I’m excited. And nervous. and Excited.
It’s been a long road, but it’s finally here!
I am so excited to be able to launch this game. It’s been a long road, and a very hard road. I have immense pride knowing that I’ve created this game, and no matter what nothing can change that. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has supported this project and helped to make it a reality!
Well after our unfortunate delay, I’m sure a lot of people are curious what’s been going on with the game. A lot actually! With a new timeline in place, it was time to improve a few features that I wasn’t 100% happy with. I’m really excited to show these new features to you!
NEW STATION MECHANICS
One thing I was really unhappy about was the way stations and crew were being used. They stood around. A LOT. Other than gathering items on planets, what were they for? Play testers were coming up with elaborate death machines that didn’t even require crew. The game is supposed to be all about the crew!
In the gif above you’ll notice a couple of things. First, the engines no longer work unless there is a crew attached to navigation (and of course, power). This might be a bit annoying to veteran players, but it adds a new dynamic to combat and space travel. The bonus your crewmen offers your ship speed has also been greatly increased, AND crew now level up A LOT faster. in order to balance crewmen on navigation at all times, I’ve also reduced their hunger/sleep decay rate.
You’ll also notice the bobbing! The ship now moves around on screen. Nothing dramatic, but it adds a crazy amount of life to the game. You’ll have to see it to believe it.
Scanning now works the same way. Scanning was the one station that was the least useful or used in the game. Now it’s pretty impressive. It still dramatically boosts accuracybut, the combat map below is covered in a “fog of war.” It is revealed when scanners are active. The enemy ships details are also revealed when scanning is active. The coolest part: No more scan button! The scan button added nothing to the gameplay except to slow the player down.
You might also notice that the astroids now move. This is one of my favorite changes. I increased speed as well – if you can get the astroid moving really fast it’ll damage things it runs into! The best part is that bullets can’t penetrate it, so it’s pretty nifty to absorb enemy fire while doing some damage.
Weapons also have the same treatment (though not pictured.) In order for guns to fire, you must have a tactical station manned. The bonus to your weapon damage has been increased for each station as well to make it more beneficial.
Energy has always been a huge hassle to deal with as well. Manually turning stations on/off proved to be a really boring feature. During combat, you’d have to power down all your food/sleep/entertainment stations one by one, then power up your navigation or tactical. By making the stations required for ship operation, I knew I had to fix this problem. Stations now share an energy “pool.” The energy is automatically allocated depending on usage. Combat is now a snap – just simply send your crewmen to the combat stations. A lot less fuss.
Heres the big one. This took a while, but it’s well worth it. Installing stations and managing guns was probably one of the biggest issues for players. How do you do it? Why can’t you remove stations? Etc etc… I’ve split it off into it’s own menu separate from the inventory. It is now in the “Fleet Management” window. Move your crewmen from ship to ship, install stations, remove them, or just move them. Swapping guns from ship to ship used to take a LONG time. Now just removed, switch to the ship you want, install. Also I dig the little icons :3
We’ve also been making a lot of little changes here and there, far too much to itemize in gifs
Your little ship icon now shows up, and then goes to the point you land. Not really an essential feature but I think it polishes it well
You may have noticed that you can rename your ship. You can also rename your crew. I’m not a big “renamer” so I didn’t realize how much people would want it! Request granted!
Other little things: crewmen now climb down ladders instead of jumping down them. Minor, but appreciated!
Where, were do you find this? You’ll have to find out I guess.
Well that wraps it up for now. Patch notes between v0.99->v0.99n here: http://www.reddit.com/r/Interstellaria/comments/37avqz/interstellaria_v099n_live_be_prepared_mechanics/
I’ll be out of town this week on a non-dev related trip, so I wanted to get an update out before I left. Maybe I’ll make a little game with all those icons while I’m away? Once I get back my mission is nothing but bug fixes and polish. Thanks everyone for your patience!
So the question on everyone’s mind… WHEN Coldrice? We want to play this thing!
Well sadly we’ll be facing another delay. I’m sure people who have experience with kickstarter have experienced this a number of times – but let me tell why you shouldn’t be too worried!
If you’ve been following on twitter you might have noticed a big number of twitch streamers playing the game, giving fantastic playthroughs. Beta testers can attest to the dramatic polish/changes that have gone in the last month or so. The game is (minus a few things) totally complete and will be hitting 1.0 likely in the next 2 weeks. AWESOME. It’s a very odd feeling to be at the end of the journey.
I guess the biggest thing is that the journey isn’t really over.
As you guys may know Interstellaria has been a solo operation. This means coming to the close I have been responsible for bug fixes and polishing while at the same time putting together marketing material. Sadly this led to a large number of challenges. With the extra workload, bug fixing would extend all the way up to our launch date (a very dangerous and stressful proposition). Then we ran into a few challenges getting the marketing material together. We’ve been experiencing some mounting challenges just to get this out the door. We were aiming for a May 22nd game launch but we missed our PRESS launch window. Yikes.
This puts me in a very awkward position. Do I try to push and launch asap? Well There were already some challenges with our first date – We’d be competing with The Witcher! I was willing to take on the challenge, but (without giving out confidential information) Any delay will now see us taking on the steam summer sale. In other words, a rock and a hard place. I’ve spent 2 years now on the game. Put yourself in my shoes – do I rush haphazardly to launch it and risk obscurity or do I launch with all my strength at the very best opportunity?
This all means we’ll have to wait until a few weeks after the Summer Sale. I’ll be back with more details as soon as I can, likely with a backer only update first and then a general update later on.
Though I don’t feel at all guilty for waiting for the right time, I do feel immensely guilty for those of you on kickstarter without alpha/beta access who are waiting to play or who signed up for a preorder. We’re exploring possibilities of how to handle that. Interstellaria is a fun game, and after the tutorial you can go anywhere and do what you’d like. HOWEVER the central plot (should you choose to follow it) IS linear, and I’m not really looking forward to the prospect of spoiling the excitement.
Please chime in! I’m more than willing to chat about the problem! Again, I apologize for delay!
Wow, how cool is that? Recently the group “Indies Crash E3” ran a contest to select 5 games to bring e3. After much struggle, Interstellaria made it!
This is going to be awesome! I’m really excited! We have a lot of things on the horizon for the game, and if all things go well this will be the first big event for us!
Now the question on everyones mind: When is the game coming out Coldrice? WELL?????
All I can say is… soon! Very soon. Honestly we’re putting together marketing material as we speak, and we wont be able to make any announcements until it’s all ready. So soon! Stay with me, don’t despair!