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Dev update: Flying NPCs

There are still a few points to be dealt with to complete this first pass on the NPC ships but they are flying at last!
Here’s the latest Dev Log video:

To sum-up the main features:

  • NPCs are persistent (they continue to operate even when beyond the player’s perception).
  • In the current stellar system they are submitted to the game’s regular physics and systems (reactor model, flight management, Orbital Traffic Control rules, radio communications protocols etc…).
  • Beyond that scope the simulation is based on discrete events to spare computing resources, and galactic navigation relies on a database of pre-computed flight plans and fast flight-planning routines for overall consistency.

At the moment all NPC ships have been assigned a “galactic starliner” role, as if they were all carrying passengers. However the supporting infrastructure* is in place to manage new missions and more complex behaviors in future development phases.

*As mentioned above this first pass on NPCs is not fully ready yet actually! Notably the switch between the two simulation modes. However there’s already some dedicated place in the code to do that, and after a long time without news I wanted to report back while still in 2021!

Thank you for reading! 🙂

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Tobias C

    Awesome!
    I love the data transmission sounds – are they generated based on the actual data tansmitted or just random?

    1. David

      Thanks! They’re really based on the received packets. They used to derive from the full message but that was too long (= better left turned off at all times!) and they’re now simplified in the form:
      [emitter UID, 4 distinct tones]
      [protocol ID (ex OTC, beacon etc), associated tone repeated 4 times]
      (if defined, target UID 4 distinct tones)
      This is all artificial rendering of the comms anyway since there is no “audio” with digital transmissions (if anything very short bursts of some ugly buzz!). However under that format it’s now possible to pick up question-answer exchanges, and also which type of message it is with a bit of training 🙂

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