Ahoy! Captain Filip here, welcome to our last pre-alpha Captain’s diary post!
Alpha date set!
We have received many questions on when Alpha is going to happen. We have been a bit reluctant to promise an exact date but we got far enough to be able to announce that alpha will be released on the 16th of September! To help you a bit with keeping a track, we have set up a countdown on our home page :)
You might be curious about what to expect. In case you have followed our diary updates you might have a decent idea already. But the TLDR is that we have tackled all the items in our roadmap and even more! Which is super exciting!!
If you have backed us as Admiral via Kickstarter, we will send you a Steam key via Kickstarter’s direct message. And if you backed us via our website, we will send you an email to the address used in your order. Similar goes for upgrades. Please note that Admiral pledge & Admiral upgrades will be removed by the end of Setember. So there will be a short window to buy alpha pledge after the alpha is out, but due to fraud prevention, the keys delivery will be delayed (meaning you don’t get them on the same day you pledge but several days later). This affects only pledges made around the date when alpha is out.
If you have any issues or questions, please reach out to us via our email. Even though it might not be a usual thing these days, we do reply to emails very quickly and it is much easier for us to sort out any logistics questions right there instead of going over discord DMs. And once again, thank you all who supported us, it means a lot!
Settlements tier 2
During our crowdfunding campaign, many people have asked about settlement upgrades. We had them on our wishlist for some time as well and finally, we got the opportunity to make the new tier 2 for alpha. And we already have a preliminary design for tier 3 that will arrive in Beta.
Turbine changes & flywheel
When watching several press build gameplays we have noticed that some folks were confused with how steam turbines and power generators work. Our power generators don’t waste electricity because our resources in the game are finite (it is also unrealistic as overproducing power would fry the supply grid). However, that means that a steam turbine gets blocked when its shaft reaches max inertia. This was not intuitive to many players. So we redesigned this a bit. Now, turbines by default just waste any extra steam in case the shaft has full inertia. However, the player can research an ability to enable turbines to automatically shut off when their shaft reaches max inertia and later on restart when inertia is low. But given it takes some time before turbines reach 100% utilization, the player needs to build a flywheel that is able to store extra mechanical power to balance these outages and ensure continuous operation. As a side-effect, you can now store moderate amounts of power as inertia energy in fly-wheels to be able to deal with water or coal supply outages (for example when a coal mining excavator decides to go refuel or when your water pump breaks down due to lack of maintenance).
Improved transports graphics
Besides our work on transport pillars presented last time, we have further improved graphics of pillars by adding X-braces. The complexity here was to add them only to places where they don’t collide with other transports going through the pillars. We have also focused on improving transport graphics. We are excited to share a preview of our new pipe tiers that are now much more visually distinct.
Our game has pollution mechanics and things like water shortages. So having a water treatment plant that allows to save water and reduce pollution is a must. It was not easy to squeeze something so complicated as water treatment into one machine but we think we did the job! You can take a look right below. I’m not going to post a video here on purpose so you can actually enjoy the animation & particles on your own right in the game :)
From the videos and streams we have watched during pre-alpha we noticed that the weather was not very visually appealing. We have made some tweaks and sunny days have now a little warmer feel and the rainy days are not as dark, unless there is heavy rain. The rain particle effect was also improved by reducing the rain droplets size and not rendering the rain close to the camera.
And this is it! See you in the next diary update which will come the week right after alpha release as usual :)