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...
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.
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!