We started the journey of “In Search of a Home” a little more than 15 weeks ago - which in the world of game development is not a very long time. On one hand it feels like we’ve been working on this game for a year at this point — my brain is filled with all the tasks we’ve been juggling — but also it feels like this launch milestone has sped towards us far faster than I expected. The current state of the game exceeds even my highest hopes for what we could accomplish in such a short time, and I also have all of our dreams of what this game could become weighing on my mind as we work on the development roadmap.
The core loop is in — jumping into a new system, scavenging the resources needed, keeping the populace fed and happy while you try to find the right best system for your next jump. Morale and loyalty are tenuous resources that add meaning to your decisions, and while you can upgrade your fleet to be stable it feels like the right amount of tension to get there and you’ll still find yourself scrambling to make one more jump in hope of finding a habitable planet.
That said, there’s still a lot we want to flesh out in the coming weeks. We’re planning a big pass on Factions to better represent the population of the fleet. We’ll look at their demands, their opinion of you, and their infighting, as well as refining their overall identity to become less generic and more distinct.
We’ll be doing passes on different systems and the resources you can expect to find. Jumping into a new system and looking at a planet, its moons, and other masses should feel more mysterious and unexpected, with a greater diversity of in-system objects. Scanning ahead should feel more significant and the choice of where to jump next should be filled with more variables to consider.
Aside from these two big game systems (Factions and Systems), we’ll also continue to work on larger UI overhauls, continued iteration on planet materials, and the overall feel of the game. More sounds and music, more ship models, and better portrait art are on the list if we can find enough support to be able to afford them.
The reality of us leaping into Early Access so soon is two fold. The first is that we deeply believe in having an ongoing and dynamic relationship with our players, and it’s incredibly important to us to get the game into your hands early so that we can have your feedback and perspective woven into as much of the game as possible. That’s also part of why we’ve been incredibly transparent in our development on [Twitch](twitch.tv/ghostlybeargames), [Discord](discord.gg/ghostlybeargames), and [Patreon](patreon.com/ghostlybeargames). If you haven’t joined our community and conversation in those places, please do!
The second reason is a straightforward one of survival. We’re an indie company and need revenue in order to be able to eat, support our families, and continue development. Each one of you who buys the game, or supports us on [Patreon](patreon.com/ghostlybeargames), is helping us survive as a company making this game that we love, and that we hope you’ll come to love. And so, we thank you deeply for trusting us with your support. We’ll continuously work hard to build trust with you, and trust you in return.
We’ll mostly be focusing our time and dialogue towards interactions on our [Discord](discord.gg/ghostlybeargames)server. If you have the game and want to report any issues, or discuss design or implementation decisions, we encourage you to join us on [Discord](discord.gg/ghostlybeargames). We’ll also keep an eye here on Steam to log bugs and capture feedback, but most of our responses will simply be patches that fix any experience-ruining bugs and rolling out the best feedback we see.
It’s been a whirlwind so far, but we’re just at the start of our journey In Search of a Home. We hope you’ll join us for the ride.
--Carl Kwoh, Founder