Dev Blog 06 featured image of TDF capital ship

Dev Blog 06 – Factions, Ships, and Prototypes

Brad Hill Dev Blog

We’ve got a big update today, with plenty of news from all parts of our development team.  For the first time we will go in depth on the current programming tasks, as well as show some more progress from our art team.  Finally, we will discuss how the story of Project Orion is developing.

The Factions of Project Orion

Our writer has been hard at work fleshing out and adding depth to the story of Project Orion.  We’re committed to not only providing fun, fast-paced combat, but also to immersing the player in an epic and exciting story.  In this update we will go in-depth with the three main factions in the Project Orion universe.

Terran Defense Force (TDF)

The Terran Defense Force, or TDF, formerly served as the primary military contingent for all of humanity. After the discovery of faster than light travel rapid expansion took hold as billions of people struck out into the newly opened frontier.  To maintain order and safety in the new world the Terran Federation and TDF were formed.

Following the separation of the Outer Systems Alliance from the Terran Federation, the TDF is now responsible for the colonized planets in the so-called “inner systems”. The Federation continues to be governed from its capital, Earth.


The assumed banner under which a number of human-colonized planets identify after splitting off from the Terran Federation. The initial conflict between the outer systems and the Federation was sparked from radically different priorities and views on political and military policies. This eventually led to the formation of the OSA, who promptly cut ties with the Federation.

With neither side prepared to trust the other, paranoia began to take hold of both governments.  Following the largest arms race in human history outright war finally broke out between them, lasting over 30 years.

The Arckin

The Arckin were first encountered by the TDF during a raid into OSA territory.  Exceedingly powerful, technologically advanced, and obviously hostile, the introduction of this new race shattered the 30 year long status quo in the TDF-OSA conflict.  Thrown immediately on the defensive the TDF rallied to defend its borders, all the while being pushed back towards Earth.

Little is known about the Arckin, other than they appear to be a form of sentient energy.  Their motivations, whether they operate as individuals or as a collective, and even their origins are a mystery.  The fate of the Federation, and likely all of humanity, may rest in answering these questions before it’s too late.

Art Update

As usual the art team has been hard at work upgrading and producing new ships and other assets for the world of Project Orion.  The biggest recent milestone is the fully modeled and textured TDF capital ship.  Measuring a massive 1,200m long, 300m wide, and 250m tall, the new capital ship lives up to its reputation as the deadliest ship in the TDF fleet.

The TDF heavy fighter is now prepared to be textured having completed the final damage state modeling step.  This fighter is larger and slower than the standard TDF starfighter, but makes up for it with heavy armor and deadly anti-ship missiles.  They operate best in conjunction with standard fighters deployed to protect them while they deliver their deadly payload on enemy frigates and capital ships.

After restructuring the visual style of our ships, we’ve reassigned the new TDF medium fighter to the Outer Systems Alliance.  The OSA designs their ships with only one thing in mind: function.  While lacking in style, they make up for it where it counts with heavier armor and robust systems, giving them a distinct advantage in any drawn out battle.

Programming Team Update

This is the first time we’ve gone in-depth on our current gameplay programming, so we’ve got plenty to share with you.

The past weeks have been dedicated to back-end system cleanup and strengthening. While not very exciting, it is extremely important. These are the core systems the game relies on and before moving forward with new content we had to make sure everything was robust enough to expand on without having to slow down and rewrite later.

In slightly more interesting news, we’ve been prototyping the capital ship interior mechanics and layout. Testing of character movement, lighting systems, and level instancing were the focus of the last week.  The capital ship interior is an important part of the game given much of the story will be told through cinematics and exploration that take place within.

In the next week the interior will move beyond design and prototype stage and the art team will start digging into making an awesome environment to explore.