I am currently working on the game’s update for Saturday, which will bring new elements like a shipyard where you can buy new spaceships. New spaceship weapons will be added to the game and looted weapons will have a rarity ranging from common light laser turrets to epic heavy particle laser turrets that penetrate shields.
However, you may have noticed that the game updates itself during the week. I got some bug reports this week and I solve those bugs as soon as possible and publish the patch immediately on Steam. There might not be an update news about the fix, but all fixes are listed in the week’s regular update news. I did some extensive testing with over 70 alpha testers this summer, but some bugs kept hidden until now..
For the past three month we ran a very successful test phase. The result and feedback of this phase was extremely positive! Now, I am proud to announce that Galactic Crew is available on Steam!
The game starts in an early access phase that will last at least six months. There will be new content updates on a weekly or two-weekly basis. If you are interested in the latest updates, you can have a look at our update news on Steam or on this site here.
The update next will bring a lot of new content including shipyards where you can buy new spaceships, more weapon turrets to arm your ships, more stuff to loot and item rarity which give you the chance to find super rare weapons!
If you encounter any bug or if you have a question, contact me!
Sound & Music
This patch focuses on sound and music. I added multiple new music tracks for combat and non-combat events to provide more variety. In addition, background music has been added to the main menu. The sound effects of laser weapon turrets were replaced by better sound effects. The volume of all music tracks and sound effects (over 200 in total) have been adjusted to improve the audio quality. I was also able to solve some audio-related bugs which are listed below.
Several new spaceships are currently in development. This week, I integrated the first two new spaceships. You can encounter them as merchants, scientists or pirates. They are currently not available as player ships, but they will be playable soon.
Renaming crew members
All crew members start with a random name. Now, you have an additional button in each crew member’s tool bar to rename him/her!
When you are in the game creation menu, you can return to the main menu by pressing the Escape key.
- On some computers, the sound of the laser weapon turrets only came from the left speakers. This has been fixed.
- The “click” sound was missing when the player used the “promote” or “kill” option from a crew member’s tool bar.
- The narrator does not report the victory and the destruction of an enemy ship’s component at the same time any more. These overlapping sounds could sound weird.
- Two character voice overs were corrupted and contained too much text.
- Multiple dialogs could overlap each other. The dialogs still worked, but it looked strange.
- When maximizing the game into fullscreen mode during combat, the enemy ship’s status panel was not moved to its new location.
- When maximizing the game into fullscreen mode the reward list’s screen location was not correctly updated.
A week ago, the Closed Alpha test phase started. Two bugs were reported on the first, which were solved immediately. No problems were reported after that, which is a great success for me!
Yesterday, the third patch was released for the Closed Alpha test version, which included two new languages: Spanish and Russian. I also hired someone to proofread all in-game texts, because I am no native English speaker and I want to make sure the game is flawless in every way.
Valve successfully validated my business and tax information and I will create Galactic Crew’s Steam page this week.
I will also do some improvements on the AI and I will add all missing achievement mechanics, including a new character profession.
With the upcoming alpha test phase next week, I spent the last days with optimizing the and testing code to further improve the performance and to make everything works smooth.
I also spent some time with looking for alpha testers. So far, I found several dozen people who are willing to test my game. I can’t wait for their feedback! ^_^
Today, I used some of my working time on updating the website. I updated the FAQs, added a full press kit and updated information in the legal notice section.
In the next days, I will add the few missing features and playtest the game by myself to make sure there are no major bugs before starting the alpha tests!
I am currently looking for alpha testers! If you want to test the game, please send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will get an e-mail as soon as the alpha testing phase starts (in around 1-2 weeks) with a download link and your serial key! This key is valid during the entire alpha test phase which will last around 4 weeks. The most helpful testers will be rewarded with a key of the final product! All testers will be listed in< the credits of the game!
In the last days, I spent a lot of time testing the game and I also looked for flaws or things that need to be improved. While analyzing the core routines, I found a way to optimize the render process, which resulted in a lower processor usage. While idling, the game uses only half as much CPU time as before.
Some the features I improved was the selection of a crew member or an officer. While the selection itself worked perfectly fine, I disliked the way how the selection was displayed. Therefore, I replaced the last technique with a thin blue circle. The selected character is easy to spot and it looks way better than before.
Another graphical task I solved this week are space stations. The mechanics of space stations inlcuding trade, retrofitting, etc. works, there was no actual model showing a space station. Now, you will see a space station as soon as you enter a solar system that has one.
Besides the things listed above I also did many other small tasks, like adding tool-tips to the tool bar and to several menus. I improved the balancing and solved a set of bugs that I found during testing and more.
I am very happy with the game and I am confident that I can start the Alpha testing phase very soon.
I want to start a closed Alpha phase in August and I am working hard on solving the last remaining problems and on adding new content, which is required for starting the Alpha test.
I did some tests with friends of mine and noticed some codec issues with older versions of Windows. Therefore, I had to write my own file converter to convert between DDS DXT5 textures and the texture format I am using in my game engine. Luckily, I was able to solve this task within a day.
I also added some minor features, which are important for the game experience, like a small main menu in the game so you can quit the game, go back to the main menu, open the settings, etc. While developing these features, I noticed a few minor issues that were solved immediately!
I also worked on the ships’ crew members. Now, it is possible to kill them, if you want and you can also promote them to one of the officer roles: Pilot, Medic, Engineer and Soldier. I also added a lot of game logic into the game. For example, it must not be able to retrofit a ship so that you don’t have enough living space for your crew and officers.
On Sunday, I will start the visual improvements on the laser effects!
Do you want to become an Alpha tester? Write me an email!
I spent the entire week on the game’s first trailer. The result is linked below.
Now that the trailer is finished, I will use the next few weeks to polish the current state of the game and implement some missing minor features. The plan is to release a free demo version by the end of the month!
I wish everyone a happy new year! I hope you had a great 2016 and looking forward to an amazing 2017! This year will be very exciting for me with the upcoming release of this video game project: I will provide more information and screenshot during the next weeks. Stay tuned!