I just published the latest update of Galactic Crew on Steam. So far, there was a 9 minute video teaching the basics of Galactic Crew. With Patch 0.9.0.9 I replaced the video tutorial with an in-game tutorial. This tutorial will guide you step-by-step through the most basic game mechanics. You can still find the video tutorial in the game’s folder, if you want to watch it!
The closed alpha test phase will come to an end next week and many things have been improved or have been fixed in the past weeks. I am very happy for all feedback e-mails I got from the testers and I am really looking forward to the Early Access release at the end of the month!
I am still working extremely hard on improving the game. There are still some bugs to fix and I want to complete some improvements I am currently working on. Then, I will create an in-game tutorial and I will make the game more engaging. For example, all agents will get voices, there will be more visual effects, etc.
I hired a video producer to create a new trailer for my game. The shop site and game build have been approved by Valve for the release on Steam. However, I want to have a new trailer first, before I make the shop site public.
I also produced a tutorial video demonstrating all current features and explaining all gameplay mechanics. This video is included in the latest patch which was made public a few minutes ago.
In order to help users understand the user interface, I added a new context help. By pressing F9 catchy tool-tips pop up showing additional information for all UI elements as shown in an example screenshot below.
In addition, I fixed several bugs and made some optimizations and improvements to further increase the game build’s quality.
Yesterday, I published a new patch of the Closed Alpha of Galactic Crew. Besides some minor improvements and bug fixes, I added more content to the planets! Now, all crew members are able to collect resources like food, medical supplies, firearms, ammo or chemicals from planets. In addition, your crew is able to trade with the merchants you can find in the cities. This content update gives you additional ways to get resources and new chances for a good trade!
I just released patch 0.9.0.4 to all test players including new features and several bug fixes.
I spent most of the working time with the game creation process. A new role/career was added: the merchant. The merchant can do whatever he wants. However, pirates will hunt him down, when he gets too wealthy! I also added the Pilot as fourth officer profession. The pilot has a skill to jump up to two sectors, which makes travelling long distances much faster and it makes it easier to flee from NEMESIS ships. Additionally, I added and implemented seven bonus cards. So far, there’ve been only placeholders. Now, you can further customize your game by selecting proper bonus cards. However, you need to unlock them first! I also changed the selection process of cards. Until now, you had to click on a small button to select a card category. Now, you can select an empty card at the top to select the proper category. I also added more features like moving the camera with the mouse and much more.
Besides the programming, I spent time on Steam’s partner pages to finalize my first build and all shop information. Now, I am awaiting their approvol!
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 spent the last two days on improvements of the graphics engine. As a result of this work, the shadows got way smoother and more realistic than before as you can see on the image below.
I will continue my work on the graphics engine this week and I also want to add a bunch of gameplay improvements.