Tuesday 10 December 2013

Fleet Leaders

Quick post about the fleet leaders and experience system I have planned which I am currently working on.


Command Hierarchy

Each ship can be assigned to a Squadron which can have a maximum of 9 ships in them. They will follow the same orders, work as a group and keep in formation (if you want them to).

Wings are the next level up and can command a maximum of 4 Squadrons (possibly more when researched).
All of the Squadrons assigned to the Wing will follow the same orders, so you can assign orders to a large number of ships all at once.

Fleet is the highest level. It can hold any number of Wings or Squadrons. You probably wont be able to give specific orders at the Fleet level and I haven't decided yet if more than one Fleet will be allowed.



Each Squadron, Wing and Fleet can be assigned a leader character. This leader will earn experience from battles they are involved in. If any of the ships the leader commands was involved in destroying an enemy ship then they will gain experience towards their skill level.

The leaders skill level will give specific bonuses depending on where they are placed in the Command Hierarchy:

Squadron Commander: 5% bonus to damage per skill level
Wing Commander: 5% bonus to maximum speed per skill level
Fleet Commander: -5% ship upkeep cost per skill level

The only way for leaders to gain experience will be in command of a Squadron. To do this they will need to be in the lead ship. If the ship gets destroyed the leader dies.

You will be free to reassign leaders whenever you like, but only if there are no enemies nearby.



Traits provide bonuses to all ships the leader is in command of. When a new leader is recruited they may have a number of traits, but they cannot be gained in other ways. A few examples:

Mining Specialist - Gives a 20% bonus to mining yield
Shield Specialist - Gives a 10% bonus to shield hit points and recharge
Energy Weapon Specialist - Gives a 10% bonus to energy weapon damage
Engine Specialist - Gives a 10% bonus to ship maximum speed
Transport Specialist - Gives a 10% bonus to cargo capacity

Trait effects will cascade down the command hierarchy and are halved at each level. If you have leaders each with the Mining Specialist trait at the Fleet, Wing and Squadron levels then it will give the bonus of 35% (5 + 10 + 20) to the ships below.



As leaders gain experience they also get better at commanding certain types of ship. For example if the leader only has Cruisers in their Squadron, experience will also be added to their Cruiser Leader skill which provides bonuses only for Cruisers.

If there are more than one class of ship in the Squadron, experience will be distributed evenly to the relevant proficiencies.



Leaders will also be able to earn medals when they achieve certain goals (total ships destroyed, ore mined, cargo transported etc..) Some medal examples:

Long Service Medal (Awarded for time spent as an active leader)  - Gives a 10% reduction to ship upkeep costs
Bronze War Medal (Awarded for total ships destroyed) - Gives a 5% bonus to shield and armor hit points


Potential Problems

The whole leader system is designed to be completely passive. You wont need to manually spend skill points. They can just be left alone and they will automatically gain new skills, proficiencies and medals as they do stuff. So it shouldn't require much micro-management at all. Of course you still might want to check on them occasionally to ensure you are making the best of their abilities in their current position.

As the player can take manual control of any of their own ships in the game, there is the problem of what happens when taking control of a Squadron leaders ship. Should that leader continue to get experience for ships you destroy?

I don't really want to add a special type of leader character that represents the player as I would like the player to be able to take control of another ship once it gets destroyed.

Much of this is not fully implemented yet, so would very much like to hear your feedback and suggestions!

Friday 6 December 2013

Galaxy Map

The past month I have mainly been working on the galaxy map screen to make it more informative but still trying to keep it very minimal.

(150 planets, 1 player, 3 AI)

The sector icons are now colored to show the different planet types. Surrounding each planet there are small circular icons to show if there are any ships in that sector. (green = player, red = enemy, blue = allied, white = neutral) 

It hasn't been implemented yet, but you will be able to hover the mouse over the ship icons to display the number and class of ships at the planet. Hovering over the planet icons will also show more information about them.

(25 planets, 1 player, 3 AI)

The jump-gate links and borders are colored based on the owning factions relations to you.

There may be more than one enemy/ally that will show the same colored border and jump-gate links. So to distinguish each faction, the smaller circle at the center of each planet icon will be used to show its unique "faction color".

However this is not shown in the screenshots as the faction and relation colors are currently identical for testing.

