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Interstellaria
October 6 - coldricegames

Hey all, Coldrice here. I felt like it was just wayyyy to long since the last update so I thought it'd be good to let you all know how the game is going.

The alpha testers have been enjoying big meaty bi-weekly builds. Steam builds have been coming every few days! So much clicking together... it's just awesome!

WHATS NEW

First, let me preframe this with the fact that these shots are in no particular order so some UI/background things are a bit inconsistent. Trust me, you'll know which ones are older, and which ones are newer

Planets are getting awesome











We'll be adding in a artifact log as well to help you keep track of the important items you pick up. This is not a quest oriented game - but I don't want to make it difficult to remember that one last tip you got on where to go





We've also been working really hard on the AI/interface for planets. There are now a ton of options for "auto" ai as well as different ways for your crew to work together. We've added offscreen icons to keep track of your guys, fast toggle with tab, and pausing











The best part is a lot of the new updates and changes have actually been in space phase. Lets dig in a bit more in depth on this one



Tactical pause



New trade menus. We've opted for physical space stations instead of little menus to represent space stations



Scrollable starmaps



Kickstarter backer custom characters are starting to show up as random encounters!



FINALLY better stars!



In an effort to remove RNG that works against you we've put the random events/encounters right on the map.



Being close to asteroid encounters shows up in the background. We'll be slowly adding more as we go.



Oh hey, combat is visible on screen. It was a debate on how we wanted to go with this, but I think this is the best choice ;)


Better AI for hunger and sleep



I've also implemented obstacles during combat. These can allow you to avoid fire or protect an important ship. Be aware, the debris that has precious loot also acts as obstacle - only it'll be destroyed when it.



I've also overhauled the random event display. It looks a lot more friendly, and fun!










As always, I’m sure I’m missing something – but there has been so much development its hard to keep track sometimes!

WHATS TO COME

Well so far every update I’ve made has been MASSIVE… and I hope to keep that momentum! I love making this game, and it’s come to the point where it doesn’t matter how well it does – I just want people to play it. So what is there to look forward to?

CONTENT MODE: We’re almost done with all the systems that will be in place. Of course as testing continues things can and will change.Now weeks are spent building things!

BUG FIXES: I’m very keen on polishing what’s already in place.

BETA: It's almost there guys, I promise! I’m really dedicated to having a very solid experience, and so I’ve delayed a beta release to work on “On more thing” week after week.

BUT COLDRICE, WHAT ABOUT RELEASE?

Ok here’s the fun one. I get that question a lot. Everyone wants to know when the game will be done. It’s scary to quote times (which I already did with Kickstarter!). Truthfully a lot of bad things have happened recently with Kickstarted games and so many people are gun shy about it all. I HOPE my track record proves my dedication!

A few things have changed about the release date (sorry !!!!). First – no matter what I will be pushing the release into January. There are a multitude of reasons, but the ones that most everyone can understand is

A) Taxes – It would be unwise for me as a business to take in any money in December. I would end up spending a large sum on taxes. I would rather push it 30 days and not have to worry about it. Truth be told, the kickstarter itself ended up paying quite a bit in taxes (nearly $4k) because the company didn’t have enough deductions by the end of the year. Ouch :(

B) Steam sale – I don’t want to launch anywhere near the winter sale.

So what does this mean? Well hopefully it’ll give me more time to add in a few more side planets and items. I don’t intend to squander any extra time! I figure (and hope!) that any complications or delays would be understood.

Moving along, there has also been a LOT of question on twitter regarding Early Access. At this point we are all a bit unsure of Early Access. I don’t want to ever be perceived as trying to do a cash grab or scam gamers for a quick buck. Everyone involved in Interstellaria is leaning AWAY from Early access. I have not fully dismissed it for a few reason.

a) I get requests to get into testing all the time. I feel a bit bad saying no, but I really don’t want to undercut the kickstarter backers.

b) Most people don’t know the costs of game development.

I’ve had a lot of people (including other devs!) ask how it felt to have 28k to make a game. The truth is its a very small amount. The final take home after fees was 26k. We immediately (between music, some equipment, licenses, fees) invested 20k into the game to ensure that no matter what the entire development is covered. That might seem crazy, but those who do development understand how cheap we’ve been running. We’ve been able to keep our overhead remarkably low. That has left around 6k for the rest of the year. Needless to say I didn’t quit my day job!

Between 40 hours of work, and an average (and I keep track!) of 42 hours a week on game development (remember, I’m a solo dev) I definitely burn the candle at both ends. It’s easy to rack up these numbers because I truly do love making games – there isn’t a thing about it I hate. Now knowing all those numbers, you can see how any influx of money is incredibly helpful. From buying new things for the game itself, to simply being able to swap hours from work and spend more time making the game (and hopefully bringing it to your hands faster!) .

That being said, Early Access will only happen if I feel it doesn’t compromise the integrity of myself, or the game. I’d rather work all the hours and release something that people enjoy then potentially damage the game before it’s even out of the stables. It’s not a no. Just a statement of my intentions.

Alright, serious chat over. I’m going to get back to it. You can always e-mail me for comments, feedback, or ideas – but twitter is ALWAYS the best. I’ll respond quick! I’m super pumped for Interstellaria, and I hope you are too!

