Hello! We decided to make the next update a bigger than usual. Our main goals for the next update - create something which may be called "addictive gameplay" and also, make the game for new players as simple as possible.
We want to solve a problems which are described in negative reviews on store page. Most negative reviews related to the lack of tutorial, so detailed interactive tutorial will be added in the next update.
Also some people can't understand where is a "single-player" mode, so we added two different buttons in the main menu, as well as "Tutorial" button which launches the game immediately.
That is good for players who want to launch the game and jump in action immediately which is seems very important.
Also, some authors of negative reviews think that Celestial Command supposed to be a fully realistic orbital simulator with complex planing of "Delta V" and hardcore orbital maneuvering. But it is not. Celestial Command designed to be a space game with very basic orbital mechanics and simple navigation.So good interactive tutorial will explain that "orbital planning tools" is not necessary for gameplay and tutorial will explain how to move the ship without it.
Another main issue which described in negative reviews - a lack of content / possibilities.
There is interesting situation with this issue. Actually it is an illusion. The game may have a lot of possibilities, but until the game have only sandbox mode and everything is available right from the start - you may think that there is not too much to do in this game. And the game will not fascinate most players for a long time.
This rule works almost for most games. Almost all popular games are successful due the "feel of progression". If a player will gather resources and perform tasks to achieve the more better and better abilities and items - the game will seems more interesting than a pure sandbox mode.
For example, the simple game without complex mechanics but with well designed "sense of progression" most likely will be much more successful and attractive than a game with a lot of complex features, but only sandbox mode without any sense of progression.
So this is an important problem of Celestial Command and we are going to solve it in the next update. In order to do it, we plan to make new trading system, AI, new distribution of resources in asteroids, new prices for all modules etc.
Of course, it does not means that we will not to add new things. A lot of new things will be done in the next update. For example, we already redesigned trading system significantly. Current trading system is terrible, even we are not always understand how to use it :) But the new trading system have much more comfortable interface and much easier to use.
Also, in order to make trading more intresing, we should increase an amount of space stations in the system. But current space station have very significant impact on performance due its size (it contains a lot of modules). So in order to increase amount of space station, we decided to create completely new modules designed for space stations!
Such space stations not only looks epic, but also have much better performance than previous space stations which allows us to add a lot more station in the system with acceptable performance. For example, this world with 12 stations runs on 90 FPS and it still can be optimized.
Usually we prefer to split such a big updates into several smaller updates. But in this case, we want to release it only when we will be sure that this next update will be really interesting and it will guarantee that after the next update, much more people will be satisfied with the game.
However periodically we will inform your about development and upload test versions in test branch. If you don't want to miss those test updates, please join our Discord chat where we will inform you when new test update will be uploaded.
Update 0.78 Alpha - Public servers and new modules
Public servers! Yay!
It was quite a hard task to understand how to work with Steam API. And we still did not understand it completely. For example, you still can't join a friend's game by pressing "Join game" in Steam chat. However, we managed to figure out how to create global servers using Steam master server and now you can pick server from the list and join it!
4 new modules and new starting ship.
New modules makes maneuvering engines a bit smaller and new cargo container have additional mounting points, as result, starting ship now is much more customizable. Blue containers indicates possible mounting points.
New small engines with nice looking blue effect.
Actually, it is not very realistically, if each engine will hve its own visual effect, because in real world, the color and the type of the flame depends mostly on type of fuel and oxidiser. But we decided to make this simplification in order to achive more diverse visual effect
Newly added ingame debug console
New radar icons
Pistons and rotors in multiplayer works surprisingly well!
Added public servers!
"Join multiplayer" GUI has been changed. Added separated buttons for server list and direct IP connection
Added GUI window with servers and possibility to sort a list by name, players or ping
Added notification when client disconnected from a server
Added 4 new modules (2 engines, 1 structural component, and 1 cargo container)
Starting ship is redesigned, now it have additional mounting points and more possibilities for further customization
Radar now displays debris with different icon so not you can distinguish debris from neutral modules. Also, player-owned ships marked with magenta color, which is usefull to identify others players in multiplayer.
Added in-game debug console (it can be opened by ~ key or via button in sandbox menu) which can be useful for bug reporting
Now icons of modules in build menu generated automatically (previously it was manually created screenshot), as result, now all icons have correct looking and the same visual style
Buttons in build menu rearranged in order to match correct category (rocket launcher in weapons, shipyard in production, etc.) also added two new categories
Weapons can be installed on turrets using shift + click (the same way as regular modules)
Due request, "Duplicate ship" button returned back in sandbox menu. Now it a bit improved and uses the same "check free space" method as a ship loader.
