Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Is this sad?
Since I am kind of bored at work I have decided to sit down and make a computer program. I am using java to create an applet to simulate space battles.
I am going to try to work it that I am starting out very simplistically and then working my way up in terms of complexity.
Since tuesday I have created a basic UI so that you can create a squadron of up to 8 ships for yourself and 8 for the enemy (pre-assigned stats, at the moment). Then you can calculate a randomly generated starting position for the enemy squadron. Then you can manuever your squadron (only in the x/y plane at the moment, I am planning on adding 3 dimensions of movement later).
The manuevering is based on your fleets acceleration and the time 'interval' you select from drop down menus and it does mimic inertia (IE if you stop acclerating you will keep moving the same direction you had been going). The UI will show you the distance to the enemy squadron and its bearing along with your velocity and heading (and of course the drop downs for your acceleration and time interval).
Currently it is 'turn based', IE you have to hit a button to advance through the 'time interval' you selected. Later I plan on making it real time instead of round based (or multiples of real time so you can speed things up or slow them down).
Anyway, the manuevering works really well and with some careful work I can advance from a LONG way away over a couple of hundred turns to within a very short distance of the enemy squadron.
My next tasks in my project are (in order) (listed from my java file so I don't forget what I need to do next in case I take a sabatical from my programming for awhile because I get busy at my job)...
//Need to create battle system
//Need to create ship systems (IE what can be damaged and what effect that has)
//Need to create damage system
//Need to create enemy battle AI
//Need to create enemy movement and movement AI
//Need to create withdraw to hyperspace
//Need to create more realistic ships
//Need to add improve UI
//Need to add crude graphics
//Need to improve graphics
//Need to expand number of ships, ship types, add energy weapons
//Need to smarten AIs
//Need to add 3rd movement dimension
So far the program is about 650 lines long and getting longer quickly. I suspect tomorrow I will have a very crude battle system worked out and the starting of the 'ship system', maybe even a crude damage system. Next week I am hoping to flesh those three out and also add a crude enemy battle AI. I think I am going to spend a long time working on the enemy movement AI and battle AI to get anything beyond the crude stage (IE when to retreat, how to retreat, what to target, what weapons to use, etc, etc, etc).
I am hoping to get to the stage of a pretty advanced applet. Not really planning any kind of 'super advanced' thing like the next WoW game or anything like that. My goals are
1) realistic ship and battle simulation (based on the Sci-fi universe I am basing this on)
2) realistic ship movement (again based onf the sci-fi universe I am basing this on)
3) highly intelligent AI
4) scenario creation
5) maybe a running campaign setup
6) at least basic graphics for your and your enemy's ship status and also your fleet in relation to the enemy's fleet and both of your locations within the star system you are fighting in (something beyond the X and A moving on a screen with a little * as a star in the middle, maybe some basic 2D sprites).
Those are the goals I am shooting for. Something to keep me entertained for a while (I would guess at least a couple of months) when I am bored and maybe something kind of fun to play and tweak.