This is mostly a bugfixes-and-miscellaneous-improvements release; you can read the full patch notes (and leave a comment!) here.
There are still a few things I’d like to add in the near future, so you can expect an 0.6.2a release fairly soon – it’ll likely involve a few less-critical fixes, and possibly some adjustments to exactly how combat readiness works. I also want to take a look at making the early game a bit easier, especially for new players.
One option was to hold off on releasing 0.6.1a for a while longer while adding these things in, but I really wanted to get the bugfixes out sooner rather than later, and so splitting the post-0.6a release into two made more sense.
Update: Hotfix for crashes from picking up a ship in your fleet under some circumstances and from showing the tooltip for an over-capacity crew bar is up. Please re-download the game using the links below – make sure the file you get ends with RC4.
Starsector version 0.6a is now out! You can get it here:
While that’s downloading, let’s take a look at what’s new in this release:
Hyperspace, a new star system, and a new faction
Complete combat sound overhaul
New campaign battle mechanics – use of travel drive to enter the battle space, a new battle type for chasing down escaping ships
Reworked logistics system
“Combat readiness” used to deploy ships into combat
“Logistics rating” combines fleet points and other supply-consuming expenses
New logistical support ships – Construction Rig, Ox-class Tug
Campaign UI overhaul – takes advantage of higher screen resolutions, displays more pertinent information while traveling
Improved fighter mechanics
Adjustable battle size
A ton of modability improvements
The above is a rough outline; if you’re interested, the full list of changes is here, and it’s… sizable.
I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about why 0.6a took until now to get out the door. It’s been a little over 8 months, certainly much longer than I’d like a release cycle to take. The reason for this is that almost all of the features in this release are interrelated, and so 1) are difficult to separate and 2) are dependent on each other to work well.
Except for the addition of hyperspace and a new star system, this release is dedicated to reworking how the combat and the campaign layers interact. Combat readiness is central to that, as discussed in a prior post. The new battle mechanics are inseparable from it. The logistics rating and the new fighter mechanics are, if you will, its tendrils, reaching both into the combat and the campaign.
Would it have been possible to separate out some of these? Sure. But, I don’t think introducing a feature without related mechanics that actually make it work is a good idea. Given that, the best approach was to wait until enough features were ready to make a coherent whole, which is where we are now. On the bright side, this makes the development process more efficient – the amount of placeholders, temporary UI elements, and the like is reduced significantly. So, yes, it did take a while to get here – but would have actually taken a good bit longer if I tried to force out a couple of releases along the way.
With that said, thank you for your continued support, and I hope you enjoy this release!
Wait, what? Yep, you read it right. For Business Reasons, we’re changing the name of the game to Starsector. All I can say about it is this will not have any impact on how things proceed around here – these things happen to projects from time to time, and I hope that everyone will be on board with the change. (If you’re not, my apologies. If you are, thank you for your continued support!) Personally, I’m looking forward to moving ahead with the new name, and am very excited about the future.
Onward to what’s new in 0.54.1a. It’s a bugfix and polish release, much like the other .1 releases that follow up a major one. Unlike those, though, it’s taken over a month to put out. That’s the case for two reasons. One, the name change took some extra doing. Two, the 0.54a release was stable enough that there was no urgency in putting this version out – so, we’ve been able to work on the campaign design and do some prototyping along the way, laying down some groundwork for the next major release.
Update:… and that’s what I get for talking about hotfixes. New version is up – there was a bug having to do with built-in weapons – using “strip” from the refit screen or loading a variant would permanently remove them. This is now fixed, please re-download the new version if you got it already (links below updated, new build is RC5).
Original post below.
This release is essentially a hotfix for 0.53a, though a couple of new features have also snuck in. Not exactly a “hotfix” because there’s nothing urgent, but nonetheless, lots of things merited short-term improvement. Ah, terminology – the bane of every developer.
Lots of AI improvements (in particular, phase cloak use, and overall AI aggressiveness)
Built-in weapons on the Onslaught (“Thermal Pulse Cannon”), new system (“Terminator Drone”) for the Tempest
Balance changes and bugfixes
Various modability improvements
Fixed issue where the game wouldn’t run on OS X 10.8 with certain Gatekeeper settings (thanks to everyone that helped get this resolved!)