November 23, 2015

Greetings Star Commanders!

When you are an independent developer you rarely take a break. There are always 500 things to do and it sometimes feel like you can never catch up.  In fact we really haven't stopped since the game was released on Early Access - for nearly 3 months. So it's about time we relax and hang out with our families. But fear not! We have much to report on before we go.

We are currently working on "Alpha 7: Meet The Midorians" update. In our next update we will be introducing the Midorian race into the game. We had originally wanted to bring the focus on Planets but as we looked at the dynamics of the game we thought it was more important to start giving you a sense of competing interests. We needed to have a third race in order for there to be genuine conflict and so the Midorians were moved up in our calendar.

Meet the Midorians will also roll out a real sense of purpose for you the player. We will be rolling out Loyalty, the primary metric for your success as Captain. Your goal is to earn the loyalty of all the other characters from the various empires around you. You do this by completing missions, elimnating their enemies and navigating the politics of the galaxy.

Loyalty should very much start to address many of the central complaints of the game: it's just a bit purposeless. You can watch the WIP game intro below and start to get an idea of what we are talking about.




We will be taking of the rest of the week to recharge our batteries and intend on releasing Alpha 7 the following week assuming we can fix all our bugs in time.

Please have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving and as always we thank you for supporting Star Command. We can't wait for you all to try out the next version of the game!

October 13, 2015

Whats Next: Patch and Alpha 6 on October 22nd

Greetings Star Commanders!

We are currently hard at work on our next patch as well as Alpha 6. On Friday we will be releasing a patch that will have new GameTips that should help with game concepts like red/yellow/green alert, repair and other things as well as a more flushed out tutorial.

We will be looking into some other bugs as well like walls being stuck down when loading, ship merging (this one is clearly confounding us) and some other stuff.

So what will be new in Alpha 6? Glad you asked!

Our big focus has been on missions. Our first set of missions were always placeholder while we polished the idea and worked on integrating characters into the scenario. Eventually this will all lead into loyalty, giving you the ability to earn allies and nemesis across the galaxy through your actions.


We will have dialog trees for the missions and much more specific goals. We have also revised the rewards system so it's much clearer what you are getting for completing the mission.

We have also looked into packaging items, stealing items, store vendors and many other items that have come up during our Early Access launch. Overall the game will be significantly more stable, saves should be working great, tutorial should be much improved and many of our original bugs will have been addressed. It won't be perfect but it should give you much more of an idea of our core game.

Can't wait for you all to try the next Alpha - should be a big improvement.

Cheers,
Warballoon

October 9, 2015

Alpha 5.3 Patch Released

Greetings Star Commanders!


Alpha 5.3 is now live! We have a ton of fixes today. Saves have been addressed and should be up and working. We’re still catching some stuff that isn’t being saved like your Mission status and crew inventories so if you see anything else please post on the community board! The game should be extremely stable at this point - but we still have a lot more work to do.

Next week we will be addressing more bugs and prepping the brand new mission system for the release of Alpha 6.


Patch notes as follows:


  • Saving/Loading implemented and stable (some elements are still not being saved like mission status)
  • Fixed ships stacking on each other
  • Can pan and zoom during travel
  • Fixed bug with civilians on space stations
  • Zooming in and out now focuses on mouse location
  • Can pan from ship to ship during pause
  • Body sprites back on Class Change menu
  • Fixed Fission Generator output
  • Nav map now zooms in and out correctly
  • Can rename crew from crew details
  • Boxing now takes time
  • Stealing implemented but needs security guards
  • Use spot now displayed when placing an object
  • Added shield health overlay to player/enemy ship HP HUD
  • Can no longer block doors with objects
  • All crew capable of boxing objects now
  • You will now be labeled a thief and lose loyalty when you steal
  • Adjusted how often crew panic about battle
  • Player money saving and loading correctly
  • Ship system status should display properly for each alert state
  • Ship weapons consistent when charging/being used
  • Boxing and unboxing correctly enables/disables ship system
  • Fix to error getting character data when mousing over NPC
  • Crew will not pick up scrap/food after you place it
  • Much less talking from crew
  • Food/Energy burn rate reduced by half
  • Ship positioning should be far more stable
  • Nebula camera tweaks
  • GameTips added in
  • Names update correctly on crew
  • Ships no longer warping in on load
  • Zombies removed (for now)
  • Redid Medium Torpedo and Medium Beam
  • Deslecting a crew member now properly shrinks their background on crew dock
  • Tons of tweaks, minor bug fixes and other stuff


Hope the game is running better for everyone! Tell us about any bugs you encounter and share any Let’sPlay or Twitch streams you have!

