Weekly Update: #17

The first week after Early Access launch was pretty hectic with a lot of it spent gathering and trying to respond to feedback from players, via the Community Hub, the Discord, Steam Reviews, and the game’s F8 feedback system. Overall, the response has been very positive, with over 90% positive reviews on Steam as of today.

This guy looks annoyed because he didn’t make the Early Access build.

I think it’s a good thing that the most common complaint is the game’s length, which can vary wildly based on play styles. Based on the game’s anonymous analytics, the median game time for a player to first reach the “end content” anomaly is just a hair under 7 hours. This is a bit lower than “Steam” time played because it is simply a record of the in-game time when the player surveys that anomaly and the in-game clock gets rewound when a player dies or loads an older save.

Other significant requests (excluding bugs which were mostly fairly minor):

  • Some kind of “post-content” mode. While the game’s content is growing, numerous players have asked for some play mode that gives them something to do between content updates once they’ve completed the main story. There’s now a dedicated channel for this topic on the Discord.
  • Balance issues. Due to the open-world nature of the game combined with research tree choices, players could find themselves in facing opponents that were too easy or way too hard. That’s mitigated by the fact that players could go off and explore other areas for RP if they were getting crushed, but there are currently a couple of situations where that’s not viable.

Besides consolidating feedback, this week I was able to get back to working on game content, and here’s what I worked on this week:

  • Five new anomalies and their associated images
  • “Deep space” boost to ship speed
  • New race: the Araona
  • Araona ships and special ability
  • Started work on a new side quest

New content won’t appear in game until there’s enough for a beta update. Due to the overhead from testing, etc. it makes sense to “batch” content for these updates in large chunks. I hope to have a new content beta (0.10.0) up in mid-January.

Thanks for supporting Starcom: Nexus and have a Merry Christmas!