Battle log of Unity BTOL x4 against TUFA Scourge Ambush in the High-Risk Zone — Status of the Agents — MIA
TUFA Attack! /// Metaverse in Light Speed Expansion /// Immersive Blockchain-Powered UE5 Experience
“Lesson nº 10 — Never go through an asteroid belt. It doesn’t matter if this will be a hassle or make you spend more fuel. Simply don’t go through the asteroid field.” — The Most Successful Guide of Common Sense Learnings for the Benefit of Space Exploration.
“Hostile activity detected,” said the A.I of unity BTOL x4, now devoid of its characteristic sassiness, as the ship’s panel lit into combat mode.
“Way to go, Wenn. You had to go through the asteroid field, even though eleven out of ten kids that dream of being a pilot know better than to go through an asteroid field this deep in space.” sneered the Mierese, hastily tapping the console, preparing the vessel for the encounter.
Wenn knew he messed up. “That’s what getting all emotional does to you,” he thought. “You make mistakes. Now you will become the loot of some random deep space attacker. Congratulations.”
Wenn assessed the situation. They were halfway through the asteroid belt when two signatures appeared on the radar.
“Don’t worry, Yago,” Wenn said, keeping his gaze on the ship’s console. “As you said yourself, we are heroes. No hero worth his salt would die in such a dumb way.”
They had been pretty unlucky, Wenn concluded. It seems they had passed right next to the ambushers. Otherwise, the flawless stealth mechanics of their Busan Thrill of Life would have spared them this chase.
Yago looked to Wenn, trying to decide if his friend had finally gone mad or if this was another incursion of the so-called human humor. When he saw the smile on his friend’s face, he couldn’t help but share a constrained laugh while shaking his head. Yeah, that was the Wenn he knew.
Things will get entertaining now.
The ship console displayed a hologram of their two guests. The sight of two Tufa Feists knifing between asteroids and closing the gap did not bode well.
“Hostiles closing gap due to superior impulse engines and maneuvering thrusters,” reported the A.I.. “Initial analysis shows the chance of victory in combat at 1.5%.
“Come on, computer. Give us some good news.” Yago interjected.
“The chance of escaping is 3%.”
Yago tried to swallow but his mouth had gone dry. The A.I. continued: “In situations such as this one, the article nº 1.728, section II, (A) of ATMTA code of conduct establishes that crew members should state their wills after the — .”
Whatever the A.I. said was muffled by the explosion of the first missile. It came unhealthily close to their vessel before colliding with a fragment of an asteroid.
“Yago, you are in control.” Wenn said while typing commands to the A.I to scan the whole asteroid belt and display to him the projection of the terrain.
They were now getting to the point where hardpoint weapons were a threat, including lasers reaching dangerously close to them, splashes of green light reflected on the cabin walls. Soon, their shields would suffer damage.
Yago was a talented pilot. Aside from his cheekiness, and the firm belief of being chosen by the gods, he had the talent to back up his mouth. Until a certain point, at least..
They would need every single drop of talent, skill — and truth be told, luck — if they were to try what Wenn was planning.
“Yago, adjust our course to the coordinates I’m sending. I need you to keep us alive for two minutes, and please try to keep our shields above 80%. I will focus on supporting you. Just pilot and don’t crash into anything until I say so.” Wenn said while entering the countermeasures bay and turning on manual weapons control .
“Awesome, Wenn! Maybe I should also prepare another round of ko’fy for us and, who knows, give you a freaking massage while I’m at it as well, right?! Wait, did you say don’t crash until I say so?!’’ The Mierese said in a small panicked voice while doing a sharp turn to the right that tested the limits of the single maneuvering thruster the BTOL had.
Yago knew that this would take them dangerously close to outside the asteroid belt, where they would be easy prey for the Tufa, but he trusted Wenn enough not to distract him with questions. He must have a plan, the Mierese reassured himself. He always has a plan.
Indeed, the basics of a crazy, mostly suicidal, plan started to form in Wenn’s mind. He hated every single aspect of it, even though every other scenario that he tried to think of was doomed to failure.
Wenn had learned in his life that this kind of elaborate plan was bound to fail.
