Just as an FYI, since I figured folks would want to know.
We had thought it might start next week or else on the 27th, and at this point it's definitely the 27th.
Not because we are behind -- actually we're doing really good overall, Keith is killing it on the code for the new combat stuff, and the prototype is already working a a certain level and really promising as we're layering on more stuff. But rather, because we want to make sure that we make this as fully-featured as possible, without breaking the scope so to speak.
I can't really speak to the specifics yet, in case we wind up not having time to actually get every last one of our goals for this next week done, but I am super excited about them. Even just the core of what we're working on is exciting enough, but there are some extended things that I believe we can fit in that will really expand the game in some interesting ways that I always wanted to do with AI War, but could not.
As next week progresses, I'll start sharing stuff with you about the combat model. I don't mind going ahead and telling you that these are basically RTS skirmishes with your fleet versus another single fleet of some sort of opposition, in a relatively small sector of space. It's a game of maneuver and of carefully avoiding losses since those cut into your profit margins. It's... really different from any RTS I've personally played, in a good way. The battles are still short and vicious, and actually higher-tension now than they were before.
Anyway, I'm really excited about it, as I've already said, but I don't want to say too much prior to really having these things fully tested out and vetted internally. So I'll be saying more as we pass each internal milestone successfully, basically.