With the first Big Crunch just around the corner, the crew is working hard on putting the final pieces of the next world together.
I started the week by implementing a long requested enhancement of the material info tile: The list of production and wrought product recipes now finally shows the necessary production time. The shown times are the recipe’s base value and independent of any efficiency factors of the current player:
I also updated the drop down selection of recipes when creating a production order. Before there was only shown the name of end product without any other information. If players wanted to set up a production order in a production line with multiple recipes for the same product (like a food processor for example) they had to click through all of them to see which was the one they wanted. I replaced the generic drop down box with this customized one:
The necessary production times are shown as well, but this time they reflect the companies efficiency factors.
Besides these improvements, I made last minute changes to the in-game materials, added a lot of material descriptions that Julian wrote and created a new map for the upcoming test. This is what it looks like:
The end of Alpha 6 is imminent, which means the launch of Alpha 7 is as well. While Michi was busy preparing the game itself for this event, it once again meant work on the backend for me.
Since the start of First Access in December, several thousand people have signed up for the game. And obviously, we want to let them know that a new Alpha will soon be ready for them to test. But up until now, we only had very crude tools in place to send bulk emails to our users and those tools were also very much specific to our other game AirlineSim, so using it to send emails to players of Prosperous Universe wasn’t possible.
To change this, I spent the better part of this week building a proper UI to make it a lot easier and safer to send simple bulk emails to our users. Some time next week, this new system will see its first real-world application when we announce the next alpha. The system only sends emails to confirmed accounts, but if you don’t actually want to receive our emails (or if you want to make sure you do!) you can adjust the settings for your account here.
This has been a fun and somewhat unusual week for me. While I did take care of some classic PR tasks - such as exchanging e-mails with influencers to explore new advertising opportunities, and writing the press release for the upcoming reset -, I spent most of my time writing in-game descriptions and exploring the new game world. Michi has set up a local server for the team to poke around in, and besides hunting for potential bugs, I mostly checked out the new content in order to update the APEX Handbook accordingly. Overall, I really like the changes and additions, and I feel like the new balancing and resource distribution is going in a great direction.
As Michi mentioned above, one addition that has no impact on game mechanics, but improves the overall feeling, is the new description texts for many commodities in the game. I spent more time writing them than is probably reasonable, but since we are going for (at least) hard-ish sci-fi, I didn’t want to wing it and make up a bunch of nonsense. Instead, I did a bit of research in the fields of chemistry, food production, space travel, and construction, to at least get the basic facts right. If you happen to be an expert in any of those fields and you have any suggestions for improved descriptions, feel free to hit me up.
You are probably wondering when you will be able to get into the new game world. Well, I have some good news for you: The update most likely go live this Friday, March 8th!
As always: we’d love to hear what you think: join us on the forums!