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Captain’s diary #8: Transitioning from Alpha to Beta

Ahoy everyone, Captain Marek speaking, and this week I’d like to tell you how we are transitioning from Alpha to Beta stage.

Alpha progress

The Alpha launched 5 weeks ago and so far it is a huge success for us in terms of getting quality feedback from our players. Especially from discussions on Discord, from our suggestions tracker, and from bug reports on GitHub. Thanks everyone for playing and telling us about your experiences!

Since the Alpha launch, we have deployed 14 larger patches that not only fix issues but also add new features to make the alpha experience better for everyone (the list of key changes is summarized at the end of this post).

Oil refinery by ‘Wilm4RRrr Butzen’ that processes 384 crude oil per minute! In his own words: “I love this game for the refineries you can build 😄 dunno if i still get enough crude input though”

Transition to beta

While we still have a long list of features and issues to add, we decided to start tackling larger tasks. Unfortunately, it would be technically too hard and time-consuming to keep all new features backward compatible, so we have stopped the Alpha updates and for the last week we have been laser-focused on the Beta.

Construction parts production setup posted by Azanek with a nice and future-proof layout that can be extended as requirements for more construction parts increase over time.

This also means that Alpha saves won’t be loadable in Beta. We do take backward compatibility seriously and we understand that some of you might be missing the option to keep playing your alpha factories, so we will keep the Alpha build as a separate branch on Steam just in case you’d want to load an old save at any point in the future.

We are also redesigning several production chains for the beta. We are introducing products like sulfur and limestone. We have found several ways to introduce these things in a fairly gradual way without making the game too complex. Oil processing is also getting a significant overhaul. And we are working on new machines. Below you can see our new boiler family.

New boilers ready to create some steam for you in Beta! From the left: Mr. Coal, Sir Gas, Lord Electric.

Update from the community

Our community, especially on Discord, keeps amazing us. This time I’d like to highlight the work of Yandersen who is not only building amazing factories but also figured out that a connector can be used to sort products! Something that I was not aware of!

Screenshot from jacklockwood who used Yandersen’s idea to sort a mixed conveyor of three products to separate storages. This works since the connector will attempt to send a product to all connected ports one-by-one, but only storage with a matching product will accept it.

Another thing that players figured out is that conveyors will effectively function as a wall that prevents overburden from falling down into the mine, allowing them to mine deep without restrictions. This will be fixed in beta, so enjoy while you can :)

Transport exploit used by Yandersen to mine down without overburden falling in. Also, notice the iron ore mountain storage in the back!

Patch notes highlights

Here is a list of key changes over the past two weeks (for full changelog see patch notes here):

  • Improved clone tool for the ability to do rotation and flip.

  • Added search functionality to all the build menus where you can search for machines, buildings, and transports.

  • Added fuel station tier II with increased capacity refueling speed. Also improved and fixed fuel stations refueling logic, for example, when a truck delivers fuel to an excavator it also gives any leftovers to nearby excavators.

  • Added truck assignment to storages. Players can also decide if the assigned trucks should be used exclusively to serve that particular storage.

  • Improved terrain rendering to not cause lags when there are many terrain updates, for example when there are many operational mines.

  • Added tile validation overlay during construction to aid with building placement. It shows what tiles have placement issues and color-codes them based on their constraints (e.g. blue for ocean).

Example of the new tile validation overlay while building a cargo depot.

And that’s it for today’s update. Thanks for reading and see you around! Captain Marek out.


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