VoidExpanse: Character skill system

Added on 22 July 2014 by Lurler.

And here is the final preview before release. This time I would like to talk about the skill system which was finally implemented.

Funny thing is - this feature is exactly the reason why this update is taking more time than we initially anticipated. The skill system was supposed to be the last addition to the game in the current iteration but when we started working on it it turned out more or less like this. But it is finally complete and only a round of polish and some final fixes are left!

Anyway, here is a small preview of the new combat skill tree.

You may notice right away that there are now two types of skills. Essential and non essential. The essential ones are highlighted by special border and in the example above these are the ballistic weapons skills which will give you access to use higher level of ballistic weapons. All major skills such as ship piloting, weapons, and a few others will be highlighted in this manner giving you a clear picture of what skills are the most important.

Aside from that we have also implemented more than a hundred different effects that can affect your ship or your enemies in some way. These effects are already used for the new skills and could be used for items as well. For example a booster that will give you some bonus to damage of energy weapons or such.

Overal the game has more than a hundred skills now separated into four major categories (piloting, combat, engineering and social). This will give you plenty of opportunies to specialize your character the way you want to play.

We have also finally implemented different character classes so now your choice when you start the game will matter!

VoidExpanse: Trading system

Added on 17 July 2014 by Lurler.

Hey everyone! Here is another preview for the next big update! And this time I would like to discuss the trading system.

The trading was one of the very important features still missing from the game, so we wanted to implement it as soon as possible. And this update finally inroduces proper trading implementation. This was especially important feature before the game goes on Steam Greenlight as it is a big part of fun gameplay.

Anyway, here is an example of what you can expect to see in the game in terms of trading now (there are some new items too).

As you can see VoidExpanse now features different goods that can be traded between different station (all goods are marked in gray). But that's not all. Let me give you a quick list of main changes to the trading system.

  • The equipment selection is now different for each station. If you are interested in buying weapons it would be a good idea to visit a military station, while if you need some high-tech stuff the science station is your best bet.
  • Each station has different goods available in its stock for trading. You won't find the same goods on all stations. Especially if the station doesn't produce something there is a higher chance that there won't be any of it available at all, unless there is a group of merchancs supplying the station.
  • The prices of goods will heavily depend on the supply and demand scheme as well as the number of items available in stock.
  • Supply and demand will change over time and a trade route that was once profitable may be no longer relevant.
  • Oversaturation of the market is possible. If a group of merchans start delivering loads of the same item to the station the price will eventually drop to floor bottom making it no longer profitable.

That's more or less the general idea of how the trading will work, but that is definitely just the simplest overview of the system and internally it is much more complex and has definitely more to it making the trading an interesting and viable profession in the world of VoidExpanse.

Even if trading isn't your thing you will still find different items for your ship available at different times and different stations fun. So, if you are hunting for a particularly powerful item it will now take some effort to get it :)

Introducing VoidExpanse composer!

Added on 14 July 2014 by Lurler.

The new update is almost complete apart for some last content additions and bug fixes, so before releasing it I would like to talk a little bit about music in VoidExpanse. This update will finally bring all new tracks that our composer has been working on for the last several months. And I think he did an amazing job at that!

Here is an example of one of the new tracks:

But who IS our composer? I think it would be only fair to provide a little background here.
I will let the man speak for himself! :)

Hey there! I am Konstantin Glazunov, I've been working as composer for over 20 years now, creating soundtrack for cinema and games. And now a chance presented itself to join AtomicTorch Studio as a freelance composer. I think VoidExpanse is an amazing project and I am very exited to be working with them. My main genres in music would be art-rock, classics, ambient, that's what I like to do and best at. But where do I get inspiration for this particular project? There are a lot of sources of course, for example genius soundtrack in Unreal games, Homeworld, I could also probably name "The Dig". From movies I would say... Star Trek, Matrix, Oblivion and many more.
For VoidExpanse I tried to create a unique mix of techno, ambient and rock to convey the feeling of the game. We have also devised a special music system with guys from AtomicTorch. The mood and music will change depending on a particular system you are visiting and what happens around you as well as how far you progressed in the story. Combine that with over one and a half hours of total play time and you will be constantly surprised by it! That system is already implemented partially and I can't wait to hear my works fully invigorating the world of VoidExpanse with new mood of excitement, discovery and action!

Updated bonuses

Added on 9 July 2014 by Lurler.

We have updated the concept art pack as well as wallpapers pack that are available with Gold and Platinum versions of VoidExpanse. If you are one of the lucky owners of these versions - feel free to download the updated content.

