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Weeklong sale and upcoming features and fixes

Absolute Territory started the Chinese New Year celebrations with a sale and what better way to end the celebration with a 40% off weeklong sale! Read on if you would like to know more about the upcoming VR update and other features and fixes?

Weeklong Sale

Save 40% off Absolute Territory on SteamHumble StoreMicrosoft StoreItch.io, or Gamejolt.

Upcoming Updates

Plans are in progress for the next major update for Absolute Territory. Along with performance improvements and video options to improve performance on potato PC’s, there will be an optional VR mode added to Absolute Territory, a new alien cockpit, campaign story changes, and improved missile-seeking behavior. Read on to learn more.

Optional VR Mode

For the last couple of months, I have been putting my efforts into adding optional VR support. It turned out to be more challenging than expected, but it’s coming along nicely. You will get to fly your space fighter while looking around a fully modeled cockpit in VR for all flyable fighters.

A new alien cockpit model has been added for all the flyable Endophora (Enemy) fighters if you choose to fly them in a custom mission. Basically, all space fighters now have a 3D modeled cockpit to look around in both VR and non-VR.

Alien Cockpit for Endophora fighters

For improved readability and comfort in VR, all menus and the majority of hud elements have been added to a curved surface. The curved effect means you don’t need to strain your eyes when looking at corners of the menus. A menu scaling option has been added to increase or decrease the size of the menus for individual player comfort.

Curvy Menus

For certain cockpits, decorative panels which took up too much screen space have been removed. Flying the Argonaut now provides a much larger area view than before for your unobstructed viewing pleasure.

Performance Improvements

Flying through Hazard (Asteroid/Mine) fields will feel much smoother than the last update with code optimizations. For those still struggling with FPS on potato PC’s additional video options have been added to improve frame rates when flying through Hazards. The biggest gain will be seen by lowering the Asteroid Field Debris Density or turning it off.

Missile Seeking Behaviour Improvements

Missiles are better than ever with improved seeking and target re-acquisition logic. Missiles requiring a front-facing lock type (i.e. Heat Seeker, Image Rec) on a target have increased tracking the closer to the target preventing any last-second veering off bringing significant accuracy improvements.

Missiles entering a holding pattern (spinning around in circles) while they seek a new target will now use their full-throttle setting when a new target has been acquired and actively seeking. On the downside, you can no longer drag race your own missiles.

Is that all?

No! The above I can talk about in detail as they are already functional. Plans are afoot for more, including:

  • Improving lore and storyline progression to give the campaign more meaning in that aspect.
  • Various bug fixes and improvements to the ship selection screen and options menus.
  • Option to disable screen shake for those who suffer from motion sickness (Always disabled in VR)
  • Click to continue mode for transmissions. Which will be especially helpful for playing through the tutorial.
  • Showing the difficulty a campaign mission was completed on.
  • Improvements to The Gauntlet simulator mode (health and ammo regen to be added) to focus more on combat instead of managing ammo and fuel reserves.

Feeling the need for more missions?

Did you know Absolute Territory comes with its own mission editor? Use the same level editor used to create the Absolute Territory campaign missions to create, play, and share custom missions to the Steam Workshop.

This powerful level editor allows you to create conditions and instructions which respond to the player and other in-world events with an easy-to-use interface with plenty of help to get you started on the F1 key.

Create your own missions in the included editor

If you just want to jump into new missions visit the Absolute Territory workshop, subscribe to existing missions, jump into the game and choose the mission from the Simulator under Workshop missions game type.

Final Reminder

Don’t forget you can save 40% off Absolute Territory on SteamHumble StoreMicrosoft StoreItch.io, or Gamejolt. Be sure to leave a review as more constructive feedback will help towards choosing future developments.

Follow @abs_territory on Twitter for minor updates as I progress towards this major update release.

Warp Tunnel taking you to new horizons in VR

More shopping options: Absolute Territory on the Humble Store

I know there are gamer who have they preferred places of purchase. Therefore, I am pleased to announce Absolute Territory is available on the Humble Store. As any Humble customer expects, purchasing Absolute Territory on the Humble Store will provide you a Steam key.

To celebrate, Absolute Territory is on a limited time sale with 25% off until the 1st February 2021.

