February 19, 2013
We have now released V17.6 on Desura, with versions for Windows, Linux and Mac out and ready for download. This is a relatively stable build that has a number of improvements in it, the biggest of which is AI. The aliens will now (finally) act with rudimentary intelligence, which is enough to pose some kind of threat on the battlefield. Future releases will make them more intelligent, but you can now finally play the game. Full patch notes are here, for those interested.
Onto the future – V18 will be beta, and it should be our next build. With the AI in place, we can finally start to test the game like a game. We have now implemented almost everything we need for beta, and are working on the numerous issues with existing parts of the code and working on lots of small polishing things. We’ve properly started work on balancing the game and making usability improvements to the UI, so a lot of long-running gameplay complaints will now be addressed. It’s important the game is at least roughly balanced for the beta and I think that fixing dozens of these little things should together add a huge amount of playability to the game.
Full details of what we’re working on can be found in this thread here if you are willing to brave a wall of text. If you’re not, here’s the key facts:
The new launcher is already done and will be in the next build.
We’re finishing up the new UFOs, which will be the final art to go in the game. We’ve done three of eight so far, and are halfway through the fourth.
The research tree is progressing well and all the key research descriptions are done, though some projects still don’t have them – mostly projects that might be merged with other projects in the future. We’ve done art for about 50% of the research entries and are starting to commission the remainder.
The new UI is proceeding, but slowly. The new Research screen, which is very similar to the new Workshop screen (so implementing that won’t be too hard afterwards), is nearly done. The new UI won’t be in the first stages of beta, but it is still progressing.
Finally, we’re looking into fixing up the tile sorting issues that are giving graphical glitches, as these are causing havoc with the new UFOs. Hopefully they’ll be fixed soon.