Hey all, Coldrice here. I felt like it was just wayyyy to long since the last update so I thought it’d be good to let you all know how the game is going.
For those of you participating in the alpha you know I’ve been putting out big meaty bi-weekly builds. If you have a steam key via humble you may have noticed builds coming every FEW DAYS. whew! It’s been exhausting and insane how much has been done in the game. Its such an evolved beast from when this all started!
Usually most people don’t tune into my updates for the idle chat :). Its all about the GIFS!!!
First, let me preframe this with the fact that these shots are in no particular order so some UI/background things are a bit inconsistent. Trust me, you’ll know which ones are older, and which ones are newer
Planets are getting awesome
We’ll be adding in a artifact log as well to help you keep track of the important items you pick up. This is not a quest oriented game – but I don’t want to make it difficult to remember that one last tip you got on where to go
We’ve also been working really hard on the AI/interface for planets. There are now a ton of options for “auto” ai as well as different ways for your crew to work together. We’ve added offscreen icons to keep track of your guys, fast toggle with tab, and pausing
The best part is a lot of the new updates and changes have actually been in space phase. Lets dig in a bit more in depth on this one
New trade menus. We’ve opted for physical space stations instead of little menus to represent space stations
Kickstarter backer custom characters are starting to show up as random encounters!
Oh hey, combat is finally visible on screen. It was a debate on how we wanted to go with this, but I think this is the best choice ;)
Better AI for hunger and sleep
I’ve also implemented obstacles during combat. These can allow you to avoid fire or protect an important ship. Be aware, the debris that has precious loot also acts as obstacle – only it’ll be destroyed when it.
I spent a lot of time overhauling the presentation and feel of random events. One thing I never liked about these text events from other games was… well.. the text. Nothing but text. It was a simple change up to add a simple animation but I think it makes a big difference. Also, its REALLY fun making the graphics:
As always, I’m sure I’m missing something – but there has been so much development its hard to keep track sometimes!
WHATS TO COME
Well so far every update I’ve made has been MASSIVE… and I hope to keep that momentum! I love making this game, and it’s come to the point where it doesn’t matter how well it does – I just want people to play it. So what is there to look forward to?
CONTENT MODE: We’re almost done with all the systems that will be in place. Of course as testing continues things can and will change, but its a big difference in dev time. Weeks spent building things is pretty fun!
BUG FIXES: The latest build (For alpha testers) featured a long list of bug fixes, and the next one in about a week will feature even more. I’m very keen on polishing what’s already in place
BETA: we’re almost there guys, I promise! I don’t want to dangle things in front of you all, but its close! We’ll be seeing the final alpha build very soon, and then I’ll open up testing to all the beta peeps. I’m really dedicated to having a very solid experience, and so I’ve delayed a beta release to work on “On more thing” week after week
By the way – alpha testers humble HAS distributed steam keys. Please check your e-mails or accounts!
BUT COLDRICE, WHAT ABOUT RELEASE?
Ok here’s the fun one. I get that question a lot. Everyone wants to know when the game will be done. It’s scary to quote times (which I already did with Kickstarter!). Truthfully a lot of bad things have happened recently with Kickstarted games and so many people are gun shy about it all. I HOPE my track record of producing weekly updates to the game proves that I’m dedicated :)
That being said, a few things have changed about the release date (sorry !!!!)
First – no matter what I will be pushing the release into January. There are a multitude of reasons, but the ones that most everyone can understand is
A) Taxes – It would be unwise for me as a business to take in any money in December. I would end up spending a large sum on taxes. I would rather push it 30 days and not have to worry about it. Truth be told, the kickstarter itself ended up paying quite a bit in taxes (nearly $4k) because the company didn’t have enough deductions by the end of the year. Ouch :(
B) Steam sale – I don’t want to launch anywhere near the winter sale.
So what does this mean? Well hopefully it’ll give me more time to add in a few more side planets and items. I don’t intend to squander any extra time!
ultimately I will continue to update the game for you guys to play, as well as keep you guys notified here. I figure (and hope!) that any complications or delays would be understood.
Moving along, there has also been a LOT of question on twitter regarding Early Access. At this point we are all a bit unsure of Early Access. I don’t want to ever be perceived as trying to do a cash grab or scam gamers for a quick buck. Everyone involved in Interstellaria is leaning AWAY from Early access. I have not fully dismissed it for a few reason.
a) I get requests to get into testing all the time. I feel a bit bad saying no, but I really don’t want to undercut you guys with a cheaper price.
b) Most people don’t know the costs of game development.
I’ve had a lot of people (including other devs!) ask how it felt to have 28k to make a game. The truth is its a very small amount. The final take home after fees was 26k. We immediately (between music, some equipment, licenses, fees) invested 20k into the game to ensure that no matter what the entire development is covered. That might seem crazy, but those who do development understand how cheap we’ve been running. We’ve been able to keep our overhead remarkably low. That has left around 6k for the rest of the year. Needless to say I didn’t quit my day job!
Between 40 hours of work, and an average (and I keep track!) of 42 hours a week on game development (remember, I’m a solo dev) I definitely burn the candle at both ends. It’s easy to rack up these numbers because I truly do love making games – there isn’t a thing about it I hate. Now knowing all those numbers, you can see how any influx of money is incredibly helpful. From buying new things for the game itself, to simply being able to swap hours from work and spend more time making the game (and hopefully bringing it to your hands faster!) .
That being said, Early Access will only happen if I feel it doesn’t compromise the integrity of the myself, or the game. I’d rather work all the hours and release something that people enjoy then potentially damage the game before it’s even out of the stables. It’s not a no. Just a statement of my intentions.
Alright, serious chat over. I’m going to get back to it. You can always e-mail me for comments, feedback, or ideas – but twitter is ALWAYS the best. I’ll respond quick! I’m super pumped for Interstellaria, and I hope you are too!