Version 0.3.0 has been released!

Thank you all for your patience! I’m proud to announce version 0.3.0 has finally been released. It’s been a long time since the last update, so there’s a lot to cover.

Release Highlight: Bot Players

First, bot players have been added to the game. There’s now a checkbox when hosting the game to enable bots. Once enabled, the game will fill in enough bot players to start the game. As players join, bots will be removed until the minimum player count is reached.

I know that having bot players in multiplayer shooters can be contentious, but during the early access period, they’re essential to realistically test out games with a large number of players. If you’re looking for human players to use as target practice, you can always join the Discord and ask who’s ready to play!

I’ll be adding minor features in future releases to make the bots smarter over time.

Release Highlight: Updated Netcode

With the addition of bots, I had to make some upgrades to the underlying netcode for the game. Movement should now look smoother over the network, and shots should be easier to land for players who aren’t hosting the game. This update includes an initial implementation of lag compensation, and there’s always room for improvement, so expect to see some more updates to netcode in future releases.

Detailed Release Notes

Besides the release highlights, there’s several minor improvements to mention:

  • Laser weapon range decreased from 40km to 20km. Being able to shoot folks from across the map was a little insane.
  • Missile weapon range increased from 10km to 30km. There were a lot of instances where missile lock-on attempts wouldn’t work simply because you were too far away from the target. This should make this situation happen less often.
  • Fixed an issue where lasers would collide with each other and block damage. I found this out the hard way when I went head-to-head with a bot. Neither of us did any damage. It was unexpected, so now the lasers pass through each other.
  • Fixed an issue where missiles would collide with the player firing the missile. You can imagine how silly this looked. Not only that, it would sometimes damage yourself!
  • Added options for setting minimum player count. Previously, you could only set maximum player count for games. The lowest minimum player count is 2. (So…the minimum minimum player count is 2.)
  • Fixed an issue where players on the same network couldn’t connect if their computers only had public IPv6 addresses. Once again, found this out the hard way when I was testing.
  • Fixed an issue where multiple players could spawn in the same location. This one took a while to figure out! The behavior you end up seeing is that you spawn in with less health, without any explanation. I’ve updated the spawning logic to make sure the same spawn location isn’t reused twice in a row. In a future release, I’ll make sure spawns are delayed if another player is too close.
  • The scoreboard now sorts players by highest number of points. This was a request from a playtester, and was a quick thing to fix.
  • The engine version and analytics package have been updated.
  • The checkbox in the analytics options for sharing your device ID has been removed, as the newest version of Unity analytics no longer tracks this data.

Known Issues

  • When joining a game, you may see the scoreboard stuck on “Respawning in 3 seconds” without counting down. To fix the issue, simply leave the game and rejoin.
  • You may still see some odd behavior from bots, such as circling a specific point or continuing to fire even though there’s no target in front of them. Bots will get smarter in future releases.
  • Lag compensation may not work well when close to bot targets. You may need to lead your shots when fighting bot players at close range. This accuracy will improve in future releases.

What’s Coming Next?

Now that bots have been implemented, the next big item to work on is updating the map! The default map was put together fairly quickly, and I’d like to put together a properly designed map before introducing new ship designs and upgrades.

Fly safe out there, pilots!