Author: karellommaert

[DEV] Big update

Hey guys!

It’s been ages since I made a blog post, but a lot has been achieved in the past few weeks. Since last Wednesday, our fellow students got to test the game, we wanted to have a good, properly working prototype.

The reason I’ve been of the grid, is because I’ve been rewriting the majority of our code. After finding a few bugs in the core of our code, I decided it was time to just have a big cleanup. It took me a lot of time, but the results were quite surprising. We had a huge boost in performance, and a lot of bugs we had been trying to resolve, are all gone!

I also had to fix part of the UI, after we implemented our old unreal UI. It was nothing major, but the results make our game look a lot better!

Once that was done, I wanted to implement networking to fix our issue with the split screen, but due to the limited time we had for the game testing in class, we decided it’d be better if we just went for a 2-player camera, which Timothy added.

The testing went pretty well, and we received a lot of great feedback. Mostly about player feedback. This was partly because we had just switched to the new 2-player camera, which forced us to leave out some features, making some things not very clear.
After hearing the feedback, I got back to work. I’ve been working together with Lorenz trying to make our controls more visible. So far what I’ve done is make a little image appear as you come close to a planet that you own (I also added planet capturing, a feature we kind of just forgot about), which shows the button to press to go to the build mode. Lorenz also came up with the idea to add a hexagon grid, so we’ve been testing around with it, and so far I kind of like the results, but we will have to discuss these changes with our other teammates first.

Currently I’m also working on implementing object pooling for all our frequently used prefabs, such as bullets and enemies. This will give us some more increase in performance, so I figured I’d do it, as I was working on the enemies anyway (working on making them respawn, experimenting with random respawn locations vs set locations).

Big wall of text, and no screenshots? Well, not much to show this time, sorry! See you next time.

Cheers, Karel


[DEV] Map and ship selection

Hey guys,

this week I’ve been working on implementing a map. The true challenge in this case was how we wanted to design the map, and we still haven’t come to a real conclusion, but we do have some great ideas so far. Since we didn’t know the details yet, I couldn’t fully implement it, but I did add a way to zoom out and have an overview of the map.


We’ve also been thinking about how we want to show what belongs to which player. The obvious start was giving the player (and his ship) a color. Nicolas made a few preset colors for his ships (as you can see in his previous post). We decided it would be a good choice to let the player choose which colors he wants to be, so I made a little ship selection scene where you get  to choose your ship and its colors.


Next week we’ll mostly be working on refining the gameplay and things like that


[DEV] UI and finishing features

Hey guys,

This week I’ve been finishing the different UI’s and their functions. We have some basic sliders for health, boost and resource values, and a menu for accessing the build options when you’re viewing a planet.

We’ve also been working on making small changes to our old features, and tweaking values of the different scripts such as the camera distance and fire rates.

Timothy also added a splitscreen function, which gave us some trouble with cameras etc, but we managed to fix those. But since the aspect ratio of half a screen isn’t that great to play on, I also made a level where there’s no planet viewing, only combat. Instead of following you, the camera now zooms according to how far away players are from each other, so everyone remains visible.

[DEV] More features!

Hey guys,

another update about what I’ve been working on this week:
-I’ve updated the movement, and made it completely physics based. This means or ship’s are not just moving around, they’re instead pushed by forces, and slowed down by dragging forces that increase as your speed increases.
-I’ve also the option to switch your weapon, to a slower but stronger weapon.
-There’s been an update to the AI as well, currently they follow a waypoint system and speed up and attack the player on sight.
-The player currently is controlled by an input script to allow the AI the use the same functions as the player (like movement, shooting, weapon swapping).
-I’ve also added turret control. Turrets will follow the player as he or she comes close and will start shooting.
-I’ve added the speed boost option, but it’s not fully functional yet, but it will do for the prototype.
-Last but not least, I’ve used Timothy’s code for building factories and turrets to give the player the option to place buildings on a planet upon inspecting them. The resources have also been implemented: There’s a different factory for each kind, and they generate an amount of resources over time.

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Currently I’m working on making some basic UI for both menu’s and for in game, because right now, a lot of the important values (Health, resources,…) are not visible to the player yet.

[DEV] New prototype

Hey guys,

Been a long time since I posted but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working.

As mentioned earlier by Lokke, we have decided to switch to Unity due to some issues in unreal. This meant we only have a little over a week to make a working prototype. Luckily a week of vacation, because it’s going to be a lot of work.

So far, I’ve remade the following things in Unity:
-Movement using forces, so we can easily tweak the inertia
-The option to inspect nearby planets
-A smooth camera
-Shooting and damaging enemies
-Input for keyboard, mouse and controller

Right now I’m also working on our old pirate AI, and improving it. Unity’s AI system is way less refined than UE4’s, so we’ll have to do a lot by ourselves, but so far this hasn’t been a problem.



[DEV] First unreal experience

Hey guys,
My name is Karel and I’m one of the 2 programmers working on Constellation.
In our first weeks we’ve mostly been brainstorming about the game and planning what we will be doing and when.

We have decided to make the game using the unreal engine, because art wise, it allows us a lot more freedom.
One of the biggest challenges right now will be learning to work with unreal, as I have never done so before.

So far I’ve been trying to find out how blueprints work, and I also spent some time making the basic AI of an enemy ship, making it patrol and attack on sight.