The Alpha is on schedule to start in 2 weeks, on June 1st. It will last until the end of June. This will be an open test; there is no signup. All you need to do is:
- Have Java 8 installed on your Windows/Mac/Linux/Solaris system
- Download the game executable (about 180 Mb) from this site on June 1st
- Run it and start playing. There’s no installation wizard.
That’s about it. This game is being written in straight Java, so you don’t need any special video card or drivers. The first alpha last year ran successfully on a Raspberry Pi 2, so I’m curious if the updated version will as well.
The game will run in windowed mode at an 8:5 aspect ratio and will automatically resize to fit your monitor. I’m not really sure about memory requirements but I would not be surprised if it runs poorly on less than 4G, at least for the larger maps. My development laptop has 8G with a hi-dpi display (3200×1800).
This is an alpha, which means the game is not feature complete. There will be things missing! When it is feature complete sometime next year, I will start a beta test. This is what is currently missing.
- Tactical ship combat
- 5 remaining races: Darlok, Human, Klackon, Mrrshan and Sakkra
- Random Events
- Orion system / Guardian ship
- Empire rankings display
- Game difficulty options at setup
- Custom dialogue for races
- In-game background & lore
- Some diplomatic options:
- Offer/Demand Tribute
- Ask Empire to attack another empire
- Ask Ally to join war
- Lots and lots of artwork
- The 5 remaining races
- Ship icons for tactical combat
- Technology discovery icons
- GNN artwork
- Sabotage artwork
- Game Over artwork
- Many miscellaneous animations
As you can see, there is a lot left to do. The most time-intensive task will be the artwork. I expect each additional race to take at least 8 weeks apiece — that’s 40 weeks right there.
What this means is that there will be several subsequent alphas as the game moves forward before we get to a beta stage. The game will not be rushed, so we should have plenty of time to incorporate alpha test feedback into the game. Once the dust from this alpha test settles, I’ll put out an updated project schedule.
For those MOO1 fans who are waiting anxiously for this game, all I can say is that we will do this right but it will take time. There’s no realistic way to speed up the project faster than it’s going now. From a scheduling perspective, the only person on the person who needs to be working full-time is our illustrator, and he is doing that.