It’s been a long time since the last update for Dysis went live - and that means this next update is huge!
A quick overview of the major features:
- Lighting (+Night Mode)
- New UI (menus+RTS)
- New RTS Controls
- Hangar+New Commanding Classes
- Unit Path Planning
- Asteroid Map Generator
- New Shading for non-SSAO Users
- Occlusion Culling (not complete)
- FPS hit tracker (a very small first step towards improving FPS, much more to come)
- In-game music (again, a very small step towards what is coming)
- 100+ Bug Fixes
New Lighting Engine
This is part of the post-processing update. Dysis now features a brand new deferred lighting portion to it’s engine. Because of this, the rest of the color/normal textures that were being written each frame needed to be re-optimized to fit the lighting data in without being detrimental performance (and this will still take testing to see how it performs other the other machines Dysis will be played in).
New User Interface
As you can see in the picture above, Dysis is sporting a brand new look! It has been refined from its previous form to look more polished while also giving the user more information to work with. Selected units are displayed in the center and are colored according to their current health (green is healthy, red is bad). The right hand menu holds the selection of commands that can be issued to the selected units (each with a description and costs for buildings), and the left menu holds the action queue.
At the top of the screen, Dysis now shows an experience bar - this experience goes towards unlocking upgrades in the hangar for all robots you currently have schematics for.
The Mass and Energy bar is also now a little smaller, hooray!
New RTS Controls
Along with the new interface, you now have the ability to navigate the menus with the keyboard. Going back to the first version of Dysis - the Mason construction bots didn’t have the build menu automatically open - this is once again the case (they now have a menu with the ability to attack, heal other units, open up the building menu, and will soon game a menu for creating terrain altering templates). To access the construction menu quickly, you can hit ‘c’, and click on a building, or simply hit that buildings hotkey (1-6 currently, but this will be expanded as more buildings are added to the game).
Move, Attack, Patrol and several other commands can also now be enabled with the quick hit of a hotkey (which means the normal map navigate buttons have been set to the Forward/Left/Right/Down keys for now - hopefully that won’t make a huge impact on players switching between RTS and FPS modes regularly).
Hangar+New Commanding Classes
Instead of being stuck with just the Architect as your commanding unit, you now have access to two more (with another one the way, and further ones for our higher tier Kickstarter backers!).
Further, once you’ve played a little, The Hangar becomes available to you - this will be the main way to customize your army and defeat your enemies! Right now the hangar just adjusts your command robot (whether it be the Architect, Engineer, or Technician), but in the next patch, this will be expanded to include all robots that you have schematics for!
As you play the game, you will unlock new schematics. Many of these you will gain simply through experience, however some will be unlocked in hidden areas requiring exploration.
Schematics will determine which robots and addons you have available to you for customization (which YES means, you will find new robots in secret areas).
Unit Path Planning
Basic unit path planning has been added into the game. Note: this is not part of the AI patch, just something to hold players over until that point. This means that if capable - units will determine a valid path to climb hills to get to their assigned goals. The path planning is still in its infancy, and only happens when a user directly commands a unit to move to a specific place. This path planning will become more efficient and advanced when the AI patch hits (that’s the next big thing on my plate - so hopefully you won’t have to wait so long for that!).
To visualize path planning, players can go into the settings and enable selected units to show their paths (off by default).
Asteroid Map Generator
With the new path planning in place, it’s time to unveil another environment! This one is definitely still under construction, however it should be quite a bit different that some of the others (having floating asteroids and requiring quite a different approach towards navigation).
New Shading for non-SSAO Users
Not only has the SSAO seen an improvement in this latest patch (less grainy, more precise and efficient), but there is also better shading for the non-ssao view (a quick pre-computation of ambient lighting on the terrain). SSAO still seems to be one of the most computationally demanding things in Dysis, so for any users experiencing lag, turning this off might be the first thing to look into (and trying to keep a similar graphical quality while doing this is important!).
FPS Hit Tracker
FPS hasn’t seen a lot of love in this patch - I’ve been really focused on getting the RTS and gameplay mechanics down for units/the hangar. I managed to put in a little work today and added a hit tracker to show where damaging impacts are coming from (especially useful if you are just wandering through the forest and start taking fire):
You may also notice that the first person HUD looks a little nicer than it did before - I’ve adjusted the compression/quality of all in-game textures, making everything look nicer and behave quite a bit nicer to hue shifts (team color changes). This hud will still be replaced, but at least it looks nicer for now!
Thanks to Harry Rowell (and my finally figuring out how to load audio faster so as not to increase initial load time), we are finally getting our first bit of in-game music! There is still a lot more to come, but it feels really good to get this in there.
I’ve found and fixed countless bugs with this patch (as well as likely inserted quite a few more). Hopefully I haven’t broken anything major, and most of the bugs from the previous version are fixed!