Space Pirates and Zombies 2

Space Pirates and Zombies 2

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Blorf  [developer] May 9 @ 1:09pm
V0.9.5 Deadspace Territory Update!
Hi all,

This update is centered around further expanding the sandbox gameplay as well as tackling many of the larger player tuning requests. There is a lot of stuff to cover, so lets dig right in!

At a high level, here are the major features/changes:

  • Deadspace Territory! (A way to set galaxy generation options that change its layout)
  • New higher starbase threat levels. (starbase threat works a lot more like captain threat now)
  • Missiles got a tuning boost (the continuing effort to make them relevant)
  • Personality based AI retreating (they tend to flee less often now)
  • Better in combat part attachment (fix your ship in battle hopefully with less fumbling)
  • Large strike craft health tuned to be less tanky. (6 star larges are less insane)
  • Ship Construction Undo (in construction level, back out changes when experimenting)
  • Zombies worth hunting (parts now have stars, they drop a lot more rez)
  • VR Beta (our first crack at a public VR build)


Deadspace Territory:

So one huge player request has been custom player galaxies. Creating custom maps in Maya and importing them into the game won't work because of the huge amount of connection work they require as well as the requirement to add hooks to other internal game systems for the AI. We wanted to answer those requests and deliver something that served the same purpose, so Deadspace territory was born.

A Deadspace territory is a territory with no starbase controller. This means no one owns it and no one will ever own it. It can almost be thought of as the water on your typical strategy game map. It does not restrict travel, but it does stop trade lines and acts as a natural neutral zone between empires.

Now lets delve into the settings so you can make the most of this new galaxy generation ability.


Deadspace Clusters vs.Veins:

A Cluster will form like a blob. It always tries to form in a position that connects it to the most of its own territory, but it hates to touch other deadspace. The blobs pinch factions together creating high conflict zones.

A Vein (cluster mode off) is the opposite. Veins still don't want to intersect other deadspace, but they also want to touch their own territory as little as possible. This ends up generating string like veins throughout the galaxy, forming natural empire borders. Veins create discrete pockets of territory.


Deadspace Resources:

This setting tells the galaxy generator to allow resource nodes and lore to spawn in deadspace, or to keep it totally empty.

Empty deadspace won't attract captains, so regular space will have a much higher population.

Resource filled deadspace provides more opportunity to harvest full and unowned resource nodes.


Deadspace Volume:

This is how much of the galaxy can be filled with deadspace territory, up to 50%.


Deadspace Scatter:

This is a 0-1 value of how many separate deadspace pockets you want. 0 means one big pocket, and 1 will mean the maximum number of pockets, each pocket being 1 territory. To get 2 deadspace territories, set the slider to 0.01-0.03ish area. It is a bit of a weird concept, but luckily we have pictures!


Example Layouts:
See announcement post for v0.9.5 for pictures
https://steamcommunity.com/games/252470/announcements/


Starbase Threat Changes:

One problem since the big strike craft update (v0.8.0) was that starbase threat became too low due to the new increased threat being brought to the table by the beefy strike craft. In short, 80 used to be a lot, but now it isn't so we needed a better way of measuring Starbase threat and more importantly keeping AI captains away from the big ones longer.


Starbase threat now maxes out at 150:

But it wasn't just a number change. We have changed how starbase threat is calculated. It used to be a flat rate per expansion level, but now it is a combination of expansion level and the owner's level since the starbases inherit the perks of the owner.

So what this means is early on a fully upgraded base may be around threat level 100 or so, but at the owner levels up and gets new perks, that starbase's threat will also increase. We now show a starbase's level when you mouse over it as well so you better know what you are getting into.


The last four starbase expansions cost an increased amount of scrap:

This was to offset the new higher threat levels for starbses. So it takes a little extra work to get the starbase maxed out.


Starbase health now matters:

Starbase health now impacts threat so captain can whittle down a base by damaging it and running away.

