Hey everyone time for another weekly update. This week we want to take some time to talk about scheduling. Our next release is Alpha which is currently scheduled for October 29th, 2016. The Alpha release is supposed to contain rough implementations for all major gameplay systems which includes networking, distribution, patching, UI, weapons, small-ship flight mechanics, capital ship flight mechanics, radar, intra-solar jumping, and resource management. At this moment in time many of these are partially implemented however a few of them haven’t been started yet.
Editor shot of the final touches being put on the NPC hauler
You may recall that our deliverable to Developer Access backers at the beginning of the year was delayed by 2 months. If you go back through our January/February 2016 weekly updates you can read why. Full production started on February 1st and the Developer Access milestone was announced on February 28th. Back in February people were asking if the delay would affect the timeline for our Alpha release and while we knew it obviously would one way or another we decided to stick with the original timeline until we were absolutely sure we couldn’t hit it. Well, we now know we won’t be able to stick to our original timeline and release the Alpha on October 29th as we had planned. Instead we expect to release it sometime in early 2017.
Editor shot of the front of the NPC hauler
The delay is primarily due to a lack of programmers and being unable to get as much gameplay implemented over the summer as we had hoped due to fixing up core systems like physics, networking, distribution, patching, and pledge upgrading. Fortunately, the work on those systems, which are all very important for providing a polished experience in the final game, is nearly complete and we’ll be getting back to iterating on gameplay soon. Our art team is also still on schedule cranking out quality content.
Editor shot of the NPC hauler engines
Let’s talk a little bit about financials. Our Kickstarter campaign raised $332,620 which is $32,620 over our minimum goal of $300k. After paying fees to Kickstarter of ~10% that left us with ~$300k to build the game – or exactly our minimum which meant that building the game was going to be a hard slog – something we were expecting when we launched the Kickstarter. Full production started on February 1st so we didn’t really spend much of anything until then. Since our Kickstarter completed we’ve also raised an additional $21,830 through our IndieGoGo InDemand campaign (before paying ~10% in fees).
One more editor shot of the NPC hauler
Due to additional sacrifices made by the members of the team we’ve been spending money a little bit less than we had budgeted for so financially we’re in pretty good shape. Since the art team is currently on-schedule we expect that the majority of additional costs caused by delays beyond our target retail ship date of September 2017 will primarily go toward programmers. At the moment Flavien is the only programmer getting paid so as long as we can raise an additional ~$25k between now and September 2017 we should be able to cover a 6-month delay without any problems.
Final geometry pass on the corvette cockpit
So where does this leave us right now? Well, if you’re a Developer Access+ backer then congratulations, you get longer exclusivity. If you’re not a Developer Access backer and you don’t want to wait our pledge upgrade system will be finished soon and you will be able to upgrade to get immediate access to the game. If you don’t want to upgrade then please accept our sincerest apologies for the delay. While it may not be going as fast as we would prefer we’re making steady progress (see our weekly updates), the artwork is coming together great, the game is going to get finished and we can’t wait to play it with all of you!