A quick video of the new First Law Build, looks way different than the last public test build! More info and downloads here: First Law Info Page
Listen to the fantastic @isyourguy talk about some of the challenges in designing “realistic” sounds for First Law.
The new things in this video:
- The finished space station exterior! I love having a big space station to fly around and it feels enormous with the rift on. If you’re curious I believe it’s 4000m in diameter.
- Newtonian(ish) physics! Drag is set to zero so you’ll continue following a given velocity vector until you apply thrust in a different direction. I did add a velocity cap to keep speeds from getting out of control (hence the “ish”), but it seems like a nice overall compromise. It’s a lot of fun to just spin 180 degrees to attack a guy on your tail while you keep your heading. :)
- Afterburners double your max velocity for 10 seconds and add a bit of screen shake in for effect. Lots of fun and great for getting some space in a close dogfight.
- Reworked screens to be a consistent color instead of the multicolor system I had before. I think this looks better overall
- Reworked scene lighting and layout a bit to try to make it feel a bit more space-like
Hope you like what you see! And to answer a question off the bat: I’m still aiming for an end of August release for this build, I have a few things up my sleeve that I really want to get in for you to play with.
Sorry for the radio silence over the last couple of months - I hit a bad spot in my day job and needed to find new work. But that’s behind me now and I’m happy to share a bit of the work I’ve done in the last week as I get back up to speed.
So what’s new in this build?
- All new asteroids with high res textures from Alex. This should help for folks who like to fly close to asteroids and check them out for a sense of immersion. Really happy with how they look right now
- Launching from the docking bay! You launch by setting your throttle to max and get an initial boost by launching directly at max speed. I want to add some camera fx to improve the “slammed into your seat” feel, but it’s a good start.
- Rough model of the space station. People wanted bigger things in terms of scale, and now you’ve got it. Still need the texture maps and all of the objects that go on the outside (guns, shield generators, etc), but the space station clocks in at 4km in diameter. It’s immensely fun to fly around, and I can’t wait to integrate it into gameplay.
- You can’t see it, but I’m playing with the Thrustmaster HOTAS flight stick! Really improves the feeling of control, and having a real throttle makes a huge difference.
As I work more on first law I’ve found that the built in Unity input manager simply doesn’t meet my needs. I’m trying to figure out all the things I need it to do, and so far I have:
- Reconfigure inputs from an in-game menu instead of using the startup dialog
- Allow defaults on a per device/operating system basis
- Allow users to configure new/unknown devices as long as there are sufficient inputs
- Backup keyboard/mouse controls if no controller is connected
- Store/load customized preferences
I think that’s the bulk of the stuff for First Law. For other games some useful features would be:
- Make device mappings work regardless of what port the controller is registered on (e.g. player 1 - player 4 on an ouya)
- Support a heterogenous device environment for multiplayer (e.g. 1 ouya controller, 2 xbox controllers, and a ps3 controller)
- Plugin support for nonstandard devices (razer hydra, etc)
- Public database of device information/layouts
- Setting export to let players share device mappings
- Generic remapping GUI that can be used as a placeholder in new projects
Other features suggested by others:
- Fully cross-platform (pc/mac/web/android/ios)
- NGUI support for menu navigation
- Generic built in support for standard ‘gamepad’ layouts, will handle a huge portion of games out of the box, and games that need more specific support can just ignore it
Am I missing something? Let me know so I can add it to the list! I’m working on it now, and the plan is to release this as an open source library of code + device listings.
It’s really fucking stupid that I have to say this, but since the whole nintendo thing is going on here goes:
Let’s Play/youtube folks, please play my games. I love you, your videos, and the feedback you give me. Do whatever advertising you want on your videos, after all you put the work into them.
I would request (but not demand) that if you use one of my games you give a courtesy link back to my blog or the game’s page if it has one.
First look at having a pilot’s body in First Law. Huge addition in terms of immersion!
Developers are sharing their dreams of space, and far away places. Players are exploring hostile environments and seeing wondrous things from our offices.