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Posted by Data in Cortex Command - April 17th, 2014

Build 30 is here!

Posted by CaveCricket48 in Cortex Command - February 16th, 2014

It took eight builds since Lua was first introduced, but there are now primitive draw functions that allow modders to, well, draw stuff. Things like simple boxes, circles, and lines can be drawn using Lua, instead of having to make a bunch of MOSRotating or MOSParticle objects with the sprites of what the modder wants displayed.

FrameMan:DrawCirclePrimitive(Vector pos, int radius, int color)
FrameMan:DrawCircleFillPrimitive(Vector pos, int radius, int color)
FrameMan:DrawLinePrimitive(Vector start, Vector end, int color)
FrameMan:DrawBoxPrimitive(Vector start, Vector end, int color)
FrameMan:DrawBoxFillPrimitive(Vector start, Vector end, int color)

On the content balancing end of things, we’re aiming on giving each faction there own strengths and weaknesses in terms of durability and weapons, along with a differing play-style for each faction.

Feedback thread and more information here.

FrameMan:DrawCirclePrimitive(Vector pos, int radius, int color)
FrameMan:DrawCircleFillPrimitive(Vector pos, int radius, int color)
FrameMan:DrawLinePrimitive(Vector start, Vector end, int color)
FrameMan:DrawBoxPrimitive(Vector start, Vector end, int color)
FrameMan:DrawBoxFillPrimitive(Vector start, Vector end, int colorssda

Posted by CaveCricket48 in Cortex Command - February 13th, 2014

An issue often brought up about CC’s difficulty is the AI, specifically, how it can direct every actor at once, while the player is limited to controlling one actor at a time.

To get players on more level ground, we’ve been working on a Squad function activated in the Pie Menu. Once you press it, the actor you’re currently controlling becomes the ‘leader,’ and you can grab allied units within a specified distance around you that will follow the leader.

When the squad is disbanded, either manually by pressing the pie menu button again or having the leader die, the followers will copy the leader’s AI mode at death, so you can direct large number of units to positions without having to set them on Go To one at a time.

Squad Pie Menu Command

Group Go To

Update: Some gifs to show that only weapons of the same “type” will be fired. That means rocket launchers will fire with rocket launchers, bullet sprayers with bullet sprayers, and so on.

Posted by Data in Crush2D, Planetoid Pioneers - February 12th, 2014

Just a quick status update on Planetoid Pioneers.. we are having a problem:
It’s too much fun messing around in it that some of us on the team (read: me) are getting distracted from actually getting work done:
Planetoid Pioneers New Test Scene
(the game is actually running at a much higher framerate than the 15FPS captured in this gif)

However, our tools are reaching a quite sophisticated level of polish, so they’re pretty fun to work in too:
Robot joint editor

Another quick update: our Twitter stream has now been fixed so it will yet again announce all our code checkins
for both Cortex Command and Planetoid Pioneers.. stay tuned to it for the latest tidbits:
TWITTAR

Posted by TheHeartsman in Cortex Command - February 11th, 2014

Hi! My name is Jake ‘The Heartsman’ Harold, I’ve recently joined the Data Realms dev team, and I’m here to tell you about the first job I did: Steam Trading Cards!

cc_announce

6 cards to collect, 6 badges, 10 emoticons and a bunch of Steam profile backgrounds, meaning you can now show off just how much you love Cortex Command to all your friends (and probably enemies). This is the start of a lot more Steam integration for our games; there’s a lot of exciting stuff ahead of us!

Posted by Data in Cortex Command - February 10th, 2014

I have some good news for veteran players of Cortex Command: the infamous Scene Gib Bug has finally been thoroughly eradicated! For those not in the know, it was a very hard-to-reproduce critical issue where your actors (including your brain!) would sometimes inexplicably explode in a shower of blood as they walked across the wrapping ’seam’ of scene. A poor game experience, to say the least.

So, I am glad to report that my long suspicion was finally confirmed that the bug originated in the decade-old locomotion physics algorithms. Long story short, they were not fully taking into account the wrapping of some spatial delta calculation between absolute coordinates in the scene. This would only be relevant when the character headed across that otherwise seamless-looking wrap line, with his limbs on the ‘other side’, pulling his body forward on the first side, causing huge impulse forces due to the misinterpreted mathematical distance.

