Wow--first off I want to apologize for the lack of news recently. Quite honestly there hasn't been as much progress as I'd hoped. I've been waiting for a while on a new update for the engine I'm using which fixes some issues that I HAD to have corrected in order to progress. In the meantime, I've been working on various bits of WIP art in order to support the upcoming work.
I'm happy to say the update is ANY day now, so I've been able to get some code in place in order to support the new stuff. I have some new images of that work as well as some info to go with. Again, please keep in mind that this art only took me days to model and texture--it's very much placeholder art, but not altogether terrible
These first two shots show me "standing" inside the hangar of a station in First-person mode (you can craw, crouch, walk, run, lean, etc., not useful now, but later when breaching actions are added they'll come in handy
). You can see my ship docked in the hangar, and the station is in orbit around the planet beyond. In the second shot you can see I'm looking at a hotspot on my ship (that I have to get so close is a limitation caused by a soon to be fixed engine bug) that gives me an option to enter the cockpit directly. If I press the FPS "action" key when this is displayed I get moved from the hangar into the cockpit, and I'm free to start working the controls.
The tricky part to all this was keeping everything synced up as you move from one interior to the other.
A note about the planet--it is pseudo-dynamically created based on its type. What happens is that the sim looks at each planet by type and grabs one of a few planetary shaders that I developed. It mixes and matches liquid, terrain, vegetation, and cloud maps based on varying factors. Each planet is quite unique, and obviously the better the textures get the better the end result will be (and modders will be able to add new textures easily to expand the variety). Also of interest is that on the dark side you can see city lights if the planet is inhabited, and there are lightening flashes within storm clouds (which is pretty cool really).
The shot below I just quickly grabbed after I advanced time by about 8 months when I was testing synchronization. You can see the star off in the distance, as well as one of the moons of the planet you're orbiting. It did highlight a minor bug with the star's glare I need to fix
Here's one last shot showing the hangar and the docked ship. If you look out of the portal you can see the exterior of another "arm" of the station I'm on. Something to note here is the orange stripe--the color is player definable. Later, when elite-style play is added it'll be possible to buy stations and such. You'll be able to personalize them by changing color, logos, names and identity numbers. This all works right now. Even though that mode won't be in the initial release you can see that I'm thinking ahead and coding now for its integration...
At the moment I'm working on (S)pace (T)raffice (C)ontrol logic that gives you clearance to start engines, and then to take off (the logic for landing is already done). So, by the end of this milestone I'll be able to walk up to my ship, get in, start it, get clearance, take off, land, and then get back out. All of this is EXTREMELY fundamental elements to overall game play. When that is all done I'll put up another vid showing all this in action.
The goal of the upcoming milestone will be to walk to other parts of the station (with working doors, elevators, etc) as well as actually "killing" an enemy ship (very close to this already). By Christmas all of the essential elements will be in place to begin building gameplay around...
And that's about it--there may be a BIT more detailed info over at my site ( http://www.fingerscrossedinteractive.com
) in the developer's blog, and the "development news" of the forums, but I think I covered the major points here