We may have been a bit silent for the past few months, but rest assured, it was for good reason This dev diary's topic is about the new and free! 1.5 major update; the improvements and what it brings new to the table.
Let's explore some of the major changes of 1.5 Beta, and later on you can check out the details of the update and try it for yourself and offer your feedback to the Devs!
New Galaxy Shapes
This was a highly popular feature request by the community, and it finally makes it in for 1.5. On top of the squarish shape the game offered, we now also have Elliptical, Ring and Spiral-shaped galaxies!
It's nice and pleasing to the eye to see different galaxy shapes, but even more interesting are the new gameplay dynamics that should emerge from the different galaxy map configurations. More interesting terrain with clusters and whole sectors will now be formed, much further apart from each other. This is usually the case with Ring galaxies (big hole in the middle) or Spiral galaxies (loose arms and further distances between stars).
Steam Cloud Saves
Yep, it's now possible to save your game on one of your devices and continue on a different one. Long overdue feature, that was also a popular request. Well, it's in now. Enjoy switching from PCs and continue your epic adventure through the stars!
Automated (Auto-assigned) Infrastructure
This one comes to the rescue of some of that heavy micro that could happen on late-game, especially on very large game sessions, where it was not uncommon to have to choose from half a dozen or more colony infrastructure specializations on a given turn.
With this new feature, you'll be able to auto-assign infrastructure specializations for your colonies in one go and forget about it. This will be particularly useful in late-game for newly founded colonies, or ones acquired through invasion, especially in the larger galaxies.
The way it works is that you'll be able to set an automatic upgrade profile for each colony (e.g. develop planetary engineering first and then ship building, etc). This way, every time the colony upgrades its infrastructure it will level it up according to the profile you've set.
Ship Idle Alerts
We have received many requests for implementing some sort of "ship idle" notification system that could warn the player of ships sitting around without orders, which could be left hanging somewhere and remain "idle" for many turns, especially civilian ships.
An example, a survey ship arrives on a system and is not immediately sent on a new mission; it could be forgotten in that system for some turns. An outpost ship or a colony ship arrive at their destination and no settlements could be established at that time. The same for support ships and even assault ships.
To help keep track of this, a new "ship idle" notification will now be presented every time a civilian ship arrives at a system and there is no obvious action possible or set for it. The idle alerts will only be displayed once per ship and per turn they arrive at a system and become idle.
Last of the major new improvements, but not the least, it's always a good thing to have to increase engagement and excitement: improved AI, particularly on the way the AI designs their ships and uses them in combat. And, more efficient leader management by the AI.
The AI now designs their ships with three distinct roles in mind: close-range attacker, long-range attacker, and a general defender or multi-purpose warship. Each role will tend to equip different and specialized equipment, from weapons, and respective weapon modifications, special systems which will lead to new tactics.
These new roles result in (we hope) much improved performance in combat. Examples: Ships with missiles or strike craft may stay behind for a while, while close-attacker heavy armor ships may go for the kill with their armor and shield piercing weapons. Certain AI race affinities will prefer some roles to others.
The AI will also make smarter choices with respect to improved maneuverability opportunities (resulting in more speed, accuracy and evasion capabilities), and will be more sensible regarding the miniaturization level of the weapons it equips (e.g. a state-of-the-art weapon may not be the best choice, a highly miniaturized weapon may be better).
Also, the AI does a better handling of their leaders now. It will bring them more for key battles (especially invasions in the higher difficulties), while trying to improve their survival rate.
All of this should help make for more immersive and exciting combat. It does seem to be the case, but let us know what you think.
I Want To Try It and Provide Feedback!
Excellent! We're looking forward to it!
As of posting of this dev diary, the 1.5 Beta update should be live on Steam.
Please note that the 1.5 Beta is an optional beta update. You have to manually opt in to access it.
In your Steam library, right click on Interstellar Space: Genesis -> Properties -> Betas tab -> select the "unstable - Unstable Beta Branch for Testing" branch. The game will update and you'll be able to start playing with the new additions and improvements.
For GOG, in GOG Galaxy choose the ISG game card, then Options -> Manage Installation -> Configure -> Beta channels -> Select 'Add private channel' -> Insert password: betatesting and then select the "unstable" beta channel, which will be available from the channel's dropdown. The game will update and you'll be able to start playing with the new additions and improvements. To return to the version of the game currently in production you just need to revert to 'Disabled' beta channel on GOG or 'None' in the betas tab on Steam.
Version 1.5 Beta - Full Release Note
See the full patch notes here.
Compatibility note: Saves from previous versions are not compatible with 1.5 Beta.
We will be monitoring your reports for bugs in the next few weeks and fixing them. Please report them in our Steam forums, official forums, on our Discord server, or if you prefer just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (or contact form here) with a save and the Player and Player-prev log files you can find in this folder: C:\Users\<your_username>\AppData\LocalLow\Praxis Games\ISG
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the new 1.5 Beta update! Let us know if you find any issues.
The Dev Team