Hey 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!
Questions and Answers:
Q: Who gets access to the Early Access?
A. As a thank-you for your patience with us as we get the Early Access ready, anyone who has pre-ordered the game or pledged to a pre-order tier or above on our Kickstarters will get access to it. When we’re ready to go live with the Early Access, we’ll email everyone who’s elligible for access with instructions on how to get it.
Q. How much will the Early Access cost and will it include any extras like the Kickstarter?
A. We haven’t officially settled on a final price for the Early Access, but to be fair to existing backers it must be more than or equal to the Kickstarter pre-order tiers or standard pre-order price. Anyone buying into the Early Access will be getting a standard pre-order with none of the bonus extras from the Kickstarter. We might start selling some standalone upgrades like naming a star or ship crew member later during Early Access, and if we do we’ll charge the same as we did on Kickstarter. As we’ve previously promised, the Free DLC For Life offer will not be offered again as this was an exclusive bonus only offered while we were on Kickstarter.
Q. Do I need to use Steam to get into the Early Access?
A. No, while Steam is the preferred platform and the Early Access will be released on it, it won’t be the only way to get it. We’ll give everyone details of DRM-free delivery methods and how to keep your game updated if you use them when the early access goes live. Now that we have access to the Steam developer back-end, we can see that Steam offers some useful tools for keeping players up to date with the latest version of the game, helping with feedback and crash reporting, and keeping as much of the game community in one place as possible.
Q. Do Beta backers get anything extra now that we’re entering Early Access?
A. Beta backers will continue to get access to major updates shortly before anyone else, including beta access to all DLC packs, the 3D Ship Designer tool, and any modding and mission designer tools we create. In order to make sure all Beta tier backers from our Kickstarter campaigns got good value for money, we deliberately added a second bonus pre-order copy of the game to that tier. As we recently announced, we’re also upgrading that copy to a full free-dlc-for-life copy as our way of saying thank-you for helping us refine the gameplay up to this point.
Q. What features will be in the Early Access or missing from it?
A. For the EA launch, we’ll publish a full report of all the features that are in the EA and those that are missing from it in order to manage expectations correctly. Some of the missing features will be released throughout the early access, some will be delivered after final release in a free update, and a small few we may have to cut from the game. We’ll give a rough timeline for each promised feature’s development in terms of a version number milestone, and will start to keep a live updated development timeline graphic so everyone can keep track of how far along we are toward each milestone.
It’s going to be a great year for Predestination, with the Early Access followed by several months of iteration and adding promised features until we’re ready for full release. And it won’t stop there, because we have plans for post-launch DLC, free updates and at least one game expansion over the coming year. Predestination is quickly becoming the game that we at the office have been dreaming of playing since Master of Orion III flopped back in 2003, and we’re so excited to have made it this far in development with your help!
— Brendan, Lead Developer