Well, it’s been a while since the last update. Not exactly surprising, but since we are gearing up for our Early Access launch on Steam in a month, things are been pretty busy… and that’s an understatement. It’s going to get even busier in september, so updates are going to be very irregular from now on, just be warned…
A new beta backer week-end will be organized next week, from Friday august the 30th to Mondy the 2nd of september. We had a couple of technical issues in the last event, but this one should be much more fluid. Note that this might be the last one before the launch.
For all the details please see this thread: Infinity Battlescape Asteroid backer week-end: 30 Aug - 2 Sept 2019
There will be two community events on Saturday 31 and Sunday the 1st, at 19:00 UTC, as usual. More information in this thread: I-Novae Community Events
We are wrapping up production on our Steam trailer and will announce the official Early access launch date in a week or two.
Steam integration is also progressing well. Our build system is now compatible with Steam and authentication / integration with I-Novae accounts is almost finished. We still need to implement a server browser in the game client ( basically what our custom launcher was doing ) so that Steam clients know to which server to connect to, but this should go relatively fast to implement.
We’ve also more or less figured out our plan regarding giving a Steam copy of the game to backers. If you pledged on Kickstarter, IndieGoGo or our website, a Steam section will appear in your account settings on the I-Novae website, which will allow you to login to Steam. After you successfully login, the game will be granted to you and appear in your Steam library like any other game. ETA on this feature is around the launch, end of September, however we might do some earlier internal tests with a few select member of the community, if needed.
Extra game copies ( backer tiers above $100 if I remember well ) will be given as extra Steam keys. There is no ETA on that just yet, but it’ll definitely be after the EA launch. In general, crowd-funding rewards will come after the EA launch. A certain number of them aren’t even on our radar just yet, so might slip well into 2020.
In other development news, in the short term ( next week ) we are focusing on the patch for the next backer week-end. This is what we’re planning on doing for next week’s patch:
- The first version of the Star map
- More balance tweaks related to weapons on the Interceptor and the Corvette
- Another round on stability ( we’ve had a few issues introduced by last patch ), also fixing full-screen and lower-resolution issues
- A basic implementation for system menus ( options, in-game keys rebinding, etc… )
- Improvements to the menus / UI in general, with more information displayed in the various menu tabs
- Revamp of input / controls, unifying events, and using more logical default keys ( goodbye to right-ctrl for launching missiles ! )
The following are on our wishlist, but will likely slip away to early September:
- Laser counter-measures for capital ships
- Battle statistics / performance ratings / rebalancing the scoring system and maybe introducing the ladder rankings
- HUD improvements and MFDs
In the “longer” term ( second week of September, probably ):
- Ship upgrades system
- More iterations on the menus / UI
- Improving the new player experience, giving hints, mini tutorials, and reducing the learning curve, making things more clear
- More work on capital ships, control scheme and weapons management
Finally, in whatever time is left:
- The missions system ; we want to at least add support for scouting, bounty hunting and hauler escort/attack missions ; those already exist in game but are a “natural” part of the game flow. We want to make some of these more formal, including clear objectives and rewards.
- Introducing a few new Battlescapes and planet environments
The longer-term goal (2020+ ) we have in mind for the mission system is to implement a semi-procedural missions generator, based on various templates. Assassination missions, investigation missions, helping kill a pirate base in an asteroid field, hack an enemy base, plant a bomb, protect a ship while it’s being repaired, etc… not super original, but would definitely bring variety to the game. Some of those missions would have conflicting objectives with players of the enemy team, which would make them mini “game modes” within the game. We’ll see exactly how far we can go with this next year.
As you see, while we’re getting there, the amount of work left for September is still scary. There’s a good chance various systems will stay in a “first-stage implementation” and be iterated / improved on after the launch. It’s important to keep in mind this is Early access, and we’ll still have a year of development ahead into 2020 before we can call the “full 1.0 version” ready to be released.