I sat down yesterday and spent a solid afternoon polishing the way systems are displayed. For a start, the trusty old -1000 / +1000 habitability scale is gone — the underlying mechanic is the same, but systems now display their habitability rating via a color-coded category, something like inhospitable or idyllic. It’s a small change, true, but it makes it much easier to inspect systems at a glance.

Another minor tweak: the game now respects your localised currency settings. Again, a tiny fix that makes things look much, much nicer.

Unlocks

I’m also part-way through a major change to how Distant Star plays, and thought you guys might want a sneak peek. Right now all races start with all their possible ship types unlocked, and research (in the Defense and Combat trees, at least) just upgrades these ships’ stats.

No more!

Instead, each race begins the game with only one or two available ship types; you (and the AI!) have to choose how to develop your race through research in order to unlock new options. Want to colonise? Research Cryosleep in the Ecology tree, and unlock colonisers. Want to take over enemy systems? Research Large-Scale Genocide and unlock Bombard Cruisers. You get the idea.

 

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