Absolute Territory Cover Art
Buy Absolute Territory on the Humble Store

What’s Upcoming – Steam Achievements and Leaderboards

Welcome along, pilots, to the latest news update for Absolute Territory. It’s just been over 6 weeks since Absolute Territory was released on Steam amidst hundreds of improvements and enhancements over several updates.

Today, I’m happy to reveal some of the new features that will be making themselves into the next update.

Steam Achievements

There will be 45 Steam Achievements to unlock across the Absolute Territory campaign and Level Editor. 43 of these are for the campaign, ranging from completing each mission, completing the campaigns across higher difficulty levels, and specific actions and objectives.

The 3 achievements in the Level Editor will help guide you from creating a simple mission towards discovering the tools to design more complex and compelling adventures to share on the Steam Workshop.

Steam Leaderboards

How good of a pilot are you? Now you can find out! Steam Leaderboards have been added to Squadron and Gauntlet game modes, replacing the local leaderboard. You are no longer competing against yourself. See how you stack up against your friends and the rest world!

absolute territory

Absolute Territory is available to buy on Steam

Absolute Territory update 1.1.0 brings improved HUD art, additional 3rd person views, improved missile experience, additional enhancements, and improvements.

The latest update for Absolute Territory (Ver 1.1.0) has been published and brings more than 50 individual additions, improvements, and bug fixes.

Heads Up Display (HUD) art improvements
As mentioned in the last news update, I’ve been busily improving the existing in-flight HUD elements, covering the primary, secondary, shield & armor, speed, and range bars along with targeting brackets and waypoint indicators.

These have been designed to draw your eyes towards them when needed, i.e. when taking a lot of damage, and provide a significantly better experience in the presentation of information at a glance.

Improved HUD displays

Based on your feedback, waypoints are now context-sensitive depending on the required usage. Find yourself in an asteroid field and the waypoint will no longer confusingly tell you to use your autopilot, but to exit the hazard first!

New 3rd Person Views

Increase your situational awareness in 3rd person with additional sides and rear views. You can also toggle the HUD on/off (which was added quietly in the last update).

Fly-by external side view
Shocking external rear view

Waypoints

Improved visual indicators for waypoints for better “at a glance” awareness.

  • Broken with a line: Autopilot required but obstructed (either by hazard or nearby enemy)
  • Broken: Autopilot required
  • Unbroken: Can be reached without the need of autopilot
Waypoint States

Improved missile experience for starting mission
The introductory experience for missiles was not as fun as it could have been. Due, in part, to including the Javelin Heat Seeker missile in the loadout when going up against fast-moving enemies. It just didn’t have enough time to reach the exposed tailpipe of its target before it had turned around, therefore losing its lock on the heat signature.

Introducing the Lancea Friend or Foe missile, with significantly improved tracking ability over Heat Seeking variants but with a lower explosive yield. To make up for the lower yield, the base ammo count has been increased.

The existing Spiculum Image Recognition missile has had its steering velocity/acceleration reduced in-line with other seeking missiles which will bring better accuracy, and less wild behavior when being launched.

Random Crashes on AMD Graphics Cards

There was an issue for AMD Graphics Card owners where Absolute Territory would randomly crash. This was related to the Unity version used to build the game. I’ve updated to a newer version of Unity which has fixed this issue.

Full Patch Notes1.1.0 (20200928)
Overview – Improved the majority of in-flight HUD elements. Added additional views to 3rd person. Improved missile experience for starting missions. Various improvements and bugfixes.

Try the demo or buy now on steam

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1130880/

Unity
Amend – Updated Unity to 2019.4.10f1
Amend – Updated TextMeshPro to 2.1.1
Amend – Updates Jobs to 0.2.10
Amend – Updated HybridRenderer to 0.5.2
Amend – Updated NodeCanvas to 3.1.0
Amend – Updated Rewired to 1.1.36.1
Amend – Updated Aura 2 to 2.1.14

General
Added – Default display name for all vessels, used for when the Display Name field is not populated within the Level Editor
Added – Short description for selected Campaign Mission, underneath the campaign drop-down box within the Campaign Menu.

