The stations are now fully operational and trips can be flown from port to port, with the support of new flight planning routines and avionics modes. And at last I could remove a quick and dirty trick dating back from 2016: it’s not possible to refuel in deep space anymore!
The main development goal for this year (2019) is to have fully operational space stations to dock to. Yet after the work on the collision physics an issue quickly appeared about the docking ports: where should the related information be stored and how to pass it to the ship’s flight controller?
On a monday morning in July I decided not to duplicate the data and have the stations broadcast the necessary information through a radio link: should have been a 3 hour quick-and-dirty hack… But as it turned out it actually became a 3 month implementation of a full new game system! 😀
I was waiting for the space structures to work on a general collisions detection and response system (applying to both artificial and celestial objects). Actually this is not a primary feature since in theory the ship should never collide with anything but docking ports. In effect the flight planning routines, flight control system, space traffic controllers and defense platforms should make this impossible. However being able to fly through planets and stations – however unlikely – is obviously not acceptable! And so implementing the feature was definitely mandatory.
Following the initial work on the refueling space stations around ringed giants I wanted to work on the planet-to-orbit transportation facilities around terrestrial bodies. That is in all probability these should always remain the main population and economical centers for a species that originated on the ground!
… Well the post’s title gives a good summary of the work for close to five years. It may be too long a time before starting to document a very technical game but as they say “better late than never”! 🙂