Dev Diary #8 - (Another) Beta Community Update
Posted on October 07, 2016

What’s up guys? It’s time for another Beta community update so that you know what we’ve been doing this past week and what you can look forward to in the future. If you have any comments or ideas let us know on the FORUM.


What are we working on right now?


Game-start tweaks

As I mentioned on the forum, we’re currently working on improving the experience of new players and provide them with a more gradual and rewarding game start. The following patch will feature three changes to address this.

First we will be introducing a play tip mechanic - the Helper-bot. Its goal is to provide help for new players after the completion of the tutorial. The first batch of tips has been created based on our user testing and tries to address the most frequent questions new players have. In the future we will include tips relevant to more experienced players as well. At introduction the Helper-bot will be available in the Hangar and the Build mode. Later we have plans to add him into Practice mode. The display of tips will be controlled by the H key. Some tips will also be triggered by specific events like leveling up or breaking of ship integrity. Seasoned players can turn off tips in the ESC menu.

Second, we will be lowering the XP requirements and research prices for some Rookie ship components as well as provide a reward bonus to new players in the first three matches. The goal is to provide new users with more construction options at the start of the game and make the first few matches more enjoyable.

Third, we’ll be tweaking the tutorial, mainly by adjusting and including new voice lines. For instance in user testing players complained that there was no indication when the tutorial was over, or that they didn’t understand the research mechanic enough, which we’ll be addressing in the following patch. Development of the tutorial is an ongoing process and we expect to further iterate on it in the future.

The progression experience of mid- to high-level players is next on our to-do list and will be analysed in the following weeks.


Physics optimization

We’re working on optimizing game physics and collisions. Specifically we’ll be giving the ships convex colliders (see the picture below) which will be used for collisions with the environment and other ships. Collisions with projectiles will be handled with voxel raycasts or shapecasts. Compared to the current system where each block has it’s own box collider this should lower the game’s system requirements as well as improve the accuracy of both hitscan (lasers) and projectile (gauss) weapons. A downside will be not perfectly accurate collisions of ships, however we think the advantages far outweigh that.

An example of convex colliders on junker ships.

Balance and gameplay changes

We will be removing the rotation restriction for Gatling Gauss in the following patch. We’re also working on the weapon’s physics and audiovisual effects. Balance changes to Armor blocks are being considered as well.


Marketing

We’re in talks with several large youtubers who’ve shown interest in the game.

The Ship building contest is up and running. So far the album (HERE) has been seen by more than 12-thousand people. Voting ends on Sunday Oct 9. Don’t forget to share your creations on your wall!


Localisation

We’re integrating localisation into the game. Our volunteer translator community is hard at work and the translation of the current version has already been completed for German, French, Polish, Hungarian, Spanish and Portuguese languages. Thanks a lot guys, you will be rewarded handsomely :-).

Russian, Swedish, Danish, Dutch and our native Slovak version are being prepared as well.


A new patch next week

There will be an update next week around wednesday, which will include the game start tweaks mentioned here and some balance changes. Based on the speed of our progress also parts of the physics optimisation and localisation may be included.


That’s about it for this week. Let us know what you think on the FORUM.


Martin “Gajxo” Gajarsky

Game Designer