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

Gratuitous Space Battles 2 gets its campaign…

We just rolled out a nice l33t update to Gratuitous Space Battles 2 that fixes a few things, tweaks a few things and also OMG adds a new campaign mode. It meant changing some menu stuff around, but its all explained below in this video. This MASSIVELY changes how you play (if you choose to play the campaign) because you have to be thinking several battles ahead, and suddenly ships are no longer expendable. I hope people like it, and I hope people realize how easy it is to mod (more on that later…)…

For those who have been on another planet…I should point out that Gratuitous Space Battles 2 is very much on sale now from us direct, and also from steam, from gog and the humble store. Go grab a copy and start blowing the galaxy to bits.

Gratuitous Space Battles Update 1.31

This is a good one…it introduces both custom ship battles / scenario designer, PLUS the option to turn off ship hull levels in the editor…which is cooler than you think… Here is the complete changelist:

Version Release 1.31 May
1) New custom battle feature, combined with scenario editor for custom challenges now added.
2) Game not longer checks for an achievement incorrectly if the player has not set up an online username.
3) Fixed lack of scrolling support on the mods browser.
4) Fixed crash bug when deleting installed mods.
5) Game no longer attempts to undo splitting a composite in the editor (which would crash…).
6) Fixed Graphical bug that drew large colored areas sometimes if limpets were launched but never drawn on screen.
7) Change to turret rendering to preserve detail colors.
8) Fixed crash bug in German Language version.
9) Removed that beeping sound nobody liked.
10) Added module data to design screen showing limpet weights and seek speeds.
11) Repair and refuel limpets now seek faster
12) Multi-point tractor beam now has less range and takes longer to recharge.
13) New option to disable Limpet GUI circles in battle.
14) Fixed bug when rotating a composite hull item then splitting or saving it.
15) You can now right-click a ship hull to hide it.

And here is a video with me explaining the best changes…

Working on a battle-simulator / custom scenario thing

A fair number of people ask if its possible to have a mode where you set up both sides of a battle in Gratuitous Space Battles 2. Now, veteran players will know that such a mode already exists to an extent, because you can simply post a challenge fleet to yourself, but I agree that is not immediately obvious. It also means that you are stuck with the missions already in the game. (I’m steadily adding more…but even so…). Anyway…

I’ve agreed that both custom scenarios & a ‘deploy both sides’ mode is a good idea, so for the past two days I’ve been working on that. I hope to have a working, but unpolished version by tonight. The current model looks like this:


So this is launched from a new main-menu button, and you get to build a scenario from scratch, or load in a previously saved out one. You can customize everything that makes up a scenario, move planets around, add nebula clouds, change map sizes…it’s all there. Then, the two deploy buttons will let you deploy the player fleet, and then the AI fleet, and from there you can issue a challenge with this custom map, or just enjoy the fireworks.

This should make it into the next patch.

Adding stuff like this is great fun, because once a game is finished, shipped and stable, adding in another mode, or option, or feature is pretty negligible in terms of time compared with the insane effort of actually making the game engine from scratch. As a result I’m quite enjoying adding little features and options as people request them. Obviously it makes for a much better game, and a game people are happier to buy full price, and that all helps.  I’m also pretty keen to get my moneys-worth from the investment of time into the graphics engine, so adding extra features is one way to do that. There are plenty of things I could add, but the one thing everyone wants is a campaign mode.

Thats a BIG undertaking, given how complex I made the galactic conquest mode for GSB1. People would like that to go in again, and I think that might take me forever. Whats more likely is a new sort of campaign, with a series of (possibly branching) missions, with a chance to repair and refuel a fleet in-between. That would be a lot of work too, but not the miniature 4X that the first game’s campaign turned into.

I’m still considering options.


BTW if you are a youtuber who wants to do a lets-play of the game, please get in touch. And don’t bother trying to scam me, we all know how to check who people are :D

Gratuitous Space Battles 2 version 1.30 is GO!

Sooo…yet again we have an update to Gratuitous Space Battles 2. I wanted to get this one out the minute I realized I had found (and fixed!) a ‘disappearing designs’ bug at long last. This also does some balancing and adds in a new mission and two new modules. here are the highlights…
1) Two new modules added: Repair Limpets and Refuel Limpets to support fighters mid-battle.
2) Fighters and gunships now correctly distributed amongst carrier modules when more than one is present, so launch faster.
3) Added another new mission: The Gamorlian Expanse.
4) Shield Disruption effects and radiation damage now have mid-battle text-feedback.
5) Fix for ship-design deletion bug when flipping back and forth into the editor and back.

Soooo… as already demonstrated in this video, we have 2 new weapons now…the refuel & repair limpet launchers…



And another new mission, so we have now added four since release…


And there is a whole bunch of minor fixes, and balance tweaks. In earlier builds the ‘heavy shields’ were basically a no-brainer, and hard to beat, but now high shield-penetration weapons have their downsides, and shield disruptors have been beefed up as a more viable strategy. Plus some better in-battle feedback makes it clearer how effective radiation and shield disruption damage is…

Hope you like it! In the meantime, Tim has continued to blog about the awesomeness that is big pharma which you can see in the latest chunk of his whole-game playthrough…

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.