2.2.0 Release (20210912) Overview – Early enemy fighter weapons feel less overwhelming due to the fast firing rate
Amend – Track IR anchor point made same as VR
Amend – There are now two versions of the laser bolt cannon (Rapid Firing and Standard)
Amend – Vomitoria and Drosophilia now use slower firing laser bolt cannon
Amend – Updated weapon lore entries for the laser bolt cannon variants
Amend – Updated the 21 Absolute Territory missions to include the new standard laser bolt cannon. Added briefing text highlighting when new ships are made available. Added briefing text to make known about experimental laser weapon being available in mission 20
Amend – Wave and Gauntlet to include the new standard laser bolt cannon
Amend – Removed Tutorials as a campaign item selection (they are still available under Simulator menu). They no longer have skip dialogue, since all tutorials are available and there was no need to skip
2.0.1 Release (20210820) Overview – Tunnelling can be disabled in options and an unsupported TrackIR implementation.
Added – Auto Exposure and Ambient Occlusion Postprocessing Effects
Amend – Gameplay scene lighting adjusted to use the Skybox instead of constant color.
Added – Toggle Tunnel Vision when using VR (Options > Game > VR Tunnelling
Added – An experimental and there not officially supported (I reserve the right to pull this feature at any time) Track IR implementation
Amend – Press CTRL-F12 to recenter the VR headset in the main menu and in flight
An important developed note on the current Track IR implementation As I don’t own any Track IR hardware I cannot reasonably test this myself and has been classed as experimental and officially unsupported. If you enable Track IR the experience may be sub-par or entirely broken. I will do my best to work with any Track IR users willing to be guinea pigs and provide relevant feedback towards improving the implementation. That is no guarantee that Track IR will become an official feature in the game and I reserve the right to abandon any further development on it.
Enabling Track IR The command-line argument “-trackir” will be needed, I recommend you create a shortcut to the Standard game exe on your desktop and add the argument in the target box as exampled below.
Absolute Territory is a futuristic single-player mission-based space dogfighting with the familiar feeling of good space sims. Fly 21 missions with a variety of search & destroy, assault, patrol, escort, and scan objectives. Choose from several space superiority fighters, customize loadout from over a dozen weapons, manage power settings, and use directional thrusters like an elite pilot.
Ship and Weapon Selection
Chose your ship type from fast-moving glass cannons to slow hard-hitting tanks. Outfit your chosen ship with a variety of deadly weapons. Make sure you chose both ship and weapons wisely to enable the completion of your mission objectives.
Dogfighting with arcade-sim mechanics
Engage in gripping dogfights with Newtonian physics. Arcade forces are used for an arcade-sim experience, allowing for responsive controls to pull off hair-raising maneuvers making yourself a harder target for enemies. AN RCS computer will compensation for all directional changes, turn too hard and you will but yourself into a slide, or worse find yourself a sitting duck while your ship adjusts speed. Fight against a variety of enemy ship types from light to heavy fighters, transports, and large warships.
Absolute Territory is not pure arcade or pure sim. Its arcade-sim.
Distribute power across engines, shields, and guns for an advantage over your opponent or get yourself out of sticky situations. Power to engines gives faster acceleration and increased top speed, for shields faster recharge rate and overcharging, and guns for faster recharge rate for longer sustained firing of heavier weapons.
Advanced flight mechanics
Engage slide, match speed, and directional thruster mechanics to keep your target in your gun sights. Warships and transports are not defenseless and come armed with flak turrets. Use component targeting and de-teeth these ships of their turrets. Then move in for the kill.
VR and Standard mode
The recent 2.0 update added VR mode. Use this to your advantage for improved situational awareness in the cockpit. Identify the biggest threats with a glance before turning to engage.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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.
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 188.8.131.52 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!
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.
Shield and Armour
Speed and Throttle
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 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.
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.
Fly against waves of enemy opponents. Can you win this simulation by going up against two types of Endophora fighter?
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.
The last several months have been difficult for people all around the world. I pray this announcement finds you in good health and in improving circumstances.
I have been very fortunate to be still employed and also working (not at home) throughout this crisis. I had several weeks off before the lockdown came into effect and by the end of that time, I was relieved to get back into work (even though I spent the whole of that time working on Absolute Territory). I think that must come down to not managing my time better and neglecting other areas in my life while I single-mindedly continued to work on Absolute Territory (and still do on my downtime ːlunar2019crylaughingpigː).
