If you have been following the development process for a long time you would know that despite the game already 3 years in development, we are still ready to make big and fundamental improvements if it will be necessary for the quality of the game. This happened with 3D graphics and another core features. And now we are going to make another big change in the gameplay.
Some time ago we started to feel that there is something fundamentally wrong with the Celestial Command. And after we analyzed several another space games, we realized a simple fact:
Almost every space game have any kind of "global map" or "galaxy map" and possibility to travel from one system to another! (Actually we didn't found any successful, space game without this feature) And this is something which also should be in Celestial Command.
Importance of galaxy map for a space game is completely reasonable
Any open world game should have something which may be called "diversity of environment". For example, if we are talking about not a space game, for example a game about character / car / sail ship / plane etc. - such game may have only single location ("jump gates" is not required) because diversity of environment created by different biomes and landscape (snow, grasslands, mountains, oceans, desert etc.). As result, you may travel between different locations and it will be fun to explore the world.
But if we are talking about space game, there is no landscape in the space, because space, you know, quite empty. Diversity of environment should be created by different types of stars, planets, nebula, backgrounds, black holes. Such things can't be put into single planetary system (because one planetary system may have only one background and a star). The single planetary system in space game will feels empty despite its actual size. This is why galaxy map is required and it is essential aspect of most space games.
So, we are going to implement a galaxy map!
On the image in this post you may see a prototype of galaxy map which contains 200 stars.
How it will work? There will be galaxy map to travel between stars and also "system map" to travel between star, planets, moons and some locations in asteroid field or deep space.
In exchange, size of location will be reduced and each location will have only 1 central object (planet \ moon \ star). However, size of planets will be increased in several times. Movement between planets will be possible only using warp drives and jump gates. Despite the fact that size of location will be reduced, entire game world will feels much larger due the possibility to jump between systems.
New types of stars will be added. Including binary stars and blackholes. Plus, a lot of new backgrounds will be added. Each planetary system may have its own background, which will significantly increase a visual diversity.
What about orbital mechanics?
Don't worry, it still will be here. Asteroids, debris, space stations and ships will be on orbit of central object (star, planet, moon). By the way. Moons will be added. However you will not be able to travel between planets using only engines and orbital maneuver. It will be possible only using jump drive or jump gate. Someone can be upset about this fact, but make note that currently "interplanetary maneuver" looks very weird due tiny size of the system and do not bring too much fun for the gameplay.
So we think that it is acceptable price for a possibility to explore the galaxy. The most fun part of orbital mechanics in CC, it is an objects around planets and this aspect will be intact (or even better) because planets will be a bit bigger. Besides that, it will allows us to fix some critical bugs with physics and improve overall performance.
Also it will be possible to rotate planets and moons around their central object. As result, price of jump between planets may depends on distance between them.
By the way, we are also started to working on implementation of tech tree and more advanced AI which is also two essential features which should be in the Celestial Command, but firstly we will implement a galaxy map. We will try to implement this new feature as soon as possible, it should take not too much time. We will keep you informed.
For a long time, resource connectors had some fundamental flaws. Power connectors is not intuitive and hard to use. People said us a lot about this and we are thinking about how to improve it. So now we decided to completely redesign this system.
Resources connectors for fuel and building materials still intact, but power system is completely changed.
Now power systems works more like a real electricity. Almost all electrical devices was redesigned, so most of them can work even if you have not enough power, but efficiency also will be reduced.
Also, it is no longer necessary to have power storage on the ship. Electrical devices now can take energy right from the power sources.
All power consumers can be turned on / off in order to control power level.
Power storages now have limited speed of charge / discharge.
Also we added nice graph which displays energy consumption and production.
Rendering of radius circle of radar is greatly improved. If you have many ships with radars and no longer will looks like a bunch or chaotic circles.
Also you can disable radar circles, markers and HP bars
Completely new power system with much better functionality, usability and performance
Power monitor is fixed and improved. Added a graph which represents power production and consumption levels
Turrets now requires power in order to rotate
Added possibility to turn on \ off any electrical module from the power net
Most devices which consumes power now have different mechanics. They can work at insufficient level of power with lower efficiency.