Empire Sphere of Influence

(Very rough sphere of influence style empire maps)

I have also experimented with rendering some "sphere of influence" style empire borders, but ran into performance issues with the really large maps. I think it maybe covers up too much of the screen, hiding all the stars in the background which look nice as you move around the map. (the stars use 3D positions)

I have abandoned this approach for now, in favor of the smaller overlapping borders you can see in the first two screenshots.

Planet Colors

Colors used for each of the different planet types have been tweaked slightly. Volcanic was difficult as the planet graphics are limited to just one color and no detail. (lava or rock?) 

Each of the types (Temperate, Desert etc.) have a few variations so they won't all seem identical.


  • Galaxy generation code completely rewritten (now cleaner and more efficient)
  • Probability distribution working properly for planet types, bonuses and trade goods
  • Detailed galaxy log created during generation with lots of statistics (using for balancing)
  • Started on the high level AI for factions (aware of all the objects and territory they control)
  • Initial design work done for the different government types 


Bonus Screenshot

(The leftovers from a large cruiser battle)

Sunday 3 November 2013

Ship Graphics

Sorry for it being such a long time since the last Galaxial development log. The game is still very much in development and will be released. (but please don't ask when!) :)

The last few months I have been working hard on creating new ship graphics content for the game and just generally tidying up the engine, fixing bugs, optimization and polish so that its ready for the next stage of development. (AI)

Ship Screenshots

I have a few screenshots to share so you can see the new graphic style for ships. Very pleased with how much improved they now look compared to the older ships. Have had a lot of practice using Adobe Illustrator since then!

I'm not sure on the exact numbers yet, but the plan is to have roughly 4-5 ship designs per class (Frigate/Cruiser/Battleship etc.) More will likely be added over time once the game is released. There is a huge amount to make, so I'm having to spend a lot less time coding while being in artist mode.

(Dreadnaught. The largest class of ship that will be in the game )

(Battlecruiser showing one of my favorite color customization combinations)

 (Few of the smaller cruiser sized ships with darker hull and green trails!)

(Transport ships near some wreckage!)


The color customization options for ships are now slightly different than before because of the new way they are created.

Ship hulls can only be various shades of black/grey/white. There are no limitations for the colored panels which will use your faction/team color of choice.

The turret lights which become more visible as you zoom out, use faction relation colors. So enemy ships will show red turret lights, blue for allies, white for neutral and green for the player. Colorblind settings are also available.


You might have also noticed the new turret graphics, although only one type is shown in the screenshots. There will be unique graphics for all the weapon types (Artillery/Railgun/Laser/Missile Launcher etc.) and they come in 3 sizes (Small, Medium, Large)

Each ship can only fit a certain size of weapon and it should be clear the amount of firepower enemy ships have just from looking at them.

You can also follow me on Twitter for more regular updates about the progress of the game.

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Population Graphics and Fog of War

A few of the latest features I have been working on since the last development log.

Planet Population Graphics

Finished creating some additional colony graphics to show roughly how large the planet populations are. The graphics change based on the current colony population in relation to the maximum it can support.

It starts off with just the colony infrastructure visible where the facilities are built in the center. Then at 20%, 40%, 60% and 80% of the maximum population it will grow outwards an extra zone.

The textures are very large (uses a lot of GPU memory) so I dont think it will be possible to make seperate versions for each faction with the same color customization system that is used for ships.

You can see a giant screenshot version here which shows how smooth everything looks in-game. (4096x4096 size image, 10MB)
Population Growth

There are many factors that affect the colony population growth rate including:
  • Colony happiness
  • Tax rate
  • Food surplus/shortage
  • Luxury resources
  • Researched technologies
I'm not sure yet whether you will be able to use passenger ships to move migrants between colonies, but am aiming to have the colonies take quite some time (in-game) to reach their maximum size through normal growth.

Fog of War

Did some experimenting with fog of war by making each ship have a limited view distance. (similar to most RTS games) I didnt think it looked quite right for Galaxial and was rather annoying not being able to see the whole battles taking place.

So I have decided to use a system where you only need a single ship in a sector to reveal the entire area, rather than revealing smaller areas around each individual ship.

(Previously explored sector now hidden by shroud)

Once you no longer have any ships or a colony in the sector, then it will become hidden again and covered by shroud. Asteroids, jumpgates, wreckage and the colony will remain partly visible based on what was there the last time it was visited. If you return after some time you may find it has changed or some things have disappeared.

I will most likely add a new specialized ship type that can be used for scouting and exploration. They will get a cloaking module bonus to help them remain hidden. Destroyer class ships will get bonuses to detecting the cloaked ships. 