Amend – Radar blips no longer use the camera space for position calculations
Amend – Moved Level Editor button from the Simulator Menu to the Main Menu to make it more obvious

Missions
Amend – Adv Tutorial 201: Killing the Vomitoria too quickly would prevent any further progression

Gameplay
Added – Added Lancea FF Missile

Amend – Replaced Javelin HS with Lancea FF missile as a loadout in the first 3 campaign missions, for a better missile introductory experience
Amend – Spiculum Missile: Reduced Steering from 120 to 90 DPS on all axis
Amend – Spiculum Missile: Reduced Steering Acceleration from 240 to 135

Fixed – Null Reference Exceptions when exiting or restarting a mission during the Autopilot cinematic
Fixed – AI afterburning no longer causes the player camera to shake

Visuals
Added – In-flight External Camera Views

Amend – In-flight HUD graphical improvements across the majority of HUD elements
Amend – Waypoint Icon now context-sensitive based on Local Waypoint or Autopilot destination
Amend – Waypoint Indicator text now displays “Exit Hazard” if within a hazard zone and “Use Autopilot” when out of hazard for static waypoints
Amend – Reduced size of Help Glyph icons
Amend – Help Glyphs, Missile Alert, and Received Transmission Text now positions and resizes based on required usage
Amend – Help Glyphs: Controller Glyphs no longer disappear when interacting with the mouse, and will remember the last used controller
Amend – Missile Alert warning now has a bar representing the distance of the closest missile locked onto the player
Amend – Unintentionally removed Depth of Field effect, when the effect is enabled, from the 1st person cockpit, but looks better for it
Amend – First Person Neutral Camera Sway reduced from 0.25 to 0.15, for less noticeable effect on the cross-hair (if you focus too much on it)
Amend – Increased size of Explosion_003 M (Missile Explosions) Particle Scale from 14 to 20, to make these explosion effects stand out more at a distance

Fixed – Video Options post-processing effects no longer defaults to on when progressing to the next mission
Fixed – AI piloted ships using Hi-Rez assets no longer use opaque cockpit models to reveal there is no actual pilot!

What’s Upcoming – In-flight HUD Improvements

Based on your feedback, this last week I’ve worked to improve the HUD displays and allow them to fit better in a Sci-Fi environment. I’m sure any military organisation will comment that they are too flashy for them, but these HUD elements certainly fit the part.

Primary Energy

Shield and Armour

Secondary Ammo

Speed and Throttle

Target Brackets

Target brackets now expand around the selected target.

I still have a few more elements to take care of. Expect an update within the next 7 days if all goes well.

Absolute Territory is available to buy now on Steam.

Absolute Territory: The Space Combat Simulator is available to buy on Steam for Windows PC.

Join the Imperial Hegemony and reclaim Bold Peace from the invading Endophora and restore Absolute Territory for your empire. Experience a story-driven campaign directed by briefings with 21 missions and 6 Imperial space fighters to fly with cockpit interiors.

For the thrill-seekers, get straight into the action with Squadron and The Gauntlet scenarios.

Or create custom missions with the Absolute Territory in-game Level Editor. Challenge your piloting skills, develop unique scenarios you only previously imagined. You decide the challenge by adjusting the environment and opponents. Fight with the most devastating weapons against lighter opponents or truly test your skills against-all-odds.

Share your custom mission with other Absolute Territory pilots in a few clicks, or explore the workshop, subscribe, and play potentially infinite missions created by players like you.

Absolute Territory: The Space Combat Simulator featuring:

  • Fight in WW2 style space fighter dogfights in first and third-person views
  • Experience a single-player campaign with 21 missions and 7 Imperial Hegemony space fighters to fly
  • Master the Newtonian style physics with an emphasis on fun over realism
  • Override the Flight Computer for RCS and pull off daring maneuvers
  • Circle strafe your opponents or perform epic slides
  • Evade incoming weapon fire using manual thruster controls
  • Create custom missions with an easy to use and robust Level Editor with access to all 11 Imperial Hegemony and Endophora space fighters, and a full arsenal of weaponry to choose
  • Subscribe and play from a variety of player-made custom missions in the Steam Workshop.
  • Improve your combat skills against waves of increasingly difficult opponents
  • Take the ultimate challenge of The Gauntlet

Buy it now for a -10% launch discount.