Changed mechanics of energy shield. Now it have different recharge rate based on power level
Radar may work with insufficient power supply, but it will provide lower radius
Lasers now have different effectivity based on power level
Circles which represents radar range now combined with each other and no longer displays inner segments which greatly improves usability and comfort of radars
Space stations now have holiday appearance
Added possibility to switch on / off displaying of various GUI elements, such as: HP bars, radar markers, radar range
Magenta icons of radar no longer will appears over your own ships (these icons is useless for own ships)
Space stations and big ships will no longer became invisible as soon as at least one of their module exited your radar range. They will became invisible when they center of mass exited radar range
Fixed a bug with invisible ship inside a range of your radar which appears in some cases after you built a new module
Button "Duplicate ship" removed from sandbox menu because it caused a lot of bugs with the new ship. Instead of that, in order to duplicate a ship, you should use save load menu which is much more reliable.
Center of Mass and Center of Thrust icons no longer remains visible after active ship is destroyed
Now you can move the camera by middle mouse button after active ship is destroyed
On off state of mining laser now correctly saved and loaded
Besides that, Autumn sale launched today! Celestial Command now 20% off during sale.
List of random planets for background of main menu a bit changed
Now in Chinese, Japanese and Korean localizations, symbols should have correct, bigger size (let us know if it is still unreadable somewhere) (Known issue: After you selected a language, you need to restart the game in order to apply correct size of symbols)
Fixed an impossibility to change a language
Fixed an "Error" text instead of name of Engineering module Mk2
Fixed "Button" text instead of resolution menu in game options
Fixed a bug when actual build radius of shipyard is smaller than visible radius of yellow circle
It is already 3 years since the first version of Celestial Command was released in Steam! Many interesting things was added during the year.
When we started a development, we planned to finish the game much earlier, but since it is our first project and the project is technically very complex and unusual, this will take more time than we expected.
We are always learning, finding new methods and technologies, implementing the best one. We are continuing to develop the project and listen a community, your reports and suggestions is really helpful and allows us to achieve such results! Thanks you!
In this post we explained our thoughts about engineering modules and realistic robotic arms. But current engineering module is too small and also looks not exactly as we want. So we added a new module which is much more functional and looks better.
New main menu. Now each time when you start the game, you will see a beautiful planet (picked randomly)
A small bonus for those who would like to check out how the game looked 3 years ago. We added a possibility to launch the most first version of Celestial Command released in Steam.
In order to do that, open properties of Celestial Command, Beta tab and select "old version".
If you are interested, check this out. We was surprised how much the game changed during 3 years!
In this update we fixed some important bugs with radar, so a ships no longer will suddenly disappear right in range of your radar.
Besides that, stability of multiplayer now should be a bit better.
New options for world generator:
Maybe size of the changelog is not very impressive, most time was spent on analysis of magic bugs with a radars and improvements of core, and now this important feature should work as intended.
We will try to add more interesting features in the next updates.
Oh, and by the way! Celestial Command is 20% off until 1 November.
World: Added 4 new options for "generate world" window (amount of small asteroids, big asteroids, presence of pirates and NPC stations). It can be used to create a world with less amount of objects or almost an empty world in order to increase a performance
Network: When new client connecting to multiplayer game, the game will be paused and other users will see correspondent message (this should solve a various desync problems)
Network: Added notification on client side, when client lost connection to the server
Network: Added possibility to set server password (and now this feature works correctly)
GUI: Yellow circles in tutorial now have the same animation speed on any game speed
Fixed broken tutorial (it was accidentally broken at previous update)
Fixed important bug when some ships became invisible even inside a range of your radars
Invisible modules, debris and asteroids no longer can be highlighter or selected by cursor
Invisible engines no longer have visible visual effect and audio effect
When someone built a module to its invisible ship (which outside of range of your radar) the new module also will be invisible
Multiplayer available in the game for a long time, but due large amount of bugs and flaws it was practically unusable. So now we are decided finally to make it fully stable. There is quite a lot of work, so it will require several updates in order to achieve this goal.
