Right, so, time for a big update.
January was spent completing a lot of tasks that needed to be done before the single player content of 1.0 was ready, plus the usual collection of bug fixes.
0.9.9 is coming out soon, and it’s got some big stuff.
It will likely sit on the beta branch for a bit, but here’s what’s coming:
- Mod Support
This is quite simple, and will need some testing, but people who have been modifying the game’s raw .txt configuration files or replacing .png assets can now do so we stand-alone mods. Much like you’d expect, a mod folder will take priority when loading files.
There is no in-game scripting language so just what can be done is a bit limited for now, but new scenarios, new sectors, new stories, new modules, new components - more or less anything that’s done purely with data - can be put in place.
Other features for mods will be coming soon.
- LAN Multiplayer
This is a big one. We’ve been working on it for months, testing it and ensuring all the important aspects of the game data is accessible via a network protocol.
It is built for co-op, adversarial and even complicated scenarios, but we’ve tried not to lock ourselves out of any potential future use, so depending on its popularity and how people play it, other features may come.
It runs with a dedicated server (for now at least) which works at present on Windows and Mac, and gives you a direct connection screen (a LAN server browser is coming soon).
It’s still early days, but anyone who wants to jump in early will be able to do so from the next build on with a simple configuration file command.
For the inevitable question: it could in theory work over the internet, but due to the complex nature of how the simulation syncs data, there’s no latency compensation at the moment, meaning it might be a bit slow over a high-latency connection of any sort.
So for now we are calling it LAN play.
We’ve almost got linux binaries working. We hope to have them fully tested by 1.0, but at the very least native binaries will be in open testing soon for folk who up to this point have had to run it through WINE wrappers.
- And finally…
So, for the rest of this month those features will be tested, and we’ll be on bug fixing and polish mode.
And as a final note: development is not going to stop at 1.0.
We still have a HUGE list of features we’d love to add, including a lot of great suggestions by players we’ve received during early access, beyond what we’ve been able to implement so far.
Thanks to everyone who’s played so far!
And now, back to more working on this next update…