Cheers,
Warballoon

September 30, 2015

Alpha 5.2 Patch Released

Greetings Star Commanders!

We have just released Alpha 5.2 on the Steam Store which you can view here. The changes are numerous. These should address some of the core issues but certainly not all.

After this we are working on save crashes and some of the other larger stability issues, but as a whole, the game should be improved. We are hoping to issue another patch as early as Friday. But this is a good first step.


Next week we will be focusing on redoing the way missions are delivered along with lots of other bug fixes.


Patch notes as follows:

  • Player starts with fully functional ship (temporary until merchants are cleaned up)
  • Crew are much better at seeking out needs in green alert
  • Chance of you running into hard enemies early reduced
  • Adjusted some load order issues with things being asked for before they have been created (player saves looking for data before it exists)
  • Removed tutorial mode
  • Moved tutorial into the core game
  • Gametips implemented but waiting for content
  • Addressed issues with enemy ships loading on top of each other
  • Some general balance tweaks with ammo
  • Fixed issue with weapons systems not functioning after targeting the first time
  • Turn off repair while engineers are using console
  • When permission granted character says "Permission granted! Feel free to teleport over at your leisure."
  • FIXED: Hails are triggered every time you go to nav menu when a space station/ship that you are near is capable of hails
  • FIXED: Crew Hire- Hide loyalty. Mouseovers for mood and personalities need to work.
  • FIXED: Remove self-destruct when you kill everyone on an enemy ship
  • FIXED: Quadrupled Battery HP
  • Cadets now crew until XP revised (waiting for mission revisions)
  • Changed textbox sizing for more accurate mouseover data
  • Recolored and repositioned top bar resources
  • Power button revised for Ship UI
  • More obvious Jump Indicator
  • Stations will warn players before attacking them
  • Stations should handle the pirate problem
  • WIP station weapons
  • Captain creator tweaks
  • Teleporter no longer pans over to target when ship system is used
  • Ship guns no longer pans over to target when ship system is used

Cheers,
Warballoon

September 28, 2015

What We Learned at EGX



Greetings Star Commanders!

We are back from EGX where we were a member of the IndieMegaBooth, showcasing our game to the lovely people of the UK and Europe.



It was awesome. We had hundreds of people play the game over a 4 day period and learned a lot about our game. Because of the short amount of time players had at the booth (5-10 minutes), we presented a combat version of Galaxies that started you about mid-game - with a large ship and a crew of 5. Your goal was simple: survive wave after of wave of enemies.

There was a light tutorial, no space stations and combat was clearly the focus. And it went very well. People really enjoyed the game, zero crashes, some annoying but acceptable bugs and a ton of information gleaned from the play test.

We are hard at work on the first big patch for the game which should be out Wednesday. We are trying to merge the feedback we gleaned from EGX with the bugs, crashes and other issues that we have seen from our community having played the current Alpha.

Currently our goals include the following:
  • Release patch Wednesday addressing crashes, stability and other core issues
  • After that, remove tutorial and make it more of an integrated part of the game, including some game tips
  • Much easier starting conditions where the player gets a single ship and less hiring, upgrading and purchasing to do right off the bat.
  • Bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs and more bugs
  • Revise space stations to be MUCH less intimidating and easy for the player to navigate
  • Mission overhaul making missions much clearer, more varied and goal orientated.
  • Mouse overs and other detail items.
  • Balance
Now that we are back from EGX you can be assured that we will be issuing weekly updates and patches.

We read every single comment, review, guide, comment and question - so please keep talking with us! Can't wait to take all of this feedback and see what you all think.

Cheers,
Warballoon

September 17, 2015

Star Command Galaxies Steam Early Access Released!






Star Command Galaxies is officially on Steam Early Access! You can visit our page here and purchase the game!

So what's in this version of the game? Glad you asked!

This Alpha features most of our core gameplay - albeit buggy, unbalanced and susceptible to crashes. You will see:
  • Brand new GUI 
  • Ability to travel around a procedurally generated galaxy
  • Alien ships on their own independent routes and goals
  • Purchasable hulls
  • Hirable crew members
  • Crew XP and leveling
  • Missions
  • Rewards
  • Purchasable equipment
  • Multiple ship battles

These and about a thousand other tweaks, fixes and additions to our previous release.

So what's next?

