RODINA

Rodina 1.1.7 is released! Download demo / full game now! (Readme)

Or buy Rodina on Steam!





RECENT UPDATES

Experimental Mod Support on the Dev Branch!

I just updated the Dev branch with an experiment that I’ve been working on: better Mod support for Rodina!

The big concepts:

* Rodina now creates a “Mods” folder
* Players no longer need to manually copy, overwrite, or backup files to install a mod. Simply place the folder containing the mod in the “Mods” directory and run the game
* Each mod can have its own Data folder, Script folder (all matching the layout for the main game). The game will automatically load these assets and, in some cases use them rather than the original game assets.

I tested this with a handful of mods and some of them work perfectly as is. A few won’t work with the new system yet, but there’s nothing stopping you from installing a mod the old way.

Internally, this involves big changes to the way scripts load. I’m positive that these changes will cause bugs. That’s why they remain experimental and in the dev branch for now. I welcome feedback from modders, and also any bug reports about things suddenly not working!

Line of Sight progress on Dev Branch

Work on the Robot Babies begins in earnest! Since the vote wrapped up, I’ve begun implementing basic NPC features, like Line of Sight. This is one of the game systems that figures out what the character is capable of seeing.

RobotLOS

If you’d like to see progress, check out the dev branch on Steam and type “MakeRobot()” into the console to create a dummy robot character. Now every character (including the player) will get a white “vision cone” showing what you can see. The system will also show the lines of sight between the character’s eyes and the various objects in their room. Green means they can see it, red means that they can’t!

The system isn’t perfect by a long stretch, but I think it should be fine for what these babies are going to need to do!

Vote Results!

The votes are in, and the results aren’t surprising! Anyone who followed the poll on the Steam forums saw that there was one option that was the clear favorite:

Robot Babies!

The final results of the Bossypants voters was:

* Robot Babies: 95
* Multi-Story Interiors: 25
* Moons: 35

That’s the main vote so it determined the winner! However we also got a huge response via other venues. The total from the non-official poll was:

* Robot Babies: 66
* Multi-Story Interiors: 10
* Moons: 16

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE who participated! We had an amazing turnout for this vote. I’m really really excite to get these little guys in the game. I really feel like, in a year or two, we’ll look back at this as an important moment for Rodina! Thanks guys!!

3rd Bossypants Vote!

It’s time for another community vote! If you bought the game on my site at the Bossypants Tier or above, you are entitled to a binding vote on what I work on next! The options are:

1. Robot Babies
2. Multi-Story Interiors
3. Moons

Please sign in to your Dashboard and vote! It will be active for 1 week only- expiring on June 12th!

If you are NOT in the Bossypants tier (eg: if you bought on Steam) fear not! I still want to know what you think! Please go to Reddit or Twitter or the Steam Community and post your opinion! Or as always, feel free to email me directly at brendan@elliptic-games.com.

Rodina 1.1.7 – Cockpit Mode and Optimizations – is Live!

Thanks to the help of all the beta testers, Rodina is faster and more stable than ever! This update finally allows you to control your ship in first person from the pilots chair!

(Press F (or whatever your “Activate” key is) while piloting the ship in order to bring up the piloting menu, which will allow you to toggle first person mode.)

It also comes with some significant optimizations, including some new options: Retro Mode, and Lighting Quality, which can drastically improve performance for those with very low-spec machines. Here are some examples of what Retro Mode looks like:

RetroStart RetroSunset

I’m not going to lie – I’m not stupid enough to do this, but there was a brief moment when I considered making Retro Mode the default way to play the game. It’s a gimmick but I like it a lot!

Read on for the full patch notes:
read more »

Cockpit Mode on Beta Branch!

CockpitMode

Cockpit mode is now available on the beta branch on Steam! To try it out:

* Switch to the beta (or dev) branch
* Either start a new game, or load the new default interior so that you get some Holoscreens in your cockpit. You can also add Holoscreens, or the new Holoscreen tileset, if you want to keep your current interior.
* Sit in the Pilot’s Chair by just walking into it
* While flying the ship, press “F” (for “Activate”) to bring up the pilot menu, and choose “Toggle 1st/3rd Person”

Now you’re flying in 1st person mode!

Warning!

