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

Gratuitous Space Battles Video Update 1.30: LIMPETS

Hey there, remember Limpet Modules in Gratuitous Space Battles 2! You know…these things…

Well I’m updating them for the next patch. In the past, we had two forms of limpet launchers, Weight-based ones (Which stuck to an enemy fighter and weighed them down, thus slowing them and making them easier to hit) and Tracer ones, which did the same but gave an overall bonus to hit rather than affecting speed. Now we have two more..

The REPAIR limpet and the REFUEL limpet. These do what their names suggest, in that they repair and refuel YOUR fighters and gunships mid-battle. They have to clamp to the fighters just like the ordinary ones, meaning they *will* slow down your ships temporarily while they do the business, but on the plus side it means those ships can often be repaired and refueled without having to fly all the way back to the nearest carrier to do so.

More information on these, and visuals of it happening in this INCREDIBLY EXCITING GSB2 blog video thingy below. If you like this sort of video blog thing let me know and I’ll keep doing them,. They take decades to upload from the field I work in, so I don’t get to do them that often.

IT IS ELECTION DAY! (and 75% off…)

Only if you are in the UK, otherwise you might be confused by this title, but hey, we are a UK indie game company. To celebrate this day, we have Democracy 3 at 75% off on steam for the next 48 hours…

d3Click here to go grab it.

If you are someone who missed out on the recent articles where people try to simulate the election outcome with the game, you might enjoy these…

Simulating the UKIP manifesto

Simulating the Labour Party Manifesto

Simulating the Conservative Manifesto

Simulating the LibDem Manifesto

Simulating the Green party Manifesto.

Hope you enjoy them :D

And if you buy the game and like it, as ever we really appreciate a positive steam review, or a tweet or whatever it is cool people do :D

Don’t forget to VOTE!

Musing on space battle tactics and improving the escort order

Sooo. In discussing this on my forums I thought it worthy of reprising here. Basically ships in GSB2 can have an ‘escort’ order which tells them to stay with X meters of another ship (user-configurable distance). This is all well and good, but you still want those ships to be useful in battle. Whether the ships are fighters/gunships or larger ships gives this order a different outcome. Here is an explanation of the current system…

The current system has non-fighter ships heading towards the point on the radius circumference of the escort order that represents the angle between the ship they are escorting, and their currently selected target enemy ship. (see below…)

On the other hand… fighters (& gunships), when given an escort order keep picking a random position within a half escort radius range of half way between the actual escort ship, and the target ship. (See below).


Now its actually very simple to make ships that are not fighters copy the fighter behavior if they have the KEEP MOVING order (which is implied with fighters & gunships). However, my question to you is…would that be desirable? I have essentially made a guess here when coding the game as to how people are thinking. I’m assuming that if you tell a frigate to escort a cruiser, you are saying ‘ by all means attack the enemy, head towards them, but don’t get more than X distance from your parent ship’.
An alternative meaning would be ‘always stay within X distance of the parent ship. If ordered to keep moving, do so, without any preference for location.

The current system leads to ‘frigate bunching’ at the nose of a cruiser or dreadnought. This means stationary ships in some cases, and susceptibility to area-of-effect weapons and detonation waves. But it does ensure escorting ships move into range when possible. Of course, if you really want to enforce some separation, we have the formation order… hmmmm.

Gratuitous Space Battles 2 update: Version 1.29

So…today I uploaded the windows copies of Gratuitous Space Battles 1.29. (Other platforms will follow). Here are the highlights of the patch (but a lot more has changed).

Identical voice messages now need twice as long a delay between repeats.

Were you getting as bored with ‘Enemy systems scrambled’ as I was? If so… this makes it less annoying :D

Fixed bug the formation order in a sub-deployment didn’t load in correctly.

When you loaded in sub-formations (squads) on the deployment screen, you sometimes had formation lines going off into nowhere. Fixed!

Damage indicator feedback in-battle adjusted to be less ‘spammy’ when multiple shots hit in close proximity.

Still not perfect, but where you get lots of fighters attacking a single ship, you are no longer blanketed with UI popups…

2 New missions added (Pyrataxian Ambush & The Slarthoon Belt).


Oh yeah!..And one of them is a cool new ‘ambush’ style layout where you start the battle surrounded. I’m interested to see how people get on with that one…

Mid-battle and end-battle statistics now track radiation damage in full.

This was very annoying, but now its fixed so you can see just how effective these weapons can be. Spoiler: very effective.

There is still a lot of balancing stuff to do, and lots more to add. The good news I have found and fixed another hard-to-reproduce sound-related random crash bug, so the game should be super-stable now. If you had crashes before, please try the new build it is TONS better. That sound bug was a horrible multi-threaded related crash that only happened at certain combinations of CPU speed and game-speed, but I found a way to reproduce it with some cunning Sleep() calls on my ninja PC. Definitely fixed now!

I plan on adding some new features, and new missions over the coming weeks. We are still very interested in getting people to do lets plays and review the game, or add it as a steam curator./ If you have a popular youtube account / steam curator account, email and say you want a copy :D.