Skip to content

Dev Diary #7 – The Frigate

by

We’re staying at the combat-end of our game for one more post and decided to go big in honor of the occasion.

Sooner or late in Stars of Icarus, the players will be making short work of the Drones, Asteroid Breakers and Fighters the enemy throws at them. When that time comes, it will be time to bring out a chess piece with the potential to completely redefine the battlefield. The frigate is that piece.

DEV_DIARY_FRIG_01

As explained in earlier updates, specific enemy types in Stars of Icarus have specific behaviours and attack patterns. Usually this means that the players need to outmanoeuvre or strike weak points. They need to stay on their toes and split up formations, followed by selective attacks. However, with player evolution comes an increasing amount of enemy resistance. Tired of being played for fools they decide to once and for all bar the players path with some of their biggest guns. Read more…

Dev Diary #6 – The Fighter

by

We’ve had a lot of theory and space travel lately so let’s get back to some combat. This time round we’ll be introducing the Fighter. Fire power and toughness make it a force to be reckoned with.

If you want combat to be a challenge for players it follows naturally that you need formidable opponents. We decided early on we wanted an enemy type which could function as a sort of field commander for smaller or more straightforward ships like the Drones or the Asteroid Breaker. It was supposed to be the enemy’s answer to the player ship.

DAV_DIARY_FIGHTER_01
A couple of Inspirations

The theme for our enemy alien race is a general air of roughness and unconventionality. In most games, spaceships resemble the human knowledge of aerodynamics and functionality on ground, in the air, or at sea. However, when it comes to space, all these principles become moot. Read more…

Dev Diary #5 – More Physics & Game Performance

by

Still got all your tools handy? Good, cause we’ll be continuing our look under the hood of our favorite space shooter.

There are a fair few problems one can run into with physics and collision detection in games. Among the more prominent ones are performance issues. Having to calculate every aspect of games world-rules can put quite a strain on a computer and naturally, we want as many people as possible to be able to play our game, not just those with high end monster-pcs.

When it comes to collision-detection, there is a “brute force” method that can work for simple games: As long as there are few objects in the game world, it is possible to simply check every object against every other object. It’s simple and it works. However, as the number of objects increases, the number of necessary computations rises exponentially. Every object added needs to be checked against every single existing object in the world. This could soon lead to performance problems if not addressed.

In order for the computer to not have to focus on everything at once, we handle this by using a construct known as spatial partitioning. Similar to a chessboard in design, the game world is simply split up into discrete boxes which can be used to simplify collision detection.

I_pic3
My god, it’s full of squares!

Objects are allocated into these boxes according to their position. Rather than focusing on each object at the same time, Read more…

Dev Diary #4 – Physics & Collision Detection

by

Hope you’ve brought your Wrenches and Screwdrivers. This time round we’ll be taking a look at some of the more technical sides of Stars of Icarus.

As stated in previous entries, one of the major features of our game is its deep combat system and we don’t just keep saying that. We believe that deep mechanics are strongly underrepresented in most games, where they are usually swapped with easier but not necessarily better complexity. Extra Credits has more to say on the subject, if you’re interested. Instead of a dry numbers game with ever improving stats, we want players to be able to hone their combat skills by mastering the mechanics.

An easily understandable and consistent physics system is an essential part of our combat mechanics. “Easily understandable” means that the system needs to be based in reality. Players should perceive the game’s physics as working as they expect, the same as their real life counterparts. “Consistent” means that all objects have to be bound to this set of rules. Any object involved in combat, be it the player ship, enemy fighters, capital ships, shots, missiles or explosions, all need to follow these principles.

AAACollision1
There goes the paint-job…

A game’s physics become most apparent within its movement system. In Stars of Icarus, changes in velocity and rotational speed are done correctly through acceleration and deceleration, Read more…

Dev Diary #3 – The Jumpgate

by

showcase jumpgate 01

We want to keep a steady pace with our dev diary, so here’s our second entry this week! After showing off some exciting combat last time, this time let’s focus on some relaxing space travel with the Jumpgate.

It was clear to us from the get go that we wanted Stars of Icarus to have a wide spanning, engaging world. We wanted players to have a sense of wonder as they explored it, Read more…

Dev Diary #2 – The Asteroid Breaker

by

1

Welcome to our second dev diary entry! Today we’ll reveal one of our first enemy types to you.

Since our game’s focus lies on a deep combat system, we gave a great deal of thought to the various enemy types we wanted to use. We wanted each one to have a signature style, behavior and impact on how the player moves through the world. One of the more distinctive ships in this regard is the Asteroid Breaker.

One of the major features of our game is the depth in combat and the use of multi-part enemies. The idea is for a ship to be composed of a number of different elements, Read more…

Dev Diary #1 – The Player Ship

by

We’ve been working really hard to make Stars of Icarus the best game it can be and we’d like to give you an insight into that process. To involve you all a bit more, we will start to provide you with detailed information about some of our core game elements on a regular basis. Today we’ll kick it off with the player ship.

We started with the blockout phase, finding a basic shape. We felt it was important for the ship to have a simple triangular form, in order for the player to have a clear sense of direction. At the same time, we wanted it to be unique in some way. Our number one choice, the military fighter look, worked but it was slightly too generic. However, since we wanted the overall feel to be strictly human (not alien), we took it from there and tried out a couple of design variations. Ultimately we ended up with a parting down the middle and slightly unconventional wings. After a debate about the position of the cockpit, we placed it right at the center, where it fit in naturally.

sfc1

We wanted to have an authentic look from the start of the design phase, even at pixel-size. Read more…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.