March Update: Fleet Combat, Backer Reward Update, and Work Experience

marchdev

The past month has been jam-packed for the Predestination crew. We made a lot of progress with the fleet combat part of the game, designed our first reptilian race (The Sauros), and hosted work experience weeks for two students aiming for careers in the games industry. We also moved to a new house with more office space to work in and applied for some government funding to help your pledges stretch further.

Update notes for fleet combat:

  • Added projectile weapons such as mass drivers, with their own graphical effects.
  • Added dumb missiles that travel to the target hex and explode, or explode early if they enter a hex with another ship or object in it.
  • Implemented smart missile AI that locks onto a ship and follows it, avoiding obstacles.
  • Added interceptors. They use the smart missile AI and attack the target ship every turn until destroyed.
  • Implemented area-effect weapons (smartbombs, area missiles).
  • Implemented proximity mines and cloaked proximity mines.
  • Created some basic explosion effects with screen shake, and a timing system to synch explosion graphics and screen shake with sound effect volume.
  • Implemented a module system that lets us create interesting non-weapon ship technologies. Modules added so far include: Holographic Projector Matrix (creates decoy holographic ships), Afterburner (double movement for one round, then takes a round to recharge), Shield booster (consumes movement points to boost shield hitpoints), Cloaking device (ship is invisible until its next turn, but then takes a round to recharge).
  • Fleets can now engage each other in the galaxy view, which switches to the fleet battle screen.
  • Ships can now retreat from combat. They will wait for one full round without moving or attacking and then warp out.
  • Combat now detects the winner when one side’s ships are all destroyed or warp out.
  • Ships destroyed in combat are now removed from the galaxy view.

Holographic projector ship module

Dozens of backers have now given us their ideas for interesting weapons and ship modules over at the Predestination Community forum. If you have any ideas, feel free to post them in the official fleet combat thread!

Kickstarter Backer Reward Update:

As part of the Kickstarter campaign, many people selected rewards such as your own custom-designed commander, missile, building, singleplayer level or core game race. Almost everyone has now submitted their commander and missile ideas, and our race and level designers have let us know how they’d like to be contacted to discuss their ideas. We had hoped to get back to all of you by now to confirm your selections, but are unfortunately running a little behind schedule due to moving house.

Those of you who have submitted commander, missile, or building designs will be emailed by Tina soon to confirm that your designs are good to go. Level and race designers will be contacted personally to get a brief outline of their ideas, but don’t worry if you haven’t got much of an idea yet as we don’t need the full details just yet. If you wanted to upgrade your pledge for any of these rewards but missed the end of the campaign, you can upgrade your pledge at our Paypal Upgrade page or send us an email with your inquiry.

workexperience

One of our big goals with Predestination is to help kickstart the Northern Ireland games industry and help emerging talent get into game development. With that in mind, we’ve spent part of this past month organising work experience weeks for students aiming to get into the industry. Our latest student was the extremely talented budding concept artist Nuala Mc Garry, who is already producing fantastic character art at the age of just 15.

In addition to giving Nuala some experience in the industry and advice on education paths, we were able to send her home with a new graphics tablet and an upgraded PC to help her continue developing her talents. This would not have been possible without all the support and pre-orders pledged through Kickstarter and Paypal. Your support has made a big difference to one talented young artist this month, and on her behalf we’d like to say thank you!

As part of her work experience, Nuala created her own race with unique concept art, technology and lore. They’re a species of intelligent feline humanoids whose culture revolves around entertainment and gadgets and treats fighter pilots and scientists as celebrities. The race isn’t named yet and we’d like to open that up to the community. If you have any name ideas or just want to give some feedback, please head over to the race’s official thread or leave a comment here on the blog!

Nuala's race (work in progress)

Background Lore:

The [Suggest a name] are a feline humanoid race discovered on a Terran planet near the Human empire’s borders. It’s not known whether the species is natural or the result of genetic experimentation, but they predate the Human empire and have shown incredible intelligence and adaptability. Their society revolves around entertainment and research, with great technological accomplishments being spurred by competition to make the ultimate gadgets and televised sports.

