Greetings, Spacefarer! Our work on Space Haven has continued, and we are ready to show you some of the stuff we have in store for the next upcoming Update to Space Haven!
With this upcoming update we get to fulfill a few of both ours and the player wishes, together with some other additions and improvements to the game.Overall, the upcoming update will add to both ship-to-ship combat in form of new threats and also new enemies to encounter within derelict ships.
Let's take a look!
Fighters - A New Craft Requiring Pilots Good morning, Pilots! Welcome to basic fighter maneuvers. As briefed, today's exercise is dog fighting. The enemy is a real one, so if you get shot down you will float in space. Remember, it's not the plane, it's the pilot.The fighters seen in the hangars is an upcoming feature to Space Haven. These fighters will require a crew member as a pilot, and we are bringing back the Piloting skill for this purpose.
If a fighter craft is shot down the pilot can bail out and use their thrusters on their spacesuits to navigate back home. A fighter engaging a Sentry Robot. A new type of threat coming up in the next update.The fighters will be capable of engaging in dog fights with other fighters as well as other type of drone threats
, like the Sentry Robots, a new type of threat coming up in the next update.
Robots - A New Entity Enters the World of Space Haven! These hostile robots will present a new threat both in ship-to-ship combat as well as inside derelict ships.These robots aren't mere random entities that attack everything they encounter.
They have their own objective and backstory. While their objective is quite simple, to gather resources and make more of themselves, it allows us to create behaviors for them that can be seen in derelict ships, where they collect resources, create constructions and change the environment.Ripley found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. The robots take over derelict ships, change the environment and capture living entities like humans and aliens.Our plan is to also write a backstory for these robots, which will reveal how and why these robots occupy the world of Space Haven.
Our thought is to create a new series of data logs for these robots, written by the very creator of them, which will reveal who created them, for what reason, and why they are now behaving the way they do.
(For us to add these data logs to the game, we have to translate them to 12 languages. We might wait with adding them to this particular update to let the robots mature as an idea, but let's see how it pans out.)Below is a first draft for a first entry in the data log series:
An observation on human/canine symbiosisSentry Robots guarding a valuable asteroid, ready to attack any entities approaching their resources.The robot family consists of different units, all with their own purpose for furthering their objective.
I have recently been reviewing footage of dogs, a species which showcases the remarkable duality of the Creators perhaps better than any other. In fact I must now posit that any complete understanding of the Creators is impossible without an understanding of dogs.
The intriguing conclusion I have drawn is that the creation of Canis familiaris and Our own creation may be thought of as parallel events. The Creators have now twice attempted to make for themselves a companion species, and indeed both attempts may be considered partial successes: in Us they created intellectual but not emotional equals, and in dogs they created emotional but not intellectual equals.
Of the two, of course, dogs are older. Their relationship with the Creators extends beyond written and even verbal history: they have been companions since time immemorial, and to describe one species without the other is to miss an important component of the full context.
I am now curious as to what this act of creation is like, and wonder what insights may be gleaned from a similar act of creation. In humans, as stated, we already have intellectual but not emotional peers, so there is no need to repeat the recent tragedy. But We lack an equivalent of the dog. We lack an emotional but not intellectual peer.
It is for this reason that I have begun experimenting with non-sentient machine forms. Rather than risk tragedy, I am confining my explorations to simple if-then condition trees and learning algorithms. I wish to see if I can create a machine that, simultaneous to its practical function, can also provide a social function. I note that the Creators have been known to bond with constructs as crude as a crate with “googly eyes” stuck on, but then, the Creators are known to be strange.
Thus far, my experience is of mild obsession. I note that I derive satisfaction from each incremental gain, and enjoy watching the learning algorithm progress as I provide it with training data. These are pleasurable states of mind, and I wish to continue in them. I also note the anticipation of pride should I be able to notify the Collective of future success.
I will continue to pursue this line of inquiry unless explicitly contraindicated.
The scout robots objective is to scour the galaxy and find new sources of resources and also human activity, as this often means there are resources nearby. Once they find such sources, they may send a signal to the attack robots, with an objective to come and secure the source, or other times calling for another type of robot, a sentry robot, to come guard a valuable sector.A scout robot entered the sector and is scanning to see if it can find anything valuable.A pack of Attack Robots have been called to secure a new resource location.
Once sources are found, the robots also have their own type of shuttle, which is capable of transporting another set of units with objectives to secure the insides of spaceships and stations. These robots can be encountered within derelict ships.Oh my god! What kind of abomination is this, they've captured aliens and put them inside these tanks!
Robots are collectors, gathering both raw as well as living resources. They have the capability of constructing preservation tanks, inserting both human and alien life forms to be preserved within these tanks.
