Dev Update: Singleplayer Mission Update is now live, User Interface and Content update in development!

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We’ve just released V0.9.7.0 and activated the first Singleplayer Mission in the Predestination storyline. You can play this mission after updating your game to 0.9.7.0 by pressing the Singleplayer Mission button on the main menu. In this dev update, we’ll be talking about the Singleplayer Mission system and getting an in-depth look at the mission editing and modding toolset that we’ve built as part of our mission framework. We’ll also discuss the significant improvements to the Robotic race gameplay in this patch, small UI improvements, the Morale/Health/Security V2.0 overhaul, and a slew of other gameplay improvements. Finally, we discuss plans for the next update, which will finish off the remaining dropdown menus, completely overhaul the main menu, add more content throughout the game, and make some much-needed UI improvements.

Read on for a full breakdown and progress report on everything in 0.9.7.0 and details of what’s to come in 0.9.8.0.

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Dev Update: Spying, War AI, Advanced Weapons, Planet Tweaks and more deployed. Singleplayer missions & UI update next!

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For the past few months we’ve been working on some big features and AI upgrades for Predestination, which have now been deployed as Update V0.9.6.0. This update includes the Spying gameplay and its associated technologies, advanced new weapons designed by some of our Kickstarter backers, planetary resource distribution improvements, and a brand new War AI system that intelligently selects targets and wages war against enemy nations. Also included in this update is a revised version of the morale, security and health systems, robotic race improvements, Galaxy AI improvements, and a huge number of bug-fixes and other changes.

This update paves the way for us to start work on the final major features for the game before we are feature-complete: The first episodic storyline mission, mission-modding capabilities, and the unfinished Fleets and Planets dropdown menus. We’re working hard on getting these features complete as quickly as possible and will be deploying them as V0.9.7.0, and after that all we should have left before we’re at the main version 1.0 release is content such as additional races of ship models, more random events and disasters, some new technologies, Kickstarter backer content, and UI improvements. At the same time, we can focus on polishing and iterating based on your feedback and get ready for the main launch and to get started on free post-release updates.

In this dev update, I’ll go into detail on everything in version 0.9.6.0 and talk a little about what’s coming in 0.9.7.0.

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Dev Update: HD planets, New Ship Models, and Victory Sequences deployed. Spying, War AI and Singleplayer Storyline in progress

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In our previous dev update, we showed off the complete overhaul of our 3D ship designer, the Galactic Council that meets to vote on matters of galactic importance, and improvements to the sociology tech tree. We also discussed plans for our ambitious Art Patch (V0.9.5.0), which was to introduce HD planet textures, ship models for several races, a start sequence animation, and victory sequences for the various victory conditions in the game.

The Art Patch took a few weeks longer than expected as we decided to add narration voiceover to all of the victory and start sequences, and adding new races of ship models to the 3D ship designer turned out to be a bigger technical challenge than we thought, but this update is now live on Steam! Since then we’ve implemented all of the core mechanics for spying and have begun writing the storyline for the singleplayer campaign. The next milestone for the Predestination Alpha (patch V0.9.6.0) will include the UI for Spying, add all of the spy technologies proposed in the previous dev update, and a War AI system that will analyse enemy empires for weakness, declare war, and send ships to attack.

Read on for a full breakdown and progress report on of all of this and more.

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Dev Update: 3D Ship Designer Overhaul & Galactic Council now live, Spying and Art patch to come

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The Galactic Council update (Version 0.9.4.0) has now gone live on Steam Early Access, and it’s a big one. The core feature of the patch was the addition of the Galactic Council discussed in the previous dev update and an overhaul of the Sociology and diplomacy technologies. Using feedback from people testing the game recently at Q-Con, we decided to dedicate some time to completely overhaul the 3D ship designer’s mechanics and user interface in preparation for adding the ship parts and designs for the remaining races. This patch also laid a little bit of the ground work for Spying, made improvements to Trade Routes and Commanders, and fixed various reported bugs and crashes.

The Galactic Council and Spying are two features that we had originally intended to hold back for a possible free update or expansion after the main V1.0 release, but after careful consideration we decided to spend the extra development time to make them part of the main game. Competition in the 4X genre has become more intense with the release of several new games with triple-A funding, so it’s even more important for small indie games like ours to focus on making the gameplay as good and complete as it possibly can be.

In this dev update, I’ll discuss the 3D Ship Designer overhaul, the implementation of the Galactic Council, and changes to the Sociology technologies in the recently released V0.9.4.0 patch. I’ll then delve into the details of our plans for the upcoming Art Patch (V0.9.5.0) and tentative plans for the spying gameplay.

