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Missiles in Space

It Lives!

Spaceward is alive! Progress has been very slow, more than I'm comfortable with. But Spaceward is a passion project that I work on, on my spare time. I apologize for two years of silence, I'm not the best person when it comes to communication. Hopefully, moving forward, I'll be able to give some semi-regular updates.

Progress Report

The v0.3.4 version mentioned in last report was finished a long time ago. And the closed beta tests were fun, although sadly, the feedback I got wasn't sufficient. Close friends and family can only give you so much quality feedback.

Another update to that, v0.3.5, was released sometime after v0.3.4 that fixed some HDRP issues by upgrading the engine. This is the current closed beta version, although the servers have been running 24/7 it's a ghost town. Out of 32 beta testers, myself included, only 26 redeemed their steam keys.

Here's some gameplay from v0.3.4:

My initial plan was to give out double the amount of keys with each consecutive major update. v0.4 64 keys, v0.5 128 keys, etc. Of course I haven't been able to do that because we are still at v0.3.5.

Where are we?

Still working on v0.4. And this version aims to add lot's of content. Which means lot's of 3D modeling, texturing, etc. And creating these 3D assets are taking much longer than I anticipated. But that is only because I haven't been really working hard on it.

My laziness aside, I have lot's of 3D assets in the pipeline. These range from tiny objects, such as missiles to massive capital ships. And I've started doing some integration tests in-game. Here's a video of me randomly flying around a Ranger Class Frigate without textures, colors are placeholders; making sure every moving/rotating mechanical part behaving correctly, and all the weapons are shooting their load in multiplayer. Yes, this is all multiplayer already, there's a server build running in the background. There's bonus failed landing attempt too.

"Integration Testing" is the the final stage in the pipeline before final detailing and texturing begins. I've also invested in Adobe Substance Painter to move the texturing work along.


Recently I wanted to take a break from all that 3D modeling to focus improving missile mechanics in-game. Any of you that have participated in the closed beta knows that missiles have been hit-or-miss. Limited feedback I got from the testing pointed towards this conclusion.

So I asked myself, "why does missiles are so ineffective in my game?". Then I realized that they are ineffective because I've been modeling their behavior closely based on their terrestrial counterparts. The missiles in space need to function more like a space ship!

So I made a little demo with a singular target randomly moving around, and a missile tracking the target. That sounds simple enough, but that's where it becomes interesting. I've created this new demo in a way that the missile does not expand all it's propellant immediately after launch.

Here's the new missile mechanic demo:

Instead, I made the missile work somewhat like a real satellite. First, it accelerates towards the target for a bit, then starts coasting. Then depending on the movements of the target, the missile performs correction burns. This way the missile always tries to intersect with the target at a point. And once the missiles gets close enough, it enters terminal guidance mode to deliver the blow.

I ended up making a cool Projectile Cam to follow the missiles progress during debugging too. So you can watch your missiles soar through the stars with glee.