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Take control of an advanced starship with your friends in search of the mysterious Lost Colony (Windows, Mac and Linux)
Take control of an advanced starship with your friends in search of the mysterious Lost Colony (Windows, Mac and Linux)
1,729 backers pledged $55,422 to help bring this project to life.

Beta 1 - Devlog 58 / Roland-Class Starship

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Hey everyone!

Today we are releasing Beta 1!

To clarify: Beta is where the majority of PULSAR’s content will be added, systems and mechanics we didn’t consider to be “core” will also be added, and all of the game’s current systems will continue to be improved as development continues! Hope that’s clear, we'll be happy to answer any questions about why we are going this route if there are any!

Devlog 58

So first off there is a new ship to fly! The C.U. Roland-Class Starship! You can see some footage of what it looks like in Devlog 58. We've added an inherent ship qualities system to the game, we think this will be a really useful way to not only differentiate all of the ships we plan to have, but also help balance them. Games names are now separated from ship names, pretty straight forward.

We took some time to sit down and actually play the game for fun (not testing) these past few weeks and we came to the same conclusion a lot of you came to as well, the game is far too easy. We took some early steps to correct this issues by having stronger enemies, and slowing ship progression by having ships drop weaker / less loot at the beginning. We still have a ton of plans to help bring a nice bit of challenge to the game and help its pace, but we hope the changes we've made are beginning to go in the right direction.

We've also changed the save file format, since we are now going to be adding more content to the game, this will inherently change how galaxies are generated, we are hoping the new format will keep a much data as possible pertaining to your ship and crew while leaving the galaxy room to grow and change when new versions are released.

A new optional game mode has been added: Ironman mode. This will cause your active save file to be deleted upon ship destruction. We will be working on making this system stable and functional over the next few updates! As usual, any feedback or bug reports are greatly appreciated.

We were planning on having a nice number of AI improvements to this build but we lost a bit of time assembling a new trailer for the game. We focused on improving the two biggest complaints which were Pilots not lining up and engineers preventing shields being lowered. Keep in mind the AI still has a ton of work to do before we are happy with it.

Thanks again for all of the bug reports and feedback that you have been sending in. We couldn't do this game without our great community!

Additions

-New Ship: The Colonial Union Roland-Class starship is now available!
-Ships now have inherent qualities based on their type
-You can now zoom in while operating a turret by pressing left ctrl
-Optional Iron Man mode added that will delete your save file upon ship death
-Hosts can now name the game and their ship two separate things, this allows two games to have the same ship name without any unexpected issues
-New: Focused Laser Turret. High-damage variant of the Laser Turret. Uses substantial amount of power.

Changes

-Small tweaks to ship armor effectiveness
-Major balance changes to ships, turrets, chaos, etc
-Ships will now handle differently based on type / mass
-Tweaks to join, create and continue game menus
-Camera / shadow quality tweaks
-Upgraded save file format that will allow us to keep save data while allowing new content to be added to the galaxy. This will allow the galaxy to be regenerated with the new content while saving relevant data when it can be kept (mission data, ship components, crew level, etc). This should enable us to keep your save files working for much longer than before as we add new content to the game.
-Removed “Auto Turret” component from shops. This was a leftover component that wasn’t meant to be in the game. It can be somewhat glitchy.
-Pilot bots can now line up to the next waypoint when not in combat
-Engineer bots shouldn’t startup the ship shields while in green alert. This should help with repairing the hull -Improvements to piloting AI

Fixes

-Added additional filtering for save file names to prevent some saving issues
-Spacebar now should properly center the starmap
-Guns should no longer file while a dialogue window is open
-Fixed some problems with shop networking that would prevent clients from seeing a shop’s inventory
-Fixed networking issues with planetary creatures that caused them to behave incorrectly
-Fixed issue with “Hunt the Resolution” mission that prevented proper registration of the ship kill
-Fixed issue that caused waypoints to not show up for the pilot
-Sector discovered percent now shows percent of sectors visited in galaxy
-Fixed music playback to prevent overlapping music tracks
-Fixed issue that prevented players from being able to close the buy/trade dropdown when in the shop menu
-Fixed an issue with piloting controls / camera alignment
-Fixed an issue with galaxy path building when a game is reset

Thanks for your time!

Best,
The Leafy Games Team

State Of The Galaxy 2

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Hello everyone!  


Since we are finishing up the Alpha we figured it was about time to do another one of these write-ups! With this we hope to explain what we’ve been up to, as well as what our goals are moving forward into Beta! 