Release date expectations The good news, I am aiming for a release date for Absolute Territory towards the end of 2020!
Campaign Over the last few months, I have been working on the Absolute Territory campaign missions. Everyone one of these missions has been handcrafted within the in-game level editor which you can also use to create your own personalized missions and upload to share with the rest of the Absolute Territory community on Steam. The process is quick, taking a couple of clicks to upload and share.
The campaign story is around a faction of the Endophora (your opponent during this campaign), named The Order of Linnaeus, who has invaded Imperial space and laid claim to Bold Peace. You will find yourself going against Order forces, driving them back out of the sector. Each campaign mission in Absolute Territory brings unique experiences.
Absolute Territory has a full flight roster of eleven fighters across Imperial and Endophora . Five of which have a full 3D cockpit.
Options on the go Graphical and audio options have been made available during the missions. Simply press Escape (or start button on your controller), drop into the options menu, configure to your liking, then exit out and test your changes reflected in the game instantly.
Warships No space combat game is complete without having huge warships to either protect or destroy. Absolute Territory brings three huge warships into the conflict. Two destroyers (one for Imperial and Endophoria) and an Endophoria Cruiser, that’s in addition to the transport ship already available.
Situational awareness improvements To enhance your situational awareness a small but very useful change is to include the name and distance to your target on the offscreen arrow indicator. Cycle through all your targets and know exactly what you’re targeting, even when they are not directly in front of you.
Tutorial Controller Glyphs The tutorial missions in Absolute Territory introduce fundamental concepts of flying and fighting. Controller Glyph’s already cover keyboard & mouse and Xbox controllers to ease learning controls. This has now been expanded to include glyphs for PlayStation 4 controllers.
Performance Improvements Minefields were costing twice as much CPU usage as Asteroid fields, after some investigation I was able to reduce this cost and it’s now on a similar level of performance.
Absolute Territory AI gains more improvements to help reduce the number of incidents where they find themselves stuck against Warships. It does happen much less, but I’ll admit it can still happen. I’ll be looking at ways to ensure that they can recover themselves.
been many other performance improvements in scripting, mostly to due with displaying text on the screen, towards reducing CPU cost and garbage generation for a smoother experience.
Demo & Wishlist A demo for Absolute Territory will be made available during the Steam Game Festival. It’s already packaged, uploaded and ready to be downloaded when the festival goes lives at 10am Pacific time on June 9th, 2020.
Finally, head on over to the Steam store page, scroll down and hit that wishlist button! Every wishlist helps towards showing Steam that this is a game worthy of the algorithm’s attention.
It has been another busy month where I had the unique opportunity to work on Absolute Territory for the past month on a full-time basis. During that time I ran a closed beta, squatted many reported bugs, added beta tester feedback, making many more improvements.
Some of the new features covered in this month’s dev diary include:
Transmissions (creating dialogue from NPC’s)
Steam Workshop support
Watch the video or read on below:
Work has begun to include tutorials covering the different aspects of piloting your space combat fighter. They make use of a couple of new features added towards helping the player learn the controls. These tutorials are entirely scripted using the in-game level editor, and something the player could re-create themselves.
There was no way to convey the complex information needed to best instruct the player to pilot their ship. Transmissions have been added to solve this problem. Transmission sources can come from disembodied or embodied NPC’s. If the source is from an embodied NPC you will be able to see who is talking to you via the white bracket around the transmission source.
To further guide the player, help glyphs can be displayed to show relevant and appropriate controls on the HUD. These are context-sensitive and show help glyph for the currently used controller (if supported) with the correct keybinding (including user-defined). Currently, Help Glyph’s support keyboard, mouse and the Xbox 360 gamepad. Do you have a favorite controller not mentioned, post it in the comments below, as I look to expand on controller support.
From the conception of the level editor, one of the development goals was to have the ability to share missions with other players. With the majority of the features locked down and implemented, I was able to redirect development time into this area. From within the level editor, you can now submit your custom missions to the Steam Workshop using the publish form.
Fill in the title and description form your workshop item and hit submit. The level editor will then publish your workshop item with all the relevant files needed for other players to subscribe and play. You can make any last-minute alterations from within the Steam Community Workshop page itself.
Do you want to update your mission? Just load up the relevant mission, enter its Workshop ID and submit, your changes will automatically update your Workshop Item.
Have any feedback or suggestions or questions regarding this month’s dev update? Post them below.