From the desk of Executive Producer Michael Brookes:
As you can imagine it’s been a busy week here with the run up to the Horizons and 1.5 update releases. The team has been pushing hard to get as many tweaks and changes into the game as they can. The results of which has been the substantial beta update we released earlier in the week and another is expected today. Once again I’d like to thank everyone for their feedback – it has been phenomenal! While we can’t always respond we do review the feedback and where we agree that a change needs to be made we will do so.
A good example of this was the visibility of POIs from your ship. The original intention was that your ship scanners give you an approximate location for a POI, which you would then track down with the SRV’s wave scanner. Obviously this has a continuity issue in that some of the POIs you would expect to be visible. In this case we agreed with the feedback that the continuity/persistence issue outweighed the impetus to use the SRV, so we’ve changed this in the build earlier this week.
Naturally every action has an opposite reaction and this change has made finding the POIs much too easy and so destabilising the gameplay around POIs. As I write this we’re looking into ways to ameliorate this, so we’ll have some further tweaks to balance this in a later build.
Progress has been really good, and as you may have seen, elsewhere, we are releasing next week. We’re now focusing on stability issues and any high priority issues that come up. You can still keep the feedback coming though as we still have the rest of the season to go for further tweaks and changes as well as new content and features both for Horizons and updating Season One.
Putting on my story hat for a moment the sharp eyed amongst you have noticed a story in GalNet about ‘The Missing’. In brief The Missing is an encompassing term for everyone who has disappeared without trace in deep space. This includes colonists on the ancient generation ships, lost colonies, disappeared scientific expeditions and a host of others. Some will know from our timeline that many thousands of ‘generation ships’ left the safety of Earth beginning in the 24th century onwards, and headed out into what was then largely unknown – with just some data from probes to guide them. The process was completely unregulated, and many were not as well prepared as they should have been. In those days when faster-than-light communication didn’t exist, many of these potential settlers faced terrible risks alone, travelling thousands of light years into the black, not unlike the wagon trains that set out across continental US in the 18th and 19th centuries before them. Not all were successful at founding new worlds. Most were not. Some managed to return with tails of their adventures. Some were lost in deep space, the dead hulk of their ship carrying on an almost endless trajectory ever deeper into space. Others managed to land and survived for many decades before being overtaken by some local disaster. Some may still be alive, just restricted to low power light speed communications, or no comms at all, as their equipment has failed over the centuries in between. We say they have disappeared without trace, but just maybe some will find some traces of them that are still out there…
The plight of The Missing is just one of the things that will become more prominent over the coming year and the Commanders of the Pilots Federation will be pivotal in solving these mysteries. You can expect more news on this soon!
Discuss Mike's update here.