Moving into Beta doesn’t mean we are done adding, tweaking and polishing features, just that we will now be spending much more time working on scenarios and content! There were a few features we were hoping to get in during the Alpha, but we explain below why they were delayed. 

List of Some Non-Content Features (Early / Mid Beta) 

-Research / sample collection. The Scientist will be able to create useful consumables / unlock new talents. 
-Captain order system. A more in-depth order system with the potential for contextual orders based on the current sector and such. 
-More fleshed out chaos system with randomized galaxy events 
-More depth and refinement to each class
-Refined ship components and shop interface 
-Ship-to-Ship hailing 
-UI / Menu overhaul 
-VR 
-LAN 
-Leaderboards and high scores 
-And more! 

Plans for Early Beta 

-Content, content, content (more ships, planets, space scenarios, missions, factions, items, components, etc) 
-Work on features listed above 
-Improve UI 
-Improve AI 
-Work on balance / combat 

Plans for Mid Beta 

-Networking solution overhaul (adding LAN support in the process)
-More content, polish
-Finish up features listed above
-Continue to improve AI
-Continue to work on balance / combat 

Plans for Late Beta 

-End game 
-The Lost Colony and related content 
-Content, polish 
-Continue to improve AI 
-Continue to work on balance / combat 


Other Features:

Virtual Reality Support 

VR / Oculus Rift was part of our original plans for Alpha phase. We have been working on internal implementations but aren’t currently satisfied with the experience yet. This is partly due to the Unity implementation missing some advanced control options that are required to use our unique camera system. It is very close, but without these options it won’t be a workable experience. We will also need to do some major overhaul of our UI / menus which is something we were already planning. These will take some time but we are hopeful that it will come together in the first half of the Beta process. The VR community and movement has changed a lot since we first ran our Kickstarter and promised VR support, but we are still dedicated to supporting these awesome devices. We will also be investigating other VR headsets to see if they would be compatible with PULSAR. 

Offline LAN Support 

Our current networking solution is the Photon Cloud. It provides some huge advantages that are sometimes not obvious, including a hassle-free way to play with friends over the internet without messing with ports or routers. That being said, there are a few downsides of the Photon Cloud including a lack of LAN support. For this reason we will likely be moving to another networking solution during Beta. We are investigating a few possibilities, but these still need some time to mature and stabilize. We don’t want to lose the ease-of-use functionality for connecting players but need some more control to allow for an offline LAN mode. 

Mod Support 

There have been some hopeful developments related to Unity 5 that might allow for this in the future. However, it is not a small task to add mod support to a game like PULSAR, especially after years of development without the feature. We are not promising that mod support will be part of the release of PULSAR. There is a chance that we will add it post-release, but it would be a large and time-consuming undertaking. 

How much content is planned? 

The amount of content is somewhat flexible. We want many hours of play, unique scenarios and bits of content throughout. We have a hefty behind-the-scenes list of planned content that we will implement over the course of Beta. 

How much longer do you plan to work on PULSAR? 

Our current estimate is 12 - 18 months. This is mostly based on how long it will take us to create a satisfactory amount of content. 

Multi-Crew Support? 

We are completely focused on the single crew experience. We have no plans for any multi-crew modes and/or MMO features. We have our work cut out for us already with the announced feature set and amount of content, so we want to make sure we have the time and resources to make it sufficiently polished. 

 Dedicated Servers? 

Dedicated server functionality might be in the works. No definite promises at this time. A lot depends on our final networking solution. 

We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our community. Your feedback and suggestions have been amazing, and many areas of the game have been improved due to them. The encouraging support you’ve given has been really motivating to our team; we’re quite humbled by the messages we’ve received from you all. For those of you who’ve been submitting bug reports and output logs, we honestly can’t thank you enough for taking the time out of your day to send us that information. It helps a lot, and the game would certainly be worse off without your contributions. 

Thanks again for your time and support. It’s a real pleasure to work with you all on this project. 

Best, 
The Leafy Games Team

Pre Beta 3 - Devlog 57 - ExoSuit and Hand Held Scanner!

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Hello everyone!

Pre Beta 3 should be out now! This update ended up being an interesting one, we got to add two things we’ve been excited about for a while: the ExoSuit and the Hand Held Scanner! We’ve also made some progress regarding connection issues and crashes. We added region support which should hopefully strengthen people's connections if they aren’t based in the US. This is something we can’t fully test alone, so we’d love any feedback!

Devlog 57:


For those who’ve been watching this project for a while, you may remember a super early scanner from one of the earlier devlogs. The new scanner has been redesigned as a larger, two-handed device to increase readability. It can currently detect your fellow crewmembers, enemies or hazards, items and components, NPCs, and interior/exterior locations. You can read more about the scanner under the “Scientist” section of the manual on our website!

