This is an interim update on the way to a major new version of the game, due in December (Alpha8). Major structural work has occurred behind the scenes to expand the simulation space, and provide new possibilities. The biggest change of all is Multi-system simulation, which radically expands the game space so that all locations within a sector are simulated simultaneously.
The tutorial for new players continues to be updated, and is still an unfinished work-in-progress. The aim is for players to operate a small fleet of ships across the entire sector, working toward the STARGATE project whilst also taking part in side-missions and defending your facilities from raiders.
The next Mark & Chris alpha video will be for alpha 8 when all this work is complete, and will demonstrate all new features in alpha 7 and alpha 8.
These are the changes we have completed so far:
- Multiple locations within a sector are now simulated all at once.
- This means you can split up your fleet, have ships in one system mining an asteroid belt, while your combat vessels in another system do battle.
- You can freely and instantly move focus between different ships of yours within all active systems.
- Different collections of ships can be in FTL at the same time, travelling to different destinations.
- You can (for example) create mining and gathering ships and leave them in a nebula or asteroid belt, and they will continue to mine and operate while you attend to other locations.
- - NPC ships updated. Star systems are now much more busy, as NPC ships come and go. NPC ships will also engage in mining and salvage where appropriate.
- - All NPC ships are now based on either official ship designs or community ships, or ships you have subscribed to on Steam Workshop.
- - NPC ship system 'faking' has been largely removed. You can now see inside any NPC neutral ship, and observe the crew and equipment operating normally.
- - NPC ships will turn hostile if you attack them, but will generally try to escape rather than fight to the death.
- - Subscribe to more ships via the Steam Workshop, and these ships will appear in your game world.
Tutorial / on-boarding
- The tutorial continues to be updated, with the aim to provide a complete introduction to the game and the STARGATE PROJECT.
- It is still a work in progress, but takes the player all the way up to receiving a second ship.
- The primary aim is to bring entirely new players into the STARGATE industry mode.
- You can now skip the entire tutorial by clicking the X in the top right of the tutorial window.
- The stargate project now has six working phases that must be completed, each building on the last.
- All phases have been redesigned and rebalanced.
- All production times for Fabricators and Assembly tables have been shortened and balanced.
- Multiple phases of the stargate project now require research unlocks to progress.
- Enemy forces will now attack any ships engaged in the stargate project, starting around phase 3. Each subsequent attack will be more dangerous than the last.
- - The game now automatically starts in STARGATE mode on first playthrough
- - Introductory flyby sequence updated
- - The TRADE screen now shows sellable Stargate parts highlighted in GOLD
- - Fabricator buildings no longer produce outputs endlessly, filling up your cargo space (eg frames, coils).
Instead they will produce an item and then wait until that item has been taken to be used somewhere before producing another.
- - The stargate sector now contains hostile fleets (difficult!), distress calls, derelict ships, asteroid belts, gas clouds, as well as colonies and shipyards.
- - New missions are now continuously generated at all locations in the sector
- - Old missions are removed after some time, if nobody claims them.
- - All mission types scale in response to your ratings within the appropriate category.
- - STARGATE industry mode now has all mission types available: delivery, passenger, combat, rescue, production, mining
- - Completed Missions are now removed from the contract board after 60 seconds
- - Spacebar now pauses the game.
This is to allow for more consideration and precision during space battles.
- - You can hold SHIFT for dramatic slow-mo. You can toggle slow-mo with Caps-Lock
- - Tactical mode camera no longer tracks position or rotation of any ship. You can freely pan around.
- - Normal view mode automatically tracks position and rotation of the current ship, aligning automatically so you can see the interior.
- - The compass / toggle tracking button has been removed
- - Tactical mode: Weapons list now scales when there are lots of weapons, to ensure they all fit on screen
- - Issue #164 - Cargo Space not recognising new zoning
- - You can no longer try to install boxed equipment on a ship that the box isn't on
- - Thousands more bug fixes but honestly we lost track somewhere along the way