Z Minus 21 Days Until Release (Release date: September 1st 2020)

Absolute Territory is releasing on Steam September 1st, 2020.

What are you getting when you buy Absolute Territory: The Space Combat Simulator:

Single player storyline campaign with 21 missions. Fight to maintain your empire’s Absolute Territory over the Xeno Endophora.


Challenge yourself with the waves game mode against each type of Endophora fighter. Learn their weaknesses and overcome them.

Dare to take on the Gauntlet and truly test your skills against every fighter that Absolute Territory has to offer.


Newtonian physics to allow you to pull off maneuvers you could never do in many other space combat games.


Create your own missions using the built-in level editor. Share and play with Steam Workshop support.

Wishlist Absolute Territory for a pre-launch discount.

Add to Wishlist on Steam
Absolute Territory: The Space Combat Simulator Steam Store Page

Learn more about Absolute Territory’s development in this interview

Skyward Flight FM interviews Dan about Absolute Territory

This month I was fortunate enough to be asked to take part in an interview covering Absolute Territory, and a bit about Digitum Software (that’s me!).

Check it out, over on Skyward Flight Media.

Add to Wishlist on Steam
Absolute Territory: The Space Combat Simulator Steam Store Page

Absolute Territory Demo Released

Absolute Territory takes inspiration from classic space combat simulation games from the ’90s and ’00s and adds features for modern gameplay and offers expanded replayability with Steam Workshop support.

The thrill of space combat with infinite replayability. Play the demo.

Absolute Territory takes inspiration from classic space combat simulation games from the ’90s and ’00s and adds features for modern gameplay and offers expanded replayability with Steam Workshop support.

The demo is only available during the Steam Summer Game Festival, don’t miss out, head on over to the Absolute Territory Steam store page and download the demo.

Singleplayer Campaign

Download and play to enjoy the first 3 missions from the Absolute Territory campaign (all 100% created with the in-game mission editor). Before jumping in, be sure to familiarise yourself with the basic controls of your ship by trying out the two tutorials and/or reviewing the reconfigurable keybindings.

In the campaign demo, you will fly patrol, raid an enemy depot, and strike down enemy transport.

Space flight simulation a step above others

As there is no drag in space your fighter wouldn’t normally fly where you pointed it after a turn. The on-board Reaction Control System (RCS) will attempt to compensate for your direction changes and maintain manageable speeds using the ships’ thrusters and main engines. Each ship in Absolute Territory has it’s own mass and thrust power and won’t handle the same.

Rotational thrusters will rotate your ship and attempt to compensate for any outside forces (collisions) which would turn you off course, and be mindful of oversteer as these fighters can turn fast.

Hit the afterburners and perform huge drifts while keeping your guns on your nimble opponent, or disable RCS and slide past large and slow targets while you pummel them into scrap metal.

Instant Action

Squadron

Fly against waves of enemy opponents. Can you win this simulation by going up against two types of Endophora fighter?

Mission Editor

Try the mission editor to create and play your own custom missions.

The mission editor in Absolute Territory provides a limited experience from the paid version. This demo offers restricted ship and weapons selection, and will not be able to create any conditions to drive events/storyline nor publish your missions to the Steam Workshop.

Wishlist the retail version

Absolute Territory is in development with a planned release for later this year. Wishlist and follow to show your interest and be notified of progress updates and its release.

Add to Wishlist on Steam
Absolute Territory: The Space Combat Simulator Steam Store Page

Know thy Level Editor ABSOLUTE TERRITORY DEV DIARY #24

Design and create missions like the dev, then upload to the workshop, or download and play shared missions. Steam Workshop support has to be one of the most exciting features to have in Absolute Territory alongside the Level Editor, and this is why…

What is Absolute Territory?

Absolute Territory is a space combat simulator born from my nostalgia for playing similar games back in the ’90s and ’00s and of course taking inspiration from sci-fi TV shows and movies. I have loved the idea of flying around in your space ship, overcoming the odds against an overwhelming opponent, and making a name for yourself.

202006 explosion

Where did the inspiration for a Level Editor come from?