At the start of a game all sectors will be hidden on the galaxy map until they are explored.

(Explored sectors visible on galaxy map)

For the moment I have left all the background stars and glowing areas visible on the galaxy map from the start. It looks nice but think it will make it a lot easier to predict where everything is in relation to your starting position. So may have to hide more of the background stuff until the nearby sectors get explored...

Ship Modifiers

Made a few changes to some of the ship modifiers for balancing reasons and added some extra ones.
  • Energy Leech (Drains energy from target ship and adds to its own)
  • Energy Leech Resistance (Reduces effectiveness of energy leech modules)
  • Decelerator Resistance (Reduces effectiveness of decelerator modules which slow the ship)
There is now just one generic damage type rather than being seperated into explosive, electromagnetic, chemical types etc.. This is to make it simpler when designing ships and reduce the need to equip so many modules that add protection from individual damage types.

Added a stacking penalty for when you equip modules that affect the same attribute. This is to make it impossible to get really overpowered ship stats or becoming immune to damage.

Thursday 9 May 2013

Ship Fitting

In this post I will be explaining the ship fitting window which I have been working on recently.

Module Slots

Every ship has a number of slots to fit modules. There are Targeted, Active and Passive slot types, the number a ship has of each varies.

Targeted Modules: Requires a selected target. Examples: Weapons, Electronic Warfare, Mining, Salvager, Remote Repair and Fleet Support/Logistics

Active Modules: Costs energy while active and just affects own ship. Examples: Afterburner, Shield Booster, Hull Repair, Shield/Hull Reinforcing, ECCM, Cloaking and Weapon Upgrades

Passive Modules: Doesnt have an energy cost and are always active. Examples: Energy Recharger, Energy Battery, Armor Plating, Reactor and Cargo/Mobility Upgrades

This module system should seem familiar if you have ever played EVE Online before as its quite similar.

I have only included a small selection of module types so far, but there will be a lot more when the game is finished. If you have any suggestions let me know and I might be able to add them!

Fitting Window

In the screenshot below you can see the fitting window is split into 3 sections. On the left is the ship and module browser, the ship fitting slots are in the center and the ship stats are to the right.

(Click image for fullsize)

You use the browser to drag modules into an available slot in the main fitting area. The fitting area will display the maximum range (for targeted modules), energy usage when active (per/second) and power requirements for each fitted module.

Hovering over any module will show its complete stats and build cost/time. Hovering over the stats on the right will also display a tooltip explaining each value.


Different ship hulls have varying amounts of power which is used by the fitted modules. This limits which modules can be fitted but some module types can increase the available power.

The more advanced and powerful modules will have higher power demands. This is so the basic modules will remain useful (and not become obsolete) when creating setups on a tight power budget.

(Click image for fullsize)

In the screenshot above you can see the new ice asteroid graphics in the planetary ring. They are less rounded than the metal ore asteroids. I still dont have a use for them yet but dont really want them to become some kind of fuel resource that you require a constant supply of.

The module buttons along the bottom of the screen now have some finished icons. Decided on using simple colored shapes rather than more detailed icons as I think they fit the abstract visual style quite well.

Sunday 14 April 2013

Improved Colony Interface

Over the past month I have been mostly working on lots of smaller tasks and bugfixing which wouldnt have been particulary interesting to blog about, although I have made some nice improvements to the colony user interface which I can now show.

Improved Colony Interface

This is the same screen that was shown in the earlier blog post about colony development but now looks a lot more interesting and compacted.
(Colony information interface screen)

The planet view box at the top will eventually be used to display any special bonuses that the colony may have. They can also be viewed by hovering the mouse over a planet.
(Planet stats and bonus tooltips)

Below is the updated interface for building facilities and expanding the colony. You can see the older window design with some more information about facilities here.
(Colony facilities interface screen)


Next is the interface screen for building ships. It still needs some more work but the layout should stay mostly the same. Hovering over each design on the list to the right will show stats, build cost/time and details for the ship.

Designs are added to the build queue by dragging them from the list or by double clicking them. The build queue can also be rearranged by dragging items around with the mouse.

