Physics, Voice Coms and Docking 0.89

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Physics, Voice Coms and Docking 0.89

Postby MrBenjammin » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:45 pm

Hey guys, the physics update that we've been testing on the aptly named "Physics test server" is finally out. Physics brings a lot of changes to various mechanics as well as new opportunities for building cool stuff. It replaces our old system of flight which was quite limiting, if you bumped into anything they were solid objects, they wouldn't budge and on a technical level it was very awkward to do a couple of things I want to do in the future with the old system! Now you'll find you can push ships around and even use the new Docking Clamp to clamp ships onto each other in order to dock them together(or make a bigger ship!). Physics also opens the way to expanding and changing the way propulsion and handling works in the future. All of the moving parts in Sky Nations have been rewritten with this new physics system, so things like Cannonballs and Missiles will be much more reliable and won't occasionally pass through objects and explode when you are moving to fast.

I've also added Voice communication in this update; I previously added Voice in an update quite awhile ago but found quite a few issues specific to certain setups and sound drivers and had to remove it. It was something I really wanted to comeback to and sort out and I finally have. By holding V(default binding) you can chat with your fellow sky privateers. The sound is 3D, so you can hear both where the sound is coming from and how far away it is. This should make it a bit easier to communicate those vital orders when you're in a situation that demands something a bit faster than typing. There's still a bit more expansion to this I'd like to do in the future such as displaying a speaker icon over those talking and allowing users to choose their Input device in the Options(rather than using the Windows default one).

I'm looking forward to see what people do with some of the gained flexibility physics bring and also using it myself to make some more interesting weapons and events in the future! As always check the change log below for the full list of fixes and changes.

I'd also like to thank the following guys and girls for helping me test the new physics rewrite on the test server and providing feedback on the forums, steam and twitter:
  • Knite
  • Dahl
  • MrBlue
  • Mugvahyu
It would of certainly taken a lot longer to get it done and stable without you guys and thank you to anyone else that hopped on and had a play.

I posted a short developer log a few days ago about the physics changes which you can check out here. Though some of the docking mechanics have changed slightly since then:

How do I update?
If you're on Steam, the Steam client will update it automatically for you. If you play via the Launcher the launcher will automatically update for you.
Server files:

To update existing servers just copy and paste the files over your existing ones. As always, make sure you backup your game data before doing so.

Changelog 0.89

Ships in tight spaces such as ships used as hangar doors may need to be fished out after first start up by admins of servers as the physics system may move them slightly.

  • Added experimental physics engine to the game to replace system for collision. The entire underlying collision system has been replaced with this.
  • Added Voice communication. The voice communication uses 3D positioning so you have to be relatively close to the people you’re chatting with. The default binding is V. To talk just hold V down. You can disable both talking and listening via the Sound tab in the options menu. Muted players cannot use Voice.
  • Ships are now velocity based rather than previously moving at a speed directly forward. If you move very fast in one direction then turn you will ‘drift’ as you maintain the velocity for a short time before it falls off.
  • The ship speed UI element above the energy bar has been changed to Thrust to more accurately represent how it now works with physics. Thrusters give you more ‘thrust’ which is essentially the pushing power. In brackets next to it is your Sky Knots Per Second(sk/s) which is actual moving speed(same measurement as previously).
  • Added experimental Docking Clamps for docking ships on to other ships. Right click to attach a ship above the clamp. A ship clamped down cannot have another ship clamped on top of it. Though currently you can clamp as many ships onto one given ship. Ships that are clamped have their movement disabled. Though the carrier can still move with the combined weight.
  • Changed cannon balls speed(thus there range). To make it a bit more viable to hit moving ship targets for both artillery and static cannons. Their collision detection is much much more accurate than it was previously and there shouldn’t be situations of cannon balls moving through objects.
  • Ship positions are much more accurate now for all clients watching them as they are completely simulated on the server side instead of using the driver and fault checking.
  • All damage is unified now. Which means shotguns, repeaters, lasers, explosions and future types of damage are all handled generically. Which has fixed things like Escape bubbles not taking bullet damage.
  • All weapons have been ported to using physics system for collision, which should be much faster and more accurate.
  • Cannonballs can be shot with any weapon to detonate them before impact.
  • Many missiles should cause less problems for server performance during sieges.
  • Various collision based crashes fixed for both client and server.
  • Fixed being able to type over character limit in client textbox leading to your messages not being shown.
  • Fixed many ‘box cast’ situations where ships could end up positioned inside of things from jumps, teleportations, energy wells and other methods of positioning ships. These are also much more tighter and best placement of new ships should be much more predictable.
  • Fixed a bug where some very specific configurations of blocks would break collision detection.
  • Fixed cannon balls exploding on fast moving ships as they updated over the top of them. Especially when shooting forwards.
  • Chat should be unaffected by loading data from chunks now as they travel in different channels.
  • Fixed incorrect material types for Mass Generators, Power Displays, Steel Shutters, Signs, Emblems, Copper Doors and Energy Wells. (Thanks sssuperguy).
  • Fixed players seeing a ‘ghost ship’ of the ship they were on when it jumps to a capital they do not belong too.
  • Ammo Crates on a SPF’d ship can no longer be opened by non-Nation members.
  • Fixed ships coming to a instant halt when the driver dismounts.
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