There was also a bug where starbase health was not being saved and would reset to 100% each time you reloaded. This has been fixed. Health really matters for starbases now.

Also, Starbase health is properly taken into account when you start a battle with them now, so attacking weakened starbases will be a lot easier. Use those bounties to soften the bases before attacking yourself.


Starbase Notes:

Starbases inherit their owner's perks as well at strike craft star levels. So we now adjust the max threat level of their starbase based on that. This means not all fully expanded starbases will be of the same threat level, but higher leveled captains will have higher threat leveled bases. So as you level up, the bases you own will increase in threat. Another good reason to place the highest level captains in charge of bases.


Missile Tuning:

Missiles have been a hot topic for a while now, and we wanted to improve them further based on continuing feedback. So here's what we did.

First off, there were requests for a better faster missile. We re-purposed the old starter missile for this. It is now a very fact intercepting missile. Here are the stat changes:

Normal Missile:
  • Damage increased 25%
  • Reload 20% faster
  • Range increased 33%
  • Speed 33% faster
  • MUCH more agile and has 10x the thrust. (its faaast)

Also:
Ion SRM damage increases 33%
Torpedo damage increased 36%, speed up 33%, range up 33%
Cloud torpedo damage up 33%, speed up 33%, range up 33%
SRM damage up 25%


Personality based AI retreating:

Raise your hand if you are tired of chasing retreating captains. So the retreat mechanic is good, but it is used way too often by the AI, so we decided to make retreating heavily personality based.

Captains have a bravery trait. ( Note: It will be invisible when it is normal)

Bravery
  • Cowardly = Retreat very likely (even more likely than before)
  • Timid = Retreat likely (about as likely as pre v0.9.5 was for all captains)
  • Normal = Less likely retreat than before v0.9.5
  • Courageous = much less likely retreating.
  • Fearless = almost never retreats.

So overall there should be quite a bit less retreating, at least right off the bat. They will still run if the odds are stacked way against them, but it takes much higher odds for some captains now.


Better in combat part attachment:

Attaching parts while in combat has been a problem for a while. It is just hard to do while being shot at. Here's what we did.

Snap distance for attach points increased in combat levels to improve on-the-fly building. This means that the parts are MUCH more magnetic in combat. We realize you probably aren't fine tuning a design while a particle hose just removed your engine, so they snap right on now if they see a good spot to attach nearby.

We also added a much stronger auto-levelling system to the ships when the tractor is on. One problem was that you cant attach a part while the ship is banked because the attach points don't line up with the combat plane, now we un-bank you when the tractor is on using a good dose of physics.


Strike Craft Tuning:

Large strike craft are too strong. This comes up a lot as well. If you have been around since launch you would have never thought those words would be uttered, but they are too strong.

First off we lowered large strike craft health by 33% so they don't take forever to kill at high star levels.

If that isn't enough we have further ideas to lower their health tanking, but we want to see how this sits with players first.

Second and more importantly, strike craft now take a bit of splash damage when they are medium and large, depending on size. This means area of effect weapons will impact them more. It still is no where near as much AoE damage as a large mothership takes, but it keeps warheads somewhat useful against the big and slow ones.

Also:

Small strike craft health up 33%
Small strike craft armor up 17%


Ship Construction Undo:

In the ship construction level, you can now undo changes made while experimenting with your design. This system will remember the initial ship configuration you had when you first entered the construction instance and you can always revert to it.

Hopefully this combined with the root core hot swapping from last update will make design experimentation a lot less painful.


Zombies Worth Hunting:

Zombies parts now have stars. These stars follow the same rules as regular factions, so larger zombie infections = greater chance of higher star parts. This should make them more appetizing to hunt for parts vs other captains late game.

Note: this also means that zombie ships will be stronger than before. Beware.

Zombies now also drop 100% of their Rez supply on death. Previously it was 25%. So zombies are a decent Rez farm as well now. Just don't get infected.


The VR Beta:

Richard has been spending time on our stretch goal of a VR build and has been making some good progress behind the scenes this update.