Adding some extra columns to the designs list showing the build cost and time would be useful, but I dont think there will be enough space for so many columns. Unless I take away space from the left half of the window. The "Resources Required" box also needs some slight changes as its not really clear what the values mean. Example: "4192 / 12000" (resources required / available)
 (Shipyard interface screen)

Each of the default ship designs currently have 5 variants (basic, standard, enhanced, advanced and prototype) This is determined by the quality of the modules that are fitted to the design. At the moment you can still build the obsolete designs after researching more advanced modules (more advanced modules cost more and take longer to build) So its a quantity vs quality / cheap vs expensive tradeoff when deciding what to build.

This may possibly change to something simpler as I'm worried its too confusing and increases the number of designs you need to create and keep track of. I had thought about having single designs which are updated to use the latest modules as you research them, but then the costs and build time would probably have to stay the same and the ships using the design would be instantly upgraded.

The other pages I didnt show (defence, refinery, research) still need some more work before thay are finished but are a lot more simple as they dont require much interaction.

Thats all for now.
Let me know if you have any good suggestions!

Friday 8 March 2013

Soundtrack Preview


The past couple of months I have been working closely with sound designer and composer Carl Butler (Temporal Geometry) who has been creating the unique soundtrack to Galaxial.

These are two tracks from the soundtrack to give you an idea of the musical style that will feature in the game. Enjoy!

In the finished game there will hopefully be over 5 hours of Carl's music! It is fairly ambitious to want to include so much but I feel it matches the huge scale of Galaxial and its unique graphical style very well.

Music Player

I have created an in-game music player/jukebox so you can easily select which track to play and rearrange the playlist order if you wish. Adding custom music to the playlist will also be supported.

 (The track names and duration text are just placeholders at the moment, for testing purposes)

Sound Effects

Carl will also be doing all the game sound effects, so the entire game audio should sound very cohesive using his own unique style. We will be working further on the sound effects over the coming months when more of the graphical content for the game such as ships, weapons and visual effects are finished.

Giant Screenshots

I have added the ability to export giant sized screenshots from within the game. This was mainly added so I could take very detailed high resolution images to use for promotional material. I also quite like exploring some of the larger images it can capture. (Transport Tycoon had this feature)

(Best viewed in an editor where you can zoom in and pan the image)
Direct Link to Fullsize Image (6MB)

Above is a giant screenshot of the galaxy view containing 500 sectors. The screenshot maximum size is currently set at 4096 x 4096 but I may also add an option for 8192 x 8192 although it will take a lot longer to save the file and may not work on some older graphics cards.

Thats all for now. As always, would love to hear your feedback as development of the game progresses.

Sunday 24 February 2013

Colony Development

Colony Interface Screen

I have started work on the colony development features. This is a screenshot of how the colony interface screen currently looks.

(Click image for fullsize version)

I will go into each catagory in more detail, but I am hoping most of the values are quite self explanatory. In the game you can hover over each of them with the mouse to display tooltips with a full description and breakdown of how the values are calculated. The buttons along the top are used for navigating to the different pages.


Each planet type has a maximum population it can support, temperate being the highest (7 to 15 billion depending on planet size) and volcanic the lowest (1 billion, due to less suitable building space)

The maximum population values still need some adjusting. I havnt much of an idea how many people ice, ocean, carbon and iron planets could realistically sustain for example, assuming the advanced technology was available.

Most commerce and income from a planet will come from a high population. But it will take quite some time for them to grow to the maximum it can sustain.

Still unsure of how conquering planets will work exactly and whether the existing population gets eradicated, integrated into the conquering faction or something else entirely. There wont be troop invasions or ground battles.


For every 1 billion of population, the colony will require a single unit of food. If it doesnt have the required amount then the population will shrink. Having more than is required increases the rate at which the population will grow.

Excess food produced at a colony gets added to the global empire-wide surplus value and then is imported at colonies which have a shortage. Any remaining surplus food available is spread evenly between all colonies to increase their population growth rate.


Happiness level determines the chance of revolt and has a big effect on the population growth rate. Even if you have enough food available, the colony wont grow unless the population is happy.

There are lots of planet bonuses/penalties that can affect happiness, such as meteor showers, acid rain, seismic activity, planetary rings and many others.

If the happiness level goes below 0-25% for too long it will risk triggering a rather nasty revolt penalty at the colony which lasts for some time. There probably wont be a feature where you can lose control of the colony to a revolt or rebellion however. Will maybe be added in a future update/expansion.

