This ones a doozy
Hey everyone, it’s update time again. (hope you want to read something long!)
This week Matt and I are working on the game’s database. we are changing it over to a more efficient process. This is REALLY boring, I know but it has to be done, and will improve the ship creators responsiveness. It hasn’t been an issue at all so far, but as we added the other tiers of modules it became apparent that as we continued it would soon start effecting load times, you may have noticed this now when you load a ship you have previously saved, so this will no longer be an issue.
Kevin has been working on models (imagine that!) We have a new visual for projectiles, and a few new ship modules, including some fighter specific designs and they look like this...
From left to right we have an engine, hull and cockpit.
There has been some question about how we will be handling the models between the size tiers. The way this will work is pretty simple, if it can be scaled to multiple tiers and still look good we will, this simply increases the number of modules that are available for ship creation with minimal effort on our end. Things like Cockpits and Bridges will never be scaled because with small details like hatches and windows are scaled up or down, it ruins the sense of scale for the part as a whole. Some of the current models will be removed from some size tiers as well, and this will be decided on a model by model basis.
After the database conversion is finished, we will be putting focus on ship controls, the way they are now is not final. Rather they are our first implementation of it, the way we develop is we plan a mechanic, or feature, or whatever, then we build it, and then we iterate on it until it's at a point we are happy with. This is where you guys come in! Feedback, we like it, keep it coming, the more we get the better the game will be, even if we decide on one thing, a well thought out idea, or suggestion has before and will in the future have bearing on the way we develop the game, if people don't find it enjoyable, then there is no point after all.
There has been a lot of feedback on the shipyards interface, I appreciate this, however I want to point out that this is a tool that we created for ourselves to make NPC ships. it's not how you as the player will create / change your ship in the final game, the mechanics will be the same, but you will not have access to all of the modules and an unlimited supply of them. Enhancing and building your ship is a core function of the progression in Kinetic Void. There will be a few basic ships that you can choose from when starting a game, and thats it, from then on you will buy, loot, salvage, steal, or manufacture your modules to add to the ship. These will be stored in your ship’s inventory, or at an NPC station that you have decided to make your home. We can and will continue to refine the Shipyards interface, but it will not be as immediate as some of the other features we work on, we do not want to hold back development on other, more important aspects of Kinetic Void.
We have a few ideas for stretch goals. It may be a bit premature to talk about them just now, but I want to share these ideas with you all and hopefully get more people excited about our plans. There are currently 3 planned stretch goals and they are as follows.
130% ($80,000) - Player owned and created Space Stations
This will function very similarly to the shipyard where you will be able to place station modules to form your own space station. Stations will have their own sets of functions and mechanics, as well as requirements, things to look forward to are. Manufacturing, station personnel management, item storage, ship storage, defensive modules, and more.
160% ($100,000) - Fleet Command
This goal will allow us the resources we need to implement the mechanics and features required to allow the player to command multiple ships. You as the player would still directly control your current ship, but you would build, and staff other ships under your command. Hiring the crew, officers and the captain, giving them orders and further spreading your influence throughout the galaxy. With these features you could command a small rag-tag gang of space pirates, in fighters and frigates, harassing the trade lanes. or you could work for factions commanding their military fleets. In combination with the space stations from the previous goal, you could set up and operate and intergalactic trading or manufacturing company. These features would dramatically increase the gameplay of Kinetic Void, and when taking the procedural nature of the game into account, it would literally have limitless replayability.
200% ($120,000) - Mod tools
This goal will allow us to develop the secondary tools and assets needed to allow players to add their own modules, weapons, subsystems, and factions into Kinetic Void. I am a huge fan of mod communities and know for a fact that many games that I love would not be as popular still to this day if it was not for their modification support.
The last bit of the update I will cover some things that I have been posting about, and are now reflected in the FAQ. Note: this is content that will be in the game at release, with or without the stretch goals.
What kind of gameplay will there be in Kinetic Void?
The systems we are implementing will allow the player to only do the parts of the game they are interested in, there will not be 'required gameplay' Other than flying a ship of course :D
We want to have have content that is enjoyable for all five sizes of craft,
Size 1 (Fighter / Heavy Fighter ) will be fighter type content, one off missions, small engagements, dog fighting, bombing runs, or non combat stuff will include courier missions, diplomatic contact, and general exploration.
Size 2 (Frigate and Destroyer) will have content that will feature Escort, blockade, and squadron combat, with non-combat gameplay focusing around mining, salvage, transportation, and small industrial. This is where Crew management starts to come into play as well, as you are no longer able to run the ship alone.
Size 3 (Escort Cruiser / Cruiser) Participate in Fleet ops, eliminate, capture stations, deal with pirate gangs as a whole, secure and hold sectors. Non-combat includes, larger tier manufacturing, transportation, Mining, these are similar to the size 2, but on a larger scale, and impact more than one sector, this is the gateway to galactic economic manipulation where the economies of multiple sectors are taken into account. This size of ship will also have an increased complexity to crew and upkeep management.
Size 4 & 5 These will be the most challenging ships in the game to command, they have the most modules, subsystems, crew, needs, and requirements. Combat activities include faction warfare (participation at release, Command as post release content) and the non combat activities are on an even larger scale, involving entire systems of the galaxy.
These are not the only activities that will be in game, rather just an example. If you have a great idea for activities, or gameplay, please feel free to share!
How will crew management work?
The plan is that basic crew will be resource, that must be maintained and assigned based on ship classification / Mass. The player then assigns crew to modules based on the subsystems that are installed. If a module is damages, there is a chance that the crew located there will be injured, resulting in a reduction of efficiency for every subsystem in that module. Crew can receive medical attention if your ship has an infirmary. We also have plans for things like Marine detachments (who likes assault shuttles?) Engineering teams and more.
Officers will be a little more complicated and have their own interface. Based on the ships design officer slots will open and become available. The player can then recruit officers with unique stats and skills that will assist with the abilities and efficiency of your ship.
Will there be carriers?
There will be a Size 3 Drone bay, and at size 4, and 5 there will be Fighter Hangars. You will be able to design your fighters, load them on your ship, and issue orders to them, and of course, if they live, they will come back.
As always your feedback is welcome, and encouraged, about everything, rewards, stretch goals, game play, features, whatever you like!
That about wraps up this update, in closing tell everyone about Kinetic Void, share this news as much as you can, Social media, email, forums, messengers, everything. We can reach these goals, we can make Kinetic Void amazing, but I need your help!