At long last, this highly anticipated build has been pushed to DSS (dev) for some last minute testing before it gets pushed to the GA (public) server.
The changelog has been updated to reflect what’s in it.
The updated docs (which only includes notes about the space/planetary defense systems already described in the changelog) will be part of the final build.
Unless something FATAL is found in this build, it will be the version that is pushed to GA later today.
The changelog has been updated to reflect the final items which are now enabled and tested for this upcoming build.
We’ve done some extensive internal testing, but of course quite a few things remain; as was mentioned in the Feb dev update bulletin.
Particularly, rather than leave it for the next build, we implemented the ability to control the recently implemented/activate space and planetary defense systems.
We’re hoping to release this build very – very – soon. So stay tuned.
Just a quick update to let you guys know that we’re still doing some final internal testing and tweaks for this build. Also, we’re going to be doing a simultaneous DSS and public release because we’ve done extensive testing on this build these past months.
Because these vehicles, though not yet usable by players, are part of the next build, all the ground work we did from years back for them, coupled with the revisions, integrations etc, have all been worked on these past months. This means that Phase III and IV (described in the top section of the changelog) of the vehicles update, will take a lot less time to release.
The planetary vehicles are the last major milestone of the development. Everything else after the final Phase IV are minor and basically high level gameplay features, tweaks (e.g. the fps mechanics need some loving).
Shockingly, the known issues list hasn’t grown at all. But don’t worry though, that’s probably going to change in the upcoming major updates due to these vehicles.
Also, having deprecated legacy DX9 support, we’ve done a lot of fixes and tweaks to the DX11 build which improves stability, visuals etc. We actually found an obscure shader issue in that build, and which resulted in weapons disappearing (not rendered) in some cases.
As to the on-going asset improvements (only weapons, some vehicles, and some planetary buildings and scene assets remain), those are on hold for now as we work through the stages of our eventual port to UE4 (as mentioned in my Nov dev blog). The reason being that we’re going to have to revise, improve, and export ALL of the game’s assets in order to take advantage of the vastly superior UE4 toolset which not only gives us seamless support for things like 4K, HDR and PBR, but also will significantly improve on the game’s visuals (while retaining its colorful art direction) and performance.
At the end of the day, it’s already clear that doing a UE4 port so we once again have a PC/XB1/PS4 game release, means that the game stands zero chance of being released in 2017. We’re a very small indie team, so it’s just not possible. After spending so much money, time, effort, and resources on this game, I am not inclined to release a PC only version. Let alone a PC version ahead of the console version.
It’s a long time coming, and seeing how the sausage is made, is not always as expected, let alone glamorous; but basically, as I said from the start, it’s ready when it’s ready, and right now it’s not ready.
UPDATE: The media page now contains new shots of some of the planetary defenses you’re going to be contending with in the upcoming update.
As per my previous update, we’ve been working on getting Build 00.09.07.16 out. Due to some technical issues which we were working through at the time, we opted to do further testing before releasing the build to the dev test server. We expect to release this build to DSS shortly, and plan to release an official public build later this month.
phase I: AI controlled space defense systems on stations (x4), carrier (x1), Orbital Defense Systems (x2)
phase II: AI controlled planetary ground defense (x15) systems (fixed & mobile)
phase III: Player controlled planetary ground vehicles (x13) & defense (x15) systems unlocks and testing; including weapon systems. Not including MICE (x2), which require special handling
phase IV: Player controlled naval (x2) vehicles unlocks and testing; including weapon systems.
This upcoming build contains Phase II of the defense systems, in which the AI controlled planetary defense systems are fully active. Phase III of this involves player controlled planetary vehicles. Seeing as all of these defense systems in Phase II are also player controlled; though they will only be AI controlled in this phase, we decided to complete and/or clean up some of that Phase III work as well due to the shared code base.
In this build, we have fixed several lurking issues, including some previously unknown crash bugs. We’ve also finally deprecated support for DX9. Going forward, we will stick with only DX11, while taking DX12 into consideration down the line.
With support for AI controlled space and planetary defense systems, our next smaller releases will focus on player ability to activate/deactivate them via a terminal inside a building as indicated below. Then our next big release will enable player control for these units, while adding the other ground and naval units.
1) Passive (default) // fires only when fired upon
2) All Targets // fires at all targets
3) All Hostiles // fires at all targets hostile to the player alliance that activated this terminal
Anyway, that’s all for now. It’s a massive project, and we’re a small indie team, so we’re taking it one step at a time as we race through the final stages of the game’s development.
In case you missed my Nov dev blog update regarding the plan to port to UE4, please catch up on that as well, as I will be posting more about that soon.