Today, we not only unveil the date and release notes of the upcoming Free to Play update, but we already take a peek at what’s next content-wise: a number of big updates dubbed ‘Expanse’!
This week I wrapped up the last issues and tickets for the upcoming Free To Play release! Since it is in most parts a rather technical release without many new features, the release notes are rather short. You can have a look at them at the forums. We decided to make the release notes public one week early since there is also a change for the
BDE market makers.
Besides the Free To Play release, I started to work on the next big release with the codename ‘Expanse’. The Expanse release consists of several sub-features that we will release one after the other. We will go into detail what the release is all about but for now I’ll just briefly explain what the first sub-feature is about: Production Fees!
Eventually we want to give the corporations more control over planets and systems and let them compete over getting that control. Having control over a planet for example will allow the corporation to set (and collect) the production fees that every player has to pay when queuing a production order. Instead of implementing everything at once we will start with the collection of the production fees and only allow the factions to collect them. That way we can make sure everything works as intended and the players will get used to pay a small fee.
The production fees are based on the recipe’s duration, for example: The daily fee is 15NCC. If a production order uses a recipe with a duration of 8h the fee is 5NCC. The fee is calculated when the order is queued and deducted once it starts. A queued production order therefore can only start if the necessary input materials are present and the funds are available. The fee is always using the currency of the governing entity.
Here is a first screenshot of the production fees in the production order screen:
This week I played the manage-it-up game that is running a game studio.
As Michi already described, we’re only days away from our Free To Play release. At the same time, we are preparing for three other projects in parallel:
- The features leading up to Expanse (see Michi’s post)
- Expanse itself
- The overhaul of the material tree for all features included in and beyond Expanse
This means I’m spending quite a bit of time (and stealing Michi’s in the process) to plan work and write concepts.
Meanwhile I started screening and organizing the applications we received. Our ads for a game designer and web developer position have been out for a couple of weeks now and I conducted promising initial interviews.
Last but not least, I continued working on a few items from my “management to-do list” created at our annual team meeting two months ago. So if it feels like I didn’t get any “real” work done this week, it’s because I haven’t ;-)
As you can imagine, the F2P release next Friday has been on my mind all week, and a big part of that, again, has been to get the new awesome trailer ready. Maybe you remember that our FA release trailer took us about 18 months to finish, so doing this one in about three weeks was quite the challenge.
What’s more, it ended up being about twice as long as we anticipated (which is my script’s fault, to be honest), so it was extra difficult for everyone involved to stay within the time frame we set for ourselves. My job has not only been to come up with the concept and contents and provide our amazing motion designer with all the materials and feedback, but also to create the sounddesign and music for it. Our previous (serious) trailer was a lot shorter and more epic, so it was fairly easy to build up and maintain the right level of excitement in the music. This time around, because of the video’s longer duration and more down-to-earth, gameplay-oriented nature, I’ve been having a harder time nailing the music’s dramaturgy. Nonetheless, I’m proud of how it ultimately turned out. I’ll make a little breakdown video for our VIP supporters (planet tier and above) once the F2P stress has died down a bit!
One last thing: Some people have contacted me directly (thanks for that <3), but I would appreciate some replies to the “awesome community stuff” thread. It’s okay to toot your own horn if you did something awesome!