And a little preview of what was updated:

 

VoidExpanse - New screenshots

Added on 30 June 2014 by Lurler.

It has been a long time since we have updated the projects page. So, that is what I did, and with a bunch of new screenshots! I think it looks waaaaay better than the ones we had before. But no wonder, the game has came a long way since that time.

 

VoidExpanse Ships: Death Bringer

Added on 26 June 2014 by Lurler.

While we are working on the next big update I wanted to share with you some of our current progress. In particular a new ship. I mentioned before that my favorite ship was Orca, but now it is officially changed to ... the "Death Bringer". It has two massive energy weapons hardpoints able to equip two PDC (particle discharge cannons). It is just insane how much damage this combo can cause to enemy ships (if you can hit them that is).

Here it is!

And as always here is a detailed 3D preview of the ship.

Death Bringer

Class: Heavy Cruiser.
Price: 60000 d.
Armor: Medium armor, Heavy structure.
Hardpoints:

  • Medium Energy (left wing)
    • Rotary mounted
    • Firing arc: 145°
    • Tracking: 70°/sec
  • Heavy Enegy x 2 (two central cannons)
    • Stationary mounted
  • Medium Energy (right wing)
    • Rotary mounted
    • Firing arc: 145°
    • Tracking: 70°/sec

Utility slots:

  • Consumables - 3
  • Devices - 2
  • Boosters - 4

Specials:

  • None.

Description: The Death Bringer was one of the latest additions for the Federation forces specifically designed to carry two heavy energy hardpoints. Space constraints made it impossible to make them rotary mounted, but considering the firepower it is hardly a problem. In addition to that it boasts two tracking hardpoints for medium energy weapons together making the Death Bringer unmatched in its devastation force.

VoidExpanse - Update v0.8.0

Added on 30 May 2014 by Lurler.

After almost two months of hard work we are finally ready to present you with our largest update to date on VoidExpanse!

In this time we were finally able to implement a mountain of new features that were not possible to with shorter updates! We have also had loads of great suggestions from the community and we've implemented quite a few!

Enough of the formalities though, lets get to the good stuff!

Launcher
Before we go into updates of the game I would like to present to you our new launcher (screenshot)! Now you don't need to bother with downloading each update, unpacking the archive, transferring the saves, etc. Just download one executable file to your desktop, run it and it will take care of everything for you. It can download each new version we release, patch the game for you, keep track of all new updates. You can also opt-in to receive early experimental versions to the game if you want to be the first to try out the new changes. Easy!


New storyline, dialogs and quest system
If constant combat or asteroid mining made you a little tired you can now finally start exploring the game world and its history. With this update we created and will continue to extend the new quest system that helps you develop your character and advance your progress in the game world. How did Xengatarn came to be? How and why was VoidExpanse created? Why were Far Colonies cut from the rest of Federation worlds? Why are there different factions? You can now find the answers to these questions as well as uncover more secrets along your way.


Stations now have different areas
We have finally implemented different areas to space stations that different NPC might occupy. One-eyed Joe likes sitting in a bar drinking booze, for example, while traders and other pilots will be running around the hangar or docking bay, scientists are in their laboratory in a Science station, and general Troyden can be found on the command deck. Mind that your character won't be automatically allowed to enter all of these zones. Especially areas where hight command officers reside. You have to earn an appropriate access level before you are admitted to these areas.


New content
This update brings quite a few additions to the content of the game. You can expect several new weapons, for example; good old machinegun or an insane particle discharge cannon that will one-shot almost any ship. There are also several new ship modules, new quest items and generally quite a few new things to encounter! But these additions are not just for ships, we have also added two new space station types: military and business, a new ship - Orca, a heavy cruiser boasting several missile, energy and mine hardpoints, and other!


Real consequences
Be careful now as destruction of your ship finally has consequences! You can set the difficulty of the game when you create a new world. You can choose between standard mode, semi-hardcore, where if your ship is destroyed you will lose it for good and be cloned at the nearest space station, and finally, complete and brutal hardcore mode where if you die - you die.


New possibilities
We included many new features into this update. One of these additions is the persuade skill, you can now use your speechcraft abilities to make other characters more inclined to your demands. You can even try negotiating with a brutal pirate to get out of trouble or ask slave drivers to release their prey.


