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Sky Nations

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Announcements _
Update 0.86 is out! It consists of many small changes that add up to make some bigger knock on effects, especially some of the Nation and new player changes. As well as changes to make life easier while playing Sky Nations.

Before we go over the a bunch of the changes I'd like to announce something pretty neat. I'll be exhibiting at Insomnia 53[insomniagamingfestival.com] in the Indie Zone. For those that haven't run into the iseries events before Insomnia is a big gaming event in the UK that happens 3 times a year and is a whole lot of fun! It runs from the 21st of November across the weekend. I'll be showing off something secret I've been working on over various weekends so if you're about in Coventry come say "Hi"! There's still a lot of stuff to get sorted for the event, so much of the prepping and actual event may delay the next update by about a week. Rather than the usual 3 week schedule.

Nation Changes
Nations can now upload their own Emblem, a 64x64 image which will appear on the newly added Emblem Signs and more things in the future. The list of available Emblems is taken from the "[install directory]/GameData/Emblems/" and the images you use must be PNG format.

Demo accounts joining a Nation no longer count towards the Nations claim cap to prevent a lot of Demo account registrations solely for the purpose of boosting a small Nation's capping ability on the Community Servers. Nations can now also only claim adjacent Systems to their first claim rather than any System on the map to mitigate a singular Nation blocking many key spaces on a server. These changes will not delete existing claims but Nations who find their claiming cap considerably reduced will not be able to Claim any more Nations until they unclaim existing ones or gain more legitimate members.

Chunk Caching
Clients will now cache up to 100mb of Chunk data that it receives from the server. This means that revisiting areas that have had little change will be a much faster load time as the server does not need to resend the data and the client will simply load it off your hard drive instead. This will be particularly beneficial for those with slower connections. This should also reduce bandwidth use for servers significantly from their regular players.

Japanese and Russian Language Support
Since Japan is the 5th biggest portion of the Sky Nations userbase I've added support for Japanese Kanji characters in most of the UI including chat, though only about 1000 characters that are commonly used(taken from up to Grade 7 learning) are available. Cyrillic is now supported by a lot of the in-game GUI text including chat so Russian players can now chat in their Native language. These changes do not mean that the in-game text is translated. Just that game is capable of displaying your Native languages which is useful specifically for the chat window.

Quality of Life Changes

Map can now be zoomed in and out using the mouse scroller making it much easier to use and identify areas you would like to visit. Rafts now spawn with all the basics already built onto them such as a Steering Wheel and Thrusters. On top of this I have added a "New Player" block for Server Admins to place at their spawn which will teleport the player using it to a random system up to 3 jumps away from spawn with a prebuilt raft which should help mitigate people griefing new players at their spawn by breaking their ship and other such means.

You can now delete ships from your plans, however for Nation plans only leaders have the permissions to delete their respective Nation's ship plans.

Lasers no longer drop blocks to the ground when using them to mine materials. They will pump out the block to an adjacent crate if there is one or out the top of the laser if there is not a crate available. This is to mitigate the big performance hit having many players mining with large ships that we see at busy server times hurting the servers performance due to the tens of thousands of active item entities. This is also a lot more convenient for players as you no longer have to manually collect materials laser mined or use magnets to automate collection in most cases.

You can now ignore specific players in all chat including whispers using "/ignore Username". To ignore a player you can use /unignore in the same manner. If you'd like to view everyone you have ignored you can use "/ignorelist".


This is a quick overview of some of the changes. For a more in-depth list of all the changes check the change log below.

Updating
Steam clients will be updated automatically. To update the non-Steam version the launcher will update the game. For server host, make a backup of your files as always. Then simply download[skynations.net] the new files and overwrite your existing ones with them.

Change log 0.86
The change log doesn't quite fit in the Steam post so check it out here.[community.skynations.net]
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