Sol Defender Update
A few things have changed regarding Slope Games in general and Sol Defender specifically. Besides wrestling with the bureaucracy involved in signing up to university, my personal life has also been difficult recently. Hopefully this goes some way toward explaining why there haven’t been any monthly posts for a while.
Turns out getting ships to navigate to specific planets at relativistic speeds is harder than it first appears, mostly due to the precision required in deciding when to start slowing down. Being off by even a fraction of a tick makes a huge difference when you’re moving at thousands of kilometers a second. Plus the equations of motion get a bit more complicated when special relativity is involved.
Navigation is now mostly figured out, with only the degree of trade-off regarding realism yet to be decided. I’m currently leaning towards using a heavier trade-off in the interest of time, as the more realistic option would be singificantly more complicated (and thus time-consuming) to implement. I can always re-visit the more realistic option for the actual game.
That brings me to the primary problem encountered thus far: The amount of compromise on realism required to end up with a playable game. Realism would need to be limited to just scale and respecting special relativity. However the point of the concept was never to be simulationistic - otherwise it would’ve been in 3D - but rather to put a scale model of the solar system in an actually playable game, which should still be possible.
As hinted above, I’m going back to university. It should go without saying that this significantly changes my priorities. While I was previously hoping to transition into doing Slope Games full-time, it’s now going to be something I do strictly for fun. On the one hand this means no more sheduals or trying to release a complete game by the end of the year, but on the other hand it means more freedom to pursue whatever ideas I want even if they’re not particularily viable.
This also means I will probably be sticking to C. My main reason for considering C++ was so I could be more efficient through the various quality of life features the language provides and the larger pool of libraries. However I personally enjoy C more because it rewards and sometimes outright requires creative use of its features, e.g. using macros to build templates.
Right now finishing the prototype remains top priority, once it is finished the decision will be made whether to turn it into a proper game or look for a different concept. In particular I was thinking I could take the terrain from Cardboard RPG and use it in a purely cosmetic capacity, perhaps to visualize unit combat in a card game. I’ve been meaning to do a card game eventually anyway.