We've updated things today to bring our Jumpdrive website over to meteoricgames.com in order to consolidate all of our content together under one roof.
Today we're officially changing the name of the game we're developing from Paragon to Jumpdrive. This is mainly due to an arrangement we've come to with another developer (you've probably heard of them :D), our new name will hopefully herald a big step forward for the game and a chance to transform development for the better!
Alpha 6 has just been released to everyone who's bought Paragon via the Humble widget, and the update should be rolling out to Desura purchasers today or tomorrow. This release features a number of changes including revamped npc AI and a re-written autopilot system, along with changes to the in-game nav map and several new ships.
The biggest change, Salwan's heavy re-write of the main ship AI, has taken up most of the month, it's massively improved player ship autopilot, which with a couple more tweaks will be feature-complete and at release standard. The re-write has also heavily changed npc AI; AI ships now use the same ship and travel drive systems as the player does, making them much more realistic and opening up lots of gameplay options for the future. Most importantly however, this core AI re-write paves the way for upcoming changes that will radically overhaul other aspects of ship behaviour such as combat, situational awareness and the ability to co-operate with other AI actors in a coherent and engaging manner.
The second biggest change of the month, the shift to a 2d navigation map, may prove less universally popular, but it is aimed at making navigation more straightforward and intuitive. While 3d maps sound cool in theory, and can often look great at first glance, it's almost impossible to find a truly user friendly implementation in any game, and Paragon's was no exception. Over the next couple of releases the nav map will continue to be improved, hopefully making further improvements in usability and winning over any doubters.
The update also includes several new ultralight ships, and some existing ships have also been redesigned.
Alpha 5 is now available for early access backers! This month is a quicker update than usual, so there's a smaller feature list, but highlights include; new shield meshes for most of the ships in the game, new exhaust trail effects, several new ships and lots of important bug fixes.
Alpha 6 is currently projected for release at the beginning of April and will hopefully be our most feature packed monthly release so far.
Paragon alpha 4 is out! We've been hard at work on the next release of Paragon for the last couple of months, and it's finally ready. It's also our first paid alpha as part of our early access development model, so by getting involved at this point players can help influence the direction of the game's future development!
As for the content of the release itself; where to begin? Salwan has been hard at work enhancing and improving the engine, adding amongst numerous other things, support for 3d cockpits to the game, which has massively improved the feeling of immersion into the game world. The travel and flight systems have also been significantly further refined, with the space flight in the game becoming significantly more intuitive and enjoyable.
On the art side, the hud has been further refined and improved, and the ship computer and base screens have been completely overhauled. We've also added multiple new ships, such as the orca light tanker and PF-90 fighter (which already has its own cockpit model!).