The ExoSuit is pretty straightforward, you need to put on the suit to explore certain environments that would otherwise be fatal to your crew! We’d like to do more with it in the future (e.g more helmet information and feedback, more types of environmental hazards, potentially leaks). You can read more about the suit under the “Introduction” section of the manual on our website.

Additions

- Server regions have now been added, people can connect to servers in the US, Europe, Japan, Singapore and Australia. This should hopefully help people close to those regions get better ping. The menu should popup by default on first bootup. You can change your region in the Multiplayer Settings while in the main menu. You will only be able to see / join games in your selected region.
-Pawn Planet cameras have been overhauled. This should allow us to greatly increase the draw distance.-Added the ExoSuit: A protective enclosure surrounding the player that protects them from hazardous environments. The suit is designed to be the all-in-one solution for encountering almost every type of foreseeable hazardous environment.
-Added the Hand-Held Scanner: An equipable item that allows the player to gain a better understanding of their surroundings. It can identify a number of different things from enemy life forms to useful items!
-New Planet - Frozen Wasteland
-New Planet - Low Oxygen Environment
-New Planet - High Temperature Environment
-New Planet - Acidic Atmosphere
-Added two new missions
-Added a new creature type
-Lifeform targeted scan now has functionality
-All 4 sensor types now have detection / signature levels. Only one signal needs to be detected for objects / ships to be detected.
-Added planet scans. They are still pretty early, but they can be useful for determining how dangerous an environment is.
-Added new functionality to the teleporters, they can now teleport into planet interiors. 

Changes 

-Inventory item preview will now properly center items
-Changes to how some turrets are synced allowing clients to better predict auto aiming turrets
-Experimenting with some networking changes to hopefully make connections more stable and less likely to disconnect (added CRC integrity check)
-Algorithm updates to ship sensors / detection conditions
-Base damage of railgun turrets has been decreased
-Temporarily removed the QT active scan option, we’ll add it back once it gets proper functionality. 

Fixes 

-Fixed some issues related to game loading / timing that could cause serious problems when loading a saved game
-Fixed some small input issues in ship screens that should make button selection smoother
-Fixed an issue that prevented players from being able to pickup items until a warp jump was completed while they were in the game
-Fixed an issue with nuclear devices that could cause a hidden loaded device and/or the possibility of multiple detonations
-Fixed issue with loading saves that caused persistent data to be created for every sector instead of sectors with actual persistent data. This will require a new save file format so older saves will not be able to load in the new version.
-Fixed issue that could cause a game crash while the game is shutting down
-Fixed some issues that could cause minor issues in customization syncing
-Experimenting with forcing Unity to unload unused assets during each warp. This should help keep memory usage under control over time and prevent crashes related to high memory usage.
-Optimized some procedural materials to reduce runtime memory usage
-Fixed some issues with audio that could cause all sound to cut out randomly 

 Known Issues 

-Shops will sometimes incorrectly sync their inventory to clients if the player joined while in range of a shop
-Some issues have been seen with crew bot networking
-Some audio crackling has been observed
-Bandits will sometimes not spawn / fall through the level on certain planets 

Pre Beta 2.1 notes: http://forums.pulsarthegame.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1644

Pre Beta 2.2 notes: http://forums.pulsarthegame.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1648

Pre Beta 2.3 notes: http://forums.pulsarthegame.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1650

Thanks for your time! 

 Best,
The Leafy Games Team 

Pre Beta 2 - Devlog 56 - Piloting and Customization!

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Hello everyone!  

Pre Beta 2 should be out now! It ended up focusing a lot on the Pilot system, as well as player character controllers and customization!  

Devlog 56

We have also added the first iteration of the Community Designed HUB! We take a quick walkthrough of it in Devlog 56, but if you want to check it out for yourself the Captain can type in “.cornelia” into the chat box and your ship will immediately warp there!

Keep in mind it’s not really ready to be a HUB just yet, there are no shops or NPCs and we still have more work to do with details as well as interior rooms and locations. We are excited to hear your feedback and we hope you enjoy what we have so far! 

Early iteration of Cornelia Station
Early iteration of Cornelia Station

 We hope Pilots are pleased with the changes we’ve made, and you can read all about them below in the patch notes! We’ve also updated the Ship Owner’s Manual on our website!

