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Battlestar Galactica Deadlock - Dev Diary #11 'New Frontiers'

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:03 pm
by AlbertoC
“I’d feel a lot better if you were over here, ‘Lena. I don’t like you out there on that dinky tub.”
Helena smiled, and held the old radio closer. “Then next time hire a competent quartermaster, and I won’t have to ride your supply ship.” The little jab felt good. Working with Sam like this, on something this important, was better. Even if it meant being cooped up in the radio control room of some research ship, while her big sister headed the CIC of an Artemis battlestar.
For all of their years in service, this was the first time the Agathon sisters had worked together.
Sam had always been traveling somewhere, doing classified operations for some organisation or other. And since Cain had transferred to Daidalos, Helena hadn’t had a chance to go planetside back home, let alone visit her nephew on Tauron. She wondered how little Zach was doing.
“Sam?” she called out over the wireless. “You... you didn’t go back home, did you? Between Marathon and this?”
There was a long silence.
“His father is looking after him,” Sam replied eventually. Short. Flat.
The connection between them broke up. Helena sighed. That feeling of belonging quickly, quietly flitted away. She looked up at the low dirty ceiling of the Celestra’s radio room, and wondered how long before the next contact.



Attention, nuggets! In today’s Developer Diary, we’re going to have a deeper look into the Environment Generator, the entity that is responsible for the procedural map generation in Battlestar Galactica Deadlock!


Mapping New Frontiers

In the singleplayer campaign of Deadlock, there are two instances where your environments are procedurally generated; during a resource mission, and a roaming battle with a Cylon fleet. Previously the generator only had asteroids and inert dust clouds to play with. With the new environmental hazards coming in the next update (see Developer Diary #10 - Hostile Environments), there’s a whole lot more for the generator to use and create interesting environments with.


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A number of factors are used by the generator to determine what is used to create an environment, and how it gets shaped. First, the generator looks at the location where the battle is located.

If the battle is taking place over a settled colony, the environment will reflect a calmer, more civilised space, with inert dust clouds and network satellites. The further out from civilised space, the more dangerous the environment becomes with ionised nebulas and asteroid clouds. Over some colonies you may even find forgotten Imperial War era minefields!

Additionally, the location determines the type of skybox used to surround the environment. Each of the four star systems, as well as Helena’s starlane coordinates, have their own distinct sky to differentiate where you’re currently battling.


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Daidalos in an environment from v1.0.41, and Daidalos in a new environment.


Once the generator knows what to make the environment out of, it takes great pains to construct shapes and bodies that provide interesting gameplay choices, while providing a sense of scale to the battling fleets. The generator has been balanced to avoid blanketing an environment with hostile terrain, and provide both the player and the Cylon AI with new and interesting tactical choices to make.


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We’re also taking care to make sure that even with all of these updates to the mechanics and visuals, the game remains performant for our minimum spec players.
And with that insight into our updated Environment Generator, we wrap up another Developer Diary. Stay tuned, as we’ll have news about this update and more in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, keep toasters at bay and the colonies safe. So say we all!