Added option to invert mouse axis for camera control
Optimization: Huge performance improvements for module mounting points, it no longer cause extremely low FPS when enabled near a radar or turrets
Audio: Added low frequency hum for the star (it can be heard at very close range)
GUI: "Rename ship" window a bit redesigned
GUI: Rendering of selection box is a bit optimized and improved (it no longer have spiky corners)
When the game launched, the camera already located in correct position and does not move
Star glow effect no longer have visual noticeable rectangle borders
Star glow effect now have correct orientation at close range
Now AI stations have infinite energy for its modules and weapons
AI stations still have infinite fuel even after game was loaded
"Getting started" window no longer closes immediately right after you pressed "don't show again"
"Rename ship" window is fixed (it was accidentally broken at previous update)
"Direct solar panels" button of command module now works properly
Fixed incorrect bounds of solar panels and lasers (visible blue frame was larger than actual model)
At the current stage the game have quite a lot critical bugs and various flaws which interfere you to fully enjoy the game.
Seems like at this points we no longer should add any new big features, at first, we need to fix all critical bugs, issues of usability and polish already existed features.
Also seems like stable multiplayer with public servers could be very important feature which may brings a lot of new players to the community, so we decided to make multiplayer fully stable and reliable before to develop any new big features.
So the next few updates will be directed mostly on fixes and small improvements.
Rotors and pistons now works in multiplayer
Added visual fill indicators for power storage and small cargo container
AI stations now have infinity amount of fuel and energy for its engines and weapons, it allows them to keep their orbits for a longer time and now they are more stable (however not 100% stable yet)
Splash damage of rocket is temporarily removed, because it caused undesired behaviour when hit shield or another rocket . Now rocket causes 100 damage to single target. Later splash damage will be improved and returned back.
Added button "Open folder" in "Saved ships" window which opens a folder with ships using file explorer
Saved ship no longer can be placed inside another ship. It checks for some free space in order to load a ship
"Duplicate selected ship" button has been removed from the sandbox menu, because its functionality already replaced with ship save/load manager
Added sandbox button " Set faction to mine" which allows to obtain an ownership o any ship. Can be useful if you loaded a world of another player or in order to debug AI stations
Laser weapons works again
Turrets now can be controlled when located on the second part of rotor or piston
Now a name of world file may contain a dots
It is no longer possible to buy modules from shipyard outside of shipyard area
Fixed rendering issues of some bold and italic style fonts
Fixed a crash on quit (The game no longer offended when you close it)
"Auto connect" button of Command Module now works correctly for power connectors
If you enabled resource connectors and storage icons and if you will start dragging resource icon from one container to another - you no longer will grab resource connector which located under storage icon
It was very complex task and it took much more time than we expected, but hope you will like these new modules. Besides that, we gain extremely important experience while developed this feature.
The change log may seem quite small, as for 2-month update, however the first 4 items in the list was very hard to implement.
The reason, why it took so long, because earlier the architecture of the game does not suppose to have ships which consist from more than 1 physical object. Earlier 1 ship = 1 physical object, and for example, if two containers belong to the same physical object - it means they belong to the same ship and you may transfer cargo between them, control them, connect its connectors to each other etc.
But now, second parts of rotors and pistons and everything what attached to it - it is another physical object. So the ship which have one rotor or piston now consist from 2 physical objects, however the previous architecture thought that it is two different ships, as result, you cannot transfer or setup anything between those two parts. You can't even save entire ship, instead, it will save only selected part.
Another complex task which was solved it is find a way how to update physical joints when a ship losses its modules and splits on smaller parts.
So, in order to solve those problems, we made a lot of changes in many key systems, and now it works!
Also, the situation with docking port was similar with rotors and pistons. As result, now when you going to save specific ship, it will be saved and loaded with all docked ships. It may be useful for large carriers.
Another important feature, now you can build docking port right on top of existed docking port. So now it is much more convenient to build new ships.
However, despite we solved a lot of main bugs, there is still a lot of them. The system is too complex to solve all bugs at once. Besides, we worked on this update too long, time to release it when it became stable.