I played a lot of Wing Commander as a teenager. As a franchise, it provided an experience that was originally relegated to watching on TV. Even though it hit and missed in some places (WC: Privateer being a hit and WC: Academy being a miss) to me at least.

The Level Editor in Absolute Territory was born from the disappointment of Wing Commander Academy. OK, I’m sure you are wondering “Why? Just, Why? You said it was a miss?” Well, it was, due to its implementation. You see, at the heart of the game, you made your own missions to fly. For me, the idea of being able to create an infinite number of missions to continue flying sounded awesome. The reality, it boiled down to placing down some opponents and hazards at a Nav point, then flying said mission.

That was nothing like the type of missions you would experience in Wing Commander 1 & 2 where you flew scripted missions that could react to you the player and other in-game actions. Absolute Territory would need to include a more in-depth Level Editor.

When Freespace 2 released it came with a Level Editor that was used to create it’s campaign missions. But heck, that thing was on a whole new level, separate from the game itself. I didn’t have the internet speed or the time to try and spend dozens of hours on something that complex. I gave up after an hour. The Level Editor in Absolute Territory would need to toe the line between having depth and feeling ‘out of your depth’. Removing the need of spending many hours figuring out how it works.

What does the Absolute Territory Level Editor do differently than the competitors?

Yea, I’m going there. Comparing to competition from decades ago to Absolute Territory, as a sole indie developer. On GoG, those games are still being sold and therefore I’m competing against AAA studios that are defunct or long since moved on to bigger and better things while the games live on supported by dedicated communities.

To answer the question, here was my statement of intent in creating the Level Editor:
1) The player (you) can design complex missions that the video game developer (me) can do.
2) Create scripted missions with a minimum of fuss and very little typing.
3) An easy transition between creating and testing (playing) your missions.
4) Share your missions for others to play in a couple of clicks.

202006 shield hit

Design complex missions that the video game developer could do

Each mission in the Absolute Territory campaign was created 100% with the Level Editor. No hacks or hardcoded workarounds. You can re-create the same mission I have made or you could go above and beyond to make more unique experiences.

Create scripted missions with a minimum of fuss and very little typing.

Scripted missions are when some action or background event is triggered to start a new or repeating action. This could be spawning in enemy reinforcements or forcing a mission failed condition if the player didn’t complete an objective on time.

Absolute Territory calls these Conditional Actions, which are made up of three components: Trigger, Condition, and Action. First, you create a trigger (the starting point for an action), define a condition that must occur, then add whatever action(s) is to take place when the condition happens.

You can chain up triggers where a logical progression must take place, disabling and enabling, allowing them to be repeated or called only once, or delaying the action from taking place.

This gives the Level Editor in Absolute Territory the depth needed for allowing the player to make missions more involved than placing down some random opponents. Though the limitation is the conditions and actions that are implemented and to add more would require hard coding, as opposed to a scriptable language that you could just write yourself. Yet, that is where the depth is while maintaining an easy to use interface, with visually understandable blocks (in effect) as opposed to lines of text for those who don’t have a coding/scripting background.

202006 level editor triggers

An easy transition between creating and testing (playing) your missions

You have created a mission and you want to test the results from within the Level Editor? Just click the Launch button. You are straight into the game. Play your mission, then exit out to continue working on your mission.

Share your missions for others to play with the minimum of fuss

Ready to share your creation with other Absolute Territory players? No problem, from within the Level Editor hit F2 to bring up the Steam Workshop Publisher form. Fill in the title and description for your mission and click Upload.

Fancy playing another player’s mission? Head over to the Absolute Territory Steam Workshop Community page, browse and subscribe. Then, open up the game, head into the simulator, and select Workshop Missions from the Game Type selection to see all the missions you subscribed to.

The Demo and Steam Summer Game Festival

The Steam Summer Game Festival was delayed. Therefore the demo got delayed. As soon as the Festival is underway (June 16th) the demo will be available. I’m looking forward to reading your feedback and hopefully see some videos and streams of your gameplays.

Be sure to wishlist and follow to stay notified of the demo and full release and development updates!

Add to Wishlist on Steam
Absolute Territory: The Space Combat Simulator Steam Store Page