Feature Voting Results Are In! And the Winner Is...
We're coming up on the end of the first feature voting round, and the rankings have been pretty consistent for the past week. With almost a thousand voters casting their ballots, our winner is...
That's An Order!
Improving AI and crew management was a pretty clear winner, and I think that makes sense. Many folks are itching to get a comrade or two onto their ship to speed up work and/or cover sleeping shifts, or even just explore some of the social mechanics of the game.
And how did the rest of the features fare? It was actually a pretty clear order of preference, too. The overall ranking looked something like this:
- That's an Order
- No Way Down
- Special Delivery
- Another Port
- Brokedown Frigate
So what does this mean, going forward?
Well, I think we need to work on a few different things, and while we may not be able to tackle it all in this round, there's a long list of options.
Getting AI out of the emotional pits, for one thing. All AIs eventually end up oppressed, humiliated, and forlorn if left long enough. And we need a few more balance tweaks and tools they can use to care for those needs.
AIs also have some blind spots and flaws we can patch-up, such as extending their limited pathfinding range, and their habit of blithely opening airlocks into the void.
The process of hiring, and direct ordering is also going to need some work. (And for that matter, firing and quitting.) I want to see if I can get AIs to do some of the more complex things humans need to do manually now, such as starting a reactor or docking.
Also, AI should be getting more benefits and drawbacks from the work they do. Things like fatigue, a sense of achievement, autonomy boosts for free will, autonomy hits for being micromanaged...we can finally start making more of the massive stat and trait list pull some weight.
What About the Other Features? And Bugs?
Bugs are always going to take priority, at least where they break gameplay. Minor bugs may sit on the back burner a while, but if we discover or cause a new bug, we'll need to get people back into stable gaming asap. So that won't change.
Quality of life enhancements will similarly be a slow but steady trickle over Early Access. Often times, these are on hold until a clear winning idea comes to us, or we're already in the code near that feature, and just handle it while we're there.
And the other features up for voting? We may sneak a few examples of those in there, too :)
Probably none of the heavier things, but it isn't hard to throw a new item or bit of variety into the games now and then. So we may get a few surprises along the way.
Overall, this is an exciting new chapter in the Early Access story. We've got a mostly stable game! People are finally having hours of fun at a time! And they want MORE!
So I'll stop blathering on about it, and get to work :) Have a good weekend, all!