This is a content packed post 🙂
First, UG is now popular enough that I get sufficient information to fix the most glaring issues right away, and given that the download size is only 100mb or so, posting more frequent updates isn’t really an issue here. So, I fixed a few bugs found in the initial Beta 2, including various menu related bugs, an issue with cargo missions, a few possible crashes, and more importantly it should fix performance and graphical bugs a small percentage of users were experiencing. Incidentally this version should be the first to fully support bloom shaders and other hardware accelerated effects (at least on most computers that are able to run those). An option in the video settings has been added to switch between the full hardware acceleration and the old display mode just in case, it require the game to be restarted if you’re not changing this option from the launcher. As usual it’s available on the download page.
People who donated (for any version) will receive a download link shortly by email.
That out of the way, and please, bear with me here because it’s a bit long but I want to be sure we are all on the same page regarding how the game is going to be monetized (I know that at this present moment i just lost 75% of my readers).
Unending Galaxy is a donate-ware game. It is and will always be available for free, fully functional and with full support from me. If you think the game was worth the few hours you put into it, or if you think the development should go further, you are more than welcome to donate any amount you think is fair.
In addition, people who donated 5$ or more will receive some bonus content, including a very detailed and large map (nearly two times bigger than the default Galaxia map), a few additional starting scenarios, and most importantly, the game editor which allow you to add/modify maps and all objects included in the game. This bonus content will be expanded upon across releases, and no matter if you donated for beta 2 or 1 or even the next one, it will unlock the full 1.0 deluxe edition for you as well. And because, unfinished buggy games should cost less than final versions, the price will go up from 5 to 10$ on the 1.0 release so early adopters get a discount.
Yeah I know, shocking, a beta version cheaper than a full product, in this day and age ! I know that real beta testing is a chore, and while I don’t expect my users to act as professional beta testers, I am certainly not going to charge them more for this kind of “privilege”. In my humble opinion, something is completely wrong with the current kick-starter and early access era when developers are asking people to pay more for an unfinished, buggy product than for a full featured product (which may never be released). Sure, it does kinda make sense on a purely commercial level: if someone is devoted enough to shell out 40 bucks for an alpha or beta, you are more or less sure he is going to complain about any bug he finds, superficially, at least. On the other hand, you still have no idea if he’s going to follow through the debugging process, and it doesn’t distract from the fact that you are still charging him for a job you’re supposed to pay him for in the first place. But, hey, economics, so silly…
Anyway, to mark that into stones, and also (and mainly) because it’s way more practical for me that way, Unending Galaxy is now featured on the itch.io indie store, right here. The “free demo” is the full game as usual, and the 5$ version is the one you would get through “normal” donations. As I said, it is exactly the same as donating here directly, standard paypal donations are still welcomed. It’s just that thanks to this system, you will receive an unique download link that should work with all versions of the game instead of a clunky email with a link to a password protected zip file and it will work not matter if you choose to use the itch.io store or not. Yay, technology ! 🙂
That’s all for now, a post detailing what’s going to happen for beta 3 is on its way as well as another describing the game editor into details.