Icons changes its size depending on zoom factor
Also, the new system so complex, so we don't have a time to adapt new system for multiplayer. So, rotor and pistons completely does not works for multiplayer and probably causes bugs.Also, since we made many changes in core systems, previously saved files is not supported.
Added rotor module
Added piston module
Docking port can be build to existed docking port (now it is much more comfortable way to build new ships)
Now ships can be saved with all docked ships (useful if you created large carrier)
Now default AI stations placed by the save load system (their have own file in "NPS" folder and actually you can replace them if you want), also now it is much easier for us to design new AI stations and ships.
AI shipyard stations is redesigned
AI enemy ship is redesigned
Small ballistic cannon now have burst fire
Unity Engine updated to version 5.5
Reaction wheel have two additional mounting points
Now ship files contains information about date, time and version when this file was saved. This information is invisible (will be added on GUI later) but allows to notify you when file from previous version no longer supported.
The game will warn you if you will try to load ship file which was saved before version 0.77
Optimization: Now ships recalculates its mass only one time per second, it significantly improves performance, especially for large ships.
Optimization: Displaying of mounting points no longer cause significant FPS drop
Optimization: Slightly better performance when a ship attached or detached a module
Optimization: Better performance for mining laser during mining
Optimization: Better rendering performance of ships icons
GUI: Now "Show HP" button displays hit points only for damaged modules
GUI: Better rendering for lines of waypoints and engineering bay task list (thanks to Unity 5.5)
GUI: Now Storage Icons changes its size depend on zoom
GUI: Added DPS values for all cannons
GUI: Added "Don't show again" button to "Getting started" window
GUI: Orbital Parameters window now appears in right bottom corner on the screen (not somewhere in the center of the screen)
GUI: Icons of modules in the build menu now have more minimalistic design
GUI: Added icons on "Language" button
Localization: Added Traditional Chinese language
Localization: Added Japan language
Localization: Language files updated, added new text lines for all newly added texts
If a star system was saved with different factors (star mass, engine thrust etc.) it will be loaded with the same factors.
Laser parameter "Max thrust" renamed to "Max range"
Crew members no longer complains when you move food from one container to another
Crew members no longer can consume food from detached container
Save/load of game settings now works properly
You no longer can buy modules from shipyard while preview located outside of shipyard
Today, 21 November 2016, our project already 2 years in the Steam! We are very grateful that you are with us. Thank to your support, the game becomes better and better. We want to compare some screenshots from today and one year old to show a result.
Hello! Mainly this update directed on GUI improvements and overall usability. We gathered your suggestion from the forum and implemented some of them.
New effect for warp drive
Color of trajectory represents its status
High accuracy laser turrets
New dialogue windows for ship save-loader
Added new visual effects for warp drive (including effect after arrival at destination point)
Turrets now have 100% accuracy, so now it will be directed accurately at desired target even for fast moving target or in case of fast angular velocity of the ship. As result, automatic turrets and NPC stations is capable to destroy incoming debris and rockets with high accuracy.
Improved GUI of color picker (added bar with selected color), added customizable color presets which saves between game sessions, added possibility to pick color from existed module, added possibility to automatically paint module after construction.
Added a lot of new icons on interface buttons instead of texts, so now interface looks much more convenient, besides it solve a problem of localization if translated texts is too long to fit a button.
The design of build menu has been improved
Usability ship save-loader is greatly improved. Now it has convenient dialogue windows with various options (pick name, rename, overwrite, etc.)
Now a trajectory of the orbit changes its color according to its status (stable, descending, escaping)
Symbols "A" and "P" returned back on apoapsis and periapsis icons.
Language files updated, added new text lines for all newly added texts
Added button/link to Discord chat in main menu
Lasers no longer can hit invisible waypoints
You no longer can control your ship while editing a text in any input field. It worked before, but now it more reliable and solve the problem when you can't control your ship while chat is open, but text field is hidden.
The ship browser still will be improved to have better usability. For example, more convenient way to override existed files and possibility to update screenshot of the saved ship, but it will be slightly later.
Added possibility to save ships to external files and load again. This feature also works for multiplayer since ship data can be transmitted to all connected users.
The Start\Splash screen style was changed to design with dark background (light background was too bright)
Linux: Thanks to our Linux testers, we found why the game wont start on Linux. Turned out the problem in anti-aliasing, for some reason Linux can't handle it. We disabled AA for Linux and now Linux builds works again. Later we will try to figure out how to return back AA for Linux, but it is not a priority for now.