New improved character relationships system
Now you have to think twice before robbing a trader or getting yourself involved with pirates. Faction relationships will change depending on your actions.
Saved the Order scientist? Now they will treat you with more respect and may offer you help, be more inclined to listen to your requests or provide you with some unique equipment or missions.
Killed a Fanatics miner? Now Fanatics faction won't even allow you entry into their stations or might open fire if they see you, maybe even hire mercenaries to get rid of you.
This relationship system is a very important step towards a completely dynamic world that will develop alongside the player.


Is that all?
Not even close! This is just the tip of the iceberg! You can find the complete patchnotes on our forum (here), we would also really like to hear your opinion on our progress as your feedback is very important to us!

Improvements to character generator

Added on 16 May 2014 by Lurler.

Another preview of changes to come in the next update! While we are working on the code our artist decided to give another round of polish to the character generation system.

Here are few more rediculous faces you can make :)

Note the havaii shirt - we couldn't pass on the classic shirt for the space ship pilots (Firefly, Andromeda, etc.).

Interview

Added on 14 May 2014 by Lurler.

Just something interesting for you while you wait for the next update :)

It's an interview with some more info about the game, company and some other things in general.

VoidExpanse: New weapon type!

Added on 12 May 2014 by Lurler.

Another sneak peek to what's coming in the next version. We have finally implemented mines as another weapon type. This will make gameplay and combat system in particular much more diverse. Now you don't just attack head on, but you can make some smart maneuvers and make your enemy hit your mines or deploy a mine right in their face if they are pursuing you :)

Here is how it looks like on a ship.

Note that we put it on a shuttle just for testing purposes, the shuttle won't actually have a mine slot.

Let us know what you think on the forums!

VoidExpanse Ships: Orca

Added on 5 May 2014 by Lurler.

So, we are working on the new update now! It's will take some time, but it is really going to be big! Here is a first sneak peek to what's coming. A new ship called Orca. It is personally one of my favoriates so far because it has two medium missile hardpoints as well as rotary mounted ballistic slot and good other stats.

And here is more detailed specifications and a 3D preview. You can rotate the ship in the 3D preview to get a better look.

Orca

Class: Light Cruiser.
Price: 20000 d.
Armor: Heavy armor, Heavy structure.
Hardpoints:

  • Medium Missile (top launcher)
    • Stationary mounted
  • Medium Missile (bottom launcher)
    • Stationary mounted
  • Medium Ballistic (wing)
    • Rotary mounted
    • Firing arc: 30°
    • Tracking: 60°/sec

Utility slots:

  • Consumables - 3
  • Devices - 2
  • Boosters - 6

Specials:

  • None.

Description: Orca was one of the first light cruisers built by the Federation hundreds of years ago. But even now, after so many years and countless modifications it still remains as one of the best light cruisers available. It is also one of the most customizable ships having a all six booster slots.

VoidExpanse - Update v0.7.12

Added on 29 April 2014 by Lurler.

Okay, this time the build should be stable! :) We have implemented a lot of fixes as well as rewritten several subsystems to address the issues reported since the last version.
We have also changed the save system to check the compatibility of saves. In the previous version we warned the people that saves are incompatible, but many still decided to use old saves which made some other problems appear. Now the game will check for any compatibility issues upon loading. So that too should be good.
Overall this update was focused on bug-fixes, compatibility improvements and optimizations. Hopefully it should be the last build of 0.7.x branch. After that - big new features!

Here is a detailed list of changes as always:

  • Implemented save compatibility checking.
  • Cosmetic fixes in star tooltips.
  • Fixed inability to rebind keys.
  • Improved item comparison tooltip.
  • Fixed updates of prices on space stations (when trading skill improved, etc).
  • Sometimes debris from previous star system present in current star system.
  • Fixed system map displaying objects on wrong positions.
  • Fixed too many "weapon empty" sounds.
  • 2D sounds (like "weapon empty") played in 3D space.
  • Added texture compression settings (auto/forced).
  • Improved textures & models caching.
  • Fixed blinkers sync problem.
  • Fixed re-centering when open system map is opened.
  • Added client stats log writer (average fps & other metrics regularly written to log).
  • Load music/sounds from cache instead of disc. Should improve performance a lot.
  • And a whole bunch of other small fixes.

What can you expect in a new version? Oh, a lot of features and content! I will post screenshots of a new ship, stations and some other info in the following days.

VoidExpanse - Update v0.7.11

Added on 23 April 2014 by Lurler.

The update is finally here and with a lot more stuff than we initially planned! Here goes.