In fact, he had learned from Admiral Tharvagos himself, one of the leaders of the Council of Peace army and his mentor at the academy, that it’s always better to have the flexibility of multiple unlinked plots in a battle that could create momentum for victory instead of a single, sure-fire plan that depends on your opponent following logical steps.
“Enemies rarely bow down and ask how they can best comply with your wishes,” the old Tharvagos would say.
Unfortunately, Wenn’s plan depended on their enemies giving in to their greed, not throwing everything they had at hand to destroy his ship but aiming to wear it down to the point where they could capture it.
The first step for this to work would be stalling for time until he had everything ready to go.
Wenn was midway through reading the scan’s findings on the enemy’s ships when the alert sounded:
“Enemy ships energy signature rising, energy volley most likely incoming, automatically driving energy to our shields.”
“Denied permission for raising the energy on our shields!” Wenn shouted. His mind was racing. He knew he couldn’t spare any extra energy for the defense at this point. Energy weapons, although painful, wouldn’t destroy the BTOL hull that easily if Yago could dodge at least most of the shots.
Wenn locked two of the four hardpoint weapons of his BTOL on each of the Feists. Hopefully, this would distract them, making them unable to fire at full strength if they needed to reinforce their shield to prevent damage to their hull.
The idea seemed to work. Bullets were raining heavily from the four heavy machine guns of the BTOL, making their enemies raise their shield energy output and move to evade the shots. “The Tufas don’t want to buy more toolkits.” Wenn thought to himself, smiling. He concluded that they were playing safe, and this was just what they needed.
After hearing Wenn’s denial of the shield energy increase, Yago suddenly realized the answer to why he didn’t want to waste energy.
That crazy human wanted to jump while in the midst of the asteroid field!
Every fiber in Yago’s body wanted to scream in unison that this was a bad idea. “Every fiber” included his mouth — which wanted to scream loudest of all. But he didn’t have a second to spare as the enemy’s laser ports brightened in anticipation of their attack.
And yet, Yago’s mind suddenly relaxed. Everything disappeared from the Mierese’ attention. There were only the controls of the BTOL, the asteroid before them and the volley of lasers coming their way.
The agent controlled the BTOL as it danced across the cosmic currents of space. The vessel went right and low, up and left, as if performing a silent ballet on the stage of the asteroid field. The lasers were missing, but only just barely, showering Yago’s vision with debris from the unlucky asteroids that received the charges. Yet, he didn’t flinch.
A very familiar corner of the Mierese mind felt the thrill and excitement building. The more complex the maneuvers, the higher the hero laughed inside him, as Yago secretly named that part of himself. The hero and Yago felt they could do more, so they pushed the BTOL to limits that were inconceivable for the logic of an asteroid field flight.They were somehow increasing their lead on attackers using vessels built specifically for this kind of flight.
Wenn was dumbfounded by the skills displayed by Yago. To the point that he had almost forgotten to launch the small drone ahead of them, setting up the second phase of his plan. Nevertheless, their flawless survival through the laser barrage of the two Feists concluded a very successful first part, and he was really confident things would work out.
Then, as if by a wicked desire of the Gods, misfortune struck.
Something was wrong with the ship’s impulse engine. This was probably due to their current extreme maneuvers, not to mention their long journey across the High-Risk Zone. It was all starting to take a toll on the small-sized component and thus the entire vessel.
“Wenn, whatever you are preparing, do it now. Our engine is not holding up, and if it blows, we are as good as dead.” The console was a blinding sea of yellow warning lights.
“Updated analysis shows the chance of victory in combat as 1%, and the chance of escaping is 2%.” The A.I casually commented.
Wenn didn’t answer at first. He was almost done finishing the setup for their escape. The warp drive slowly started its charge, giving them time to prepare for the jump. But first, he would need to drop some countermeasures and lure the Tufa into lowering their shields for a bit.
He would need to make them send another barrage of energy attacks.
The BTOL sophisticated scan revealed to Wenn that the enemy ships were basic Tufa Feist models, equipped with only the three standard laser weapons on the hardpoints and the typical missile bay. Their only countermeasures were some anti-missile apparel.
