I am super happy with Revision 40, and how it turned out. We have had only one reported Windows crash that was a true crash, apparently due to very elderly AMD drivers, and a couple of OS X issues (apparently in the OpenGL driver stack for OS X.) The new problem we have, of course, is that people are now able to produce very large colonies. Consequently, we have had some issues where certain parts of the game (stockpile management, work crew menu, jobs menu) start freezing up under the strain. The new UI code that Daniel has been diligently working on should help fix the problems with the job and work crew menus; this has necessitated a complete rewrite of how UI widgets are resized, a job that is labour intensive, gross, and involves rewriting code that I first wrote back in 2001 or so. Still, I’m very happy with Revision 40. So happy, in fact, I took a tiny vacation for… well, for the first time I can remember. It was really, really weird.
For Revision 41, we’ve basically gotten two messages. First, there is a large portion of the populace who want to see us doing more work like we did (from a technical side) in revision 40 – continuing to build on and refine the features that are in the game right now, and fixing long-standing issues with things like military units and stockpiles. There is an equally large portion of the populace, some of whom also belong to the first portion, who are desperately after new content. From the perspective of a game developer, you have to push on with new content in early access because, otherwise, it never gets done. Plus, there is a feature cost. The sooner you get a feature started, the easier it is to retrofit the existing code to support the feature.
So, we’re going to try to find a balance for this patch: cleaning up a bunch more outstanding issues, now that stability seems to be taken care of, while also trying to finish more of the systems that need to be done in order for us to get the game done. There are two big, BIG technology pieces that need to go in right now that don’t exist yet, and which we need to deal with with some degree of urgency because the cost of retrofitting the game to support them gets increasingly higher as we continue development. The first of these is multiplayer, which I’m not working on right now. The second one of these is the global world, because – let’s face it – we’ve all colonized New Antipodea and New Sogwood a million times right now, and it’s time to go
fail Make The Empire Proud somewhere else!