macs, but not immediately on release. Being easier to develop for has allowed to us add new special effects, ships, planets, space terrain and revamp the user interfaces in a fraction of the time it would have in the old engine. In addition to better workflow, unity has also allowed to to get much better performance while increasing the graphical fidelity of the game. We ran into a plethora of issues with the old game engine which impeded progress or dramatically slowed it down and while Unity does have its own set of caveats, none are remotely as debilitating.

Minor Changes

One of the major issues we had before was the amount of time designs could take to save, potentially upwards of 15 minutes. The entire design system’s backend has been revamped and now it’s nearly instant. The more designs are made the faster it will become unlike the old system in which more designs caused it to become slower. Designs can be renamed, edited or removed (from within game). These features were highly requested changes for the design system.

We use a new input system which gives us more flexibility with keybindings and allows chat input to not have the errors many users experienced. Keybindings will be fully configurable and support multiple bindings to the same action, but not immediately on release.

Components can be added into favorite, normal or hidden groupings to allow for faster navigation when designing units or constructing components.

Planets will have official names, in the future the first player to colonize a planet will be able to set its official name. Planets also have nicknames which only the player can see; this allows players to either add an additional layer to their roleplaying or increase their internal organization.

One of the features which I personally needed was an attack prompt when clicking a friendly or neutral unit; long gone are the days of accidentally invoking war just because units are currently selected. In addition to this, a force context menu button has been added incase you do have units selected but wish to open the menu anyways.

The selection system now supports individual selecting, region-drag selection, individual or region-drag in conjunction with another key to add units to the selection or individually unselecting units in the current selection.

AI Advances

Depending on who you ask, either your emotion feeling robot friends or human-crushing robotic overlords are coming; after all we know the Cauldron Born are created at some point. This is not that time, but we have some simple AI changes that will make combat easier to manage.

We have introduced a new targeting system. Interacting with a hostile unit while having your own units selected will set the target as the selected units’ explicit target meaning they will attack it before anything else. All other targeting modes are global. Next up are priority targets; these are units marked with a 1-9. The lower a target's priority number the higher priority the AI will give to attacking it. After priority targets are normal targets. They have no indicator over them and all units start at normal target by default. Finally we have last targets which are indicated with a -. As the name suggests, your units will target last units only if no other target is currently available.

Reloading has received a slight revamp and has three AI modes. The old client would make a unit reload as soon as any component ran out of supplies. The new version only reloads if the reason no targets are valid is because a reload is required. The second mode allows for a percentage of all components to run out of supplies before reloading. The final mode only reloads when all components run out of supplies. Each system has its own advantages and disadvantages and it’s up to players to decide when to use which system.

The final system is the ability to toggle a units weapon(s) from automatically firing. While this isn’t so important for the time being, players may wish to manually fire future components with more intricacies. The UI might not be ready for this on release.

Movement

The entire movement system has been rewritten from scratch. It now supports traveling along a curve instead of in straight lines and a much more accurate positional synchronization. With proper micromanagement, a unit can actually circle a target.

Research

As many of you know, research and crafting is my jam and I love the changes being made to it. We will be integrating Novus Aeterno’s current research system with tech trees. Theories and prototypes will remain as will the way of acquiring both. When a player funds the development of a prototype it will unlock a mini tech tree of potential upgrade paths for the prototype. There is a limited amount of upgrades players may select from each tree; because of this, even if multiple players unlocked the same prototype they might have different upgraded versions. Players will be able to fund research into specific areas or look for further uses of existing theories, prototypes and components; the more precise the research the larger the budget will have to be to keep the program running.

Comments

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    1. Taitale Studios 2-time creator on

      There's a redeem button in the redeem page called Game Activation that you click and then your Taitale account is activated for logging on.

    2. BRESSET on

      Hi. Is it the steam key of the colonial peacekeeper pledge ?

    3. Opinions on

      I'm not going to pretend that damage wasn't done as I was getting very disillusioned with the sudden end of updates and the 'we cant say anything' comments in their place. I am however glad to see the project is still progressing and am looking forward to seeing a more finished article.

      Just keep us in the loop a bit more next time please ;-)

    4. Rune
      Superbacker
      on

      @Taitale - Thank you for the update. In the future, please share stuff with your backers - even when there is only bad news to share. We invested in this game, let us share the journey with you by keeping us in the loop. :)

    5. Taitale Studios 2-time creator on

      Every single backer receives Game Activation keys.
      If you don't know how or can't find the email send a PM and Luuk will help sort you out.

    6. Brandon Sirbas on

      If you guys need any help I may be able to lend a hand I know unity fairly well and 3ds max

    7. Missing avatar

      Roy Husebø on

      I was wondering about the keys as well, is it just the beta backers that gets the keys now or do all of us?

    8. Taitale Studios 2-time creator on

      Thanks for all the nice comments all! Nice to hear all the support!

      @David, yes you should have had a mail already about this a long time ago. If you can't find it, send us a PM so I can get you sorted out. Keep in mind that currently the servers are not open, but we will let everyone know as soon as it well playable and fun!

      Thanks again!
      -Luuk (aetherblade)

    9. Missing avatar

      Jacob Buchanan on

      I had been worried. But this is good news to me! Can't wait to see the finished product!

    10. Missing avatar

      Kevin Scales on

      Hey, at least you are not giving up! That sounds like a huge blow, hope you have all been taking it well. Stay positive!

    11. Noam Loop on

      Clouded the future is. You can only foresee the foreseeable and try to react to the rest as good as it gets.
      Good to see that things are progressing and occurrently "back on track" now. Hopefully your new funding efforts are successful - this is definitely is a game worth to be made!

    12. David on

      have any keys been released yet?

    13. Missing avatar

      Timothy Duong on

      YAY, the game isn't dead! I was worried there for a second that my dream game had died. Good to see its still being worked on and hope to see all your new changes. -AeroWLF