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ORBITAL DROP | Patch 0.3: Mulitplayer, skirmish mode, design changes, map generator and more!

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Dear commanders,

We are joyous to share the latest orbital drop with you today and we hope it improves your time on Shoal. We are introducing brand new systems for you to make managing your regions and supplies smoother which should help you crush any remaining life forms on the planet. For the first time, you can now call in support in the form of other Commanding Officers who can help, or hinder, your efforts.

The 111th Reign of Harmony and Prosper are working hard to iron out any issues you may have as well as improve functionality in the near future.

Thank you for your continued efforts,

The Exec

Online MultiplayerWe’ve now got online multiplayer! You can now play multiplayer on one of our 1v1 or 2v2 maps or create your own scenarios to play on. See below after the patch notes to find out how.

To start an online match:

  • Click ‘Multiplayer’ > then click the map you want to play on
  • This will create a new lobby, with the map settings you can adjust
  • To join a match, click ‘Multiplayer’ and then ‘Join’, to see a list of all active lobbies
  • Click the lobby you want to join
  • When you first join/create a lobby, you won't be in a player "slot" yet - to join a slot, click the "Join" button
  • Once you're in a slot, click the "Ready" button (you can't start a match until all player slots are full and everyone has readied up)
  • Only the creator of the lobby can click "Start Match"

Please note:

  • Players playing need to both have the same map on their local machine
  • Players will both need to own the game on Steam
  • Currently the end game flow to multiplayer isn't fully ironed out and if one player leaves mid-match it doesn't end the game for the other players. We are however working on an update to this we hope to release very soon!

Core Design Changes

  • No more global supply - This has been removed and now mining will give you a faction’s base resource, we hope this will allow you to better control the resource flow.
  • Region UI overhaul - View region pressure, building capacity, build infrastructure and view resource storage, all from within the new Region UI.
  • Region Network - Adjacent regions form a network so you can access the storage of all regions and share resources (Outposts can be used to extend the range of your networks).


  • Skirmish mode is now in the game and you can play skirmish across shared maps or your own creations!
  • Map generator - Auto-generated maps based on customisable variables are now available in modding. You can find a guide to the map generator on our forums here whilst we work on clarifying the in-game process!


  • In-game feedback form has been hooked up to new internal processes meaning we can gather feedback more efficiently.
  • Basic tutorial bugs have been fixed and now working. Please note, advanced tutorials are something we are working on, for now there is a YouTube tutorial that runs through some of the more advanced gameplay mechanics.

Designing Cantata is not easy. It is a big game from both a unit perspective (about 45 unique units) and a systems perspective. Not only this, but there isn’t an obvious template for the game’s design. Other large strategy games like Civ, Total War, EU4, etc., still have design work to be done on them, but they have a sort of assumed starting point in the form of previous entries that they can pivot around.
Cantata doesn’t really have this. wiegraf on our Discord pointed us to the phrase “grand tactics” - of which, as far as we know, Cantata is one of very few, if not the only. Our closest parallels are traditional wargames, and titles like, Advance Wars. Neither really is something we can just tweak a little bit to make Cantata “work”. It turns out if you want big maps, tactics, and playability, you’ve really got to start throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what actually sticks.

Which, well welcome to Early Access. We're so pleased our community has rolled with every change we’ve made to the design and given us great feedback every step of the way. We all want Cantata to be the best it can be and we all want to crack what makes a “grand tactics” game.

So with that in mind, we’ve got some big changes once again. The hope is that these are also the design changes to finally make the game sing. The crazy thing about all this iteration is that the sum total effect of all of the above is that the game just feels “right”. It’s the same game but just cleaner, tighter. and we think you’ll really like it.

As always, thanks to all the people that send us feedback on the game through whatever method. Feedback form, Discord, forums, etc. You all help us continue to make this better and we're so glad everyone is around to help.

If you want to check out all of our thoughts on this you can read the full blog post on our forums here.

- Afterschool Games

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