New Drones, UI Improvements & Cinematics Teaser
We hope you all had a good start into the new decade (heated discussion on the internet if it is, but according to Wikipedia it is). 2019 was super intense for us, but with another successful Kickstarter under our belt, we could not be more excited about all the great things we have in store for all of you. Thanks again for trusting and supporting us. Seriously, we mean it.
In this January 2020 update, we’ve got cool new drones, hot UI improvements, and some scalding concept art pieces for you to look at. But before we move on to those, we’d like to give you an update where development of the Early Access version is currently at and how the Prototype was received by some four thousand test pilots and the press.
Given the positive feedback, we had received on the early demo version at various gaming conferences, we were quite optimistic about releasing the Prototype out in the wild. However, letting our superfans take it for a spin on all sorts of hardware setups and without us being able to watch over your shoulders is another thing, so we’re extremely happy that we have received nothing but overwhelmingly positive feedback from you guys and the gaming press alike. Anyone who missed out on pledging on the Prototype, go check out the #gallery channel on our Discord! There are some truly amazing screenshots from the community as well as yet another awesome fanvid from lol_bye on our YouTube channel:
While the Prototype has been out for a bit longer than a month, we’ve been busy cracking on the Closed Alpha, which is still scheduled to be rolled out to eligible backers around the end of April. We’re making good progress on creating the game world and implementing the main missions. We already had a lot of fun during the first internal playtest last Friday and plan to share some gameplay footage in future development updates for your viewing pleasure.
If you have played the original EVERSPACE you may have noticed that drones were more of a ‘thing’ than in any other (space) game. Due to our limited budget back then, we could not afford to create a plethora of high-detailed enemy spaceships. However, having a lot of opponents with a broad range of behaviors was paramount to keep things interesting, especially for a roguelike. So, coming up with many types of different drones was the way to go.
While we now have a bigger budget for EVERSPACE 2, we still like the concept of throwing even more enemy types with all sorts of capabilities at you while keeping our production costs at bay. So, without further ado, say hello to our latest drone family members:
The Outlaw Sniper Drone uses a targeting laser to focus on enemies from afar. If the line of sight is not interrupted for a couple of seconds the target will be hit by a deadly rail gunshot. If you are quick enough you may be able to evade the shot, but your main strategy should be to take cover before the drone fires. Close in on the drone while avoiding being in the open for too long in order to take it down or turn the tables and snipe it with a rail gun yourself.
This drone is packed with devastating explosives, and it only has one goal: to close in on a hostile unit and crash into it, triggering a huge explosion. Luckily, the Detonator Drone is quite noisy once it settles for a target, so you will at least hear that it’s about to annihilate you if you do not initiate countermeasures immediately.
UI Improvements & Additions
In our previous update, we already had a sneak peek of some UI tweaks for item management. Today, we are excited to share even more improvements as well as some entirely new screens with you.
A top-level screen that offers specific menus depending on the pilot’s specific docking situation. It serves for quick navigation for both mouse and gamepad users. You can see at a glance which interactions and services are offered.
Storage and Inventory are now separated for more clarity and better item management. There is also a revised Item Info window with current stats showing more details than before.
Some stations or traders will offer to purchase ships. This interface was designed to have maximum screen real estate for showing off your new object of desire in all its beauty. Ship details are available in two modes, simplified and detailed. This is the simplified version.
The job board is a job board is a job board. Pilots can get jobs here, who would have thought? The purple highlight marks jobs that are above the player’s level and therefore potentially difficult. On the right side, you can see the rewards for the job as well as a small preview of the standing of the respective faction you’re doing the job for.
Similar to the inventory screen, you can modify your ship on this screen and view the vessel’s properties. However, elements such as upgrades, extensions, appeal, and perks are still subject to change. Again, ship details are available in two modes: simplified and detailed. This is the simplified view – take it with a pinch of salt.
Another area where we had to make some compromises for the predecessor because of budget limitation was lore and storytelling. That said, we still take pride in having innovated by introducing a proper story campaign including event-based exposition to the roguelike genre for the first time ever. We highly encourage any space pilot to play through the very end of the story in the original EVERSPACE as there is more to its plot as you might think at the beginning.
Thanks to your fantastic support, we are now able to work with Joshua Rubin, some of the finest in video game storytelling, to tell an even bigger story within a world full of exciting lore in EVERSPACE 2. Of course, we don’t want to unveil any secrets or spoil major plot points, but we think it is ok to tease you a little with some gorgeous looking concept art for the cinematics, right?
See you online later today,
your dedicated ROCKFISH Games Team