( Random screenshot to grab your attention :-P )

New stuff:

  • New hint system. If you are doing something wrong the game will tell you. For example trying to equip an item in a wrong slot will show you a hint on what you are doing wrong.
  • Ability to ask for fuel from other friendly ships in space.
  • See contents of the asteroids skill if finally implemented. So, if you are a miner it will really come in handy!
  • Added "show on map" feature and ability to cancel quests.
  • All stars now do radiation damage to the neighboring ships.
  • Implemented skill: bonus to quest reward.
  • When near JumpGate it indicates where it leads.
  • Item comparison window.
  • Added button to quit to the main menu from the character creation screen.
  • Added faction icon near ship names (if the pilot belongs to any faction at all).

Changes:

  • New mining system. The main idea is that now you will actually get some good money for mining, but much less experience compared to before.
  • New experience system. We changed the amount of exp you get from killing pirates depending on their level as well as how much exp you need to level up.
  • Rebalanced the freighter hull. It is now somewhat weaker in combat.
  • Extended name generation for star system names.
  • Rebalanced the game start. It is a little bit easier now.
  • Galaxy map now reports actual asteroid density in different systems.
  • Added energy usage for all weapon types upon each particular shot, not just recharge. So, now all weapons use energy. We are still balancing the system so we would really appreciate your feedback on the forums.

Fixes:

  • Finally fixed multiplayer (lags, hangs, "lose of control")! And this time it really does work! :)
  • Fixed disappearing items icons (finally!).
  • Fixes to some quests, e.g. now they properly put markers, in the correct category and contain less grammatical mistakes ;)
  • Fixed collision box for science station.
  • Fixed docking zones for all stations. No more going through walls.
  • Fixed "Spiral docking" issues.
  • Fixed merchant Ships being stuck on certain stations.
  • Fixed "if game path contains Unicode symbols, NoesisGUI does not works".
  • Fixed random lags in game.
  • Fixed camera jumping after death/jumpgate.

And a whole lot of other small fixes!

As always we welcome you to join the discussion on the forums!

And more importantly - join us in multiplayer. We really want to see big battles going! Join in and show your skill!

PS - Due to a lot of new stuff added to the game unfortunately the savegames from the previous version is not compatible with this one... sorry.

VoidExpanse - Wallpapers

Added on 15 April 2014 by Lurler.

Initially we planned to release this VoidExpanse wallpapers pack with the Beta release, but since we were mostly working on the bugfixes these past two weeks our artist had some extra time he could spend finishing it. And I've gotta tell you it looks really gorgeous!

Here is an example:

This wallpaper pack is available to all Gold and Platinum game version owners. Thank you guys for supporting us! You can download it in the "My games & items" section.

Additionally I hope we can add even more wallpapers later on as well as adding more concept art images (several of which are in the works now).

VoidExpanse - Update v0.7.10

Added on 11 April 2014 by Lurler.

And it is finally done! This update primarily addresses all the reports that were given on the forums. Really big thanks guys! We were also able to slip some improvements to the game along with bugfixes. Overal I am very pleased with the work done this week. I hope you will like the changes! As usual find the list of updates below.

Oh, and below is an example of a rediculous face you can now create :) PS - there are also Hulk Hogan mustache available :)


New features:

  • Added industrial miner 2.
  • New generator (tritium + capacitor).
  • Whole lot of new face parts for character generator.
  • Consumables drop from pirates.
  • Added autosave interval setting to options.

Changes:

  • Consumables can now be equipped in flight. You don't need to dock to a station to do that.
  • Signposting - we have added clear indications to some actions to make it more clear why you can't do something or how you should do it.
  • Modified and rebalanced Avalanche hulls - now they are actually made for speed as it was intended.
  • Added missing icon for the first quest item.
  • Increased energy capacity for all generators.
  • Tooltips for ships now show tracking angle and tracking speed for each weapon.
  • Other small changes.

Bugfixes:

  • Fixed bugs with some quests. Particularly the Scurvy quest was changed significantly.
  • Fixed unequipping of devices when changing hulls.
  • Now it doesn't tell you "Docking failed" when you already docking.
  • Fixed NPC dialogs and container exchange states closing.
  • Now you cannot talk to turret platforms and pirates.
  • Fixed the problem with conversations when you talk to another ship, exit with Esc, the ship was zoomed-in and unresponsive.

Known problems:

  • Path to the game must not contain unicode symbols. Basically only symbols in default Eng keyboard are allowed. It should be fixed soon.

Tell us what you think of this update on the forums!

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