Interesting fact, there is so much job because we ignored a multiplayer for a while, and many single player features just not adapted for the multiplayer. This fact confirms a necessarily to work on multiplayer right now, otherwise, later the multiplayer feature will be even more complex to complete.
And also a new feature, now you can specify target for turret using right click
Besides that, we believe that stable multiplayer will be capable to bring more popularity for the game.
So now we want to adapt 100% of single player feature for a multiplayer, and after that, every new feature will be developed both for single and multiplayer.
Note, quests and trading still not adapted for multiplayer, because we are still not sure how it should work in the single player. But we will work on it in the next few updates.
Added possibility to specify a target for each turret individually
Added visualization of target of turrets
Improved algorithms of target prediction for turrets, now turrets capable to track a modules of the ship which rotates
Reputation value now correctly loaded for connected user
Now you will see "Connecting" window when trying to connect to server from server list
Fixed an error on client side when module destroyed by collision
Connected users now will see proper rotations of turrets and rate of fire of weapons
Eject button of storage container now properly synced in multiplayer
Rocket fabricator now have correct input connectors
Asteroids in aerodynamic mode now contains all types of resources
Production modules now correctly works in multiplayer
Reputation reward when pirate was destroyed now correctly displayed for client (not for server)
When new module unlocked, client will see correct message
All users in multiplayer no longer will reset camera when one of them respawned on a new ship
Clients now should be able to spawn a starting ship on a high ping
Cargo containers now should be properly synced between users
Clients now can properly repair modules on NPC stations
Projectiles and its damage now should work correctly on client side
Hello! This update took more time than usual, but it brings a big number of important improvements and changes, and we finally ready to show the result!
Engineering drones replaced with robotic arms
Sometimes, people asked us about drones. Mining drones, combat drones etc. But we answered that drones does not fit the concept of this game. Let's explain it in more details.
Drones haves several conceptual problems: They do not consume fuel, but they have engines. This is a bit unrealistic. But the most important, drones can't be damaged or destroyed, because they are flying above the main ship (different Z level), and this is incorrect. Enemy should be able to shot down the drones if they are trying to damages its ship. It means that we should add another type of "anti-drone" weapons which will attack everything in radius like in tower-defense games. Also it will require to implement another systems for drones hitpoints, AI, or even storage if we are talking about mining drones.
As result, it will turn into completely new game about drones which will be built on top of existed ship about spaceships. And this is absolutely incorrect, because we already have all of such systems, storages, AI, damage control etc.
So according to our vision of game concept, engineering drones should looks like actual a small space ships with engineering equipment.
And this is what we done. Engineering module now is much smaller, no longer have "yellow drones" but equipped with robotic arms, which performs engineering tasks in small radius around itself. In our opinion it is much more interesting and also realistic.
So now it consumes only power, and should not require a fuel, it is more logical now. We trying to recreate something like a real robotic arm on ISS, which called CANADARM:
Or something similar to industrial robots on real factories:
Robotic arms is more beautiful during construction, and also it requires to build special engineering ships, which can be docked to main ship and perform engineering tasks when it will be needed!
Later we will add more various of engineering modules, with smaller and bigger arms and different radius, which will allows to build impressive space shipyards!
Added new very convenient notifications system, so you no longer will wandering why your engineering may don't want build something. Why engines does not works, and what situation with the food on the ship.
Another problem which was solved: "some resources can be obtained only via trading". And this is incorrect. Accord out vision of the game, everything should be craftable with help of NPC traders.
So we added production modules for ammo, rockets and gas collector which allows to gather xenon from planets!
When we started to work on new production modules, we realized another problem, production modules is too small.
In most open world survival games, users should build own "base" or "house" where you should bring resources, repair and upgrade something. So we are want to implement something similar.
So all production modules now it much more bigger and massive. It still can be moved using engines, which allows you to have movable base, which is very nice feature. But it will require much more fuel, so it will encourage you to build own space station as a base.
Info about modules in build list
This old flaw of the game finally fixed. Now you can explore characteristics of modules right in the build menu, without necessarily to build modules. It makes planning a much more convenient.
