This week, among many other things, Martin added starting profiles and Michi reduced the amount of materials that can be bought from NPCs. The reason: We want to make the second round of our closed alpha test way slower than the previous one, forcing players to trade! As always, find all the details below!
We have a super-long week-end ahead of us because next Tuesday and Wednesday are holidays in most parts of Germany. For this reason we decided to make sure that we can launch the second round of the closed alpha tests this week so people had time to play on their days off (remember that we’re still in the “Friends & Family” phase of testing, so most our testers are local).
So my top priority this week was to get the new profile selection ready. So far, players all started with the same set of ships, material and equipment. But one of the main goals for the second test is that we want to force players to trade and interact. So now everyone has to pick a profile that only provides them with a certain subset of materials and initially no single player is self-sufficient. At the moment, the selection screen (which is part of the company creation/sign-up flow) looks like this:
This is mostly a placeholder and will evolve over time to become more visually pleasing and to provide more information for players that are entering the game for the very first time.
The rest of the week (and parts of the week-end) I mostly spent on various smaller improvements, like adding a balance sheet component, fixing a bunch of bugs and similar stuff.
One of the most criticized things during the first alpha test was that there is no way to determine what a building produces until it is built and the other way around: It was not clear what reactor was necessary to produce a given good. While we always wanted to have some kind of information system to display these dependencies we never managed to actually implement it.
So, since the second test began this week I implemented two new commands!
MAT <ticker>displays any material’s basic properties like category, weight, volume and resource. But it doesn’t stop there. It also shows how the material can be produced and where and in which other goods the material is used as wrought product.
REA <ticker>displays any reactor’s properties: the material that is necessary to setup the building, the workforce needed and a list of all products it is able to produce, including their input materials.
The two commands still miss a bit of polish and no descriptions have been written yet, but it should suffice for the current test.
Speaking of which, I also was busy setting up the second alpha test. This included tweaking the existing materials and production chains a bit and creating a new universe to play in.
As always, we’d love to hear what you think: join us on the forums!