Hey everyone, it’s time for your weekly update! Well, it’s been one heck of a week. For starters we’re launching the Alpha this coming Friday, June 15th which is less than a week away! The whole team has been working hard to get everything ready for the big release. I’m not going to get into too many details regarding gameplay changes as we want to save those for after the Alpha is out, but we’ve released a new version of our installation runtime and we’re working on updating our website.
Updated rendering of all of our ships side-by-side
Speaking of website updates one of the things we’ve been working on is improving our email infrastructure. As we move from Alpha to Beta we want to begin to slowly ramping up our marketing efforts and email is of course a big part of that. Over the last week we built a mass mailing system and we tried it out for the first time a few days ago with an Alpha launch date announcement. Unfortunately, due a bug that didn’t show up in testing because it uses a significantly smaller set of test accounts, we accidentally emailed a large subset of our users the Alpha launch date announcement up to 12 times. This set off a chain reaction of events that culminated in our entire email backend being taken down for about a day and a half, which was a whole lot of no fun. Everything is back up and running smoothly now and needless to say – for those of you who were affected – we’re sorry for any inconvenience you may have experienced.
This of course provides a perfect example of why we try to do “soft launches” of new features as much as possible. Nothing is worse than everything crashing and burning on the big day so we try to figure out where all the fires are beforehand. To that end we’ll probably release one last patch to our Developer Access backers within the next day or 2 to iron out any remaining kinks before the Alpha is released on Friday. We haven’t picked an exact time yet and we may not provide one before the Alpha goes live so keep an eye out on Friday for our announcement email!
The primary goal will be to iron out stability bugs. And to some extent, have feedback on the game game systems and balance. With the remaining amounts of time I won’t be able to improve gameplay ( even if you report that it sucks ) before alpha.
Balance tweaks however are possible. It’s actually a great concern of mine. With all the new gameplay systems, I’ve introduced a ton of new parameters and set “default” values for them. How many hitpoints each module has, how many credits a factory generates, etc… It’s probably going to feel off. Goal #1 in terms of balance is being able to complete a match within a reasonnable amount of time.
Of course, feedback on the new gameplay systems is also more than welcome, just don’t expect improvements there before the alpha.
I don’t have an exact ETA for the new patch. I still have a couple of things that are game breaking ( for example, missiles and torpedoes no longer work due to some internal changes ) and I have to address these before I can release a new patch. Originally I wanted 2 or 3 patches before the alpha, but I’m starting to think I’ll be lucky if I get a half decent patch for dev-tier backers to test two days before the alpha; and then an emergency patch on friday morning for polishing/balancing and ofc fixing any major stability bugs.