This was a hectic month. Not only was there a lot to accomplish with RogSys; but school started up again for my younger daughter and my wife, too. It always eats at my time as they get ready to start doing their thing again It all got sorted out though…
As far as RogSys is concerned, I actually found myself giving orbital mathematics another revision to not only make them more accurate, but also make it easier to support the orbital predictions the navigation system requires. Admittedly, I did start off with the “simpler” constant-g prediction. Because of the velocities and much shorter travel times involved target predictions are much easier. I wouldn’t say it’s as simple as lead the target planet a bit and fire the engines; but, it’s certainly more direct than typical Hohmann transfer orbit prediction.
For the initial alpha release we’ll be using single-body physics. While the code is there to support up to three bodies I want to keep it simple while we work the kinks out of the basic system. Once we know through testing that things are stable I’ll activate a second body and then we’ll test that.
Noesis GUI came through again, I have to say. To keep things simple, I’m using their default style with very simplistic, 2D representation of the local star system. Everything I needed it to do though, it did with minimal effort. Again, there was some API teething issues on my part, but they worked themselves out.
As for the functionality of the navigation page, eventually I want to move toward a 3D approach with some form of maneuver node for better visualization. This works for now though–allowing destination selection while proving the validity of the underlying prediction math. That said, the top-down representation is MUCH easier to understand overall. The only thing it doesn’t represent are orbit inclinations and other 3rd dimension elements of a trajectory-an obvious problem. Probably what will happen is we’ll start with this method, get some feedback based on gameplay about what is required, and then go from there. We have time to work through it strategically.
And that’s about it–one more core item knocked off the list. We can now board a ship, start it, communicate with STC to perform a departure, get into space and select a destination. This basically allows us to fly to and from a mission location. Now we begin to get to the fun stuff–weapons, targeting, AI maneuvering, damage, etc. We also have celestial art coming up soon, so hopefully we can get space looking pretty again.
So, a bit of sleep and then on to weapons….