One important note is that Richard's VR time is not taking away from regular game development time. Core game development, as above, always takes priority, but at this point in any project when we are stabilizing the game and tuning, content work ceases and usually the art team moves to another project.

In the case of MinMax there are only two of us, and we are not going to split focus with another project so Richard now spends that downtime on the VR build. There have actually been quite a few rendering improvements that have come along into the main game as a side effect of the VR build as well.


Now onto the VR build itself.

Right now we are not “officially” a Steam VR title. Only the two of us here have even tried it, so it is very much a beta. We want to make sure it is decent before we add that tag to the game.

We are going to release it as a Beta build on Steam that you need to opt into.

We will create a new sub-forum for VR topics.

The current build has been tested on the Vive and Rift.

The VR build requires a controller and will not work with a mouse and keyboard. There are plans to get the Vive and Rift hand controllers working for a future update.

Please give it a try if you have one and let us know how it works for you. Literally 2 people have seen this, so we want to know.

VR Beta Password: experimentalVRbeta


Additional Fixes/Changes:
  • Strike craft quick deployment hotkeys: F1, F2, F3, F4
  • Galactic Colossus costs less to fund new starbases so building large empires is not so expensive. Was +500 scrap per base, now is +250.
  • Added Blueprint Drop Rate Multiplier to sandbox sliders
  • Fix for replacing an allied captain in battle, then reloading the game causing a non interactable battle.
  • Removed the limit of max zombie thralls on Hard. So zombies can take over the whole galaxy just like on insane.
  • Bandit strike craft get half the stars compared to captains of the same level. This is more in keeping with their junk part but large fleet theme.
  • Lowered strike craft threat calculation strength by 50%. They were making fleets seem much more powerful than they were, this lead to wild changes in threat level based on the number of strike craft in a fleet.
  • Bandit threat calculation takes 33% less threat from strike craft to better represent that their strike craft are not an issue if you kill the mothership (weak point)
  • Flak cannon chance to hit targets in cloud increased from 50% to 67%.
  • Fixed issue where initial threat level calculation for strike craft was too high, but reset on load which would have lead to early game threat level confusion.
  • Fix for too many spawn crates causing bandit hive to fail to become red.
  • Prevent levelup exploit when using a single core to cheese battles. max levelups now capped to 4 per battle.
  • Added special Alert_EnemyAttack autosave for when the AI attacks the player to prevent loss of regular autosave progress.
  • Fixed case where zombies would attack while player's level was still below the player ignore level when the player was harvesting resources.
  • Fixed a rare bug where you could join a fight against an ally when a captain from a different faction was also aiding your ally.
  • Updated Unity 5.4.4 to Unity 5.4.5 (Tried Unity 5.6.0f3 but it still contains a bug that needs fixing before we can use it (issue: 899009)
  • Fixed bug where faction relations were not being properly capped between -100 and 100.
  • Fixed bug whereby executing captains could increase overall faction relations beyond what losing that captain from the faction should have caused.
  • add base construction hint on create faction that other faction leaders will not be happy.
  • add base construction hint on build rebel starbase that other faction leaders will not be happy.
  • On easy mode, only allow one war on the player at a time.
  • Leech Beams now work on large strikecraft and battlewagon knows how to target them with leech beams properly.
  • Distance numbers now also show on the currently locked target as well as the current contextual action target for strike craft and drones.
  • Added starmap distance number to the enemy bounty list in the captain info page.
  • Fixed starbase tip to report the right unlock level for building when the unlocking is changed for sandbox mode.
  • Wingmen won't trade Rez at stations because the player may have given it to them to help them keep up.
  • Fixed a possible case where it was possible for wingmen to ignore a player battle and not join.
  • Made wars more likely between factions when they run out of space to expand.
  • Fix for having to move that 1 pixel after battle to reach the scavenge field.
  • Captain info on mouse over was not reporting the relations values that took into consideration faction standing. This meant you could see someone with -5 relations being friendly instead of neutral. This is now fixed and shows the final relations which are used for hostility calculations. (Derived Relations)
  • Added gamplay option Toggle Combat Zoom (instead of right mouse hold)
  • Added combat zoom Controller and Mouse sensitivity slider to gameplay options.
  • Only display mouse sensitivity sliders for mouse mode and controller sensitivity sliders for controller mode, less menu pollution.
  • Added Invert Y selector for the combat scope separate from the 3rd person cam to gameplay options.
  • Fixed AI captain joining player faction request text so that when they offer 0 scrap it doesn't show “0 Scrap” as if that was something being received.

