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Yet Another Long Overdue Onyx Update
Posted 2004.10.29 08:16pm by Aaron
This news item is 5289 days old.

Wow. An update. It's been ages again. There's a lot of ground to cover, so I'll split this into two sections; first I'll go over general stuff and then into specifics.

In general, yes Onyx is still under development. I haven't stopped, suspended, de-prioritized or in any other way shelved the game.

Story line has been given a big boost as well as having star charts drawn up, more balancing done, more weapons, missiles ships and technologies added. While filling out the universe I felt compelled to add 4 new races, only one of which will actually appear in the game directly, but all of which required bio's and full dossiers written up. A lot of work has gone into stabilizing the universe and restoring consistency where it was lost during the additions.

In terms of code, there has been quite a lot of refactoring going on, which means that there are unfortunately few externally visible features. I had wanted to avoid going back and rewriting code that worked, but there were places that were just too hairy to leave.

More gui code has been written, more AI types, the scripting engine has been further filled out and the physics have been further refined. Multiple map locations has been cleaned up quite a bit and there are the first signs of the cut-scene engine appearing. Along with all this quite a few bugs have been tracked down and resolved.


  • Ships now respect their max yaw/pitch/roll restrictions properly, even when recovering from a collision.
  • In-flight controls are smoother and more consistent for analog devices
  • Ship classes now support a 'response' rating which modifies the responsiveness for ships independently of mass for more uniform and simplistic control of ship quality.
  • Fixed entity joints are now supported, and used for missiles. Actually, they are supported as ball-joints with angular motors applied set to 0 degrees of freedom. ODE fixed joints go absolutely crazy and explode the simulation.
  • Damage application follows the damage characteristics more closely
  • Damage characteristics now support the following flags:

    • Leech - Some factor of the applied damage is converted to armour for the attacker. This is a melee damage property (yes melee, in a space combat sim - the Jeaxe are great) and is only available to the Jeaxe.
    • Envelop - Damage is applied to all facings at 1/4 intensity.
    • Skip Armour - Er... skips armour.
    • Skip Shields - Guess.
    • No Core - Weapon can't apply damage to a ship core, that is it is incapable of destroying the ship, only disabling it.
    • Explosive - Damage is scaled by the mass of the target, doing much less damage to smaller targets. Missiles AREN'T one hit kills in Onyx. Remaining damage is applied as force however, so strap in you're going for quite a ride in a fighter.


  • Mouse buttons can now be bound through the standard command binder.
  • Lots of new commands added for controlling HUD elements in-game
  • HUD elements are fully controllable from the ship class definition, meaning that different ships may have different HUD artwork, colours and layouts.
  • The command binder now understands modifier keys, so it's possible to bind a key, a key+shift, a key+control, etc.


  • The Archives are filled out with missile, turret and EWeapon descriptions.
  • Missiles! The game now has properly-ish working missiles.
  • Full separation of audio representations now allows ships to have engine whine ambient sounds playing, including doppler effect as appropriate.
  • Lots more stuff, but I've been writing this post for 5 days so I'm just going to get it over with.

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