The race to achieve space flight, break the lightspeed barrier, and colonise other worlds were all sponsored by entertainment megacorporations looking for the next big show. When first contact was made with the Humans, the event was televised across the homeworld and eventually led to an alliance between the two empires that persists to this day. Not to be underestimated, the [Suggest a name] have repelled several attempted invasions of their space by turning the war effort itself into a form of entertainment. Fighter pilots became celebrities overnight, and research labs competed to make flashier and more inventive defensive technologies.

When the Revenants were unleashed on the galaxy, the [Suggest a name] were the only race able to sometimes successfully evade the attacking ships. Using clever holographic modules to hide ships and project decoys into space, pilots were able to evacuate millions of citizens from colonised planets across the sector. It’s thanks to their efforts that so many ships survived to take part in the final battle with the Revenants. Now sent back in time, they seek to explore space, find their former allies, and develop technology that can stop the Revenants once and for all.

Nuala's scientist

Possible race stats and abilities:

As a humanoid race, the [Suggest a name] are most at home on Terran worlds but can adapt to live in other environments. Their diminutive stature makes them poorly suited to ground combat, but quick reflexes makes them excellent fighter pilots. The celebrity status their society grants fighter pilots attracts a lot of legendary ship captains, and normal ship crew are more likely to achieve legendary acclaim following a successful battle. Their culture emphasises openness and honesty, increasing morale on all planets but making them vulnerable to spies. They also freely trade their entertainment programmes with allies, adding a free empire-wide morale boost to all trade agreements with other species.

Example stats: (not finalised, just to give an idea of the abilities we think they’ll have)

  • +10% Morale On All Planets
  • +2 Research Per Turn From Research Labs
  • -20 Ground Combat Rating
  • -10% Spy Mission Success Chance
  • Cultural Traders: Your empire freely exchanges its culture and entertainment with other nations. Trade pacts with your empire increase global morale across both your empire and the empire you’re trading with by 10%. This effect can stack for each new race you establish trade agreements with, up to a maximum of 50%.
  • Natural Fighter Pilots: Quick reflexes make your people natural fighter pilots who favour small hulls over larger ships. +50% beam and projectile defense on small and medium sized hulls, but -25% beam and projectile defense on larger ships.
  • Legendary Pilots: Double the normal chance for a legendary ship captain to emerge following a successful fleet battle, and ship captains will cost half as much per turn to employ.

Possible starting technologies:

Each race starts the game with several advanced technologies that are either not available for research or can only normally be researched late in the game. Possible starting technologies for this race include:

  • Camera Array (Ship module): An array of high-definition cameras are fitted inside and outside the ship, recording footage of fleet combat to be used as propaganda. If your fleet wins a battle with a ship carrying this module, all planets in your empire get +10% morale for 10 turns.
  • Holographic projector (Ship module): Holographic projectors are hooked directly to the ship’s power core, allowing the ship to project fake versions of itself into space. This ship module can be activated in combat to split the ship in three, moving the real ship into one of the three hexes directly ahead and placing decoys in the remaining two hexes. Decoys last for one full round and are instantly destroyed if fired on, but are otherwise identical to the original ship.
  • Cultural Hub (Building): You can only have one of this building in your entire empire. The city it’s built in becomes a huge cultural hub, completely eliminating all morale penalties on the planet. This allows higher taxation and prevents revolts and unrest.

Thanks for your feedback!

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported Predestination on Kickstarter or via Paypal, and a special thanks to fans who have contributed feedback on updates and shared their ideas on our forum. As always, we’re eagre to hear any feedback you have on this update or any ideas or questions you have relating to it. Head over to the official feedback thread or leave a comment on this post!

Cheers,

— Brendan, Lead Developer

About Brendan Drain

Director @ Brain and Nerd

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1 comments
Jack Deichgraf
Jack Deichgraf

Hi there, has Tina send any E-Mails out yet? I certainly didn't get one. Have a great week! Jack