Booster Z-Frame Alpha 54 release

Posted on 2015-01-08 20:49 by Martin
Alpha 54 can probably be summarized as heavy polish on the visuals and lot's of new enemy ship types. Not to mention you can change your ship at any point in the game, if you have two crystals available!

Here's the huge list of things added/fixed/modified etc...

  • Added a lot more detail to the star backgrounds. Randomly selecting a background texture, which will also show at a random angle. And three separate parallax layers to give that feeling of depth.
  • Added parallax compensation to spawn planets or stars on a parallax scrolling layer, to properly position the GlobalLight and angle the PlanetShade
  • Added a local variable BG0, on the World event sheet to randomly select a random BG0stars background
  • Added a nebula spawn variable, making it possible to set a minimum worldNum for it to be allowed to spawn
  • Added more variety to planetary systems:
    • Three separate parallax layers to spawn planets on, the closest one visually will have planets you can get to. Satellites, Stores or Defense systems could spawn at those planets
    • Stars will now either spawn close or in the distance, you can collect Dust from these stars. If a Star spawns on the far side, they are purely visual
    • Gas Giants will also either spawn close or in the distance, you can also collect dust from these planets. This will be slower then from a star, but also less dangerous due to lower radiation. The same holds true for Gas Giants, they are purely visual if they spawn on the far side of the planetary system
  • Added a frame rate (FPS) display
  • Added HUD icons, these are passive scanner array icons. Indicating the location of Stars, Planets and Gas Giants on Layer "BG3", which are accessible for various things. Active scanner array icons will show more information about the surrounding area, however turning on the scanner array also reveals your location to everything in the sector
  • Added Dust back to the HUD, it's now a resource that will have a purpose
  • Added Rings to be used for planets. They are quite rare, a planet with rings will have more Dust. They are also notorious for confusing your HUD's active scanner. Showing up as an unnatural object, due to the rather strong radio emissions they tend to emit
  • Added a speed indicator at the top of the HUD
  • Added new Keyboard and Mouse controls and after various tweaks and fiddling with values I think I've got the feel just right. These give the player a lot more control compared to the Touch based ones, which I'll keep around for people who want to use it instead for whatever reason.
  • Added a way to change your ship type ingame, by default it requires two crystals. Which will be consumed when you change the ship. At the bottom right on the HUD there is a new ship statistics sprite, you can scroll through the ship types using the KBshiptype key (default c). You have to press and hold for about half a second to confirm your choice.
  • Added a light fade effect to background objects, when a non emissive object like a rock overlaps a BG0/BG1 planet or sun
  • Added a ship explosion to the player ship death sequence and moved the previous spiky shield effect to when you change the shiptype
  • Added random enemy radio chatter (phase 1)
  • Added deflection shields on the bigger enemy ships. It depends on the player ship type and weapons module level, how many bullets are deflected
  • Added a shield effect and deflection sound on the purple faction ships.
  • Added enemy ship spawning into various stand alone functions, this way the code is a lot cleaner and adding more ships is much easier and faster
  • Added a missile corvette, minelayer corvette, missile frigate and suicide drone corvette, the drones also has a homing sound to imply they are dangerous
  • Added explosions effect and sound for when turrets on frigates catch on fire
  • Added engine trails to ships and missiles
  • Added an on spawn angle, enemy ships will now angle towards the player ship when spawning.

  • Changed the Global variable BuildVersion to use the projectname and project version as value
  • Changed the Hyperspace opening sequence, the countdown won't start immediately after pressing the Hyperspace button. The Hyperspace start sound has been lengthened a bit to compensate for the delay.
  • Changed the shadow layers to 90% opacity so you can see a bit further into the darkness. The darkness effect is still there, but now the scenery look a bit nicer. The shadow layers for Nebulas is still at 99% opacity
  • Changed the layout size from 3600x3600 to 6400x6400. This extra space gives the spawner a bit more room to work with to spawn bigger objects like stars and black holes. This probably fixed an issue with the initial scan log not being able to detect one of the bigger objects, simply because it was still waiting for room to spawn.
  • Changed the Suns to Stars (instance name)
  • Changed the location of the "jumps: x" text, it is now located at the top of the screen next to the resource indicators
  • Changed the save function during an active Hyperspace window into the next world, it's now disabled
  • Changed the attack frigate. It will now shoot a beam based weapon from it's main barrel and bullets from the secondary barrels. As such the prite has been modified as well, it's bigger and more menacing looking
  • Changed black holes, they now attract you from anywhere in the sector. This force gets stronger the closer you get to it and has a point of no return around the event horizon.
  • Changed the offscreen angle towards player behavior of enemy ships. When the player is detected the enemy ships will gradually rotate towards the player's position, instead of instantly setting their angle. This negates the strange looking instant flip which happened when going offscreen.

  • Fixed a bug where some bullets were being destroyed way too slowly, after hitting an enemy ship. It took around 10 seconds, which is now fixed and only around 1 second (using the bullet opacity effect)
  • Fixed a bug when a the black hole spawner was set to spawn black holes before the allowed WorldNum, while not actually being able to spawn them. Causing a potential star or enemy ships to not spawn either. Ending up with a rather empty sector.
  • Fixed an issue where if you are destroyed by a black hole and go back to the main screen, the black hole loop sound kept playing
  • Fixed the GlobalLight sprite, the soft edge was being cut off due to the size of the sprite. Causing hard edged lightsources in some cases for stars and planets
  • Fixed the HUDArrow for black holes to now properly show the location from the HUD layer, using the parallax conversion method of coordinates instead of jerryrigging it to the shadow layer
  • Fixed the resolution of some planets not having the correct ratio for the planet shadow to properly align and increased the resolution of the shadow sprite. In some cases it had to be "uprezzed" to about 600%, causing pixelation
  • Fixed an issue with turrets blowing up on ships, causing spawned bullets to shrink down to 0x0 pixels.
  • Fixed bulletlights not being pinned to the ship shield or ship barrier when it hits the player ship. Causing random flashing orbs in space, while those random flashing orbs should be on the player ship

  • Separated Smaller planets and Gas Giants into their own animation
  • Separated the stars into two animations, close stars (Default) and BGstars

Booster Z-Frame Alpha 54 Sneak Peek screenshot

Posted on 2014-12-22 02:46 by Martin
The next alpha build really gives the game a polished look what with loads more details in the backgrounds, more planet types and such. I thought it would be fun to release a sneak peek at the patch list partially with the game running in the background showing a small part of the newly improved graphics!