Luxury Trade Resources

Colonising a planet which has a trade resource gives a happiness bonus to all colonies in your empire and a big boost to commerce at the planet, depending on which resource it is. Access to more than one of the same resource can be traded away to other empires and used in diplomacy. Having access to all of the luxury resources will provide a significant boost to happiness and population growth rates.


Commerce at the planet mainly comes from a high population or having access to valuable trade resources. Small amounts are generated from farming and natural resources, but these are more helpful during the early stages of colony development.

You can change the tax rate at each colony, which will determine the percentage income you receive from the total commerce value. Setting it too high will decrease happiness which results in lower population growth rate and increased risk of a revolt.

Colony income is added to the empires total credits (per second) Ships will also now have an upkeep cost rather than using the supply depot facilities briefly mentioned in an earlier post.

Going into negative credits for too long will trigger a bankrupt penalty for all colonies and will be extremely damaging to your empire.


Colonies on the easily colonisable planet types will cost the less to support while the more hostile environments such as volcanic, iron and carbon will be a lot more expensive.


You can only build and upgrade farming on barren, temperate, ocean (fisheries) and jungle planet types. Each can produce varying amounts, jungle being the highest. To produce food on the other less hospitable planet types you need to build Hydroponic facilities. These will use up valuable colony building slots. Developing dedicated farming colonies will be a good strategy.


These are not metal resources that you can use to build things, but natural resources which benefit commerce and increases the planet income. Resource rich planets like iron, carbon and volcanic will have the highest values.

With the addition of food and trade resources as well as the modules, ore and metals from mining I'm starting to distance myself from the earlier idea of having everything needing to be transported by ship rather than getting added to a hidden global resource pool as in most RTS games.

Its possible that it could get too complicated or annoying to manage ship transport and getting the AI to do all of it intelligently could be difficult. This isnt an announcement that I'm removing the transporting resources feature, just that I have concerns with it and may ultimately be changed once its been tested with everything else working together. However I will do my best to try keep the feature as I really like it.

There is still some work to get colony development properly implemented so let me know if you see any obvious problems or feedback you might have.

You can now also follow the development of Galaxial on Facebook where I have created a page.

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Alternative Planetary Rings

This is a follow on from the previous post in case you havn't already seen that.

Made some more changes to the planetary rings by removing the 3D effect which made them look like they went behind the planet. They now look flat and circular, which I think fits much better with the graphical style of the game.

This also means I can put small ice asteroids within the ring, which could possibly be used as a resource for something in the game.

I am going to create new graphics for the ice asteroids/chunks which will be a bit smaller than in the screenshots and look more like sharp ice. At the moment they are using the same graphics as the ore asteroids.

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Recent Updates #5

Some of the things I have been working on over the past few weeks.

Planetary Rings

Finished creating the planetary ring graphics for planets. The rings are procedurally rendered so the gaps in the ring are not always in the same place. At the moment the rings use a similar colour to the sector background as I havn't yet found any decent colours to make them. (apart from white)

I tried placing smaller ice asteroids around the ring but it looked really bad, so removed them.

Apparently its possible (but incredibly rare) for there to be multiple rings with one larger than the other, so I added them also. Although I'm not sure if they will stay... I still have doubts that the style of the rings dont go with the rest of the game, so let me know what you think.

Planets can now be rendered in different sizes. This will be used as a visual indication for the maximum population they can support. I have also added another 3 planet types, Barren, Jungle and Carbon! so there are now 8 types in total.


The music player/jukebox interface is almost finished. With it you can select individual tracks to play and re-order the playlist. Custom music can also be added to the playlist, but needs to be done from outside the game.

Added data pack file support, which is just going to be used for the music. All other game data is easily accessible for modding.

Added random pitch variation support so repetitive sound effects dont sound too similar. From the data files you can specify how much the pitch can vary for that particular item/weapon etc.

Other Stuff
  • Wreckage can now be selected, targeted and salvaged by ships using a Salvager module.
  • Fixed collision detection for really fast projectiles and missiles, so they dont fly straight through their target.
  • Created slider widget for the user interface.
  • Cargohold interface screens.
  • Minor sound engine overhaul.
  • Changed the blog address to www.galaxial.com (old address still works but will redirect)

Planet & Colony Development

I dont tend to write many really extensive design documents when developing the game, but I have done for the planet and colony development system. It will certainly be a lot more in-depth than I had originally planned and will include:

  • Population growth
  • Food
  • Happiness
  • Commerce
  • Research
  • Planet bonuses
  • Trade & Strategic resources

It's all looking really good from the design documents (spreadsheets) and next I will be starting to implement it all, which should be fun!