August 15 - coldricegames


Lets just land the whole ship



Well here we are - the update I've been waiting to give all month. Its been difficult keeping everything under wraps - but I have to let the cat out of the bag at some point!


http://youtu.be/qn22U5Nfp1A

A few months ago I had the opportunity to get some good in person play time with a few people who didn't know me, or my game. The amount of notes that arose from that event was staggering, and fantastic. That, combined with notes sent to me from the alpha testers, made me formulate a plan to make sure the game "felt" the way it was meant to. The first step in that was to improve space combat, so a few months ago I showed off a new system of combat that was more interactive, interesting, and unique:


This was really exciting to make, because it simply took the existing code, and modified it to work with multiple ship instances instead of just one. Fairly simple to switch over, and after a week or so of alpha bug testing it was working like a charm.

Then it was on to planet phase. The tricky part of this was the planet phase was not fully complete yet, so even without changes it would require a lot of coding. After playing with a few options to make it a bit more fun (including procedural content, which I placed on the back burner) I was able to mock up something that was piqued every ones interest. It would again reuse existing code, but this time from both the planet phase and the space phase.

<strong>NEW PLANET EXPLORATION MECHANICS/CONTROLS</strong>

Instead of just spouting a lot of words, lets just let the gifs do the talking first


allow you to use all your crewmen


And I mean all (Auto harvest AI in action)


They're pretty good and finding their way


Even if they're not armed, they will MESS STUFF UP


all interaction still work as before, a new layer of code has been added for pathfinding and item harvesting, but otherwise its the same game.


Even simple levels are a lot more "alive" now


This allows for some fun new locations


The first question people asked - what happens if you take off without your crew? Well you're given a prompt. Otherwise, they're left behind.


a few menus were updated for this change up.

Its likely this new change will worry a lot of people - but in terms of scope there's not much worry. Its done! Just like when space combat was renovated there will be a bit of time where its buggy. An example is the the new tutorial has a bug in it - which will cause the inventory to not open sometimes preventing you from moving on! Eek! Alpha testers: version B will be live this weekend to patch up the error.

In addition, I have and always will be super open to suggestions and feedback. Be aware due to dev cycle I can't always get right to an idea right away, but I have a very hefty list of ideas, and many of them have been used. Hit me up here, or better yet on twitter!

I'm sure there's more, but much of it was covered in the last big update. For now, I'll leave you with this smug human captain.

May 27 - coldricegames

A big reason for a lack of posts is I've been trying to cram as many things into v0.3 as possible before letting it go live (which should be happening later tonight for our alpha testers!). I just kept saying to myself "oh, ljust one more thing!" But I knew it was time to draw the line and release the next build.

Whats new, you might ask?

ALIEN RACES + SHIPS!

They say pictures are worth a thousand words, and each gif has a lot of frames...








Now a shrewd person might notice the UI has changed... considerably. I loved the ornate detail on the first version, but as we added features it began to get a little out of hand. Here's out first revision:




and then the next



hey wait... what's that on the bottom?


Whoh, fleet based combat!?

This gif is just an illustration - we've strapped more guns on the ships than the ships are supposed to have...



That means, of course, you can manage a fleet of ships instead of just a single vessel. It's nice because now you wont have to choose between all the cool ships



This is as literal as "game changer" can ever be. Looking back at it now, it's crazy how much of a difference this all makes!

Not to ignore our ground segments, I've also gone back and did a complete overhaul of the combat aspects of traveling to planets. It's a LOT more exciting now

NEW:



old



The camera is much more "alive" now and the effects are wayyy more fun to look at.

Among this update are several small things that are difficult to put into gif form - so I've uploaded a new video for you all highlighting the new mechanics


http://youtu.be/G2TxdTSLk94

Oh hey, if you'd like to support the development I've also put up a pre-order page at http://mastercoldrice.com/interstellaria-kickstarter-paypal-page/

Thank you steam players for all your support! Greenlight has helped keep that fire under our butts to continue to do our best!

February 20 - coldricegames



Let me tell you, this morning was pretty eventful. I'm one of those "check my e-mail every ten minutes" kinda guys, and I had somehow missed an important e-mail. Way way wayyyyyy after the fact I checked my phones lock screen to see a very surprising alert:

https://twitter.com/Nonadecimal/status/436212793167970304
(by the way Nonadecimal is a cool guy, follow him on twitter!)

I couldn't believe it. I seriously considered it to be some kind of misunderstanding. I jumped at my e-mail and my heart skipped a beat.



The e-mail had come in at 10:36, and I had left at 10:30. I missed it by 6 whole minutes. Wow!


ONCE MORE THANK YOU!

If it weren't for the support of the community we would have never gotten this far. Between your votes and spreading the word we've now moved into a position where success is on the horizon. We have the game, we have the funds, and now we have the strength of steam behind us.

February 12 - coldricegames



Link to the contest page: http://mastercoldrice.com/design-your-own-starship-contest/

Ok here’s the crazy idea: I’d love to get some fan designs into the game. I really like the idea incorporating “fan” designs into the final product. I feel it gives the game character. I’m also not so naive to think that I have all the best designs in the world. This is where you come in!


The mission is simple:

-Design a ship you feel fits into the Universe of Interstellaria

-Any art style is fine! I promise I wont be biased towards pixel art or anything!

-Submit your design to my email – coldricegames@gmail.com

-You can submit more than once! Be sure to get your artwork submitted by MARCH 11th, 2014

-I will be sharing artwork on the blog and twitter as it comes in, so stay involved!

-I’ll be selecting a winner on MARCH 12th, 2014




Now how will I reward you for your hard work?

The Prize:

-$50 steam gift card

-Access to the Interstellaria Alpha

-Your design will be in the final game!



That’s it! from here you’re free to go hog wild. I’ve written some fluff at the above link to help you with your designs and potentially improve your chances.

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