Next week we will be showcasing the game at EGX 2015 in Birmingham, UK. Sobriety will be had by all.

Following that we will be focused on weekly bug fixes and balance while working our first monthly update focused on our central loop based on feedback we get from the community. We will be adding new weapons, balancing the ones that exist and adding new personalities, equipment and ships.

Our November/December release will feature planets and colonies. New missions that focus on supply, demand and growth of each colony will be implemented along with multiple biomes for each of the planet types. Planets will also have day/night cycles and hostile alien life.

As we move into the new year we will be introducing a new race, the Midorians and focus on diplomacy and earning loyalty from other races. You can move up within their ranks and earn victory conditions within the game.

We will also be releasing SCIENCE (Star Command Isometric Enhanced New Creation Editor) over the coming months and begin integrating Steam Workshop for mod support. Galaxies was built from the ground up for modability and we can't wait to see your creations.

We are extremely excited about the future of Star Command Galaxies. But most of all we hope you enjoy your own adventures as Captain. And we want to hear about it! If you twitch/youtube/stream/preview/review or do anything else with our game send us a tweet @StarCommandGame - we would love to see it.

Cheers,
Warballoon

September 10, 2015

We've Cleared Greenlight!




That was really fast! Thanks so much to all of our wonderful fans, kickstarters and supporters.

We will be releasing on Early Access THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 2015!

- Warballoon

September 1, 2015

Star Command Galaxies on Steam Greenlight!





We are officially on Greenlight!

Please vote for us right now by clicking here!

We have been working some very long hours over the last month or so and we are closing in on our Early Access release. Our current plan is to release the game on Thursday September 17, 2015.

Our first release will be focused on combat. We want to start getting feedback from the broader community and work in balance and improving the core mechanic in our game.

From there we plan to follow up the release with planets, new races (starting with the Midorians), new ships, new weapons, new kits, new missions and tons of other content, bug fixes and balance. We will also roll out SCIENCE, our mod tool, for FREE to everyone out there - not just people who have purchased the game.

This represents 2 years of long hours, nights and weekends. Making games requires a lot of sacrifice and commitment - and we hope that the game will grow and meet its full potential over the coming months.

Please, vote for us on Greenlight!

Cheers,
Warballoon

May 8, 2015

Star Command Galaxies Alpha 4 Released!




If you aren't already in the Alpha, you can join up today at our website!

There are so many new features in this Alpha that we are going to list them for you just so you have an idea of what we have been working on.

1. The Nav Map
If your ship and crew is the heart and soul of our game then navigation is the brains. Without the ability to go someplace, a starship management game isn't much fun. And a lot of things happen during travel: crew states are saved, new maps are loaded, old maps are unloaded and the persistence of the galaxy is established.  Your strategy is drawn based on proximity, access, routes, threats, allies and landmarks that can present advantages and disadvantages. Which brings us to...

2. Saves
In the world of Galaxies, we have laid the groundwork for a system of rival ships and races with their own tactics, strategies and goals. Each ship will have it's own Captain and be persistent in the universe. Right now you can damage an enemy ship, leave, come back and the ship will still be in existence, with its damage and crew saved and ready. What does this do? Well it's not much more work for us to give them memory and personalities so that they can try and undermine you, become allies or become your nemesis.

3. Conversations and Radial Menus
We now have the foundation to be able to speak with other characters in the universe. Soon, you will be able to hire, bargain, surrender, exploit and hundreds of other things. Through this same menu you can interact with the hundreds of objects in the game and do dozens of actions like attacking, hacking, healing and many other things.

4. Tactical Enemies
Enemies will now repair their ship, heal their crew, beam to your ship with goals, flee if they are in danger and strategically attack you. We still have a long way to go but, again, the groundwork has been laid for expanding our enemy AI into other tactics, races and strategies.

5. Missions
Our first test missions are simple tasks like collecting items or killing specific characters in the universe but this will lead to many more complex gameplay features like giving aid to allies, resupplying your colonies, attacking a mutual enemy, capturing rival captains and many more fun adventures all generated by the game and not written by our team. This will lead to more challenges and rewards as the game continues to grow.

6. Tons of Balance
The game is FAR from balanced, but there is quite a bit more in the newest version. Weapons, ship systems, food, energy and just about everything else has gotten a little bit of love. Overall, the game should have a much more "solid" feel.

7. More bug fixes than we can list
From shaders to crew logic to turrets and about a hundred other things, we have been hard at work fixing, adjusting and adding tons of little things to make the game more intuitive and fun.