We added special technology of shadows, which implemented as screen space post-effect, as result it is capable to displays shadows for even the smallest details on the ship. The result is very nice! Looks at the difference before and after:
100% stable NPC stations in orbital mode
Yes! Stations no longer will fall on planet. Completely. Now stations located on fixed orbit. It required some research, but we managed to do it. By the way, aerodynamic mode helped to find a solution for orbital mode : )
Implementation of this technology allows new possibilities for orbital mode. We are started working on jump gates and experimental orbital assistant, but update already too big, so it will be added later.
Besides that, now when we are improved such important core features, we are going to continue to work on bugfixes.
Added screen-space shadows effect which provides shadows for a small details at close range, which significantly improves overall quality of graphics!
Now you can see characteristics of modules right in the build menu. Also this window is a bit redesigned (added yellow frame for better visibility)
Now, in orbital mode, NPC space stations and big asteroids located on fixed orbits! It means nothing can move them. Stations no longer will fall on planet and always will be 100% stable!
Added large asteroids in orbital mode (they are on fixed orbits and can be moved)
Completely new engineering module instead of previous one. Drones completely replaced with robotic arms, which is much more realistic and suits the game concept.
New module: Ammo fabricator (produces ammo for cannons)
New module: Rocket fabricator (produces ammo for rocket launchers)
New module: Gas collector which allows to gather xenon from the planets
Fuel fabricator now is much more massive
All production modules now have "cycle time", so it produce result once per N seconds
All production modes now can be toggle on and off
New module: Structural part which is useful to fit to these new production modules
Model of small command module is redesigned, so now it looks better if something placed in front of it
Added system of warning icons (for engineering module, engines, all types of weapons, power generator, solar panel, all production modules), which will inform you about lack of resources, wrong connections or something else. Which makes ship management much more convenient!
When your crew is out of food, you will see an icon above module, which will disappear once food will be supplied
Collisions from damage decreased in 5 times (modules no longer will explode even on light touch)
Added new build frames (but it is temporary and will be improved later)
Added "Hide all" button for appearing notifications
Engineering module no longer can repair or deconstruct itself, it should be done by another module
Cargo gate module moved to "Production" category
Production rate of fuel generator changed from 1.1 to 6
Masses of some modules rounded to more nice looking values
Icons of modules in build menu is re-renderered with different light preset
Power generator now is togglable
Power generator no longer consumes uranium when power storage is full
Power generator a bit redesigned in order to fix visual gaps between neighbor modules
Amount of resources in asteroids increased in 10 times (it was impossible to gather enough ice)
Fixed laser impact visual effect (sparks) in orbital mode
Now you can properly grab static asteroids with grabber
You no longer can sell turrets with attached weapon or storages with content (you will see a warning when you will try to do it)
Window with info of module no longer will flicker when you move cursor from one icon to another (in build menu)
Engines with "auto mode" off now will properly ignore WASD and stabilizer and can be controlled only by user defined hotkeys
You no longer receive small amount of resources when engineering bay deconstructed a module which was placed but was not constructed
Ion engines no longer able to work while their power connector is not connected
Modules which was built in sandbox mode no longer can be instantly deconstructed in non-sandbox mode
Planets no longer can be selected in main menu
In orbital mode, when game is loaded, camera focused on your ship (not on planet)
Fixed blocked control after game was saved from menu
Mounting points no longer should be broken after you detached a module during pause
Shield now have HP bars, so now it is much more convenient
And engineering bays now have visible radius of influence around it
Also we have a plan for significant changes and improvements in construction system. It will require to made some changes in the core systems, so it may take a bit more time than usual, or not, will see. But result should be very good!
Camera movement now a bit smoother
Added visible radius circle around your engineering bay which is visible when you selected it or when opened build menu
Radius circle of engineering bay and shipyard now looks a bit different (as a dotted line)
Shields now have HP bars which are visible when damaged
Unity engine updated to version 5.6.3
All localization files updated
Asteroids and enemy ship no longer can be spawned inside obstacles
Camera movement speed no longer depends on FPS, time scale, or pause
Camera no longer shaking during low FPS (which sometimes caused a crash with error)
Preview of modules no longer can block projectiles and lasers
Your engineering bay no longer can deconstruct asteroids, debris, rockets and modules which belongs to another faction, and also modules which are too far away
Fixed an error when shipyard range remains visible after repairing
Since in version 0.8 we implemented first version of aerodynamic mode, many people became very confused about this. Here is a few main complaints:
1. Developers decided to make the game casual. 2. Developers now have two games, so development time now will 2 times slower 3. Developers decided to focus on aerodynamic mode instead of orbital mode, so "say bye to realism", orbital mode is abandoned, "I bought the game for orbital mode", "fraud" etc. Sometimes it is a reason for negative reviews.