Additions

- Added a new flight option for Pilots. Precise throttle control can allow you to only use a fraction of the energy given to the engineering conduit. Because of this, Pilots can now control speed and power management without consulting the Engineer. A Pilot can move slower to avoid enemy detection, maneuver difficult obstacles or assist in reducing reactor heat by running on lower power.
-Added a new off-screen indicator system for Pilots and crewmembers manning turrets. It’’s fairly straightforward, but we think it really helps players gain a better understanding of where ships are in the current sector.
-Added a first-person piloting mode that enables Pilots to fly the ship from the bridge
-Added the ability to customize your appearance. This can be done is the esc menu.
-Added support for both male and female player visuals
-New camera mode for Piloting: Hybrid - a few have suggested a mix between orbit and fixed camera, this camera mode should now be in a fixed position and only move when changing the position of the camera via mouse. It can take some time to get used to.
-Added an early look at the Community Designed HUB: Cornelia Station! The station is still in an early state and many interiors are not yet built. We’ve incorporated a lot of the feedback we’ve gotten from the layout voting process and hope to get even more when you all get a chance to explore it!
- Added a new 3D navigation system for Pilot AI. It’s still pretty early but with this we decided to add back those asteroids we had earlier! The Pilot AI doesn’t yet hunt for scrap or align the ship to a sector but it can still be useful for combat if you can’t find a human Pilot.

Changes

-Tweaked art assets for all bridges, they should better support first person piloting, (better windows and position).
-Piloting screen actually has some settings right now, players can choose between “Binary” and “Precise” throttle control, binary has either 100% throttle or 0%, this is exactly how the previous system works.
-New piloting stations now have a status screen so the Pilot can quickly gauge info while piloting in first-person
-Changes to piloting controls. Combines throttle and inertia dampening settings to give the Pilot a more unified control scheme. This also improves the piloting experience when using a flight stick and/or throttle controllers.
-Sector lighting and fog will now better match sector color
-Main turret damage amount tweaked and now deals armor-piercing damage
-Player animations have been overhauled
-Reduced exterior scale dramatically, due to the games camera system it should not be noticeable at all (if we did everything correctly). This change should help with object jitteriness at far distances.
-Crew and enemy crew bots will now randomly assign their appearance, this system will likely be improved in the future to get better results.
-New save file format: now saves faction reputation information
-Flashlights are now brighter
-Updated some of the ship thruster and light visuals, they also will change based on how much throttle is being used.
-Tweaked warp visuals
-Default input bindings no longer include joystick/gamepad settings. More work on this will be coming soon!

Fixes

-Warp drive program pricing has been fixed. It incorrectly increased the price based on max charge levels.
-Players should no longer get stuck in that certain shed that was reported!
-Turret auto aim fixes to prevent turret clipping into the ship when they don’t have a target
-Bloom postprocess effect has been fixed
-Can only swap hull components to prevent ship self destruction when hull is removed -Some fixes to help prevent alarm sound from playing when it shouldn’t
-Ship door sounds should now play properly (can’t hear other ship doors opening/closing)
-Main turret tooltip should now show correct damage and scale with level
-Fixed bug that could cause enemy turrets to not properly lock onto targets if manned by bot
-Fixed an issue that could cause non-host inventories to not sync correctly, this may have caused a number of issues in regards to completing mission objectives.
-Fixed an issue that could cause a player to be invisible if you joined while they were on a planet
-Fixed issue that could cause the jetpack sound effect to continue playing endlessly if the player dies while using the jetpack
-Some changes that should prevent the game over condition from occurring when it shouldn’t
-Fixed issue that could cause heat generation when attempting to fire a heavy pistol while sprinting when the gun didn’t actually fire
-Beam-type weapons should no longer cause friendly fire in certain circumstances

Known Issues

-Nuke screen still has some issues
-Shops will sometimes not correctly sync their inventory to clients if the player joined while in range of a shop
-Some issues have been seen with crew bot networking
-Audio will sometimes cut out
-Bandits will sometimes not spawn / fall through the level on certain planets
-Mission completion doesn’t take the mission items on clients

Thanks for your time!
Best,
The Leafy Games Team

Pre-Beta 1 - Devlog 55 - Chaos and Missions!

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Hello everyone!
 

It’s been awhile since our last update. We’ve been working hard on the first Pre-Beta update! These updates will be the final ones before the start of Beta, and as a result we are doing our best to finish up the final core systems! This update took a bit longer than expected. We actually ended up taking a few planned features for Pre-Beta 2 and stuffed them into this one because they seemed to work really well (ie: saves, Infected and persistent galaxy data work well with chaos and missions). This one ended up changing quite a lot of different systems, and we’ve spent a lot of our time testing everything to make sure it’s stable. If you find anything that’s wonky, please send us an email or report it on the forums and we’ll investigate it!