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Announcement: Predestination will not be on GOG.com

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Ever since our original Kickstarter campaign, many of you have told us that you would prefer to get Predestination on a 100% DRM-free platform and that your platform of choice would be GOG.com. When GOG recently launched its new In Development section (similar to Steam’s Early Access), we received a number of emails and messages with renewed interest asking if we had heard of this development and whether we would be releasing on it. Troy from 4X community site eXplorminate even wrote an article last year titled “Devs, Want More Money?” in which he expressed bafflement that indies aren’t queueing up to get on GOG:

“What I’m talking about is the tendency of small developers to fixate on Steam while ignoring other perfectly viable downloading services like GOG (formerly known as GoodOldGames.com). I cannot, for the life of me, understand why so many devs ignore this outlet for their games.” — eXplorminate

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Dev Update: Race Stats, Ship Crew, Commanders, Tax Update & Bugfixes

devupdatenovbThis is going to be a colossal dev update, as we’ve been pushing out patches at a much faster pace since the release of the 3D ship designer. In this dev update, I’ll round up all the work that’s been deployed in the last month and a bit, from the deployment of Race Archetypes and Race Stats to the release of Ship Captains and Planet Leaders, and the most recent Tax system update. Then I’ll look briefly at the next steps for Predestination and what you can expect from future patches.

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Website Overhaul: Comments are Back and the Homepage is Pretty!

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We’re super-excited about the new and very-much-improved Predestination website and we really hope you are too! It may take regular visitors a while to get used to our new look, but I think we can all agree that it’s a positive change. We’d received several comments about how dated and clunky the old layout was, so we opted for a much cleaner look that signposts the key information much more clearly for our fans. Read More

Critical Update: Early Access is ready to be rolled out this week!

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As I mentioned recently in a quick progress update on the blog, the Early Access Alpha version of Predestination is now complete. We were stumped for some time by some unexpected bugs, such as the Galaxy AI not colonising planets, some AI races not leaving their home planets or building defenses, and a bug that let you ignore ships and starbases in orbit of a planet and bomb it anyway.

We’ve even had the planet suddenly taking off and chasing ships around the map in fleet combat and user interface elements flying off the screen! Suffice to say, squashing bugs has been priority number one in the studio: we know you are patiently waiting to get your hands on the game.

We’re happy to report that Predestination’s alpha build is now all fixed and ready to go! Read More

Quick update about the Early Access

progressupdateHey guys, I hope everyone had a great holiday and a happy new year! We’ve had a short break over the holiday period and are now back and hard at work getting the Early Access ready for the general public.

I just wanted to drop you all a quick message to apologise for the delay in getting the Early Access ready and to answer a few questions that people have asked us. This delay is my fault as I initially planned to push the Early Access out to beta backers before Christmas and work through the holiday period to get it ready for Steam, but in the end I wasn’t able to fix all the critical bugs before Christmas and ended up taking some days off for the holidays. As I’m the only programmer working on Predestination, the development schedule is very sensitive to any time I take off or any stubborn bugs that take longer than usual to fix.

Before we can release, we have to investigate a fix a few game-breaking bugs that will stop the game from being played properly. The Galaxy AI has mysteriously stopped colonising new planets, for example, and it’s not building combat ships to defend planets. There’s also a bug that lets you bomb an enemy planet while there are ships and starbases in orbit that should be able to defend, and some of the new UIs aren’t exactly working as intended. I’m now working my way through all of these problems and expect to have them resolved within the next few days. Then we have a little extra work to actually get the game into the Steam back-end and ready to test, and we’ll be ready to rock! Read More

Development Update: October 2014 – Research overhaul, bombing, survey ships and more

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Last month I estimated there to be around 180 hours of programming tasks remaining for the Early Access release. Although that estimation proved to be a bit optimistic and other unforseen tasks popped up throughout October, we’ve made a lot of progress toward the Early Access version and are confident that it will be ready for deployment by the end of November.

In October, we completed and began testing on the Planet and Galaxy AIs, implemented a system for bombing planets, added a new survey ship mechanic for pre-scanning planets before colonisation, a Command Points system, and transport freighters. We’ve also added right-click radial menus to cities, infrastructure and buildings, revamped the shipyard screen, added the graphics for each race to the Race Select screen, filled out some of the dropdown menus that were missing in previous test versions, and overhauled the boring old research pane with shiny new graphics that we think you’ll love! Read More