So where do we go from here? The next update should see the return of planet exploration, new races, new weapons, new conversations and the start of our final system: loyalty. This is basically the whole point of the game - earning relationships with your crew, rival Captain's and other races through your actions (or inactions). This will be where you decide whether to stab your Midorian Captain friend in the back or help him against the surging Antorian empire. Where you can attack and crush and Avarian colony making room for your own or help resupply them and make them grow. This will be where the game really comes together and becomes a fully realized universe.

We're very excited about this release and what is to come. Tell us what you think on our Facebook page or at our Twitter account. Love to hear your thoughts!

Cheers,
Warballoon

March 17, 2015

What's Next: Alpha 4

Greetings Star Commanders!

We are currently hard at work on our next release for Star Command Galaxies. Our focus this month is on exploration, discovery, interacting with other Captains and missions.

Where do you want to go today?

The first big addition will be our dynamic nav map. Every game will feature a new, randomly generated set of nav points for you to explore. Each of these landmarks will have their own strategies and goals - planets can be explored; asteroid belts present tactical challenges; nebulas will disable ship systems; black holes can destroy your ship; starbases will give you a hub for trade and missions. The goal is it to continue to add and polish landmarks in future updates.

The nav also features dynamic, real ships. Each of these ships continue to exist in the galaxy. They have their own goals and crews. If you attack one ship and they escape, you can pursue them and they will still be damaged. As further builds come out the capabilities, goals and tactics of enemy ships will continue to expand.

Speaking of ship tactics, you will also see an improvement in enemy behavior. Now enemies will work at consoles and their ship systems will be functioning (or not) as a result. Enemies will also repair and defend their ship in smart groups as well as repair their vessel from damage. Finally, enemies will be 1:1 during invasions and have specific goals. No more never ending spawns of aliens.

Let's talk it out.


The next major addition are conversations. We have introduced a Sims style, radial menu to the crew. You can now tell jokes, talk about politics, engage in trade, hire crew members, take missions and interact with the world around you. Right now things like jokes won't do much besides improve (or offend) another character, but in future builds personalities will play a big role in conversations. During diplomatic missions one of your goals will be to match up similar personalities and impress Captains and their crew with your knowledge of their culture. Or you can just buy them off.

Welcome to Glooogon's House of Used Crap


Trade is our third major feature for this build, giving you the ability to begin acquire goods from vendors around the universe. You will now have to make choices about the type of ship you want - from generators, shields, weapons, nav consoles - the choice is yours.

Finally, we will be introducing missions. Missions will give players important, broad reaching goals to accomplish across the galaxy. Things like: delivering pizzas, collecting garbage and negotiating trade agreements between two vast empires. Accomplishing missions will improve relations with other Captains and, in turn, with their factions. Failing at missions will hurt your standing and broad reaching repercussions.

There are numerous other bug fixes, improvements and other surprises for you to discover.

You can expect Alpha 4 late next week!

Cheers,
Warballoon

February 27, 2015

Star Command Galaxies Alpha 3: Battlestations!




If you aren't already in the Alpha, you can join up today at our new website!

Battlestations! Battlestations! And all that nautical stuff. The newest update for Star Command Galaxies out and the primary focus is, as you can probably tell, ship-to-ship combat.

Planets have been disabled because we broke a bunch of stuff with our new changes. We updated our super objects to support some new features like breakable external walls which, in turn, made things like the villages and antorian fortress look funky.

There are a ton of finicky things (including repair and heal) but this should start to plant a seed of where the combat is headed.

Our next focus is on bringing it all together. Navigation, desires with a purpose, planets to explore, resources to collect, enemies with their own intelligent goals and day to day activities. We are very excited about the momentum we have now. This update has the most "fun" of all of them and the next one should be even better.

Can't wait for you to play! Enjoy!

Cheers,
Warballoon

January 28, 2015

Star Command Galaxies: Alpha 2 - "A Day in the Life"




NOTE: Alpha 2 is out now, but ONLY for WINDOWS. Our MAC version is crashing, so we will get that up when it is fixed. APOLOGIES!

If you aren't already in the Alpha, you can join up today at our new website!

THE BIG BUGS (lots of little ones as well): 
- After the 2nd or 3rd trip down to a planet the game can crash (memory load issue)
- Red thought bubbles will not disappear consistently
- Beds use state is buggy
- Characters will use objects in non-use spots
- Combat: Crew accuracy not being ignored (super bad shots right now)

We titled this update after the day to day actions that your crew takes during their adventures. In terms of development we wanted to establish the core "needs" of your crew before jumping into exploring the galaxy, battling alien vessels and visiting all the worlds of the Galaxies. We feel like it's coming along. You can watch the video above to watch a playthrough of the game and read below to find some more details about each of the new additions to Galaxies.




