Jeesh, what a crazy week! I’m publishing this weekly update a day later because there were a few loose ends that I wanted to wrap up yesterday.
With this update we are introducing some monumental changes to the game! You can finally do more than just build megastructures, colonize other stars, and try to survive in an evolving stellar environment with supernovae and black holes. Now, you can research new technologies, capture space stations, and finally, thanks to a completely rebuilt action UI, make sense of why certain actions are not possible to execute.
Research stations are a new type of object that players can build hyperspace tunnels to. They operate differently from stars, in a sense that they don’t have any resources to harvest and their energy output is low. They also generate very little population and you can only build the radar and the space fleet around them.
Why capture research stations then? They accelerate technology research—a brand new mechanic that we added last week!
What good is a grand strategy game without a research tree? I was planning on adding research a while back but never got around to it. After a few days of going pedal to the metal for 12 hours straight, I was able to design, build and somewhat balance the first version of research.
This is one of the better looking countless drafts that I generated during brainstorming.
So far, we have 12 out of 24 research technologies implemented. There are three core research groups: building, exploration, and colonization. Each group has to do with different aspects of the game and different styles that players can adopt during the battle. There are four tiers of research items (two research items per tier). One researched item in the lower tier unlocks both items in the higher tier. Every research item has positive and negative affects during the game. For example, Management Automation improves all construction time by 20% but also decreases energy collection rate in all locations by five points.
Each item requires a certain number of research points in order to be researched. Research points are a global resource that gets incremented every turn based on the number of captured locations. For example, if the player controls three stars and one research station then they get four research points per turn. Research takes a certain number of turns to complete and controlling research stations improves research speed by 15% per station.
Action UI, Tooltips, and Better Camera
We also managed to squeeze in several UI improvements. The biggest one is the action UI update. Now, whenever you attempt to start an attack, build a hyperspace tunnel, and transport resources or population, the action panel will give you reasons why something is not possible.
Other improvements include:
- Tooltips for some labels and buttons without text on them.
- Camera can be moved by pushing the cursor against any edge of the screen. Before this change, camera movement was only possible if you dragged it with the right mouse button.
Over the next seven days we are going to work on:
- Preparing the Indie MEGABOOTH submission.
- Adding better sounds and music.
- Finishing the rest of the research items.
- Starting work on the hotseat multiplayer mode.