“Yago, I’m sending you a location on the terrain just a few miles out of the field’s border. There is an enormous asteroid there, and we will need to hide behind it in about 30 seconds. You will receive my signal for the maneuver, and I will trigger all our countermeasures. Then we just start the jump and pray. Get ready.”
Yago opened his mouth to protest but closed it again. His attention focused on doing what he was told to do: trying to keep the ship together for the needed amount of time, and — though the gods will laugh — somehow attempting a warp jump in the middle of the asteroid field.
The enemy’s weapons started shining again. This time, Wenn didn’t fire. His hands waited patiently on the trigger for the right moment — just before the enemy attack — to unleash his first countermeasure.
You could hear the sound of the warp charging, and one second before the next barrage of lasers started, the world around the BTOL turned white.
The light emitted by the ship was like the explosion of a sun. As the enemies focused their energy on their weapons, their shields could not prevent the blinding flash that followed, making them temporarily blinded.
A few seconds after the blinding light, an EMP missile exploded, jamming the radars and communications of the Tufa Feists.
After just passing the Asteroid, Yago used all his ability and pulled what MUD literature called “the Pugachev maneuver,” making the ship stop really close to the giant asteroid, hidden by the celestial body.
“It won’t be enough, Wenn! Even with their radars jammed, they will come searching for us in a few seconds, and there won’t be enough time for the jump! Even if that wouldn’t kill us!” Yago shouted.
“Full power to the shields!” Wenn yelled as he pushed the manual lever, leaving only enough energy for the space jump. He wasn’t sure his calculations were correct, as he had never been so deep in space, and the celestial charts weren’t precise about their sector, but there wasn’t any other option.
After the initial shock caused by the sudden blindness and the EMP effects, the Tufa started moving again.
As soon as the 30 seconds passed, a new BTOL seemed to materialize in the distance. It appeared that their vessel had just kept flying straight for those who were blinded.
The two Tufa passed at their maximum speed through the asteroid, eyes on the illusion created by the drone set by Wenn.
“You are a freaking genius, Wenn. Really. I won’t even be mad if we die now. I will congratulate you in the after-life!” The Mierese shouted.
“I’d rather you brew me some of your exotic beverages in this life, though.” Wenn replied with a smile of his own: “Get ready, brother, we are almost there.” He added.
The ship’s warp drive surged with power. The shields were on maximum output, which would hopefully be enough to protect them from the few asteroids ahead of them.
The Tufas quickly realized that they were being played and maneuvered their ships to enact vengeance on their cheeky prey. They both set their missiles, aiming to completely destroy the Busan Thrill of Life.
The missiles flew at an impressive speed.
“See you around, losers.” Yago managed to say.
But just then the world around them turned into a blur of speed, light, and darkness…
Project: Showroom Alpha
Concept Art: DONE /// Art: BUILDING /// UX/UI: BUILDING /// Game Design: DONE /// Blockchain: BUILDING /// Game Play: BUILDING
Updates: Alpha quality is in progress for all art-related disciplines. Planning to run performance tests. /// UX is locked. Refining Title Screen, In-game Menu and Fast-Travel mockups. Prototyping animations for UI. HUD/Options/Pause menus are in progress. /// UX is ready, wireframes are done./// Continuing to work on UI general system (buttons/pop-ups/windows) and available locations system. Ship database implemented, General Interface logic in work (pop-ups system and manager).
Upcoming activities: Continue to work on Alpha-quality for all environment depts: Replacing placeholders for vegetation. Interior and exterior lighting fine-tuning. Elevator interface VFX works. /// Planning to start wallet testing. Splash screen creation. /// Planning to start wallet testing. /// Continue to work on UI and locations system menu and Tools Hub.
Project: Galactic Marketplace
Blockchain: BUILDING /// UX/UI: BUILDING /// FRONT END: BUILDING
Updates: ATLAS staking program: finished program architecture. Program implementation on-going. /// Collected feedback from both internal and external users. /// Added new header with three tabs.
Upcoming activities: Awaiting audit results for marketplace program, update Factory to allow connecting to the site’s back-end. /// Analyze all the feedback from both internal and external users and address in high fidelity designs. /// Finish filter sidebar, implement new “my orders” and “bookmarks” page, update tables to use real-time mock data.