The first new feature you will notice is your crew needs. Crew now require food and sleep (energy) and, depending on how well those needs are being met, a crewmembers' respective mood will go up or down. Eventually there will be appropriate rewards and penalties applied for good and bad moods but for the time being there are no effects.

To be clear, Galaxies will not be a micro manage my crew game - and you can see this with the addition of automation. Crew will take care of their needs from sleeping to eating. The only time these things are a problem is when there is an absence of these resources. All your food get sucked out of the hull during your last battle? Now you have a problem. Bed's caught on fire and now you only have on left? Gonna have some grumpy crew on board.



The next level of each crew member is their "Desires." This represents their hopes, dreams and 
aspirations and are derived from their personalities. Desires will, in turn, guide the gameplay. The "missions" in Star Command Galaxies are the desires of other characters in the game - your crew, traders, other Captain's, villagers, Star Command admirals - you name it. Your goal is to fulfill these desires. Some may want you to visit a planet. Others may want you to capture the Captain of a trade ship. All of these things will be relayed to you in the form of a desire.

What happens when you fulfill a desire? Two things - first the character's mood goes up. But, more importantly, you earn loyalty. Loyalty is one of the primary metrics for victory. The more loyal your crew the more you will be able to accomplish in the galaxy since spreading your Captain's desires is dependant a loyalty. Ignoring your crew's desires? You might have a mutiny on your hands. Kill a Captain instead of capturing them for Star Command? There could be repercussions with one of your officers trying to take over your command.

Loyalty will continue to expand in the upcoming updates and become more and more central to victory for the player.




Toilets, TV's, beds - all these things and more are now available for your crew to meet their needs and waste their time to help pass the hours of staying on a starship. We have also added object animations! Awesome!




The biggest change (and what you will hopefully see the least of) is on our crew action and cursor manager system. For you, the player, the result will be filters when you commit to actions like repair and heal. But overall the game is way more stable and, for us, ready for some serious implementation of features. Our cursor manager was a huge undertaking and has cleared the way for ship combat, crew conversations, fixing some SCIENCE bugs and lots of other advanced features that just couldn't be completed until the foundation was ready.




Teleporters are two fold. First, they are just simply easier to use than the previous build - which was somewhat unintuitive. Secondly, teleporters have the groundwork for implementation of ship systems (shields, weapons, engines, etc). A ship system won't work until a crew is working at the proper console and, in turn, that console will drain power from your master generator. What that means is we can quickly add things like lasers that drain every time you use them, bars that draw from your food resource, shields that can be destroyed and repaired - basically every core system we need for ship combat.




You also have a brand new ship so that you can see your cargo hold full of food, your kitchen area, crew quarters and other areas that give you more of a window into the experience of running a ship.



CAPTAIN

The Captain is also in, although not with any real functionality. Eventually you will be able to "craft" desires to spread to your crew and other NPC's around the galaxy, use exclusive Captain equipment and some other surprises.

OVERALL STABILITY

Along with the new cursor manager mentioned above we have revised map generation. Our map generator was creating many erroneous game objects compromising the stability of the game. This has been much improved. We will continue to refine asset loading and unloading along with game object generation, but for now you should see a pronounced improvement in overall game stability.

REMOVAL OF INVENTORY (FOR NOW)

Inventory has been removed while we reimagine it. Our initial implementation of inventories existing in the game world was good on paper but not as intuitive as we had hoped. Rather than continuing to try and polish the way your characters use that inventory system we have taken it back to the drawing board. It will likely be a much more traditional "item in a box" system so you can quickly see what your character is carrying.

SCIENCE DELAYED

Because of all the cursor state manager changes we had to push the SCIENCE update off a bit until the SCIENCE cursor states are all revised to match the new system. We are hoping to get SCIENCE revised and out sometime in the next two weeks.

Hope you all enjoy the new update. This update is huge for us as we have a very solid, stable foundation to quickly add content. We still have some big things to tackle like the fact that we are currently topping out Unity's memory management with our asset textures and we will have to address that sooner rather than later, but for now we feel really good about where the game is heading. Tell us what you think!


Next update: SHIP TO SHIP COMBAT!

Cheers,
Warballoon