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Approaching Infinity update for 13 March 2021

Planetary Surveys, Monster Powers, Exploding Stars, and Starter Quests

Share · View all patches · Build 6374621 · Last edited 24 June 2023 – 16:41:41 UTC by Wendy

Patchnotes via Steam Community

Hey space captains! There are lots of new features waiting for you in Approaching Infinity.

Starter Quests

Until now, you've been thrown into the hostile universe, left to realize your own destiny. There's nothing telling you what to do (AKA "Freedom"), and you intrepid captains have always managed to get out there and find something cool to do.

But maybe that's a terrible way to treat new players?

So from now on, you start with 4 quests. But you want to know the tricky part? These quests are about things that were already in the game to begin with, just waiting to be found :) But I think it will help some people have purpose in their first few play-throughs...

And what's more, if you want to ignore those quests, or even abandon them from the start, that's fine. There's no pressure. Do what you want!


We all like explosions, right? Well, here's some more!

First, an idea inspired by a Steam community member, black stars can explode and become black holes:

Next, and something you can use to your own tactical advantage: exploding chemical tanks!

You've seen them before (though the art has changed), mostly on shipwrecks. Back then they were just scenery. Now they're an interactable part of the world :D

  • Some weapons will cause them to explode immediately, others will just make them leak, still others have no effect.
  • They also explode into a multitude of effects, like fire, poison gas, harmless vapor, or rarely nano-machines.
  • Some areas, all the tanks contain the same thing, in others it's random.
  • If fire reaches them, they will start to leak...
  • Leaking tanks can explode at any moment (5% chance per turn) , and can be set off by any type of weapon.
  • Of course area-effect weapons can set them off too...

You can set off some glorious chain reactions...

Monster Powers

Officers recently gained access to advanced activated skills: powers that never existed before, allowing far more tactical decisions in dangerous situations.

But now it's time to balance the scales...

Monsters can now have cool-down powers too! Some monsters can now immediately close the distance to attack (jump), deflect or dodge ranged attacks, pull you closer or push you away, and even become invisible!

Some of these powers were given to existing monsters, but some are so unique that they inspired entirely new creatures to be created. In your travels you may now encounter the Greeter, Transcendent Horror, Caerban, and Primordial Liquidator. Look out!

More Information

In keeping with the concept of giving you (the player) more information, the target info window has been remodeled to show more information at a glance about monsters and ships. Sometimes it will let you know things like "hostile at range 4" or "monster is stationary", as well as whether they're much faster or slower than you.

And it will tell you "Tool-tip monster for full information" when it has special powers or resistances:

With all this information, you should be able to make much more informed decisions.

Alien Introductions

This is a major step toward inviting new players into AI's mythology...

In the past, the 12 major alien races were introduced randomly over time, and believe it or not, you would sometimes have to go over 100 sectors before you met the 12th race (and that 12th race could be just about any of them) !

It's different now.

I've created a system that introduces all 12 races, in a balanced but still semi-random way, over the first 33 sectors! It's all determined when you start a new game. After those 33 sectors, the game continues just as it always has.

This goes hand-in-hand with other changes that have been made to help ease you into each race's quest line. The alien quests are the heart and soul of the (current) story line, and I think a lot of people just weren't getting that far.

8 of the current possible victories are through the alien races, and so are 12 of the unlockable playable starting ships. So I want you to actually get there! I look forward to seeing how this change is received by players.

Planetary Surveys

That's a lot of big changes, to be sure. But this one. This one is HUGE. It's called "Planetary Surveys".

It was inspired by 3 very different things:

  • Players often try really hard to explore planets to 100% (reveal all the tiles).
  • Players ask for a "filter" or some way to remove fully explored planets from their sector maps.
  • I don't like the extra data hanging around for planets you'll never revisit.

Enter Planetary Surveys!

Now, once you've fully explored a planet, when you leave you're told something like this:

So: it removes explored planets from your map. It lets me delete the data of that planet. And it gives you a tangible reward for all your hard work. Take that survey and sell it! (And yes, you do actually have to take it to a space station and sell it in the pawn shop.)

Doing surveys is the 4th "Starter quest" you're given in a new game, and it explains the process in-game. It's yet another optional feature you can use if you like, and ignore if you don't want to bother.

Just Remember:

It's not easy to fully explore a planet when you're first starting out! There's no time limit, no rush, and you won't go broke if you don't do it. Do what you can, when you can!

What about shipwrecks?

Good question! At the moment, you can't "survey" a shipwreck. but rest assured, I have a few possibilities in mind for getting them out of the way too (and getting you something else useful out of it) !

Thanks very much to the folks on Discord for helping me find the 2 huge bugs in that version!

And on that note, I'd like to invite you to join the IBOLOGY LLC Discord where we talk about Approaching Infinity, you can get some inside information, and read what I'm working on right now. You don't have to own the game, just come talk (or listen).

Approaching Infinity Content Depot 551621
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