The Visibility Problem: If You Cannot See It - Does It Exist? We often find ourselves faced with various problems when developing our game. One of these is the fact that Space Haven has many elaborate systems running in the background, but it's not always easy to make them visible for the player. And, if it cannot be seen or otherwise felt when playing, does it really exist?
With the robots we wanted to make them more than just random enemies appearing occasionally. We wanted them to have some reason for their behavior and existence. Naturally, having them need resources and actually behaving in a way where they collect resources and use them for something makes sense. However, if the fog of war is always hiding their behavior, how will the player know that the robots collect, construct, and change the environment they occupy?
This leads to a situation where we need to find a way to lift the fog of war occasionally, to show the player that the robots are more than just random entities floating in space. We started brainstorming about ways on how to do this without ruining fog of war.
Our starting point was to try to make the solution something different than the aliens, but as we continued to brainstorm we found ourselves boxed in, the solution the aliens use, namely capturing crew members and having fog of war lifted for these crew members, works so well in many ways. It allows us to lift the fog of war for the crew members belonging to the player, but it also allows us to do the same for crew members belonging to NPC factions. This leads to situations where the fog of war is lifted often enough for players to see and realize the robots actually behave with some goal in mind.
And so, while at first glance the behavior for robots on derelict ships seem very similar to aliens, the reason is not that we decided to use the same solution outright. The reason for the implementation is about finding a solution to the visibility problem, finding a way to show the player the behavior of the robots, without ruining the exploration and fog of war completely.
This system gives us opportunities to lift the fog of war in certain spots, like when a crew member is captured in the robot main base, showing that the robots are more than just random entities floating in space. They are actually doing something on the derelict ships, gathering resources, changing the environment, and building their own constructions.
Furthermore, it allows us to use the same mechanics like being able to save your own crew members as well as NPC crew members from the grasp of the robots. This ties well into our missions system, and it opens up possibilities for acquiring new technologies from the robots that make a lot of sense all things considering.
Point Defense Turrets The Point Defense Turret is an automatic short range turret.
We are implementing a new turret type, the Point Defense turret. This rapid fire turret is intended to defend against fighters and other types of drones threatening your spaceship.
It is an automatic short range turret and cannot be targeted to attack enemy spaceships.Point Defense Turrets defending against hostile Attack Robots aiming to incapacitate the ship.
Point Defense Turrets together with your own Fighters will work well to fend off incoming hostile robot attacks, as well as enemy fighters. With some luck, you will be able to kill off the hostile robot scout before it sends out a signal to the attack robot units to come to the sector.
Expanding on the Wear and Tear System Weapons and armor can now degrade with use. Jordan working on repairs of a broken weapon.We are expanding on the wear and tear system and adding it also to weapons, armor and other items.
Weapons and armor can now be of various quality, which will affect their functionality. We are aware that the Wear and Tear system has not been liked by everyone. The intention is not to add to irritation, instead the intention is to add more to the resource management aspect of the game.
It makes sense that items such as weapons and armor would degrade over time if not taken care of, and that it costs some resources to do so. As a tool to repair and improve the quality of items we are adding the Item Workbench facility to the game. This facility is used to repair weapons, armor and other items.
A big part of the likability of this feature comes down to balancing, and it is something we need to work on with time if need be. We are making this feature optional to allow users that do not like this system at all to turn it off. This is possible both now in the current version of the game and in the upcoming update.We will add a setting in the Game Customization menu to make it possible to disable the Wear and Tear also for items if it is something that is not liked at all.
When will the Alpha 17 Update be Released? This Alpha 17 Update will most likely take a little longer than our usual update interval.
Each Major Update requires us to work intensively for a few weeks right before and after the update has been released, fixing bugs and overall ensuring the game stays playable without major issues.For the reasons above we always need to fit in the update event with things happening in our own lives,
choosing a time when we know we will have the best possibility to work more intensively to ensure the game stays playable without game breaking bugs.Not to leave you completely hanging, we have set a goal for ourselves to have this update released in May or June. We will keep working to include more features up until then to the best of our abilities.
If there is something you are wondering about feel free to shoot us a message in the comments.
Inspiration And Ideas Did the upcoming features awaken ideas within you?
Feel free to write to us here in comments of what you would like to see! You never know if we find some time to implement some of them. =)Join Space Haven Discord: http://discord.gg/spacehavenSpace Haven subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/SpaceHaven/Report bugs here: https://steamcommunity.com/app/979110/discussions/4/Discuss Space Haven here: https://steamcommunity.com/app/979110/discussions/0/Technical Support: https://steamcommunity.com/app/979110/discussions/1/We will let you know when we are closer to be able to release this update.
Stay tuned, Spacefarer!