Im tracking Galaxial development from the first Alpha Video on YT..
Im quite worried by progress of it... Hope it will be released one day, but I have bad fillings...
Writing such a game alone is not an easy task.
While you made great progress on game engine itself, it seems that you are stuck a bit in game mechanics,
AI, balance, economy...
Please reconsider using LUA as Data feeding and in game scriting..
For the begining, all is need to be done to just migrate datasets from XML to LUA.
Later on, when you will feel more confortable, you can start utylizing LUA for scripting for
AI decisions, economy, UI etc.. those things doesnt need to be called every frame
and also give much more modding possibilities. You cantualy doesnt need to write special
modding engine, as you get it with LUA out of the box..
Check out games like supreme commander, Stalker, Eufloria.. probably many more.
Additionaly, community can help you develop game much more quickly, as LUA files
could be published and ppl could provide patches/feedback on them in early alpha.
What do you think about it?
Plus there seems to be A LOT of codebase in C++ for gameplay side.
Not expert on it, but not sure it would be that easy to mix C++ and lua gameplay code if a lot of its already done. Maybe I`m wrong.
Much of the ship combat, AI decisions and behavior in the game are hard-coded, so I don't think there would be many benefits to using LUA.
XML is just used for the data of game objects, planet, ship, module types etc.
You can put all the non intensive tasks to it.
Additionaly, you can focus yourself writting excelent engine and giving
huge power to modders itself. Additionaly, you could release game much earlier
as people could cooperate with you writting part of LUA code already.
I really admire you that you are doing Galaxial yourself. Its a huge project for single person,
where you are doing both code and gfx. I have just hope that this project will not become dead
due to developer being bored or tired doing all stuff himself.
I can only advise you to not lock AI out of modding. It's something that may be needed for modders.
Combat AI isn't that important to mod but still if a modder want to add some behaviors. For example, if a modder want to add a infestation mechanism, he may need to change infesters behaviors and may be add some 'evade this at all cost' logic to ship AI.
Where it is important is for strategic AI. I will mention Stellaris for this point. They locked most AI logics in Stellaris, and that's horrible. The base AI is flawed and lots of modder wish to change that but they are limited to some globals.
Beside that, the model allow to do lots of changes to even make a new game from it, but AI just can't adapt and make effective modding way more limited than the API tease. In stellaris, the AI is the most criticized part of the game, but the least midded, just because its not really possible to do it.
You don't need to put lua has scripting, but may be put it in a dll and publish its source?