Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Lets talk about patch 28

Ok, so patch 28 for gratuitous space battles is out, bringing the game to version 1.28. Hurrah. Lets take a looky at the two big new things (in addition to the major crash bug that was somehow still in the game, and is hopefully now hunted down and killed).


This is a big deal. If you go to the challenges screen, there is a new ‘custom challenge’ map, which opens up a whole new screen showing stuff to fiddle with to basically create your own map, from existing backdrops, plus settings for pilot limits, budget, and the supply limits or spatial anomalies present. You want a battle with a 10,00CR budget, 4 pilots, no shields and no missile modules? You got it kiddo!

You can save out these custom scenarios or load them in, (if you save them out, that lets you name them, otherwise they default to ‘custom map’. Clicking the deploy button takes you to the normal setup screen for arranging your own fleet, and from there you issue a challenge as before. I hope people really investigate this as an option for the game, because it gives a lot more creative control to the player. If you thing fighter rockets are overpowered, you can issue a challenge where there aren’t any, and see what other methods people use to beat you. if you like a certain map but wished it had a ‘must have engines’ requirement, you can do that too. And if I add in extra anomalies or scenario options, they will all end up in this editor too.


The game now maintains an on-line ‘inbox’ for everyone, and auto-sends you a message when your challenges are beaten or played, or when someone sends you a challenge. It also gives you the option of sending post-challenge feedback to the issuer. This means less wondering how the hell they beat you invincible fleet, and more reading the gloating from your nemesis, which is of course, all in the spirit of GSB.

1.28 took a lot of under-the-hood fiddling, but I think these two things were missing from the game, and needed putting in. I wasn’t sure the challenge stuff would be as popular as I wanted it to be, but it has proved to be very popular, so it’s been l33t to go back and add this stuff to an existing game. The game will auto-update if you have registered it on-line, but I’ll be getting updated patches to the distributors like steam and impulse and the others right away.

6 thoughts on Lets talk about patch 28

  1. Hi Cliff

    I bought GSB through Steam, version 1.27; how do I update to 1.28?


    Good job btw, love to see independant games grow. I encourage you to keep going on GSB, you could expand into turn based 4x with GSB II :) .

    Also, it seems to me that your game would be perfectly suited for the Zune HD and other touch-screen portable consoles (if it were built in XNA though for Zune instead of C++), I think as it stands it would be easier to port to Apple IPhone though.

  2. Hi,
    Got a bug report, not sure where the proper place to put them is :)

    Go into the gravity well mission.
    Check the mission and supplies buttons, they work, close the boxes.
    Pick a cruiser (my choice, may not be important) that has a limited item installed.
    Mass deploy it to the limit.
    Click the mission and supply buttons again, no response. :(
    Leave to main menu and come back, still no response.

    PS. Also crashed the run time one time only by clicking around ships during the battle to check on shields/damage, rare and very hard to reproduce (my favourite! NOT)

  3. Hi,
    Quick response :O. Turns out I cant reproduce it now either since Ive finished that mission (or because Ive tweaked the loadout of the cruiser)

  4. Scratch that. Its a problem with detecting mouse clicks near the top of the screen in full screen mode (windowed is fine). Sometimes the whole button area can be clicked on, other times only a few pixels (near the bottom) detect clicks.
    2560×1600 on GeForce 8800 ultra, Windows 7, Razer Copperhead mouse.

  5. THis bug is still in the game, i was wondering what that was about.

    This is also a known bug in Beat Hazard.


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