Dev Blog 17 – Input and Debris

Josh Duffenais Dev Blog

Welcome back to the Project Orion bi-weekly Dev Blog! It’s been a little longer than usual since our last entry, but don’t worry we’ve been busy.

Input Mapping

Proper input remapping is essential to our promise to support for everything from a gamepad to a full HOTAS setup.  With the return of our former team member Jeremy we’ve started the challenging task of implementing this system.

Designing input for a known peripheral is much easier than trying to support ones you’ve never even heard of.  Without actually acquiring every peripheral you think players might use there is no realistic way to have a predefined mapping for every single one.  The solution to this is to make everything remappable in the most flexible way possible so the player can set their device up exactly the way they want.  You could imagine that this isn’t a trivial task from a development point of view.

However we’re happy to report that we’re making very good progress, and have a functional (if not polished) prototype.  The screenshots you see above are the prototype in-game as it currently exists.  There is still a lot of testing, tweaking, and UI designing to go, but the core functionality is there.

Art Updates

We often showcase our bigger or more significant models in these art updates, mostly for the reason that they tend to show much better as a featured asset.  This does usually overshadow other work by the art team, like creating smaller environmental assets.  A chunk of ship debris does not draw attention like a huge glowing alien capital ship does.  However, the final result of the time put into these assets is worth showing.

Below you can see the redesigned layout of Mission 1, the TDF raid on an OSA attack force cut short by the fact that the OSA have been routed by the Arckin just before we arrived.  A huge cloud of ship debris greets you as you warp into the system and its not long before the remaining Arckin ships decide to add your battlegroup to that debris field.

This visual overhaul is part of a much larger change for our first level. Since near the beginning it’s been a testbed for almost all our gameplay features, but we’ve finally redesigned it to take its role in the storyline of Project Orion.

In one of our recent updates we gave you a look at the updated Crew Deck in the interior of our capital ship. This week we want to show you the work being done on the overhauled Combat Information Center! The CIC is the heart of the ship, the Commanders post where all major decisions for the ship and the battlegroup are made.

General Updates

Along with the input mapping and art updates we’ve been working on a plenty of other tasks worth a brief mention.

  • On the programming and gameplay side work continues on the missions for Part 1. Lately this has involved creating and expanding on AI behaviors to fit the various missions needs, as well as standard additions to the HUD and level control systems.
  • Voice acting and dialogue is an ongoing process. The script continues to grow as we work our way though the story, and our Dialogue system for handling voice and subtitles is now complete and in-game.
  • We’ve begun redesigning all the menus and UI to fit the style and functionality we have in mind for the release. This includes the extremely important ship customization UI that we’ve been wanting to overhaul for some time to better support various input methods and a better experience overall.

Thanks for a joining us for another Dev Blog update! We’ll be back with another in a couple weeks with more details on some of the tasks we mentioned briefly above.