Not quite sure how, but our Twenty-thirteen theme for WordPress died at some point. And our domain registrar forwards disappeared. When Robert emailed me saying the site looked down, it took me some time to figure out what happened, but we are back up. We are now on the Twenty-Seventeen theme so things may look a bit different, but we are back up…
OK, it’s official, after literally years of work, Solar Trader is now officially feature complete and in Beta release.
Go to the Solar Trader page and you can download a copy for yourself. If you do, please let us know what you think, including any bug reports.
We are now in the high 1.9x version numbers. I think version 2.0 may be our next Alpha code release – or dare I suggest it, perhaps even our first Beta?
If you can’t wait, check out the Solar Trader page for the original alpha release – version 1.3, and a playable fight demo. That demo is now fully integrated into the main game.
Code was turned back over to Robert. he had a number of fixes queued up that he is working on now.
Meanwhile, I’ll investigate how to pull some of my code that didn’t work as well as I’d hoped (Quiet mode – to shush interplanetary Mao Corp ships on takeoff / out of gas and landing)
I was typing gridsims into google today to get to our site and got the helpful auto completion hits and found http://www.cloudbus.org/gridsim/doc/faq.txt No relation to our stuff here. Curious though…
And everywhere else. I didn’t hit my goal of a playable beta by end of year, but work continues. Robert has been playtesting and accumulating a list of bugs to fix. Meanwhile, I’m getting space encounters to work.
Basics are in. MaoCorp freighters appear frequently flying on their own freight missions. Once in a while, they’ll pop out near you. Occasionally even a free trader will fly by too. Orbital guard, assassins all are included and can show up. And as of the last weekend, Rescue tugs can now be called out. Now if you are in deep space and deep other stuff, you can call for help!!! Still needs some work, but it’s getting closer.
Finally, I found and fixed some navigation errors, so all these non-player ships fly more intelligently.
With all the bugs to be fixed, I’m not sure when we’ll be ready with a playable Beta to distribute, but I hope to have my stuff done enough to hand back to Robert by the end of January at the latest.
I finally convinced Robert to stop coding and give me control. He’s finished the mini-games (bomb wire-cut game and gambling). And added a host of bar room encounters. And then he had to flesh out (snicker) the brothels, adding the parlor options and all the fun and games there. But wait, that wasn’t enough, he had to shake the screen during a burn.
So now it’s my turn. I just finished coding the mission start for space encounters. So now, if an event triggers for an encounter with another Free Trader, the Orbital Guard, or any other ship (or space encounter). The best part is that with the new encounter approach, adding new space encounters is easy. Really easy. Adding a comet or wreck or asteroid cluster is just adding some entries in the table.
Next, will be testing my code for starting encounters, then more testing of my older navigation code (so other ships can fly somewhat intelligently towards their targets), and then adding more code for mission actions – So that in addition to freighters delivering cargo (already coded / tested) other missions like escort, attack, rescue can be run…
Just to be clear, it’s not a promise, nor commitment, nor anything like that – BUT I do have a goal, or perhaps a target of getting a version of Solar Trade solid enough for the next Beta release by year end.
This means Robert has to finish coding his mini games, I have to code space encounters, and we both have to get some test & play test time on the game.
And yes, my public posting of this is part of my kick myself in the tail to get it done.
Check back here on January 1 and see how we did.
Just to keep folks here in the loop – we (by which I mean Robert) has been coding like mad.
Remember the comment in the last update about the bomb? Well rather than a behind the scenes roll and an announced outcome, there will now be a new mini game to give you a chance to defuse the bomb. Are you going to cut the green wire or red? Cut the correct wire and the bomb is defused. Cut the wrong one and boom!!!
Once that mini game was created, gambling seemed too pale, so another mini game “Spacejack” was added. It’s a simpler version of blackjack – but watch out for cheats. Actually if you are daring, you can try cheating too – but folks get upset if they catch you.
Having created a mini game for gambling, a bunch of new gambling encounters were added to the tables to allow for different skill level opponents. In an entirely luck / odds driven game why worry about skill? Because that’s how good folks are at cheating and detecting cheating.
Finally, if we have these mini games, perhaps combat encounters should get more interesting too. Another mini game? Probably. Keep watching this space to see more.
I originally posted this as a comment on the Solar Trader page, but it occurred to me this is worthy of an actual official blog post.
Despite my delays in completing my code, Robert hung in there and recently we made a couple huge steps forward. Since the first Alpha version we posted a year ago, here are some of the very cool things added.
1. Encounters have been dramatically enhanced – requiring a refactoring of that code.
2. Encounter refactoring has been completed
3. Additional encounters have now been added – since they are now much easier to add.
4. Background music added
5. Indicator lights
6. Added shipboard rats, cats, fires, cigarette smoking, on ships, as well as cats
7. Updated generate location code (better placement of space encounters)
8. Assorted bug fixes
1. Update / Clean up space encounters with new encounter coding approach
2. Test, Test, Test – make sure version is stable.
3. Keep adding additional encounters / items / etc. as we think of more clever things to play with.
4. Include bombs (MaoCorp agents may attach a bomb to your ship if you pose a big threat to them) with its own mini-game.
5. Release next Alpha copy here for folks to do more play testing.