I know you may not have solid times yet for this but I was looking to upgrade my pledge and get into the game with some of my buddies. Please tell me this game is close to Alpha! BTW I really cant believe that this game hasn’t gotten more support considering how amazing your engine is…I really think once the alpha kicks off and you have more people playing it will explode and maybe hit some of those sweet stretch goals you have listed
We’re working to release the Alpha as soon as possible. We’ll provide a more detailed estimate once we finish integrating the new networking code.
We’re inclined to agree. We just need to get the gameplay a bit more mature and I think we’ll see a lot more interest =).
Man, oh man. Am I itching to play this. I’ve been semi-lurking for years and pledged the planetary tier the moment I saw the kickstarter. So naturally, I absolutely cannot wait to get alpha access! Any updates on the time frame? Don’t rush it though! Quality is always better in the long run.
String product = (quality_of_product > speed_to_market) ? “AWESOME” : “buggy”;
Hello first post here. Beautiful game. Fun factor seems to be there. It’s rare to be able to reach out like this to other developers directly. I’m wondering what your biggest blockers are? For example are you integrating the new networking code to support a more robust back end for your economy system and less lag in general? Are there any remaining art tasks like UI art that need to be made?
Welcome @OBKdawg! Our biggest blockers are the following:
- We had to rewrite the networking code. This was first and foremost for security reasons, the previous networking code was quick and dirty to get a prototype out for the Kickstarter campaign, however we also had to add latency compensation to allow for a smoother experience. Obviously everything in a multiplayer game is dependent on the networking so in the process of rewriting the networking we also had to re-engineer quite a few game systems.
- Server-side collision detection on planets. In a normal game this isn’t a big deal. With I:B, because we can have 100’s of players moving at speeds of 100’s of kilometers per second spread out around multiple celestial bodies it becomes an incredibly tricky problem. Our planets are procedurally generated on-demand meaning a patch of terrain isn’t generated until a player is within a certain distance from it. This is simple for a client because you’re only ever near 1 planet at any given moment. With the server we have to quickly generate new terrain patches for hit detection for 100’s of players.
- We decided to build a special custom UI using a technique called path rendering. The reasons for this decision is a whole other discussion that I won’t get into here but the short version is that it has some serious advantages over the long term. Our implementation is based on a new paper that just came out last January that’s purportedly 2.5x faster than other implementations while also unencumbered by patents. It’s also an incredibly esoteric implementation that has taken much more time than initially expected. While this unexpected complexity has caused delays I am the one working on it and at no point have I ever been paid with backer money.
Art-wise we’re in a pretty good position for both UI and the game. We also believe we’ll be able to implement the baseline for the majority of the Alpha’s gameplay within a few weeks once we get the major blockers described above taken care of.
I’m sorry @inovaekeith, but have you actually tried playing the prototype, it’s unplayable because it’s nearly impossible to hit anything, not because people are hacking…
Out of that about 3 hits registered.
Both points can be considered valid, and both were addressed… really Critic, quote mining?
Does someone need another hug?
It’s the mindset Hutch, first and foremost … security that’s some alternate reality, also how many times have we tried to explain to you guys that Keith’s time is not free and should be used as an asset, instead we get reminded that it is in fact free.
While this unexpected complexity has caused delays I am the one working on it and at no point have I ever been paid with backer money.
Anyway, art guys got a compliment that you deserve for your hard work and that’s good.
We also believe we’ll be able to implement the baseline for the majority of the Alpha’s gameplay within a few weeks once we get the major blockers described above taken care of.
Have no idea why a deadline had to be given here though, considering the track record there is about 1% chance of you hitting it, nobody really pushed for that.
All is good Hutch.