Booster Z-Frame Animated Gif Showcase Build 54

Posted on 2014-12-15 04:39 by Martin
Some graphical improvements and new parallax layered content, the closest layer visually will be home to interactive objects/planets/satellites etc...

Action Soup Studios developer Interview - Booster Z-Frame

Posted on 2014-12-07 21:48 by Martin
Tomorrow, Action Soup Studios will do an interview for Booster Z-Frame during a Livestream at 12/8/2014 at 1:30pm Pacific Standard Time

We'll be looking into Alpha 53, be sure to tune in to see the game in action and get the first look behind the scenes of EXU Games and the future plans of Booster Z-Frame's development. You can use the youtube player below as a countdown timer

Booster Z-Frame Alpha 53 release

Posted on 2014-12-07 21:42 by Martin
This patch is probably the biggest update ever, the patch notes also reflect this. The game now has a lot more visuals and is als a lot more optimised in terms of HUD.

  • Shadow Layer @ 99% Opacity, you can now see a tiny bit into the darkness
  • Added Bulge 200/10 to BG1 Layer
  • Added shake effect for rocks and ship destruction
  • Added HyperSpace window effect for entering Hyperspace and exiting Hyperspace into a sector. With the new detection system, the Hyperspace exit alerts everyone in the sector to you presence, you have to move after exiting if you want to avoid combat. Once other ships are able to jump into your sector as well (using the Hyperspace exit effect), you are also alerted to the location of those ships
  • Added Various Hyperspace sounds (start, enter, abort, countdown etc...)
  • Added Explosion effect
  • Added Fire, Smoke and Sparks Particle systems, these will be used to indicate ship damage, they will catch on fire when heavily damaged
  • Added locational damage for frigates. You could already shoot and destroy the turrets, but now once they are gone the ship will catch on fire and eventually explode
  • Added angle based death for ships, when they catch on fire they will lose control and eventually explode
  • Added environmental damage to the player and enemy ships, when near a sun or black hole
  • Added a layoutzoom based on current Barrier level. Higher levels zoom out further, so you can see more of the world (scales 0.7, 0.85 and 1.0)
  • Added Rocks to turret targets for turrets on frigates, they will now shoot at rocks if they come close to the ship
  • Added volumeSFX, volumeBGM, volumeVOX and volumeCHT. These variables are used to make it possible to separate certain sound effects for group based volume control
  • Added a temporary capital ship spawn on world/jump 13 for demonstrational purposes
  • Added a menu with a back button and volume sliders for Sound Effects, Music, VOX and Radio chatter

  • The game now has a detection system, enemy ships will detect and relay your location and your power output increases the range in which you can be detected exponentially
  • Modified the HUD
    • Added a detection indicator eye, which goes from 10%-100% opacity, from aquamarine to yellow to red. Indicating how visible you are to potential enemies in the sector
    • Modified the Crystal Clamp HUD, it's now less obscuring
    • Modified the health and shield bars, they are a lot smaller and now centered at the top of the screen
    • Modified the location of the "Scrap" and "Creds" text
      • Scrap is now "XXX scrap" instead of "Scrap XXX"
      • Credits is no longer called "Creds", it now shows "credits XXX" in the text field
  • Tweaked various values on the ship types, more firepower and faster fire rates. Shooting stuff now feels more satisfying as you actually see faster results now
  • Tweaked the nebula bullet effect, made enemy ships shoot a bit further and the player a bit less far. And ship type 6 now has its own effect

  • Changed the amount of crystals needed for a Hyperspace jump from 5 to 4, this way you can save one for the next sector so it feels less like you're constantly starting from scratch. This was done because right now you can't make your ship tougher with upgrades (Addons/Modules etc...). Once things like that are going into the game, this will be non-issue.
  • Changed the ship shield impact, flipped it so it now spawns at the bullet location instead of ship location. This way it can also be used on bigger ships with shields
  • Changed the ship shield, removed the flash behavior. instead it will now fade in and out when near a sun or black hole
  • Changed the level select menu, it now has onhover events, alpha information and a Steam greenlight button

  • Fixed shiptype 6's bullet light to align properly to the lightspot
  • Removed Dust Resource for now
  • Fixed Build version not properly updating for saves
  • Fixed the purplespawn ship's bulletLights, they weren't pinned to the bullets
  • Fixed Rocks spawning with 0/0 resources (I hope, this one keeps coming back at random)
  • Fixed an issue where the spawner tried to spawn enemy ships when on screen near the player. Nothing should be able to spawn onscreen, at least not without a Hyperspace exit (future feature). It also caused ships to spawn with a completely messed up setup, fighters with turrets, not enough detection range etc...
  • Fixed an issue with the health variable, the save slots and deleting saves were not properly resetting the health value. Basically you could die in any of your saves, after dying once in other saves/worlds
  • Fixed the location inventory slot twelve. The inventory array was only 11 wide, now it is properly set to 12