Now that all of the dust has settled from the Alpha 4 release and artwork is coming in for Alpha 5, I think I can start providing reasonable estimates for the next Alpha 5 milestone. In fact, since we are in a constant state of “release”, I think that using “milestone” is a more sensible term.
The biggest effort for this milestone is the creation of ship artwork and ground combat “death” animations for each of the eight races already in the game. Since the first race, the Sakkra, took about a month to complete that makes it easy to estimate the total remaining time.
Below is the planned schedule. The work mentioned is the minimum planned to complete. There is a real chance that my hours available to work on the project could increase dramatically during this period, potentially allowing for a lot more development work on the project before Alpha 5 is completed.
Finally, keep in mind that this is a rough schedule. It does not incorporate any vacation or other downtime for Petar.
October 2017 – completion of artwork for the Darloks (Race #2) , code changes necessary to get the ground combat death animations to work, and the integration of the Darlok ships & Darlok/Sakkra combat animations.
November – completion of ship/combat artwork for Race #3 and the visual revamp of the Ship Design screen.
December – completion of ship/combat artwork for Race #4 and the visual revamp of the Map screen.
January 2018 – completion of ship/combat artwork for Race #5, the visual revamp of the Galactic Council screen as well as the race-specific text for the council voting. Will probably start more aggressively soliciting translators at this point.
February – completion of ship/combat artwork for Race #6, plus the enabling of manual control of ships in ship combat. All ship specials & weapons should be functional at this point. This is the three-year anniversary of the start of the project.
March – completion of ship/combat artwork for Race #7, plus a lot of work on the Ship Combat & Ship Design AI.
April – completion of ship/combat artwork for Race #8, plus general AI work.
May – any illustration work needed for ship combat effects, plus general code prep for the Alpha 5 milestone.
June – Alpha 5 is released and work begins on Alpha 6 artwork (Human race, technologies, random events)
Thanks for all of your feedback and testing!