Cockpit mode is for Rodina experts only. You think atmospheric entry and combat were hard before? Now they are even tougher!

Also:

This is build 1.1.6 and it comes with some caveats: this particular build is not going to come out of beta! There are a few reasons for this:

* Cockpit mode introduces some pretty big performance issues. It may not be playable on your machine!
* MSAA anti-aliasing is still turned off

I’m going to be out of town for a little over a week, but after I get back I’ll fix any bugs you guys find, and start on an optimization pass and put anti-aliasing back in, before fully releasing this build!

Cockpit Mode In-Progress

Last night I stayed up late and finished all of the major changes necessary to finally do this:

Cockpit Mode

Flying in first person is a go! And it’s pretty great :D You guys are gonna love it!

Now to make it so you can actually sit in that pilot’s chair!

Dev Update: Windows!

I’ve updated the Dev Build on Steam with some exciting new changes!

As you know, the current milestone is Cockpit Mode, which involves, among other things, a viewscreen. This update contains the technical features necessary to make this work: Holoscreen Windows!

Now you can see the entire Universe from inside your ship!

Holoscreen

To try it out, switch to the Dev Branch in Steam, enter the ship editor, and place a few Holoscreen Entities in your ship layout. They will act as windows.

A few notes:

* I had to disable MSAA anti-aliasing for technical reasons (I can explain below). You’ll see jaggies, but I will fix this before releasing the milestone.

* Please don’t worry that you can see your ship from inside itself. I’ll work it out before release.

* The Holoscreen models are ugly and temporary.

Enjoy!

Technical Notes

* The windows are implemented as portals using the stencil buffer. They are an exciting feature which eventually could be used not just for cockpit mode, but also for mirrors and (one day) wormholes / portals.

* Internally, I had to refactor the “geometry collection” render stage, to allow for greater control over what is rendering when (“First, render the portal, then render the whole exterior, then the whole interior”, etc). The new system is awesome- much cleaner, more powerful, and easy to read than what I had before.

* The game uses a logarithmic depth buffer for the extreme distant depth precision needed at planetary scales. Since this is implemented in the pixel shaders, it doesn’t work great with MSAA. It left artifacts on the interior tile pieces, and so I used to turn off the log depth buffer every time the player went inside. (You may have noticed that there were lines in the wall that disappeared when you closed the airlock- that’s why!) With the way the portals work, it’s better if everything is a unified system, so after hemming and hawing I’ve disabled MSAA. I will implement FXAA, which will hopefully play nice with the log depth buffer, before the next release.

Rodina 1.1.5 Available

Rodina 1.1.5 is now available! This release is a maintenance release without any new gameplay features. However, it does have the following:

* A new interior renderer intended to improve framerate for some users
* A new document parser which dramatically cleans up errors in the ingame documents
* A completely rewritten keyboard input tech to fix some isolated issues

Also, a test feature! I did some experimentation with procedural robot voices. Try them out by pressing F9, F10, or F11 while playing!

The Bossypants Choose Cockpit Mode!

The vote is closed and the results are in! Rodina customers in the Bossypants Tier have spoken and they have spoken thusly:

Robot Babies: 41
Cockpit Mode / Windows: 69
Moons: 29
Bugs / Optimizations: 4

The Bossypants vote is binding, so that means that my next milestone, which I am already hard at work on, will be Cockpit Mode! My plan is: you will be able to actually sit in the pilots chair, and when you activate the pilot station a Holoscreen will come down to show you a first-person view to the outside. You’ll also be able to place these Holoscreens around your ship to act as virtual windows!

You may remember that I also asked from input from ALL Rodina customers, via youtube, email, Reddit, twitter, and Steam. They responded as follows:

Robot Babies: 14.5
Cockpit Mode / Windows: 17
Moons: 13.5
Bugs / Optimizations: 5

So, really the breakdown was pretty similar! What I’m getting from this vote is that, while Cockpit mode was the winner, the other options are pretty popular as well so I intend to keep them around for the next vote at least! The only option that wasn’t popular was Bugs and Optimizations but I will always have that option because the game will ALWAYS need them! :D

Thank you to everyone who participated- I hope that it was fun getting to decide what’s next for Rodina! I’ve really enjoyed getting your feedback and look forward to doing it again soon!