Nightcycle Studios 8/2/2020 Weekly Update

Heya guys!

So last weekend I did a minor game jam where I tried to make a working chess AI. When I pitted the two against them they consistently got stuck in an infinite loop haha. With enough time I’m sure I’d be able to figure it out - but I wanted to get to work on the LP3


The LP3 (a new avatar alternative to Rthro we’re working) is coming along nicely! We’ve gotten it to be able to run, and hopefully sometime in the next week or two we’ll be able to open the game up to allow players to try out the movement + give feedback.

A lot of this week (and next week) will be re-organizing it on the backend. My goal is to fit all the movement and combination functionality into the character set-up. I’ve included a low-res view of the mapped out structure. Combining all of this should make adding new powers easier than ever, as well as allow you to create them even easier - remember, in SHL4 you’ll have a lot more customization relating to powers.

And a bit of Nightships update, as Roblox recently lifted the cap of players to 700, we’re hoping to make the most of that! As a rule of thumb, we’ve wanted to keep the in-game player density at around 2 ships per star, assuming around 2 players per ship. Currently, we have 67 star systems - why is that?

As you may know, Roblox servers start getting unbearably glitchy with rendering outside around 250k units. In order to maintain a basic amount of distance between stars (and we’ve been told we should try to make stars farther apart), each star is allocated around 12,000 units for their entire solar system + some space left over. In order to give a star this much space, we actually shrink all the exterior objects to 5% the original size. This allows a star that’s only 500 units wide to appear 10,000 units.

This may sound like a lot, but unfortunately, you burn through the 250k with only a 20ish-star diameter. In order to keep the majority of space, well, space, there is only a 35% of a star being spawned in this area. On top of that, the chance of a star being spawned decreases the farther it gets from the center super-massive black hole.

So why am I telling you this? Because I think it’s cool and I don’t have many in my life to tell about it haha. But also to help you understand the limitations. At the current scale with the existing restrictions in rendering, we get only around 60-80 stars (as galaxy is procedural there is no one number). This means, that if we had 700 players, the density would be closer to 7 players per star, rather than 2.

So how do we get more stars? The first thing we can try is to increase the scale reduction from 5% to 1.5%. But that causes an issue as parts can’t be rescaled on any metric below 0.05. In order to get below that we need to use a mesh. As we use meshparts and regular parts however for hit detection, this isn’t an ideal option. We’ll continue to do testing on our end to figure out a way to make this work. If any game on Roblox could benefit from these massive servers, it’s a space game!

Also on one last note I’ll be moving out of my apartment and into a hotel for the next 2 weeks, so some of my normal workdays will be taken up by that.

See y’all next week!