Battle for Polaris Roadmap

by on Aug.24, 2014, under Battle for Polaris

This post is to keep track of the “roadmap” of future features to implement for upcoming versions, as of the release of 0.1 Alpha. I revise this occasionally, removing old parts to keep it manageable, hence the bumps in the publish date.

For the latest release, see Battle for Polaris 0.21b.

For latest code, see Battle for Polaris on BitBucket.

Completed Milestones

0.22 – Refactor, Restructure and Update

  • Refactor of objects, entities and configuration system
  • Update of OGRE and CEGUI libraries to latest, and code changes to support this.
  • Removed some reliance on OGRE, e.g. singletons
  • Optimisations and improvements, particularly to aiming code
  • General code tidy-up

In-Progress Milestones

0.23 – Logging, AI and small Gameplay improvements

  • Simple logging system with switchable labels and levels, just to console (or Windows debug output) now
  •  Improvements to dogfight AI, using improved logging
    • Debug issues with target selection and retreating appearing incorrect, such as a group of ships sometimes all picking the same target.
    • Also better evasive/retreat behaviours; attempt lateral movement and shaking the player off their tail, rather than just flying away and wiggling a bit.
  • Tweaks to gameplay. Longer ranges, movement, scale and weapon tweaks, and provide some chance of skill in avoiding shots.
  • Convincing random inaccuracy to AI for a fairer challenge.
  • Wave survival mode for the simulator, instead of having to jump from sector to sector.
  • Tweaks to particle effects.
  • Add particle effects to vertical/lateral thrusters.

Ongoing – Refactors and Cross-Platform

This is kind of a side-milestone for project and code improvements that don’t involve actual game content or functionality. I’m keeping this list separate, since I am trying to alternate between this utility/infrastructure work and the work that makes the game itself better.

  • CMake project files.
  • Linux build and development environment.
  • Ongoing phasing out of direct use of OGRE code for utilities such as logging and configuration.
  • Game Engine Refactor – use common engine framework between BfP, BendBall, and future projects.
    • Single componentised interface for rendering, main loop and events to OGRE/OIS/CEGUI
    • Objective is to fully decouple my code from these dependencies, so that they can eventually be easily switchable to alternatives.

Planned Milestones

0.3 – AI (Intermediate) and RTS Gameplay

  • RTS gameplay improvements
    • Allow ships to be moved to points, rather than just circling objects. New representation of the world is needed for the AI to handle this.
    • Alterations to how ships move, in terms of speed, and weapon range/effectiveness, to allow for a more tactical game of ship positioning and flanking.
    • Terrain types (e.g. dust clouds) with bonuses.
    • Pathfinding system that takes advantage of terrain and flanking.
  • AI debug draw system – visuals for AI ship and strategic state, motion, targeting/aiming… (needs design)
  • Tweaks and improvements of the ship and group AI.
    • Better decision-making, using weighted-randomness. Fixes to how (and where) ships choose to retreat and choose their targets.
    • Type-specific collision avoidance – e.g. minor projectiles only dodged in Evasive/Passive stances.
    • Use above system also for friendly fire avoidance.
    • AI can strafe to dodge and adopt formation more quickly.
    • AI can select weapon groups.
    • Tweaks and improvements to target selection.
    • More dynamic dogfighting AI
  • Tweaks and improvements of the strategic AI
    • Better action evaluation for purchasing – e.g. last-ditch purchasing, saving up
    • Add small random elements into pre-set AI
    • Improve, tweak and verify the abstract state.
    • Other improvements? (TBC)

0.4 – Visuals & Content

  • Better-looking ship models – more variety.
  • Better-looking particle effects.
  • Better and more dynamic space backgrounds.
  • Better collision detection (use of hirerarchical bounding volumes for ships, stations, etc)
  • New ship types and weapon types; redesign of maps; gameplay balancing.
  • Sphere with ripple effect (shader) for ship shields on projectile impact.
  • Rotating planets and bodies with atmospheres.
  • A smaller version of the interface font.

0.5 Onwards (TBC)

  • 3D sound and background music
  • Dynamic group creation and arbitrary move orders via the mouse
  • More maps and scenarios; dynamic map layout & label positioning (instead of using config values)
  • Map editor mode
  • Automatic map generator
  • Story mode (full-featured mission system; communications/conversation system; docking; saving)
  • Predictive and adaptive strategic AI, achieved by finishing, testing and tweaking the Logic Engine
  • Networked multiplayer mode
  • First-person POV
  • VR (Oculus Rift) support

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