As 2014 comes to an end, we are nearing the release of Defect SDK. There's still a lot of work ahead of us, but we are on track for an early-mid 2015 alpha release. So what exactly have we been working on? Leading up to PAX Australia, we worked hard on the AI, created the intro cutscene and the first single player mission. We improved the UI and did a bunch of optimisations. We added a lot of sound fx and the dynamic music system (more on this in another blog post). Based on player feedback, we changed the control system on tablet to a virtual thumbstick style control that can be placed anywhere on the screen. This allows the player to control the ship with one hand and use the the other to control the camera and manage ship components. We're still experimenting to find the best method of control of the ship on PC and Mac, but we will most likely have a few different options available in the final release (ie mouse, keyboard, controller).
PAX was a huge success, with lots of people stopping by our booth and giving Defect a go. Based on player feedback and our observations, we then made lots of improvements. One of the things we were struggling with was ship-to-ship collision. It's hard to get it to look right and get the AI ships to steer around each other, especially small ships around large, oddly shaped ships. We decided to try removing ship-to-ship collision, so now ships fly over each other, with smaller ships flying over larger ships. It looks and feels a lot better, so we are going to stick with it and now work on tweaking the small vs large ship battles.
Now that the tech for that first mission is done, we'll be focusing on making many more missions over the next few months.