So, my current development status:
Test engine in progress. (prototype phase)
* Added, partially optimized all basic weapon types: beam weapons, missiles, railguns.
* Added particles for mining, explosions, missile launching.
* Set up basic shaders: Bloom/color bleeding (allows me to adjust the tone of a given scene), heat shimmering effects (making engine exhaust more accurate/visually appealing), planet shader (specular water/ice, underlying diffuse layer, semitransparent clouds, and glowing "lava" effects in one fell swoop), and metal shader (environment mapping, specular, diffuse texture, and decals for damage).
* Set up basic models: Five ship types and some asteroids.
* Set up basic interface. Again, this is mostly your rote homeworld interface: press M to go into extra-zoom movement mode, where you can set an x/y planar goal and adjust z-plane goal with shift.
* Set up a very basic version of pathfinding: ships do primitive obstacle-avoidance raycasting against a very simplified mesh representation of the scene. It's still quite buggy.
Things I want to point out:
* My work with Dawn of Civilization has impressed upon me the importance of optimization, even at the earliest levels of design. To this end, I have already implemented level-of-detail systems with regards to particle effects, mesh geometry, etc. I intend to (among other things) implement a visitor design pattern for all munitions and implement delta time for all observable effects (keeping gameplay relatively constant no matter the framerate).
* I am pondering whether or not to simulate railgun hits. On the plus side, a simulated railgun would mean significantly less processing going on; on the minus side, simulated shots feel a lot more "quality" than otherwise.
The reason I'm only considering this for railguns is because they're the main weapons of small, multitudinous fighters. Hence, they fit the bill quite nicely for a combat bottleneck in need of preemptive optimization.
* If I really have trouble with optimization, I can (lore-justified) limit combat either to squads of fighters EG Homeworld 2, or to larger ships.
Edited by OmicronGamer, 23 September 2010 - 01:06 AM.