Going Forward:

We hope to start interviewing voice actors in the very near future and to get a good start on localization. Right now those are the two big tasks keeping up from 1.0, and it is time to start tackling them.

Beyond that we also hope to deliver a medium sized map (100 territories) as well as a sandbox mode to rebound the zombie infection so it comes back stronger each time you kill them until you are finally overwhelmed.

SPAZ 2 is getting really close to v1.0 now and it has been an amazing year of early access. The community interaction has taken SPAZ 2 way beyond where it could have been without you all, and we are so thankful for your patience and insight!

Andrew (Blorf) and Richard (Narlak)
Last edited by Blorf; May 9 @ 4:18pm
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Showing 1-15 of 72 comments
Ah..., so deadspace is just empty but can be accessed like any another sector... sigh.

Ion SRMs didn't rly need extra damage, these were the only good missile things in game, so now they are just very good.

Zombies are op in insane difficulty, now if they are even stronger.... well, won't bother with insane anymore then.
Everything but vr interests me a lot!

"Wingmen won't trade Rez at stations because the player may have given it to them to help them keep up."
This is especially nice!
IT was an agrivation all throughout Spaz 2 for me.
Adressed so many problems and nitpicks I had (Starbases threat mainly, a 80 threat starbase had become really easy to tackle.)

Looking forward to playing the campaign again with voices and stuff upon release ^^.

While you're at it, adding more different lines/personalities to other captains would be nice. As it stands, their line pool get stale quite quickly.
Odbarc May 9 @ 5:18pm 
I feel like you added a lot of things I was asking for.
I see the quick-SC F1~F4 buttons -- I really like that.

What I really really hope to see is a little big of variation and/or additions to the Perk System.
A few unique perks thrown into the mix might be really good too. Maybe something you can purchase or trade from other Outposts.
I'll make a comprehensive list and suggestion later but stuff like "Some lasers can do damage to armor to a mothership when their shields are still up." pre-weaken parts.

Wohooo!!!!!! nice... some map control... you rock guys!!!!!!

Thank you so much for listening to us you are some of the best devs...

:) :) :)
i was only wondering the other day what you guys where upto and what surprises you would have in store for us and i like it! sill going to wait for a full release before i play anymore of the story though(not in any rush to play story mode and can wait on your schedule!)
Rex May 10 @ 6:34am 
Thank you for the update. Theres just another think that comes up now: how about a preview of the galaxy with the deadspace areas?
Last edited by Rex; May 10 @ 6:34am
Innomen May 10 @ 7:12am 
The only thing I remotely don't like is the 4 levels per battle cap. That's uncool imo. If I'm capable of earning the exp somehow I should get the levels for it, period. Fix exploits for earning the exp in the first place, not arbitrarily capping level gains per battle.

Stuff I'd still like to see off the top of my head:
Direct conversion of res to scrap, but not vice versa. (Mythos and gameplay reasons.)
Option to buy star bases.
Option to buy map data.
Faction commands (or more bounty options and factor members more likely to respond).
Multiple wingmen.
Ability to toggle spacebar time forward and change it's speed.
Shop subscriptions/notifications.
Part bounties.
Wingman ship design control, like maybe gifted parts always get integrated into ship design if possible.
Wingman behavior settings.
Nameless automated wingman (like zomble ambush only on your side.)
Strike craft slot filling mothership buffs. (for unpunishing people who don't want to run strikecraft)
Strikecraft/general Buff parts for people who want to focus on strike craft, defense, or single parts at the expense of the mothership.
Option to recraft a given part into a different faction's version for cosmetics and tuning. (And/or custom part pricing changes to obviate this change.)
Planets and other civilian/cosmetic activities to create a more live feeling galaxy. Right now feels like nothing but motherships.
Darker/more sad bandit dialog and pictures. (Closer or reavers. Less silly.)
etc etc X)

Sorry for wall of text. I just love this game a lot and I like playing in one galaxy a long time hehe.

