Sorry for no devblog last week, I decided to spend the time working on some UI issues, like Generators having 10,000 inventory slots.
We’re getting closer to Alpha. We still don’t have an official date, but here’s some last minute things we’ve been working on.
On full-release, you’ll be able to build ships and send out colonists to mine, explore, and scavenge, but you won’t be able to do that when Alpha first releases (because it’s not implemented yet).
There wouldn’t be much of a game if you couldn’t acquire resources.
So we added a little mining drone that you can send out. It returns with random raw resources. Long-term, we’ll re-balance the drone or remove it completely.
Right now the drone requires no fuel to operate, and returns fairly quickly. Our initial testing for Alpha is focused more on colonists and less on the player having a balanced end-game.
On the subject of items, we’ve decided to reduce the amount of items stored in every crate from 100 to 1. This cleaned up the User Interface and makes for a much simpler game experience.
In the old system, a mesh shelf had 400 capacity. This space could be filled up with 125 wheat, 3 mushrooms, 200 water, 8 metal, 1 ice, 1 ore, 1 carrot, and 1 tomato.
A mesh shelf also has 4 visual slots, so of the 8 example items stored in the shelf, only 4 would be visible in the game world.
There’s now a 1 item to 1 crate ratio.
On the UI side, each object can more easily indicate capacity. A mesh shelf, for example, has 4 empty inventory slots. The inventory UI now corresponds exactly to what you see in-game.
Color Changing Tool
We also added a tool that allows you to change the color of placed objects. Previously, you had to delete an object and then place it again with whatever color you wanted.
We’re not sure where to place the color swap button. Maybe on the color selection toolbar?
On the construction side of things, we added “nanobots”. Nanobots automatically construct objects for you, but you have to provide them with the raw resources.
We haven’t implemented any system for colonists to go outside yet, so this is a practical way to allow the player to expand the station. It also solves issues, like how to prevent the player from accidentally building walls around a builder colonist. (You can still purposefully build walls around colonists).
The construction animations on the objects aren’t finished, but here’s what the nanobot looks like when it builds something. Just imagine that there’s a really interesting object being constructed underneath the robot.
We might keep Nanobots in for the release. They’re sort of cool.
By the way, Nanobots can’t repair objects, so you still need mechanics. Our head-canon is that nanobots are dumb and lack the ability to analyze objects and properly fix them.
But When Is Alpha?
We’re still not sure when Alpha will be released. It’s closer this week than it was last week.
We always want to give you a polished experience, regardless of how early you get to play the game.
I know you want to play right now. We want you to play right now, but we won’t release Starmancer before it’s ready.