So I promised an update this week, and a video of the combat in action. I'm going to deliver on one of those, at least. Combat
I've been doing a lot of testing, and while the outer simulation stuff is going swimmingly and the GUI for that is coming along, and so forth and so on... combat is something that needs refinement. The single ship vs ship model simply was not working anymore as this game evolved, and some other things also were issues. The good news is that we're on a very solid track to having combat that I am super duper excited about, and I think you will be too. The bad news is that we won't be able to really show this publicly for another couple of weeks.Alpha
Previously I also stated that alpha would start next week. Well, at this point it will either start the week of the 20th, or the week of the 27th. Which week it is depends on how much we get done next week.
If it starts the week of the 20th:
- We'll only be taking a select few people during that week if that's the case, and we'll specifically ask for people who are okay with having their first situation be much more "raw" than normally would be the case.
- Specifically, we'll still be using placeholder art in a number of places, and a number of the GUIs are kind of messed up right now in terms of the positioning of their buttons and elements. Right now we're focused on getting all the information on the screen and working on accessibility and flow, and then working on refining the details of each screen so that they are fully aesthetically pleasing comes after.
- For this first week, we'll basically have an unusual embargo where we don't want people to show any pictures of videos of the game yet, and where we basically don't want any feedback on the interface aside from "I can't find this information and I need it" or "it was confusing trying to find this information." Beyond that it would be all feedback on the game flow, simulation, combat, etc -- game mechanics, in other words.
- AFTER this first week, then the full gamut of feedback will be welcome, but during that first week we won't want to waste your time or ours with commentary on things that are going to be heavily refined imminently anyway. The point of doing a limited alpha this first week will be about mechanics and information availability in the game, and nothing else.
If it starts the week of the 27th:
- If we choose to do this, then most likely it will be a normal alpha like any other. We should have the visual hitches mostly out of the interfaces by then, although all the cosmetic beautifying won't be done until further into the alpha. Still, a number of screens will be (and some already are) fully done visually, so you'll have an idea of what the overall style will be when we finish with all the bits.Release Date
We're looking at either the week of February 17th, or else the day of February 24th. With these latest combat changes everything feels like it is coming together fully now, and I'm confident that we can hit a date in that range and really wow you. It does make for a shorter alpha period than we had with some games, but I'm doing vastly heavier personal end-to-end testing this time around, and I think that honestly makes up for it. I haven't done this heavy of personal testing on any games except AI War and Tidalis, and I think that will show in the end product in a really positive way.
That's the news!