Friends Lists, Instant Messaging, and Replays

Among other things, Gamma is all about you and your friends. Friends lists, messaging, and replays are a huge step in this direction. The friends list and instant messaging clients live on the right-hand side of your screen. When you’re not in games, you can add friends, see if your pals are online, or message them.

Replays can be viewed in the new Replay menu available at the main menu screen. Right now, you can search for matches and view them at any time after they end. Uber claims to a great plan to expand this feature by adding the ability to create highlights and user uploading to YouTube. Uber will be talking about Replays again pretty soon.

Advanced Commander and Control: Line Drawing

The day’s almost here — starting now, you can organize units in whatever formations that you desire with two clicks of the mouse and a quick drag. Uber has also added the ability for you to set the path your units walk with a shift-click. Fighting across entire worlds is easier with this simple, intuitive, and customizable new control.

Other

AI

  • AI: AI will react to nuke events.
  • AI: AI will build anti nukes in response to nuke being built in the same gravwell.
  • AI: AI will build orbital lasers in response to orbital threat in the system.
  • AI: AI will now build more Advanced radars.
  • AI: First pass of AI personality (aka difficulty) settings.
  • AI: Land platoons will no longer give the defense squad an attack order.
  • AI: Now sends bomber/gunship platoons with a fighter escort.
  • AI: The AI can now once again expand due to low buildable space.
  • AI: Server perf improvemnents.
  • AI: The AI will now get notified when someone initiates a planet smash.
  • AI: Fix for AI being unable to launch planets at other planets.
  • AI: AI now uses the neural network when looking form places to attack.
  • AI: Added neural network fitness function.
  • AI: Added neural network support for the AI land attack task.
  • AI: Added some Commander self-preservation.

Animation

  • Animation: Make tank units not scroll treads when attached to a transport.

Art

  • Art: Small polish pass on radar units
  • Art: Adjusted the amount of team color on the energy and metal storage units
  • Art: Radar_satellite_adv art revision
  • Art: Orbital_fighter art redesign
  • Art: Fix long time issue with several projectiles being overly dark. Max files had gamma correction turned on which caused the render to texture to output darkened textures.
  • Art: polished art for radar_satellite
  • Art: Fix water shader’s normals not rendering properly.
  • Art: Trimmed the teleporter building down to a much smaller building
  • Art: Ice feature and crack texture improvements

Balance

  • Balance: The number of potential metal spot clusters will now increase as planet size increases.
  • Balance: The system editor ‘metal density’ and ‘metal cluster’ sliders now have an effect on planet metal spot generation.

Chrono-cam

  • Chrono-cam: Replays and end-of-game reviews no longer snap to the end of the game and stop just because you exit out of the chrono-cam controls (was a by-product of the live-game “resume” behavior for exiting chrono-cam, which is undesirable for replays/reviews).

Engine

  • Engine: Beam particles
  • Engine: Particle LOD added back with support for multiple viewports.
  • Engine: Merge proto/graphics to main. This merge includes the finalization of the GPU-ization of trail particles. All particle rendering functionality is now on the GPU.
  • Engine: Runtime shader recompilation. This restores previous functionality where shaders are recompiled at runtime if they change. This change also tracks shader header files, so you can change a shader header and all shaders that use it will rebuild.
  • Engine: Trail/string particles on the GPU. The last CPU-based particle system is no more. Yay.
  • Engine: Fixed various GPU particle orientation bugs, so they now act per spec.

Effects

  • FX: Adding sort of working jets to orbital lander.
  • FX: Adding flight effects back on aircraft.
  • FX: Updating rendering system to handle dielectric specular (white specular).
  • FX: Encodes specular exponent as either white specular range or diffuse color specular range. Units can determine if surface is metal or not via a mask in the blue channel of their material texture. Terrain and features are always dielectric for now as they use that blue channel for emissive masking.
  • FX: Change specular from blinn phong to GGX (Disney’s specular lobe).

Gameplay

  • Gameplay: Fix force landings on the server so it works with multi-planet spawns. Also change the force landing timeout back to 2 minutes.
  • Gameplay: Fix orbital fabber build arm tool to include a pitch/yaw range so it can actually repair
  • Gameplay/FX: Change beam weapons back to not always hitting their target even if they miss legitimately. Fix bug causing them to miss to begin with. Was using old positional data, now getting current position.
  • Gameplay: Fix for units with ballistic projectiles missing wildly while changing directions.

Pathing

  • Pathing: Fixed orbital not circling when fabbing
  • Pathing: Fix for nav agents not getting a flow field, which resulted in them steering towards their goal and running into buildings and terrain and getting stuck.
  • Pathing: Free Form Formations
  • Pathing: Fix for groups getting split up and units not waiting for eachother.

UI

  • UI: Ambient Occlusion: off -> on, HDR: off -> on, Selection Icons: off -> on
  • UI: We’ve secretly changed Timmy’s selection boxes to circles, lets see if he notices.
  • UI: New orbital unit icons
  • UI: Fix mouse not working when focused on the sun.
  • UI: Revise system designer to use new UI styling
  • UI: Updated econ bar overflow color.
  • UI: Updated spectator panel econ overflow color.