So we should say ALL OF THESE STATEMENTS IS ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT
Lets explain it in more details. First of all, we understand why you are confused. Because you never saw such revolutionary and unique approach anywhere.
The only place where you saw approach which MAY SEEMS SIMILAR (But NOT the same), it is many games from AAA developers, which are often makes its games more and more casual, by deleting features, in order to make development cheaper and obtain more sales.
But this is not the same what we are doing. It can be similar by the first glance, but it is illusion. We will never use such approach. For us, development of casual games is inacceptable. We are like to develop complex and hardcore games with deep mechanics. Development of casual games absolutely is not interested for us.
What we are doing, it is revolutionary and unique approach for development. Currently it will be hard to explain, since this approach will show its full power only after some time of development, but in a nutshell: "Single flexible core - various game rules".
Basically, we want to ask a simple question. Are we deleted orbital mode from the game? The answer is no. And we don’t plan to do it. So why you are thinking that we are abandoned orbital mode and going to create a casual game?
You may think that since we are focused on aerodynamic mode, the orbital mode now will be developed extremely slowly. But it is an another illusion.
Actually, since aerodynamic mode was implemented, development of orbital mode now significantly faster than before!
We created a simplified graph in order to show what we mean. Look:
Hard to believe? But this is true.
It first glance you may think "If developers now have 2 tasks instead of one, it means that each task now have only 50% development speed instead of 100%"
But this statement is not relevant if we are talking about development using our new approach.
There is several factors which makes it possible.
First, as we told above, a "single flexible core". You see, implementation of aerodynamic mode took very little efforts. Approximately 5% from the all development time, or even lower. All what we need to do it is just enable friction and change world generator a bit. That's it.
With the few small steps, we created basically another game which provides even more gameplay experience
Think about it, if we can spend only a 5% of development time and as result, achieve almost 100% of new gameplay experience, it will be very unwise to not do it.
Also there is another example: Some other game developers may create another game based on their previous game with very few changes, but the game will be sold on full price tag as a different game.
Instead of such approach, we just added "another game" for free (even not a FREE DLC), just a regular update which adds more content into the base game.
If you don't like aerodynamic mode - just ignore it. The speed of development of orbital mode is the same as before (and even faster) so nothing to worry about. But actually we recommend to check both modes, because each mode have its advantages and interesting gameplay aspects.
You may say "But you already developing aerodynamic mode for a two months, and orbital mode is abandoned" - and this statement will be incorrect
In the last few updates only a few small changes related specific to aerodynamic mode. Majority of changes it is huge improvements of core mechanics, optimization and bug fixes which is related to both modes.
Even if we will have 10 various game modes, these changes will be automatically applied to all game modes at once. "Single flexible core", remember?
But how it is possible that development of orbital mode now even faster than before?
It is because orbital world where everything in constant motion, it is very inconvenient environment for development.
It is hard to explain such specific technical aspects of game development, but in a nutshell "If entire world of the game is moving - it is very bad".
Actually Celestial Command it is basically the only game where entire world of the game is moving. It is completely violates standards of game development, what generates a lot of technical problems (most of them more or less solved during long and complex development), but still, testing of features and fixing of bugs could be very hard in orbital mode.
So we decided to implement aerodynamic mode and use it as a platforms for tests and fixes! And since there is single core, such fixed applied to both modes.
The result turned out extremely good! During a few months we made more improvements than during the year. And we continue to add even more fixes with each update, which are now quite often.
So, as you can see, everything is much more complex that it seems at first glance. We even didn't described all benefits from such approach, but the text already turned out too big. Anyway, later you will notice how much quality of the game was improved since version 0.8.