Sorry that we've been so quiet on social media. We haven't "left town" or anything. We've just been working on Starmancer.
Posting on social media takes a lot of time. You have to come up with something interesting to post. Create the something interesting. Write a good caption. And then stick around and engage with whomever responds.
In all, it probably takes around an hour or more to do each post
Instead of that, we've decided that we'll do weekly or bi-weekly blog updates right here. This will keep everyone in the loop (who wants to be) and it won't take too much time away from Starmancer development.
The intent of these posts are to answer, "what have you people been doing these past X weeks?". So here it is.
We've created all of the survey questions. We'll be using BackerKit to actually handle the surveys, so don't mark them as spam if you see a message from them.
Our page is currently being reviewed by BackerKit. Once it's finished, we'll be sending out the surveys. We'll post an update on Kickstarter before we send them out.
You'll be able to upgrade your pledge, select extra add-ons (nothing too exciting), and use excess Kickstarter funds (if you overpledged).
"Design a colonist" isn't included in the survey, because we're still adding new hair styles. We want to wait until you have all of the customization options.
We've also been setting up a late-backing store. You can use either PayPal or a credit card. We've reduced the prices of some items for Kickstarter Backers, so just wait until we send out the surveys to buy anything.
Late backing will end in about 2 weeks. Around the middle of April. You'll always be able to pre-order the base game, though.
Several of you asked about a mailing list, so we created one. You can subscribe to it directly from our website, here.
We'll use the mailing list whenever something important comes up, like Alpha release. We'll also post everything important on social media, so don't worry too much about subscribing.
We're in the process of adding a roadmap to our website. This will show you exactly which features we're working on and which features (we hope) will make it into the Alpha, Beta, and Release.
The roadmap will probably change occasionally. We'll sometimes re-prioritize or completely remove features.
It will (maybe) be finished sometime this week. We're trying to figure out the best way to visually display it.
I said that I'd tell you everything, so here you go.
We use unit tests for Starmancer. Unit tests are an automated way of testing our code and ensuring that nothing breaks (to be brief).
Unit tests in Unity take a long long time. Specifically, they seem to perform around 60 tests per second, regardless of which computer we're on. We have over 2500 unit tests, so the unit tests are taking over 40 seconds to run (this is a long time when you're running them once every 10 minutes).
Even a blank test takes around .0167 seconds.
Anyway, I've been converting the unit tests to run in a 3rd party tester. This has taken some time, but it's mostly finished now. It's one of those things that you can't take a screenshot of and show off on Twitter.
Music and Sound Effects
We've also been figuring out exactly what type of music we want in the game, including the feasibility of changing music based on in-game events. Ideally, the music would serve to enhance the overall experience instead of being "background noise".
We've also been testing out which types of sound effects will have. We would like some machines to have ambient noises, for example, but we had to test out how various sounds would combine together.
There's also the issue of playing sound effects when you have a bird's eye view of the game. We obviously can't play all of the ambient noises for everything that you can see, because your ears would bleed. Our idea is that we'll play more sound effects the more zoomed in you are. So that zooming in will provide you with extra visual and audio detail.
We've added a new programmer to the team!
This has taken up the majority of our time since the Kickstarter ended. We've had to familiarize him with how the game is setup and give him an overview of our plans for development.
His name is Evan and you've probably seen him on the Discord (he's currently a moderator). We've known him for quite some time. He actually made the Discord bot for us.
Here is a pixelated version of his face.
His face looked too cool. So I complained until Victor made me look cooler.
I might as well show off Victor's pixelated face too. Victor is maybe 32 years old, but in this image he looks 12. You'll have to ask him about it.
Is that it?
I think that's everything. Everything interesting, at least. We also had to do some bank stuff and legal stuff. We paid taxes on Kickstarter money. We figured out how to best send money to the great country of Sweden. You know, all of the exciting stuff that you have to do when you sell something.
Since you read this, have an invite to the Discord server. I (Tyler) keep it muted so that it won't distract me while I'm working. I gloss through it, but I'm very chatty, and I'd get too distracted if I talked to everyone.