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April 7th 2010 02:19 pm
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Next update
I'm currently working on the next update, so what can you expect?

The previous update focused on graphics (it featured night and overcast approaches and a few HUD improvements). I'm working on the external view, but I'm afraid it won't make it into the next update. But it is coming, that's for sure.
So the upcoming update will focus on game-play. No promises, but here are some of the things I'm working on:
  • Fully automated landing (autopilot), completely configurable.
  • You'll be able to turn the autopilot on or off for each channel:
    • gear and chute (this is on by default)
    • speedbrake (this is on by default)
    • speedbrake pitch correction (this is on by default)*
    • yaw (i.e. rudder, this is on by default)**
    • pitch (this is OFF by default)
    • roll (this is OFF by default)
    So with the default settings you'll get the same behavior you've got now. However, you can e.g. turn on the autopilot for pitch and roll, which gives you full autoland. Or you can turn off the autopilot entirely, thus you'll have manual control over everything, including arming and deploying the gear, deploying and jettisoning the chute, and controlling the rudder.
  • Achievements and ranks. You can earn astronaut badges and pins e.g. for 3 consecutive safe landings, or a perfect landing.
  • "Highscores". Complete with an online "hall of fame" (optional) which displays your name, rank and best scores.
  • Replays. You'll be able to store replays locally, or even upload them to the hall of fame. This way others can watch your best landings, and you can watch their best landings. I know, replays will be much more fun once the external view is implemented, but it's a start ;)

* The speedbrake is located above the center of gravity, so whenever the speedbrake moves it causes a pitching moment. This is automatically compensated by moving the elevons in the opposite direction, but with the update you'll be able to turn that off if you like.
** Right now the rudder doesn't move during flight, with the exception that when you're close to the ground, it's gradually correlated with the pitch channel. This way it's easier to land in crosswind situations. With the update, you'll be able to turn that off and have manual rudder controls instead (using the touch screen).

Ok, I hope you're gonna like these new features, please let me know what you think.

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