Since I posted my outline for version 0.8.1, a good friend of mine who I’d asked to write some music for Shipyard sent me what he’d come up with. This came as a surprise to me, as I hadn’t been expecting him to finish so quickly. This prompted me to implement a working audio system into the game. Luckily, it wasn’t too hard to cannibalize the audio system from a previous project (a platformer whose development came to a grinding halt due to a bug with collision detection), and I had something up and running pretty quickly. After that first, primitive attempt proved successful, I decided to flesh it out a bit, and what I came up with led me to the implementation of another feature: the ship’s scanner.
Previously, you could see enemy ships from all the way across the sector through he sector map screen. Now, the ship has a limited scanner range (currently provided by the bridge for lack of a dedicated scanner system), and only enemies within that range are shown. Stations, planets, etc. are still shown at any distance because they’re big and easy to spot. I also added a new UI element to the navigation screen which shows the relative direction of all objects within your scanner range. Scanner range receives the usual penalties for crew and power, meaning there is now a reason to allocate resources to your bridge.
In addition to being a game mechanic in and of itself, what this means for the music is that the game will switch between tracks depending on whether you are in combat (one or more enemies within scanner range) or not. Additionally, repairing at the shipyard and editing your ship will be off-limits while you are in combat. As for items and the stuff that was originally coming with the update, that’s being worked on as well. I’ve got an early version of the new inventory screen working, but not many items are implemented yet. The Advanced Engine Coolant works perfectly, and the Crawler Transport can be equipped but doesn’t do anything yet. A spromised, plenty of new items will be added, and old ones will be changed or removed as necessary.