See also:
http://steamcommunity.com/app/252470/discussions/3/358415738207423773/
Last edited by Innomen; May 10 @ 7:40am
sbm311 May 10 @ 7:41am 
Originally posted by Innomen:
Originally posted by Nightmare Moon:
Ah..., so deadspace is just empty but can be accessed like any another sector... sigh...
What did you want? And the rest of this update is awesome...
Perhaps Nightmare Moon was waiting for the dead sectors and other things from this topic . More precisely:
Originally posted by WarWeeD:
Another Starmaps ideas.:
-Dead Sectors: Sectors that factions will never claim and every captain will dodge. Asteroids fields, ionized, supreme bandit or sectors dangerous sectors where you can get random encounters and is a challenge to cross along. Sector where not all captains will follow you...
I'm also a little disappointed about this.
Last edited by sbm311; May 10 @ 10:16am
You guys [Richard and Andrew] are an amazingly creative duo! Creativity like yours is IDEAL for game development and exactly what this industry needs!

But I digress... another amazing update, as usual! Thank you VERY MUCH!!!
Ai May 10 @ 9:12am 
Originally posted by sbm311:
Perhaps Nightmare Moon was waiting for the dead sectors and other things from this topic . More precisely:
Originally posted by WarWeeD:
Another Starmaps ideas.:
-Dead Sectors: Sectors that factions will never claim and every captain will dodge. Asteroids fields, ionized, supreme bandit or sectors dangerous sectors where you can get random encounters and is a challenge to cross along. Sector where not all captains will follow you...
I'm also a little disappointed about this.

Yeah, i was exited about it untill i played for a few hours.
All it really is, is a place where no starbases can be build. That's it.

I expected a bit more form it.

Kinda like raids actually....it's underwhelming with missed potential.


STILL a great update, those balance changes were badly needed.
Last edited by Ai; May 10 @ 9:48am
Innomen May 10 @ 9:46am 
Originally posted by sbm311:
Originally posted by Innomen:

What the hell man. (snip)

Yeah, my reply was kneejerk and that's why I deleted it. You quoted me too fast hehe.

But still he could have said something nice about other stuff in the update. Comes off as super petulant otherwise.

Originally posted by Ai:
Kinda like raids actually....it's underwhelming with missed potential.

Yeah, the raid system makes no sense. It need sot be removed in favor of some new possible action.
Last edited by Innomen; May 10 @ 9:49am
willbuz May 10 @ 9:49am 
Nice work !! I have a question, will do you add more capitains ? I think 200 is a little few for de milky colossus, and perhaps choose their number on sandbox mode ? thx :)
sbm311 May 10 @ 10:26am 
Originally posted by Innomen:
Yeah, my reply was kneejerk and that's why I deleted it. You quoted me too fast hehe.

But still he could have said something nice about other stuff in the update. Comes off as super petulant otherwise.
Also removed it from quoted post. The update is excellent, unfortunately I did not have time to play it enough.
Innomen May 10 @ 11:54am 
Originally posted by sbm311:
Also removed it from quoted post. The update is excellent, unfortunately I did not have time to play it enough.

Thanks much :) That's nice of you :) And yeah, I haven't started a new galaxy yet with deadspaces, I haven't decided how to lay them out yet. I must admit it feels like it won't matter much hehe.

I'm pretty sure they'll give us something in the future to make dead space more prohibitive.
Last edited by Innomen; May 10 @ 11:55am
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