Devlog 55:

Alright, so lets start with the Galaxy Chaos system! It’s basically a system that makes the galaxy more dangerous the longer you are in it. The strong ships prey on the weaker ones, and after a while only the strongest and meanest ships remain. The chaos system is directly connected to the persistent data system which tracks the strengths of each faction and simulates the growth and movement of territories. Players can actively contribute to the speed at which chaos grows, or they can attempt to slow the progression to maintain order for longer.

Notes: This system is still early. There are not very many ways to change the rate of chaos, and there are no large chaos events hooked up yet. We plan to do more balancing to this system in future updates.

The Mission system is pretty straight forward. Anyone in the crew can accept a mission through the dialogue window of certain NPCs. Through the missions section in the TAB menu you can read more details about the currently active missions as well as ones that have been completed or abandoned. The Captain can abandon a missions by clicking on the red X. The missions themselves are fairly simple for the time being. Most of the effort went to creating these systems, not necessarily the content yet.

The Infected have been added, mysterious alien creatures that can spread to other sectors at an often alarming rate. The Infected thrive in endless clouds of toxic and corrosive particles. These particles will begin to eat away at the ship and its shields upon exiting warp. Infected Carriers can sometimes be present, launching pods that can latch onto your ship and dispense Infected Crawlers inside.They are very dangerous and are more often than not meant to be avoided. The Infected should add bit of tension to any voyage.

Notes: There is a ton more we want to do with the Infected. This is still a very early pass on them.

We’ve added and changed a lot more things. You can read all about them below, one of which is a flight pack!

Additions 

-Added the Galaxy Chaos system
-Added an early Mission/Objective system
-Added an early reputation system, it doesn’t do much yet but it will with future updates!
-Added a persistent galaxy data system that works with faction strength ratings
-Added a personal flight pack for each player
-Added a new player/creature networking system that uses global space rather than pathnodes
-Added a simple AI system for creatures
-Added new dialogue lines for Hub NPCs
-Added an early look at the Infected. Infected sectors will now grow and spread throughout the galaxy.
-Added a handful of missions to complete
-Cargo can now be found on and taken from planets
-Added a neutral ship system. This allows players to claim a ship and then move cargo from the old one to the new one.
-Added a charge/heat system for hand held weapons. The weapons will begin shoot slower the more shots are fired consecutively.
-Greatly improved / added to the Save Game system. It will now save missions/objectives, inventory, galaxy information, chaos level, and galaxy location. It’s not 100% finished but it’s much better than before!
-Galaxy ship course plotting has been improved and now properly takes into account the ship’s current warp range
-Added repair depots to accompany exotic shops
-Added a general store and a repair depot to the current Alliance of Gentlemen starting location
-New background for the main menu!
-Added a better music mixer system. Tracks will no longer play on an infinite loop and should allow some calm silence.
-Added new sound tracks for the Infected, as well as the Colonial Union Sector Commander.
-Added several new backdrops for space sectors
-New Gun: Burst Pistol
-New Gun: Hand Cannon
-New creatures have been added!
-New Enemy: Heavy Bandit
-New Enemy: Elite Bandit

Changes 

-Gun / projectile collision detection redone to be more accurate
-Charra Tilmur now hands out some missions. She has been moved to the desk closer to the officer’s teleport pad.
-Starmap can now highlight sectors that are relevant to accepted missions
-The Union warp network has been changed: Warp Stations can now warp to any other station and price will vary on the distance.
-Updates to the Comms tab to allow for more options to be available
-Smoother interior / exterior transitions on planets
-Players should now be killed if they glitch through the map
-New sound effects have been added
-Made some slight art tweaks to the Union Hub
-Continue game menu now automatically refreshes save directory list when opened
-The Nuke Screen no longer needs a selected target, instead the nuke will target whichever ship the Captain is currently targeting.
-Jump skip menu has been improved visually
-Cave systems now have a chance to include fog
-Removed all interpolation from turrets. They should now be incredibly responsive and stop on a dime.
-Characters will now lower their weapons when sprinting

Fixes

-Fixed a few collision errors in Sector 0 
-Fixed a few collision errors on the snow planet 
-Fixed a problem that would sometimes give pilots trouble entering piloting mode 
-Fixed a bug that would sometimes interfere with adding talents 
-Turret stutters due to rotating quickly should no longer occur 
-Fixed a bug with the Nuke Screen not being usable a second time

By the way, we are in the process of switching web hosting services as well as updating the website, so if you experience any funkiness on the forums or if certain links get broken it’s because of that!

Thanks for your time! We hope you enjoy the update!

Best,
The Leafy Games Team