This Alpha release is a compromise. We really wanted to publish the new mission on Magni and already postponed the release one week. But we still didn't manage to finish it.
Nevertheless we felt that it's time to release all the other stuff we have added - the new research system, the field navigation and a lot of small enhancements. We will publish the next release as soon as Magni is ready. This will be the case in two to three weeks.
In addition we have updated the demo to reflect all changes made since Alpha 10 - which is a lot!
Magni (without mission)
The mission is not finished yet, but the planet itself is. So we made it available through the competition and free play modes. You need to finish the Bora mission to unlock it, though.
The new research system is grouped in 12 categories like infrastructure, agro technology and physics. Within these categories you can research 3-4 chunks that each cost a single fund. Some chunks only consist of researching a new tool (like mining) other chunks research technology that allow you to develop new upgrades for your buildings. Important: Whenever you load an old savegame you will have to reselect the research. To make this a bit faster you can keep the mouse button pressed when clicking a chunk and release it on the okay button.
The navigation mode now comes with a tool to highlight different field types. Enter the navigation mode by selecting the compass icon on the bottom center or by pressing the space key. On the left site you can now select the different categories you now from the sandbox build ring. Choose a ground type or building type to highlight the according fields on the planet. In addition the total number of fields will be displayed.
Imagine Earth now uses a hardware cursor. This is a small enhancement, but it finally ends the feeling of the game being really slow at times. That's it. Have fun and let us know how you like the new research. And stay tuned for Alpha 16 at the end of this month.