We would like to address some of the concerns we have seen in the comments on our initial ‘leaving Early Access/Alpha’ announcement.
Plain and simply: We want to leave Early Access on our 5th anniversary release, because we are confident that the game is now in a shape, where it no longer needs that supporting wheels tag. We are not running out of money (most read concern) and there are no dark entities that are forcing us to do that (lots of funny theories ) .
On the contrary, we are sure the game is playable in quality, although not free of issues, that is simply not reflected anymore by how the meaning of an Early Access tag is understood or talked about even nowadays.
As a consequence, leaving Early Access also means to remove the “Alpha” tags, as they are somehow tied to this stage. But there needs to be some sort of new versioning. While we did not want to proceed with simply counting further up or adding fancy letters, the version counter had no other choice as to being reset to 1.
Why no Beta?
For us, the “Alpha” tag is THE visual statement of the Early Access stage of the game. So it has to go, because we are leaving Early Access. Simple as that.
Of course, in the classic software development, there is a definitive meaning for Alpha, Beta, Full Release, where you put in features in Alpha, fix bugs in Beta and do not change anything relevant (because it might again break your stuff) and then go to a full release. But this is not “classic software development” for cars, medical equipment, elevators or else. And even in the so called A+ Game development, there are literally only very, very few games that let all interested players play a “Game in development”. At least if it’s not 80-90% done already, although those stages are called Alpha or Beta often as well.
We also do not have an investor we need to “develop for” or which pushes us to a certain stage. Eleon Games has successfully bootstrapped the game 100% on its own up to this point, while working with and for the community that helped to actually shape the game a lot. And we possibly could go on like this for years.
That being said, and because we realized that putting in Beta or Dev or Post-Alpha or any other term would in no way have avoided any discussion on that, but also leading to the same expectation discussions, strange...
This is not the usual announcement of a main version update. The upcoming release will be something special.
Not only because we are looking forward to an anniversary release on 5th of August, but also because we will move forward and leave the ‘Alpha’ and 'Early Access' tags behind at this point.
With a small, but dedicated team (currently 5 programmers and 2 modellers), we think we have created something fun to play in the past years. But without you, our community, we would never have come so far. This is something we absolutely value and acknowledge!
But now it is time to move forward and take on the next level.
What does this mean?
First of all, the game development WILL NOT be stopped! We will continue to be working on refining features and fixing bugs. Subsequent releases will happen in the same frequency as before. No change here, except the version counter will not read ‘Alpha 13.x’ but simply ‘1.0’.
The only thing that might slightly change in future releases, is the focus on what will be working on.
The goal of the Alpha phase always was, to add in what we consider to be the base mechanics, the gamechangers and all the stuff that leads to major technical changes and an altered game experience - with the addition of the ‘galaxy’ being one of the final steps to achieve that milestone.
For all subsequent releases, bugfixes and optimization as well as feature refinements and the big topic of effect and sound reworks might be more on the foreground.
There are of course also a few larger features left and there is a long list of quality-of-life changes and additions that have piled up over the last years for Single- and Multiplayer.
We are looking forward to all of you being with us on this new development stage, with the same engagement and dedication you have shown in the recent Alpha phase.
Eleon Game Studios
PS: More info on the contents of the Version 1 release will be following soon.
We hope you all had a great start in 2020! We have been a bit silent on the current progress on Empyrion and you deserve to know what is going on behind the curtain.
While we still run smaller patches on the Alpha 11.5.x branch, the development on the Alpha 12 features (we are working on since early January), have already made some noticeable progress.
That being said, we want to share with you a brief summary of some of the features that will be in the next major update. These blog posts are currently in preparation and will be released in the next few days. Please excuse the delay.
In the meantime, we would like to announce our GAME SURVEY 2020
This time, the survey contains additional game-related topics, questions about your hardware, your likings on certain game features and such.
Please also make good use of the surveys free-text answers, but please keep your replies on the spot and as brief as possible (so we have a chance to read them all) .. or instead, link a forum or reddit thread you already have set up on a certain topic!
Thanks a lot in advance for your participation and also thanks a lot for all your ideas and suggestions you have shared over the last months and years which have - or will be - changing the shape of the game in the future!
We just wanted to let you know that we have moved to a new host as well as upgraded the forums. Somethings might break and this is a normal process as we fix and tweak any changes and compatibility issues.
Please let us know if you end up having any issues so we can fix them asap.