Approaching Infinity has reached all my requirements to be considered “Beta”!
All of these systems have been added: Officers, Crafting, Speed, Shipyard, Identify, Victory! They are not in their final states, but they are there, and functional. The screenshots below are still prototypes, and awaiting feedback and better graphics. Beta begins January 31st. All the Play testers will receive it, and it will also go up on itch.io for early access! There will also be a new public demo of the game available, but with a 5-sector limit. That’s enough time to decide if you want to see more of the game, without giving too much away.
Here is an overview of each of the new systems in the game:
Officers can be hired at stations. Each one has an area of expertise, like tactical, engineering, navigation, etc. They gain XP by performing actions related to their field (right now just randomly over time.) You can level them up to learn new skills. Skills provide bonuses to your various stats and abilities. For now, officers can’t be killed. But it won’t stay that way 😉
Each space station has one kind of ship for sale. The further you go in the game, the better ships you will find. A sector 50 Assault Scout will be about twice as good as the starting ship, and it just keeps going! There is even a new kind of ship available, the Cruiser!
The identify system is used for those mysterious Firaxughinian Artifacts you may have found. Up until now, you’ve always been able to see what they do. That was never the intention! You have to use your brain (yes your actual human brain!) to figure out what they do. Are their effects positive or negative? Do they effect supplies, speed, reputation, or scan range? Use deductive reason, or blind luck. Success will be rewarded, failure will be punished. (There will be other ways to ID them in the future, like using data, or taking them to a certain race.)
Speed is a measure of how long it takes you to do one action. Every time you move, everything else gets a chance to move too. Bats and Tentaculon Explorers are pretty fast, while Cyclops and Pirate Galleons are very slow. Each player ship is rated for speed, and that is effected by your equipment. The landing party also has speed, and is effected by its equipment.
There is now a special Beta-Only victory condition in the game. It is very rogue-like, and you will enjoy it! Visit a planet in sector 20 to begin your quest to victory! This quest won’t be in the final game.
Crafting is one of the most complex systems in the game. Components and devices are made from “parts”. Parts can be found, bought, or salvaged from other devices. To build something new, you need enough of the right parts, and you need to know the schematic (“Recipe”). To learn the schematic of something you don’t know, you can experiment in the Lab. The lab lets you take various parts, stick them together, and see if any of them fit. Eventually, you can discover new schematics this way. Have Fun!