After having unsuccessfully tried to track it down for a very long time now (it was tough to even reproduce reliably – often the nature of physics simulations), I can with relief and pride say that it has been verified to be a resolved matter. It took the renewed efforts and fresh eyes of two very dedicated and talented members of the official Cortex Command team here at Data Realms, Weegee and Abdul, to both produce the special tools necessary to find, and then to fix, the issue once its general whereabouts were nailed down.

So, a BIG HUZZAH to them! Here’s a test scene/script that has been running for many hours, sending actors crawling across that former line of random death:

seamgibtest

Posted by CaveCricket48 in Cortex Command - February 7th, 2014

CaveCricket48 here. Progress on Cortex Command is still rolling despite the unintentional lack of information, and with a new build around the corner, just hold on a little longer!

On my end of things, I’ve been working towards getting CC’s content balanced, in terms of gold cost, actor durability, and weapon damage. Keep in mind that this is the first pass-over, and by no means close to the final phase.

In the current and older builds, there were some serious issues with the cost of units, weapons, and crafts, where a cannon could cost more than a dropship. When a mob of enemies were coming your way, it was more economical and time efficient to throw a craft at them than to buy a soldier and a gun, and the soldier had a much lower chance of actually getting the job done. Now, however, pricing of items for the most part follows the pattern below:

_________________________

Weapons 0 - 150
Actors 100 - 250
Crafts 200 - 200+

Weapons              0 - 150

Actors                 100 - 250

Crafts                  200 - 200+

_________________________

Pretty self-explanatory. The majority of weapons are cheaper than the majority of actors, and the majority of actors are cheaper than the majority of craft.

The pricing of actors is now more dependent on their durability and less arbitrary, taking into account GibWoundLimit and bleeding to come up with their gold cost, and then tweaking the value based on mobility and armor.

Damage for weapons has also been looked at to differentiate SMGs from assault rifles, balancing shotguns appropriately, and making sure everything has a sharplength that makes sense.

Previously, “SMG” and “assault rifle” weapons were essentially the same – one particle of damage per shot at a rapid rate of fire. Now, however, assault rifles fire two damage particles on their tracer round, allowing them to hit harder per shots fired compared to SMGs. The inconsistency also keeps them from stepping on the sniper weapon types too much, since sniper rifles still maintain a consistent number of particles per shot.

Shotgun fall-off has been changed to be less like snowflakes when they reach a certain distance, but still keep them powerful at close ranges. Now instead of pellets slowing down, they have a script where roughly 50% or 70% (depending on the faction) of the particles will randomly have their sharpness values set to 0 after a minimum period of time. This allows them to still injure enemies at long range without hitting with their full power, while still keeping them strong up close.

The sharplength of weapons now looks like:

_________________________

Handgun                100 - 200

Shotgun/SMG         150 - 250

AR                        200 - 300

Rifle                      250 - 350

Sniper                   300 - 400+

_________________________

With “Rifle” being a rifle similar to a DMR, being useful for distances in between an assault rifle and a sniper rifle.

The next series of balancing passes will be to tweak things based on your feedback once the build is released, and then working to adjust actors’ GibImpulseLimit and ImpulseDamageThreshold to allow kinetic projectiles to deal health damage, instead of either exploding the actor or just shoving them. And, of course, modifying and adding new weapons to take advantage of the new damage method.

Posted by Data in Cortex Command - December 8th, 2013

Happy Holidays folks! Data here ~

After a year+ hiatus from the games industry, I am back in the saddle at Data Realms HQ and busy cranking away with the rest of the team on our next technology and new game that we’re building with it: Planetoid Pioneers. Some of you might remember those few recordings of programming Cortex Command I did a couple of years ago… to my surprise, hours-long videos of me mumbling at code were pretty popular! So, I’ve decided to take it to the next level and do livestreams on Twitch.tv, the first of which went down last night:

Follow our Twitch channel here for future live shows of me poking around with the very powerful editors and getting new stuff into the game!

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Posted by Data in Crush2D, Planetoid Pioneers - September 12th, 2013

This pretty much sums up our experience at PAX this year, and hints at what we’ve got in store: