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Ardent Seas


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#26 Sgt. Rho

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 19:14

Thanks!

Nah, the idea wasn't to make it sound evil, and it describes exactly what it is: The remote control system's available bandwidth :P

I'm trying to keep the UI pretty much in white, the faction icons, command bar buttons and resource icons are the only colored things, since it'll be possible to customize the color of the UI as well. But I'll think about making the stars colored.

And I'll see about using bullet points, or a more brief summary at the start in the future, thanks for the advice :)

#27 Destiny

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 13:46

Lovely update. Nice to see the 'bad guys' too, points for mindless machines :xD:

The water - will there be some layer of transparency, usage of soft particles, or is it still a WIP? The water is a lovely shade of blue, but the slightly submerged parts of vessels (maybe due to the swells on the ocean) just...well, 'sharply' disappear into the water.

I'm liking the weapon FXes, esp. the missile trail, but the AA tracer ones look...kinda blargh :xD: No proximity fuse for AA weapons in such an advanced world? 8|

Have to admit, the design of the EW Corvette is so sexy, I might only just build that ship :P
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#28 Sgt. Rho

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 15:36

Hehe, thanks :D

The water is a WIP, I'm waiting for Skrawk to finish his ocean asset, so that we can use that. The water we're using at the moment is an old, free water. The performance isn't as good as it could be, and of course, it's opaque. All that should be fixed in the asset.

I cheated a bit with the AA tracers, since there's currently no predictive firing, I kinda had to. It's a temporary solution that will be fixed..soon™.

Edited by Sgt. Rho, 29 September 2015 - 16:24.


#29 Sgt. Rho

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Posted 26 November 2015 - 08:44

Welcome back aboard, Cap'ns!

Today's update consists mostly new new TDN units, as well as some work-in-progress renders, and a little glimpse at things to come. So let's get right to it, shall we?

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CG-122 "Wreathe" Class Cruiser

The Wreathe carries siy 8" cannons on 3 turrets, firing special anti-aircraft shells, with these it is capable of projecting a wall of titanium and shrapnel into the air, destroying any aircraft foolish enough to fly through it. Furthermore, it has 6 quad 40mm anti-air turrets, a heavy 4-cell, and two 32-cell Vertical Launch Systems. One of the VLSes is loaded with anti-aircraft missiles, the other with long-range cruise missiles. The heavy vertical launcher is loaded with anti-ship missiles.

Defensively, it has 8 CIWS turrets and 6 30mm autocannons, and a set of flare and chaff launches. Like most Tenorran ships, it's fast but not very well armored. It's best used to escort other ships, protecting them from enemy air attacks.



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SCNP-8 "Infiltrator" Corvette

Built with a reverse engineered stealth field generator, salvaged from a destroyed Ravager stealth ship, the Infiltrator is perfect for keeping eyes on enemy fleets without being noticed, as well as sneak attacks. Armed with missiles, a twin 75mm autocannon turret and three 30mm autocannons, it's very much capable of defending itself.

It's primary role however, is to capture enemy ships.



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CM-12 Minelayer Corvette

The Minelayer, as its name suggests, deploys naval mines. It uses special encapsulated torpedo mines, which instead of detonating directly, wait for an enemy ship to pass overhead, and then fire their single Torpedo upwards at the target, exploding right underneath it inflicting heavy damage. It can also fire off depth charges, revealing any nearby submarines and damaging them if they're hit.

It's armed with a twin 75mm autocannon turret and two 30mm autocannons for self-defense, and a single CIWS turret. Its fast, but has absolutely no armor, and will be lost quickly under enemy fire.



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MC-42B Constructor & C-42 Carryall

The C-42 Carryall is an adopted civilian heavy transport aircraft, used to carry resources from mining platforms to the nearest drop off location. The militarized version has a telescopic refueling rod, radar warning receivers and flare dispensers.

The Constructor was developed from the Carryall, replacing its giant electromagnetic tractor claws with metal powder containers and a manufacturing head, it can build all structures available to the TDN, as well as patch up damaged ships.



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DF-21 Littoral Defense Platform

These platforms were originally built as early warning radars on most archipelagos under TDN control, during rising tensions between the TDN and the CPSN. They have fallen into disuse since, but have been modernized in the face of the impending Ravager invasion.

Now they can be upgraded with a variety of weapons, such as the 450mm Railgun turret, for mid-long range coastal defense, and Mjolnir missile silos, for long range defense.

Next up we have some unfinished TDN assets. We usually don't like posting unfinished units, but since this is a big update, let's make it even bigger.

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First we have the Battlecruiser, a long-range artillery ship, fast but with weak armor, it's armed mostly with missiles.



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Then we have the Helicopter Cruiser, a cruiser-sized helicopter carrier with teeth. It doesn't support all aircraft, only VTOLs, like the Wyverns seen here, the Carryall, and the Air Superiority fighter. One possible tactic we could see this being used with Constructors, to quickly fortify an area of the map with the Floating Fortress.



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Which brings us to the Floating Fortress. A large, floating weapons and utility platform that can be expanded from the central core with all sorts of modules, shown here with an unfinished logistics module, which rearms and refuels nearby friendly units.



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Shown in this render, is a concept for a special unit skin, available for these two aircraft upon completing certain campaign missions, or perhaps as reward for kickstarter backers in the future.

We also have this Space Shuttle, which will only appear in the Campaign, but more on that in a future update.

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Finally, we have some videos and more screenshots!








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#30 Destiny

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Posted 26 November 2015 - 10:18

I like that AD cruiser's design a lot. Although...since Ardent Seas is set in a fictional world, I'll just accept things like weapon mounts on top of bridges and armored box launchers placed symmetrically opposite each other :xD:

I see the role of boarding is fulfilled by the stealth corvette - quite interesting really.

On the point of the minelayer, those depth charges are just extra feature for the vessel? Hard to imagine anyone using depth charges to hunt submarines since the advent of sonar and guided torpedoes :P

Lastly, those railgun slugs must be really affected by gravity!
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#31 Sgt. Rho

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Posted 26 November 2015 - 10:52

Things like CIWS mounts on top of bridges aren't really an issue, since it's bolted onto the surface of the hull, not into it, so it can go on just about any flat surface.

Those aren't actually armored box launchers, they're normal ASM launchers. While IRL they're usually mounted side to side, since their back-blasts are redirected upwards, it's not much of an issue to have them back to back.

Depth charges are just a more bombastic alternative to sonobuoys :P

Edited by Sgt. Rho, 26 November 2015 - 11:07.


#32 TheDR

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Posted 26 November 2015 - 14:02

I like your unit images (I can't complain about the quality) however I've seen static renders before and it's not as engaging as it could be.

For example, Tripwire put out a load of Dev videos up to the release of KF2. They were each focused on a particular point and helped sell the visuals, game play and features that were including with the game. I'm not saying you need to make videos, however just expand on some points and give each update a bit of focus. You could have an update called 'The Missiles', 'The Subs' or 'How our water works' ect.

If you do want to show of units, how about a rotating Gif? or a short video?

You also have to think that every post you make might be the first someone has seen your game. It's tough, but you really need to sell the main concept of the game every time (even if it's just a link to a page that explains the game in a few sentences with some pictures, think like something you'd see on the back of a game box).

Also, it's good to use more hashtags on twitter. I've found they help to expand the reach of your posts immensely
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#33 Sgt. Rho

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Posted 26 November 2015 - 15:35

I/We did actually plan to do a short video profile for most, if not all units. But a few things that are needed to do that are still missing, namely abilities and upgrades.

http://imgur.com/HSxXr8g

Next time, I'll remember not to record the cursor though

Edited by Sgt. Rho, 27 November 2015 - 07:07.


#34 Sgt. Rho

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 02:07

What is this, another update already?!

Because I'm crap at public speaking, instead of doing the video I wanted, I've written an article instead:
Hello everyone,


Given the currently running indie of the year competition, we thought it'd be the perfect time to talk about one of the most important parts of the game: The Flagship


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As example we'll use the CSN-71 'Elysia' of the Tenorran Defense Navy.


The Flagship is a nuclear powered amalgamation of a shipyard, an aircraft carrier, a tech center, and a military base, a heavily armored and well armed one, at that.
It functions as the "command center" for TDN players, producing the first available TDN units, such as the Carryall and Constructor, the Command Frigate, and the Strike Fighter, but also higher tech units after progressing further up the tech tree.


The four large rectangular slots on the front of the central hull, and on the right hull as well, are upgrade slots, filled as one advances through the tech tree, adding a unique module for each tech level.
On the right hull, the Elysia features a large double helipad, where two large VTOLs like Carryalls or Gunships can park to be resupplied and repaired.


The left or port side hull features a far more prominent flight deck, with a landing strip on top in the back, and a lower catapult deck, where regular fighters take off from. The Elysia can hold 2 large VTOLs and 5-6 squadrons, each consisting of 3 aircraft.


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The Elysia is in no way short on firepower, with its 6 twin 8" gun turrets, omni-purpose vertical missile launchers, and 8 close-in weapon systems, it can easily deal with small groups of enemies, but it's still unwise to use it as an attack unit, despite its enormous pool of hit points, it can't hold up against sustained fire from larger enemy groups.


Another feature of the right or starboard hull is the resource dropoff, here Carryalls can deliver resources harvested by mining platforms.
The central hull features the shipyard, where gunboats, corvettes and frigates can be built, but nothing as big or larger than destroyers or capital ships.


At this point we'd like to give a shout-out to Global Conflagration, a Real Time Strategy game where players take control of the battlefield using the deadliest of weaponry and units in a clash between two powers: The EU, armed with most advanced technology and high tech equipment, or The Awakened, driven by the sole purpose to fight for their freedom by all means possible, including the use of technicals and improvised vehicles.


Global Conflagration shares the same RTS Framework and engine as Ardent Seas.


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That's it for today, we hope you enjoyed this little update!


Follow us on Twitter: @Ardent_Seas and on Facebook!


#35 Destiny

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 05:16

Flagship looks real neat. I suppose when you build small vessels, they'll come out from her stern?



And regular fighters for the flightdeck, do you mean CTOL fighters? That'd be lovely...
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#36 Sgt. Rho

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 11:21

CTOL fighters, launched with the CATOBAR system to be precise.

Yep, ships come out of the giant gate in the back of the Flagship.

Edited by Sgt. Rho, 06 December 2015 - 11:23.


#37 Sgt. Rho

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 19:06

We've got another, smaller article up:

This time we're taking a look at yet another major set of game mechanics: Submarines, using the TDN Type-192 Attack Submarine as our test subject.

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The Type-192 is armed with several torpedo tubes effective against ships, submarines and naval structures, along with 10 cruise missile launchers, effective against surface and ground targets, activated with an ability. It's the only submarine available to the TDN, and best suited for ambushes and to hunt enemy submarines.

Submarines can freely switch between diving and surfacing, though heavily damaged submarines will be forced to surface. There are going to be a variety of submarines in Ardent Seas, with different abilities and weapons. Submarines that are out of fuel will likewise surface.
Submarines are invisible to the enemy while underwater. There are numerous ways of finding them, however. When a submarine fires its missiles or torpedoes, or whichever weapon it may have, it becomes visible to all players. Some ships are equipped with special submarine-hunting equipment, such as Destroyers and submarine warfare aircraft.
Depth charges also reveal all submarines in a wide area, and will cripple them if they happen to detonate next to them.

Most ordinary weapons can't fire on submarines. Some units have special anti-submarine weaponry, in the form of torpedoes, anti-submarine missiles and anti-submarine grenades.


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For the Coalition Navy, we have planned an much more diverse set of submarines. They will be receiving a submersible aircraft carrier, a submarine warship which is armed with 2 gun turrets that can only be used on the surface, a long-range missile submarine, a hunter-killer submarine, similar in role to the Type-192 shown here, and their harvesting unit is also a submarine.

As always, you can follow us on Twitter @Ardent_Seas, Facebook and IndieDB.

Edited by Sgt. Rho, 06 December 2015 - 21:54.


#38 TheDR

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 19:24

Nice. Focusing on one unit at a time helps it from being overwhelming.

I had a thought when looking at some of the shots, is there anyway to vary the sea a bit? Could ships leak oil when attacked? Could patches of oil, ship wrecks ect. be a part of the environment?

Another idea I had looking at that gif, could the health bars be integrated into the unit? (sort of like a Duracell battery or the power ups in blur). I feel the bars currently stand out a bit too much against the empty blue of the sea.
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#39 Sgt. Rho

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 19:39

Yep, damage effects like that are planned, as are a lot of underwater things, like kelp, corals and shipwrecks. Permanent wrecks from destroyed ships might be something worth considering, at least for larger ones, so that it's not too much of a performance hog.

The health bars need to stand out IMO, since you want to be able to immediately see how much health your units have, they're only visible on selected (and later on damaged) units anyway.

#40 TheDR

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 20:30

I look forward to seeing them.

I get your point about health bars, however might be worth considering doing something different to the standard green line? I feel it ages the game and make it look like every other RTS/RPG. Which is not a bad thing, though it doesn't help when you are trying to stand out in a sea of different titles.

You have an opportunity to do something unique because the sea is a blank canvas. As long as it fits the visuals of the game, the health bar can stand out more than the standard green line and give you added gameplay benefits. The health bars can enhance the unit's visual..

Below is the first idea, health circles.

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These are an expanded version of the bar. They are easy to see and can sit above or below the unit. They feel more futuristic than the bar and also somewhat nautical.

The second idea is the gauge.

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This is easy to see and fits nicely with the nautical/military theme. I can imagine them being slightly transparent and reacting to the waves (almost as if they were projected onto the sea).

They could also be slightly faded when at full health (as seen below) or you could even give the opacity as an option for players to choose from.

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#41 Sgt. Rho

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 21:03

Hmm, the health circles actually seem like a cool idea, I'll discuss it with Koen.

I've been doing some thinking about the health spots, and had the idea of possibly introducing split health pools, as hp and armor, with the armor being directional and the HP being, well, HP:

Here's what I've come up with, I have to warn you though, I spent no more than 30 seconds in PS on this :P

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Edited by Sgt. Rho, 07 December 2015 - 00:08.


#42 Sgt. Rho

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Posted 07 April 2016 - 23:26

I've just posted a new update on indie DB: http://www.indiedb.c...mongous-edition
Showing off several new units, as well as some new game mechanics. Also includes a few details on what we've got planned for the kickstarter.

Edited by Sgt. Rho, 07 April 2016 - 23:27.


#43 Destiny

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 23:30

Hahaha, this update is pure ecstasy. Tanks, layered CIWS, shore defenses, mining platforms, missiles firing from different VLS cells, ship names :xD:

The TDN must use some environmental-unfriendly propellant for their missiles; the black smoke is very jarring (esp. on the shore-based missile launcher). Perhaps a little more transparency to it, or just have the orange exhaust itself?

I suppose any missiles without a valid target (destroyed by other ship's weapons, etc.) will self-destruct and weapon trails will gradually fade off instead of just abruptly disappearing, in future progress?

All of a ship's CIWSes seem to fire at a single inbound missile when available, so I'm curious to see how Ardent Seas vessels handle missile threats from multiple directions :D

Looking forward to seeing splashes from near-misses and aircraft plunging into the water!
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#44 Sgt. Rho

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 00:51

Thanks^^

Well, currently, most mechanics don't fully work, others are outright missing. There is no "dying" state yet, for example, which will be applied to both missiles and units, and some missiles will self destruct, others will continue hitting the targets, and yet others can even change targets if the current one is destroyed.

The Missiles use solid fuel boosters to get out of the launchers, and the FX is indeed in need of replacement.

There's also no overfire-prevention system for the CIWS yet, so they'll all fire on the missile nearest to themselves. Optimally, CIWSes will coordinate with each other to provide the optimal defense against missiles, even on different ships.

#45 Sgt. Rho

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 18:07

Dev blog time!


I had planned to make the first dev blog about the basic gameplay, but I've ultimately decided to do ground combat first.

As mentioned in our previous update: April Update: Humongous edition, we we may do ground combat eventually, in an effort to spice up the island gameplay somewhat. In this dev blog I'm going to go over how it would work, using the island below as a practical example.


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The very first thing you want to do if your goal is to capture an island, is to get rid of any enemy ships nearby. Ships can't use most of their missiles against ground targets, but can use their cannons, and those are still rather devastating, even against tanks.


Islands will often have their own defenses, such as anti-ship missile launchers, coastal cannon batteries, surface to air missiles, and also more advanced things, like shield generators and EMP weapons.
Your opponent could also have his own vehicles on the island, if he has a war factory there, even replace the ones you're destroying.

Most structures not destroyed during the capture, will be transferred to the player who captured the island.-


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Once the area has been cleared, it's time to bring in the amphibious transports, such as hovercraft, amphibious assault vehicles, and also air transports, like the TDN's Carryall. AAVs and Carryalls can be launched by specialized ships.
In the case of the TDN, the Helicopter Cruiser and the Supercarrier will both be able to do that, though larger hovercraft are deployed on their own.
The Coalition Navy also get a specialized amphibious assault cruiser, and a cargo submarine that can deploy AAVs near the shore.
The Ravagers, as so often, do things a little bit differently, involving a lot of orbital drops and unit cannons. More on that, once we're sure that ground combat will actually go in.


There are several vehicle types, with well defined roles planned.


  • Amphibious Assault Vehicles: Slow, heavily armored, but weakly armed vehicles, which can traverse the water and go on land on their own, without requiring transport. These are your best friend early in the game.
  • Main Battle Tank: A well rounded combat unit, with decent armor, firepower and mobility. Best used to destroy structures, MCPs, artillery units, etc.
  • Tank Destroyer: Fast, lightly armored vehicles with a large cannon, devastating against armored targets, such as MBTs.
  • Self-Propelled Anti Aircraft Guns: A SPAAG a day keeps the bombers away.
  • Artillery: Best used to defeat defenses, firing slowly and somewhat inaccurately, but causing heavy damage when they do hit.
  • Mobile Command Post: The most important unit of all, used to capture islands.
  • Special: Every faction gets one special unit, that might be a Mammoth Tank, some sort of stealth unit, etc.
  • Landing Craft: Used to bring regular vehicles, such as Tanks and MCPs onto an island.

Merely getting your assault troops onto the island is only the first step, or second, on the way to your new private island. To actually capture this particular island, you'll first have to get your troops onto its tiny beach, then through the harbor, and into firing range of the Mobile Command Post.


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As with vehicles in the case of a war factory present, if there are constructors, the defending player can also build more defenses, which might lead to nasty surprises if you're not careful.

Unlike most other infrastructure, defenses will self destruct as soon as the MCP has been destroyed, but that doesn't mean rushing it with a large tank battalion will be particularly effective. Despite its flimsy look, the MCP is actually very hard to kill, due to its own active protection systems, and tons of duct tape.

Everything in this post is subject to change, as the future of this particular feature is uncertain.







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