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The Spellcast

Developer Posts

“THE INFINITE BLACK EXPANSION Howdy folks! A lot of players have been asking for a progress update, and wondering about our beta test status. The reason things have been slower than expected is due to employee departures. One of our lead developers took a new job on the other side of the country working in augmented reality, while our lead interface designer moved on to another industry outside of game development. We wish them all the best and are excited to see what they accomplish, but unfortunately these unexpected changes impacted the timeline for TIB-X. There is still a 5-person team here working every day on The Infinite Black Expansion, and progress continues with all promised features. Programming for the game server, database, AI, new mechanics, and network code is entirely complete. About 90% of the artwork is complete. 16 unique musical themes were created to enhance the game experience, with scaling intensity and complexity based on events going on around you. There are also audio cues and ambient tones for specific events such as invasions, garrison raids, pending nova device explosions, and more. We're now in the process of creating all of the user interface screens, wiring them up to game logic, and testing on hundreds of different mobile devices and screen sizes. There are over 40 UI screens being produced. Examples below. After the UI we'll be creating the universe map visuals with ship movement, combat effects, event indicators, etc. The game will be ready to play once this is complete. Given our current rate of progress I estimate that the user interface portion will be complete within 6 weeks. These images are of some UI panels -- These are not mock-ups, are fully functional, and can run against live server code. The text displayed is placeholder. We'll have more and better examples in the coming weeks.”

12h 15m

“We have already discussed this previously. We will test a credit-only system in the closed beta test and see how it works. As we test the new system, we'll be using your feedback to fine tune it. When we convert TIB accounts to TIBX accounts, we will automatically do all the appropriate conversions. Currency conversions will be fair, possibly even generous. I would not make any financial decisions now based on speculation. Please wait until closed beta testing! The economy will be changing, and there will be different ways to spend and earn credits (e.g. StarPort trading, new tech bonuses, map taxes, etc). We're streamlining and simplifying all the currencies. This includes reward points, claim points, combat points, and skulls. We will most likely roll all of those into Skulls. Our goal is to also remove many of the :commands related to item claiming. The plan is to integrate it into the Auction interface so you can easily find, see, and purchase what you want without having to reference the armory and/or type out long :commands.”

17h 17m

“I'll try to keep you apprised here of any recent developments, outside of our Updates on The ship modeling and artwork is largely done, and has been done for a while (work started for TIB2 prior to the Kickstarter, and was re-purposed to TIB-X). Ruinzone even made a cool ship-designer tool that lets us build interesting ships lego-style! Ozymandias has spent months writing and re-writing the TIB server code from Java to C#. This step was anticipated to be the most time-consuming one. He's also creating a real "server," as the existing one is rather janky and has been a source of many back-end issues and limitations (e.g. paused...saving). The new item types (shields, batteries, weapons, drones) are accounted for, but the specific item aren't in yet (e.g. there's no "Heavy Shield V-6" yet). Those items do exist in spreadsheet form, though! Mythra will be codifying those in the near future. All of the new ships are in code-wise, with their accompanying bonuses. We have a WORKING game server, complete with 45 interconnected maps, all populated with NPCs that are moving around and doing their own thing! Following some real-life issues we've had to deal with over the past few weeks, Ozymandias has now started the process of building the new game client. In the nearish future we'll be sharing with you guys some more specific details (and hopefully images) with what we're coming up with.”