State of the Early Access launch
Hey everyone, it’s been a pretty crazy launch into Early access so far for us with a lot of work, but that was obviously expected. We appreciate your patience as we are resolving the most urgent issues as soon as we humanly can ( keep in mind we’re just a handful of developers ).
We’ve had a number of issues, some related to servers stability ( not all that bad overall, the first server crashed after 30 hours ), and as you might have noticed if you followed us, a number of issues related to HOTAS and keybindings.
Most of those issues are now fixed, which isn’t to say that everything is perfect; we’ve identified a larger number of urgent bugs ( some balance-breaking, such as abusing ramming ; some just causing pain and frustration, such as the never-ending missiles ).
We’ll be patching the servers in an hour or two ( in a staggered way, to avoid disrupting online players ) with a lot of fixes. Another client patch will follow next week, probably on thursday, and from now on we’ll try to keep a regular update pacing by patching the game every thursday ( with possible hotfixes for urgent issues ).
A lot of people have been asking for our Roadmap in the short and long term. While we can’t make exact promises on the date at which these things will be delivered, here’s what we have been internally discussing and what we’ll be working on in the coming weeks and months.
Our immediate focus will be on technical support, and helping players that have technical issues playing the game. Some people have had connection issues due to routers or firewalls; others have their game crash, due to gpu drivers, non-standard paths and a variety of issues that are pretty common to Early access launches.
Once this is done, we’ll be shifting our focus back on the game itself. This is what we are looking at:
Short term ( 1-3 weeks ):
- HUD cleaning / decluttering / making things more clear
- Team chat and improving communications
- Helper screens and more alerts and contextual info tips in game
- Ship upgrades ( first iteration; we won’t necessarily have much new content there. Maybe a new weapon and EMP missiles )
- Battle reports / statistics / player stats / team stats
- Making the star map more useful and interactive
- Game balance: another pass on weapons / locking, corvette repairs / rewards
- Credits redistribution and team scoring ( / ladder rankings )
- Input event and control scheme unification ( a lot of players are confused by the way the current system works, and think their controllers do not detect pitch / yaw )
- Allowing the carrier to repair / resupply ships like the corvette
- Anti-missile / torpedoes laser counter-measures for capital ships
- Auto-repairing turrets / modules on stations and other installations
- Revamping / increasing static defenses
- Sub-systems targetting
Mid term ( End of year goal )
- Second pass over ship upgrades: adding more weapons, more upgrades and more variety to the content
- Electronic warfare
- Revamping capital ships control schemes, cameras and weapons management
- Assets streaming and performance improvements to eliminate the high video-ram needs, causing micro-stutter and freezes
- New battlescapes and new planets, including the first Ocean planet
- Localized damage ( disabling thrusters, armor pieces ) and visual effects ( damage decals, more effects )
- Revamping shields and adding localized shield systems ( front+back, 4-directional shileds etc… )
- Networking improvements, especially related to client side prediction for projectiles )
- Squads system
- In-game communication system ( this one is tricky, so we’ll be looking into it, but it might easily slide to next year )
- First iteration on the persistent progression system with unlockable content based on your military ranking ( weapons, bobbleheads, skins, decals )
- Extra joysticks / HOTAS / hardware testing and official TrackIR support
Long term ( Next year, but before the full release )
Orbital bombardment with nukes
- New visual effects and improvements ( better HDR / tonemapping, better anti-aliasing, new shader effects, glass / refraction etc… )
- More planets and environments, maybe props on planets
- General AI improvements, having AI ships travel between planets in warp
- Kickstarter rewards
- More work on HUD improvements and customization screens
- Finalized in-game tutorials
- Solo / sandbox mode
- More work on the persistent progression system
Side missions content
Note that one important feature is missing from this roadmap: side missions. It’s a tricky one, because it’s important to retain the player’s attention, but it requires a lot of work and will not delivered as a single feature in a single patch, but more progressively as we improve the system over a long series of patches, over the entire next year.
We haven’t fully decided how far we want to go with side missions. At the very least we want to offer escort / attack missions, assassinations / bounty hunting, or things such as scavenging. Some of these missions could have conflicting objectives with players on the opposite team, which would in fact turn these side missions into “mini-game modes” naturally integrated into the game. We’ll see exactly how far we can go with this, but keep in mind Battlescape is warfare focused, so you should not expect things such as trading or mining.
That’s it for now - if you have more feedback, just let us know on the Steam forums or on the I-Novae forums. We still have a long road (map) ahead of us, but your support is appreciated. Thank you !