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Sector53 Development Log 6

Sector53 Development Log 6

Version 1.23.1 of Sector53 our space based, asteroid mining game based on the old Amiga title “K240”, has now been released to our test team for both PC and Mac.


This brings a number of great updates moving it closer to a releasable game!


AI Changes:
Effort on this version has focused on getting the AI a little bit more sensible in terms of a playable enemy.
I've tweaked the attack patterns so they are not quite so frequent or aggressive as it was near impossible to actual survive without keeping a fleet of ships to protect yourself.
The AI now also choses an asteroid you own at random to attack instead of just your first asteroid. This will change later to be more targeted (instead of just any old random one), but for now this works much better.


Ship Enhancements:
Ship movement at asteroids is also slightly improved, we updated in a recent post about this, but further enhanced it.
The ships now move up and down as well as on the x and z axis so the movement is a lot smoother.
This also extends to the building of ships, we now have a ship yard that they come out of and fly up to orbit from.


Combat Updates:
Ships before attacked only 4 times per day, which wasn't greatly effective, however ok for performance reasons.
Not being overly happy with how the ship to ship combat worked, I have changed it to be more frequent firing but with less impact on hitting a target. This was it is a little less instant ship death on arriving at an enemy asteroid.
So the calculations now happen more like 10 times per day instead. These calculations have to be done regardless of if you are on the screen or not, for example when your ships are at 3 different asteroids all attacking at the same time.


Performance Updates:
With the above increase to ship calculations, I did notice a performance issue.
Thus a lot of updates to buildings shadows and other material effects have been optimised to increase frame rates when at an asteroid. There had been a number of effects and graphical elements on each building that are a bit overkill anyway, so these got removed as they don't have any drastic impact on appearance, but do provide a huge performance gain.


Version 1.23.2 will start development now, trying to focus more on the AI and story line to start bringing the gameplay together with the actual story, as well as being a more playable game against the AI.


If you want to play the game now, you can access the Alpha build here:


Written by Ford Hollett on the 4/6/2021


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