Monday 21 January 2013

Recent Updates #4

Here is some of the features I have been working on over the past week.

Asteroid Colour Variations

Added some slight colour variations to asteroids of the same rarity (common, precious etc.) so that they are now different shades of the original colour. I think this makes them look a bit more varied and realistic. It doesnt look that different from the screenshots below, but its a lot more noticeable actually in-game.

(With colour variation)

 (What asteroids looked like before)

Also created an extra asteroid set to add some more variation, so that you wont notice asteroid graphics being repeated as often.

Sector and Galaxy Colours

Fine tuned the sector and galaxy background colours as some of them seemed either too bright or dull. I also re-written most of the code and the data file format so that its simpler to modify them or add extra colours through modding.

Railgun and Salvaging Modules

Started to create the visual effects for railguns and salvaging modules. I had to re-write most of the engine/missile trail code so that it could be used for other more general purpose effects. The railgun projectiles will leave a faint trail behind them. It's not quite finished yet so theres no screenshot of the railgun effects.

With salvaging modules fitted, a ship will be able to reclaim resources from the wreckage left over from battle. Once the salvaging module has finished working on a part of wreckage, the reclaimed resources get put into the ships cargo and they can then unload them at a colony. The player controlled ship also needs to be able to do this, so wreckage objects have to become targetable (with the mouse) for the salvaging modules to work.

This could become a problem as I dont want wreckage to become in the way when you are trying to select an enemy ship that is behind it. Smaller objects are always rendered in front of larger ones.

I will be working further on wreckage salvaging this week.

Rendering Optimisation

Spent a bit of time profiling and optimising the object rendering code (ships, asteroids, wreckage) now that I have finished making changes to them and made some small improvements to the overall framerate.

All the objects are rendered using the Painters Algorithm which is rather inefficient. This makes it incredibly difficult to batch objects and render them all in one go. There is a lot of texture swapping and individual draw calls for each object.

Earlier in the development of the game I experimented rendering objects using the z-buffer. It didnt work very well and introduced artifacts and sharp edges around the depth mask for each object. All objects require transparency sorting, so have to use the painters algorithm for rendering.

Although the rendering technique is rather inefficient it still runs very fast, even on the older graphics cards I tested on.

For example, I ran the stress test on an older laptop which has an Intel Celeron T3500 (2.1 ghz, 2 cores) with a Geforce 8200m (not great for gaming) and the framerate was stable between 40 and 70 FPS, depending on how zoomed out the camera is. Not so good when v-sync was turned on, as it then went down to 30.

The stress test scenario has 50 sectors with 100 ships fighting at the same time in each of them (5,000 total) Ship movement, AI and combat is simulated in full detail even when you are not in the same sector to see it.

Compared with my development computer which is 4 years old now (AMD Phenom X4 9950, Geforce GTX 260) it runs the same stress test between 110 and 220 FPS. Thats with v-sync disabled and max settings.

Older single core CPU's likely wont run Galaxial very well. Especially the games with larger galaxies that have many thousands of ships. The game is heavily multi-threaded and benefits greatly from a (fast) 2 core or 4 core processor.

Sunday 13 January 2013

Recent Updates #3

Quick update with a few things I've been working on recently.

The past few weeks have mainly been spent cleaning up and re-writing large chunks of code including the ship AI and transitioning everything over to the new window interface system.

Colour Banding

I added some dithering/gaussian noise to hide the colour banding thats noticeable on some gradients in the game. The sector backgrounds and galaxy map screen were particulary affected by this. I was quite reluctant to do this as when you zoom in you can clearly see the noise, which really doesnt go with the 'smooth gradient' visual style of the game.

I will perhaps make the dithering/noise optional so you can turn it off if you want. (for 30-bit colour monitor users!)

Interface Windows

I have been improving the layout and design for many interface windows, it involves lots of trial and error to get everything pixel perfect. The screenshot below shows the new ship orders window.

(Click for fullsize)

Ships with a transport order can now (optionally) load cargo at the second waypoint if you dont want them to return empty.


I am also looking to license a unique soundtrack of over 4 hours of atmospheric/spacey electronic ambient music for the game. Theres still a few more details to finalise so cant provide any samples here yet.

The next few weeks I'm going to start working on some of the more gameplay related stuff as I'm rather sick of user interface programming at the moment. It's so time consuming.