The festive season is upon us and the Blazing Griffin team are gearing up for the holidays (by “gearing up” we mean slightly recovering from our office party earlier in the week!), so we wanted to end off the year with an update on what’s coming in 2015 with Distant Star: Revenant Fleet.

The last update added a lot more changes to the game, but a lot of them won’t be instantly recognisable so here’s a quick rundown on what we added and what it means for the game.

Danger Level

Eagle-eyed players will have noticed that the sector map now has a “Danger Level” score.  The value (out of ten) represents how difficult missions will be when you enter them, with higher scored missions being tougher.  Enemies in these missions will more difficult – more shields, health and will do more damage, as well as being equipped with better upgrades and should prove to be more of a challenge for your fleet.

In future updates, the Danger Level will be affected by the choices you make in missions.  If you make someone angry in one mission, they may catch up with you a few jumps away and that mission will be tougher than normal.  This is part of a quest system we’re introducing, which will really help vary each play through of the game.

On the subject of choices

You may have noticed that some of the event choices now have different outcomes.  In some situations, sending a spy to a station may have a positive result and you’ll receive a reward without having to enter into combat.  In other situations, the same choice may result in failure and attack by an Orthani fleet!

Rewards are limited just now (and the whole currency system still needs to be balanced), but you may receive credits, supplies or even upgrades for your ships or access to shops.

About the currency system

It needs a lot of work!  It’s a complicated system – shops are randomly generated (and can also be the result of event choices) and currency rewards aren’t sufficient to really buy many upgrades right now (choosing two rather than three starting ships is a good way to save credits for upgrades as you play through the game).  The system is reliant on story events being added to the game and there’s only a limited selection of those right now.  It’s likely that balancing the currency system will be one of the last things we do, but we plan to make improvements to this with each update.

Galaxy map

There’s only one sector map in the game right now (v0.0.0.4) and that’s intentional.  The final game will have several sector maps and a top level galaxy map to play through.  These are actually already built and ready to go live – we’re just working on adding more content (story events and the final battle) before we release them, otherwise it would get a bit boring – you’d be spawning the same missions over and over.

Ships

There are 7 ship classes of which you currently have access to 4.  We’re currently working on the 5th – the Carrier which is pretty cool!

The Carrier, as with the other ships, has a primary purpose (which you can probably guess!) and also a range of upgrades (not all of which are confirmed right now, but we’ll release more information on this later).  The great news is, you know those annoying drones?  Now you can be the one to annoy the Orthani!  The Carrier will continuously launch a small contingent of drones which will automatically attack enemy ships in range.

More mission types

You’ve probably noticed the same mission type being spawned over and over as you progress through the game.  There’s a limited selection of missions in the game just now (capture-3, capture-1, ambush) and although there are methods of randomisation in place, we will be adding to those and improving the underlying system.  The ultimate goal of this is to create a smooth play through that isn’t repetitive, but is different enough to be enjoyable and challenging in subsequent games.

We’re all pretty excited for 2015 – it was great to see Distant Star breeze through Steam Greenlight in only 13 days and finally get launched on Early Access this month and we really appreciate all the feedback we’ve had from players so far.  If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know.

On behalf of the Blazing Griffin team, happy holidays and see you in the New Year!

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