Release notes here.
Whew! This one should feel a lot more fun to play, just from a fundamental low level. Previously, various aspects of the UI were feeling kind of sluggish, and the keyboard and mouse controls sometimes did, too. That wasn’t a framerate issue, but rather was a series of code issues that I inflicted on myself. Lots of untangling happened today, and the results feel so buttery smooth.
Another really big item that has returned is the selected ships window. That wasn’t something I had been planning on doing until during EA, but it’s something that acts as both an important informational aid (what do I have selected?), an important helper in battle (how much health, cumulatively, does my selected stuff have?), and a general self-teaching aid (hey, there are buttons for pursuit, group move, scrap, etc!). Those various benefits, particularly the last one, convinced me to spend some time and get that in earlier.
Some bits of the UI have also been made a little prettier and/or a little more clear, and we fixed dozens of typos in the tutorial (sorry…!).
Forcefields and Tutorials
Oh! AI forcefields are almost completely a thing of the past (all stationary ones are), and your own forcefields aren’t quite so darn sturdy anymore, either. It was Not Fun sitting there firing forever on an overpowered AI forcefield that wasn’t even protecting much to begin with. A number of people ran into that during the tutorial, and that should flow much more smoothly now.
There’s still more work that I need to do on the tutorial, following various feedback from th_Pion as reported by Sizzle, and with some more notes from Craig and Puffin. But I’ll get to that tomorrow; it’s quite late now. I hadn’t planned on spending a bunch of time in this area, but people brought it up as being the true first impressions item, and that folks were having a few issues related to it, so I’ve adjusted my plans accordingly.
This does unfortunately push back the timeline on the lobby into next week, after EA starts, but that is probably for the best given all the other improvements I’ve been able to put in instead. I wish that wasn’t an early thing that people might run into, but Puffin has been working on making a lot more quick start options with more difficulty ranges and types of ships and AIs, so it’s… hopefully a case of most people playing those anyway, at least at first. Those should be far less overwhelming to someone new, anyway.
Aside from the tutorial work, and whatever bugfixes seem most pressing pre-EA launch, I’m going to do my best to get the view/edit controls screen in. I think that will fit in the time I have left. Some of the most important keybindings (pursuit mode, etc) are now directly exposed on the interface, though, so it’s not quite as dire as it previously was (it’s still really important to get ASAP).
More to come tomorrow! And each day after that. EA starts the day after tomorrow, but that’s not going to interrupt the schedule that we’ve been maintaining for the last few months. Thanks for reading and playing!
Problem With The Latest Build?
If you right-click the game in Steam and choose properties, then go to the Betas tab of the window that pops up, you’ll see a variety of options. You can always choose most_recent_stable from that build to get what is essentially one-build-back. Or two builds back if the last build had a known problem, etc. Essentially it’s a way to keep yourself off the very bleeding edge of updates, if you so desire.
The Usual Reminders
Quick reminder of our new Steam Developer Page. If you follow us there, you’ll be notified about any game releases we do.
Also: Would you mind leaving a Steam review for some/any of our games? It doesn’t have to be much more detailed than a thumbs up, but if you like a game we made and want more people to find it, that’s how you make it happen. Reviews make a material difference, and like most indies, we could really use the support.