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Captain’s diary #17: Roadmap and timeline for Early Access release

Ahoy! Captain Filip here and this time I’m bringing you an update on our roadmap and EA release timeline!


Early Access release timeline

I know that many folks are excited about the EA launch. And we have been getting lots of questions recently on when exactly is that going to happen. We know we have also promised to update our roadmap and I’m going to cover all of this right now.


The first important update is that we have to postpone the launch from the end of March to the mid of May. I apologize to our early supporters for the delay and want to say that postponing EA is not easy for us. Given we are just 2 devs, the amount of work we are pulling for the last year is quite insane. So we personally would be more than happy to launch COI in March and have the pressure go away. However, we want to release COI in the best shape possible. That’s why we guide our launch based on the quality bar and not on a calendar estimate we made 7 months ago without knowing all the work items that might come ahead of time. Also, the version we will launch will be much better than what we have planned initially.


Folks following our development more closely might already know that we have a very ambitious schedule and the updates we were dropping into COI were not small. So far, we have been delivering alpha and beta on schedule and with much more content than we have planned initially. However, EA is a bit different. We can’t afford to perform save wipes as often as we did during the closed versions (hence why we had closed alpha & beta in the first place). So we are trying to lay down all the necessary foundations and features to make sure COI will be awesome.


You might be asking, why don't we just add some of the features later? We would love to, but it’s not that straightforward. Probably the most significant issue of game development is the save compatibility. Once we can’t break save files, it will take us a considerable amount of extra work to implement larger changes and some of them might even have to wait for milestones in which we perform save wipes. We don’t aim to penalize the development of the game just to support 5 years old save files, but at the same time, we can’t do save wipes every 3 months, it’s all about balance. We will do our best to keep compatibility as long as we can.


When we initially designed our roadmap, it contained much less stuff than it includes now. After every closed release, we also spent a month fixing the experience and adding quality of life features that were not initially planned – something our alpha/beta community is probably well aware of. We are very driven by our community and many things added into beta and EA are based on the feedback from our supporters so big thanks to them for the valuable feedback!


Roadmap

We have updated the roadmap on our website, and you can take a look at what we are planning for Early Access. EA will have new features that we originally planned for later, such as recycling, population health system & healthcare, food variety and advanced food manufacture process, contracts, collapsible buildings & retaining walls. We believe it will significantly improve the game’s playability and immersion. In order to squeeze these items in, we had to postpone few tasks such as trees replanting and Tier 4 housing (one of our stretch goals). But these items will be added in our first EA updates. It wasn’t an easy process to figure out what to do and what to postpone and we had to spend some time developing some of the changes to get the idea of how feasible they are.


Mega excavator

I’m also super excited to show you our new mega excavator that was part of our stretch goal that we reached a few months ago. It took us some time to design it and make it work in the game as it is a bit bigger vehicle, but we think it was worth it! This mining beast will have 3 times bigger shovel capacity to increase your mining operation throughput!


Update from the community

Discord user Saimons shared an amazing factory with us. It employs 3705 workers and there is still room and resources for expansion. Take a look at these awesome screenshots that Saimons shared!



And that’s all I have for this update. Thank you for your understanding and I’m looking forward to providing you with more updates on the new content and features in the next blog post.