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Dev Diary 24 :: 2016 :: November
Am I the only person who hates the months that get closer and closer to the winter holidays? 

Anyways, November is here, and so comes the first blog of the month.

Not much to say here. I will be having Jay improve a couple other stats in the event to potentially allow alternate builds...nothing major.
The event's end date should be assumed to be Dec 1st, however it could be pushed a few days.

The next event will be a repeat of the old Santa Event, however i'll look at a couple simple changes to make it less of a hassle (less clicking for the snowballs).

Expedition System
I'm really going to have to push things to get the second phase of this feature out by the end of this month, but I do have a good 3 weeks to get moving on this for at least a beta testing version of it. Please don't ask for details as internal testing -> public testing can very quickly lead to major changes, and every time I release tidbits of information, it gets abused and twisted, so on those questions: PASS, lol. Wait for the public testing of the feature and you can judge and go from there.

The first phase (The rehaul to the 'expedition'/ harvester portion) has progressed a lot. The window layout and some art is missing currently as Isael is swamped with a lot of these assets, but this week should be public testing for sure. We are already undergoing internal testing with one person at a time before pushing for public testing.

We're also missing a couple important pieces to this, which includes some new game resources. The purpose of these resources is quite a toss-up, but we'll be testing some things this week before making anything in that regard final. In the meantime you will have access to test the new system in its current state, as mentioned, this week.

Some unorganized points of interest:
  • You will be able to cancel/refund expeditions for fuel
  • Gold can be used to upgrade the Fuel Station. Long-term players...expect to click a lot initially, as the cost starts pretty low to allow younger players this new investment as well. There will not be mass purchasing because it will not be an issue once you hit a formidable upgrade level.
  • You will be able to select more currencies with this system, (likely including entirely new resources to the game)
  • You can fast track expeditions by spending stored fuel (which generally is what will occur if you fall away from IOU for a while)
  • Every ship is individual, and each ship has a: Hull, Sensor, Thusters, Fuel Injector, Extractor, and Drill)
  • You can select between tier 1 and 9 currently, depending on the level of the drill on the selected ship for send-off
  • You can inspect an existing expedition to see how much fuel has been used, and what can be refunded
  • There will be a visual Min and Max amount of resources you can receive (not including bonus resources, or failed expedition)
  • Expedition points will be refunded within a few seconds of logging in when the new system is published. The old system was completely gutted, but you will not lose your hard earned expedition points!
  • The expedition trophy upgrade will reduce the delay on fuel recharges, instead of expedition times
We will likely be changing our payment methods over to XSolla on by December, which will open up a LOT more payment options for users (still includes Paypal), supposedly even supporting subway cards.

Handling payment via Paypal only, and managing it on our end causes a bit of overhead, so this new option is probably one of the best out there for us.

Delegation of Work
Because a lot of the work for newer systems entails placement portions and asset materials, i'll be tackling new features independently for the most part, while having Jay handle an assortment of other items, that way things don't need to sit stagnant and become septic while new features are worked on.

Keep in mind I'm generally the only person who handles client-side work, so some things may need to be delayed in waiting for me to be able to jump on the client-side portions.

In any case, here's some things we have coming up along side the survey-chosen feature:
  • Bingo (Testing should be included with the new expedition system)
  • Private Messages (This requires some UI changes, so there will only be work-around testing coming up in the next week on this)
  • Server Optimizations (Reducing server processing even further to reduce server load, thus, server issues)
  • Fishing Auto-Start after a disconnect (This does not include after a refresh yet - that's the task system)
  • Bug fixes - Plenty on the Trello board, we'll be working to clean that up this month
UI and Asset Rehaul
The art-house claims all the planet monsters & backgrounds, along with UI final touches will be done this month. That means we will work out the rest of the new monsters/backgrounds and work to present the game with a more consistent style & flexibility on devices.

