Heathen Engineering’s Terran Early Access has been planned out in three distinct ‘Phases’. Updates will occur frequently throughout the Early Access process but in particular the transition from one Phase to the next will come with a major update and new vids, screens and info.
So why confuse the hell out of people with Phases?
Each phase has its focus, this lets us group the focus areas into batches and makes it easier to announce and prep the community for planned major updates while also helping to set the expectation of each iteration. We wouldn’t want you to be “into the game”, jump into Early Access too early and not meet your expectations. We want you to know where the game is, where it should be soon and be able to know when the game is right for you.
Phase I (started March 21 2016) - (completed June 30 2017)
'Phase I' completed with release of patch 463. The phase was focused primarly on UI and low level game systems such as flight mechanics, combat and the related datamodels that supported these funcitons.
Phase I ran for a much longer period than inital anticipated but resulted in signifigant improvements to the base design. Subsaquent phases are not expected to run for as long of a period due to work completed during Phase I.
Design build and test ships in simulated events. Particular focus will shift through the various ship categories, weapon configurations, instrumentation and other factors of ship design and function.
Space Flight Mechanics
Pilot your ship in real time in large scale dynamic environments. Flight mechanics and the environments themselves are physically simulated. Particular focus will shift through the various types of environments that will be encountered in the final game.
Pilot AI, real time tactics and strategy, weapon systems and ship component viability and balance. Particular focus will shift between weapon systems, AI tactics and environmental influences.
- Galaxy Structure
Galaxy structure was added to the Phase I focus goals due to player feedback and changes in technology. This signifigantly increased the running time of Phase I and included a number of engine updates and restructuring of the game its self.
- Rendering model
Changes in technology propted a notable change to the rendering model of Terran to favor a physical based approch. Changes to all visual aspects of the game where made at time which also adjusted the base system requirements. At the end of Phase I Terran now supports Direct X 9, 10, 11 & 12 and the Vulkan API on Windows; Metal and OpenGL on Mac and OpenGL and Vulkan on Linux.
Phase II (started June 30 2017) - (Wrapping up)
'Phase II' known as the Sector K72 patch cycle is focused on gameplay and finalization of game systems including the fleet management, contacts, organizations and story quests. The Terran Roadmap has been updated to allow real time tracking of Sector K72 goals and preperation work for the Phase III patch cycle.
- 4X Gameplay
While combat was the core focus Phase I, Phase II is about introducing the grand strategy elements of Terran.
- Organization Development
This is how an organization grows and matures over its life .... organizations are effectivly 'empires' for Terran, they take the form of Corporations, Governments and Armadas.
- Combat Updates
Combat will continue to mature through Phase II and through Phase III as this is a core feature of Terran. New ships, mechancis and more will be introduced in Phase II.
- Organization Types
Phase I made a notable change to the start of the game introducing organization types. These define unique stats, abilities and ... well starts depending on the type you choose.
Phase III (Coming Soon!)
'Phase III' will start the final phase of early access. A major patch is currrently in development and testing and will kick off the 3rd and final phase. Phase III will focus on content and polish with its inital patch set to bring the game functionally complete.
Phase III marks the completion of the mechanics of the game and the lions share of the work pulling all the systems together. Filling thouse systems out with fun, quality things to see and play with is the next step.
At has been changed and added to the game with the inital patch of Phase III and while quality is always important this being the final phase before full release makes it even more so. Every line of code, every texture and sound will be touched during this phase to insure quality content and execution.
Shrugging your eyebrows about now?
What we mean by calling this out is; Phase III is where we make a final 'fun check' of whats in the game. If its fun good, if its not we will look to make it fun, make it go away or at the very least make it not anoy the player.