A lot happened these days, despite the lack of recent news. Here is what happened:
The interface design has been redone, especially regarding the color palette, new items have been identified as entities - such as the GAFCom, lot of script refactoring and cleaning, better encapsulation, etc..
As I'm learning the Unity engine and the Bolt visual scripting language, I now feel much more comfortable at better putting things together in the right order and at the right place : ).
I'm now using the multi-scenes approach which allows following the separation of concerns paradigm a bit better. I now have a master scene, a GUI/GAFCom scene, and each Spatial Environment/Planet/Spacestation combination is encapsulated into its own scene, loaded on the fly. Whenever a "system" is loaded (ie long range GAFNet connection), the new system plugs automatically into the GAFCom.
So, what is the GAFCom? Aside for the intro animation this is the first thing the player sees. It is a communication device that can connect to the GAFNet (Galactic Alliance of Federations Network). It allows the player to connect to the System he wants to go to play. A System being the combination of a Spatial Environment, a Planet and a Spacestation.
Here is the GAFCom Interface, in Offline status - not connected to any System:
As soon as the GAFCom is connected to a System, the telemetry is shown in the up left corner and the interface buttons become enable and active:
Once connected the player can do different things even before starting to play. He can switch between various Spacestation views from maintenance cameras:
Listen to different communication channels:
Choose different ambiances to listen to:
He can take control over the current camera and use it as a drone to discover the external environment of the station:
And he can communicate with SOFIA, an Artificial Intelligence that is always available, a sort of assistant able to give the players numerous information and helps. More info about SOFIA later on.
All in all, the GAFCom is a tool the player can use to gather lots of information about the environment he is going to play in to.
And it is advised to use it ; ).
Currently I'm almost finished with the audio ambiances (3/5), done one com channel so far and the camera systems is almost ready. It will take a bit longer to implement the CamDrone feature and SOFIA.
I'm happy with the new design, I believe it better match the mood of the game.
The menu system has been redesigned as well to match the new design, I'll post a specific article about it.