This is a step we've been waiting for internally for a while in order to expand the game's horizons. We expect this will begin in December, parallel to the next voted feature.

I have a ton of new shots I could share, but since it's coming up, i'll save them for next week's blog, or simply provide them in-game.

Good Evening,

Very, very small dev blog tonight, but many of you already know what's going on with the new expedition system.

In any case, i'll point form a few things briefly here and get back to work :-p
  • The first phase of the expedition system is being released this week
  • A couple minor balance changes to the event will be included
  • I've been slacking on getting things rolling with the Community Event, but it's not forgotten.
  • The zone selector and a couple other HUD changes are likely to be made in the next week.
I'll keep in touch through the week in discord if you have any questions/concerns.


Sorry for the delayed Dev Blog. It has been a rather chaotic and busy week on all fronts, and I had a hard time keeping up with it all (still trying).

Anyhow, lets get started with this late post....

Had a couple hiccups on release, including a few bugs. Everyone should have their refunds by now on past-expedition ship upgrades, and we'll be working on cleaning up the bugs this week.

The 2nd portion of the new expedition system is in the works, and I should have a lot more information next week to release. Currently Isael is finalizing all the new player ships.

In the meantime i'll also likely be using some commercial assets for enemies so we can get a head start on things.

Also, over the next while, i've left a LOT of room for expansion with the expedition system (similarly to the Fishing system, but even more so). I would anticipate new currencies and additions to the system as time passes and permits.

I'm having Jay look into the bug where hard mode isn't being awarded and hopefully have a fix very soon for that. Don't worry, you'll get your reward!

Next Month Event
As mentioned you can expect the Santa Event repeat, sometime between Dec 1 and Dec 5th

Black Friday
There will not be anything quite like last year, however I will be adding several new purchasable deal packs that will be available between Nov 24 and Dec 10th.

To repeat, there will just be new deal packs, there will NOT be the old Black Friday Event. While I know some of you were hoping for the chance to take advantage of it, it was simply an oversight on my part last year that lead to a lot of disappointment, among which I can agree. However for those still antsy to get some deals, that will be made available as well.

Community Event
Listat is working out the vote process and that should proceed soon. Hang in there.

What's Next?
The plate is overflowing a bit again but after the 2nd part of the expedition system release, what is next will be up to you. A new survey will be released, and you'll be able to take part in that decision.

Big Grin 
Here are some screenshots of the assets, still in progress. We worked out some windows for the buildings and expedition stuff, one of those is the upgrade station where you can upgrade pieces, hull, sensors, injectors, grabbers, drill, and reactor. The look of the expedition ship is not over yet, so for now have this wonderful UFO placeholder.


 Then come the battleships, i spent the week making some pieces and droids (on top), small ships that would assist the player, providing mainly power-up . Those are not definitive , just some construction made of pieces i assembled differently, i don't know yet what Ray will decide regarding those, as he is in a rush right now.


  Will be working on a new building today, the battle station, we thought of something that could look like an arena or coliseum!

I almost skipped on this dev-blog since it's so close to the end of the month and this last week has been a bit of damage control from the broken balance of the S.O. expeditions, among other issues, leaving little 'new' to announce. I'll still throw some quick notes up:

  • RPG Event is almost over...prepare for the Santa Event. It will be put onto testing with the new upcoming bonuses soon. I'll be gathering ideas/feedback on how to make it less of a click grind and more of a passive event. Date of release is still planned between Dec 1 and Dec 5th. I'll give fair notice.
  • Once I have the new background for the battle arena, further progress will be made on the 2nd portion of the expedition system.
  • Engagement and retention has grown since recent updates, which is a positive stat to have with the consideration of new publishing in the first quarter of 2017.
  • I have pretty much ALL of the new world background/monster assets, which you can expect to be released in December.
I've fallen behind on the 2nd half of expeditions due to all the fixes/changes over the last couple weeks but we're getting back on track. I promise to have a lot more details in the next blog (the monthly).


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