Project: System Polishing
Bug fixes: New health indicator banner covers some elements. /// Countdown timer cut off in build 161. /// Increase reputation with Talos internet security. /// Market crash due to amplitude miss-configuration./// The site won’t load due to SSL configuration. /// 404 error on player profile.
New Features: New analytics with Amplitude.
Upcoming features: Bundle of GDPR compliance features. /// Redesign of play.staratlas.com menu system to enhance UX. /// Enhanced security protocols. /// Enhanced account switching with Phantom.
Known issues: Player net worth not accurate on profile /// Badges not available on player profile. /// Player location / avatar will not update on profile. /// (on mobile) Star Atlas logo overlaps navigation. /// Ships can’t be withdrawn from Faction Fleet if a rent account is missing
Project: SCREAM v1.0
Game Design: PROTOTYPING /// Blockchain: PROTOTYPING /// UX: PROTOTYPING /// UI Design: BUILDING /// Economy Design: R&D /// Front End: PROTOTYPING
Updates: Continuing to define explicit requirements for core gameplay mechanics and game systems design. Exploring rewards structure with Game Economics stakeholders. Locked in requirements for two-game mechanics. /// Continued to prototype existing programs. Started building one program with locked in-game mechanics. /// Continuing low fidelity wireframes based on updated requirements. Continuing Information Architecture map. /// Assessing economic implications of gameplay mechanics and SCREAM requirements. Approved two game mechanics. /// Adding gameplay depth to WebGL Proof of Concept. Focusing extensively on the map and map functionality.
Upcoming activities: Continue to define explicit requirements for core gameplay mechanics and incorporate feedback from SCREAM stakeholders. Validate gameplay loops playability with WebGL Proof of Concept. Assess feasibility of game mechanics with blockchain program proof of concepts. Validate economic viability from internal Game Economics team. Guide UX/UI design based on game mechanics. /// Test and refine prototypes across all SCREAM teams and stakeholders. Build, peer review, and test programs on testnet, then audit. /// Continue to iterate until wireframes are approved. Hand over wireframes to UI team. /// Continue to analyze economic impacts of SCREAM to validate the viability of gameplay loops and key requirements. /// Validate gameplay loops and key SCREAM concepts with Proof of Concept.
UX/UI: BUILDING /// Front End: BUILDING /// Blockchain: BUILDING
Updates: Generating high fidelity designs. /// Scope for V0/V1 solidified. Converting locker and other views for MVP. /// Working on the GATE program. The audit process started.
Upcoming activities: End to end testing. /// Validate design through tests and simulation.
New Features: Terraform migration after months-long preparation. This will help us manage the infrastructure via code through a much more consistent framework and to move towards automated infrastructure management. /// Setting TeamCity for the Unreal5 CI/CD pipeline. /// Setting up real time communication servers for MMO and social features like friends, chats, clans, an parties. /// Set up a CI/CD pipeline for the DAO app. /// Constantly improving our load balancing and CDN infrastructure to improve user experience and performance
Upcoming features: Add StarCOMM to deployment pipeline. /// Migrate Galaxy to a load balancer for multiregion support. /// Enable IPv6 support on every load-balancer. /// Enable QUIC/HTTP3 support on every load-balancer. /// Harden our SSL/TLS configuration. /// Update VM with .NET 6.0 support. /// Fix Portal StoryBook previews. /// Centralize our CI/CD (both for software and infrastructure) towards Github Actions.
ABOUT STAR ATLAS
Star Atlas is a next-gen gaming metaverse emerging from the confluence of state-of-the-art blockchain, real-time graphics, multiplayer video games, and decentralized financial technologies.
Using Unreal Engine 5’s Nanite, real-time graphics technology allows for cinematic quality video game visuals. In addition, blockchain technology using the Solana protocol establishes a largely serverless and secured gameplay experience. Non-fungible tokens obtained and traded within Star Atlas create an economy that replicates tangible world assets and ownership. To learn more, visit StarAtlas.com, join a faction at Play.StarAtlas.com and send your spaceships on a deep space mission by enrolling them in a Faction Fleet.
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