It was time to add thruster effects. Not only because it looks cool but because it is a nice way to get visual cues on how the AI is flying the ship. Thus, it is also like a debugging tool to see that the ship behaves correctly in the dragless space. The ships basically have six degrees of freedom when moving. The right, up and forward axes are ones they can accelerate along and around. Based on the inputs on each of these controls, each thrust effect should be either played or not played. This can be very complicated and laborious to set up manually, and because I’m a mathematician, I try to avoid all work. That is why I created a system to automatically detect all thrust effects and determine how they should be played depending on the inputs and how they are situated in relation to the ship.
Since the controls are set up this way, it means that the AI flying the ship is using the same controls a human would use. The ships also have togglable assists to decelerate any existing linear or angular velocity. This is very helpful for human pilots. In the video, I’m flying the ship manually to test the effects. In the last clip, seven AI driven ships also emerge.