2011-02-23

Progress Report

Just thought I should get a post in while I have a little free time. "Responsibilities", "social life", and my videogame addiction (halfway through Dead Space 2 at the moment, and trying to avoid playing Left 4 Dead 2 and StarCraft 2) are taking up most of my time. However, I expect a good chunk of time will be available this weekend.

Eddie is still busy on rotational physics. They are quite mathematically complex when you want to do them right (damnable conservation of angular momentum). I am working on the spaceship component system. It is also getting fairly complicated because of the highly dynamic nature of the game.

Right now we have a 29,000 polygon test spaceship being rendered at a whopping 2,000 fps (on my PC, haven't tested the perf on the xbox yet but I expect its a bit slower). It is not a very realistic or indicative of the final game because ships will have more polygons and I am putting off working on lighting, shadows, pixel shader effects and general graphical polish until we start the play-testing phase. So the final framerate will be much more reasonable, but my priority is 60fps in the final product.

We also have the ship being 'damaged' but with the new stuff I am doing in the component system I think I may need to rewrite some of the code. We expect memory to be the primary constraint on the xbox so my original approach needs some tweaking since the best way I can come up with to do the ship components with the least memory pretty much constrains the rest of the system. I am guessing that the memory constraint will probably drive the maximum number of players. The goal is 6-8 right now, but that may change once we get to play-testing. I doubt we can do more than that since we will probably be sending more data over the network than a typical online multiplayer game.

Also, I should note that we probably will not be posting many screenshots until we are close to release because we don't want to be copied by anyone. We certainly wouldn't want a lower quality clone of our idea beating us to release, which seems to be a pretty rampant problem with indie games right now.

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