Yesterday we released 0.92 which had a ton of improvements, fixes, balance tweaks, etc.(http://steamcommunity.com/app/228880/discussions/1/412448792372191389/).
So what's next?
The next public update should have the Tutorial in it. We'll be looking for your feedback on it.
After that, we'll be heading towards release. Bug fixes, minor usability improvements, safe feature additions (we're testing engineer assist for instance)..
What cool stuff is going to be in the release version?
The Ascendancy Wars campaign is the main one. It's a story driven, campaign with missions that are quite unlike the normal skirmish game.
In addition, there will be a set of scenarios that highly customized single player games for people to play. For example, one is called King of the Hill where you fortify a hill as best you can as wave after wave of ever increasingly powerful enemies attack. The goal is to see how long you last. It's pretty fun.
What happens after release?
As some of you know, Stardock is the oldest independent game studio in the industry (20+ years and counting). This fact means that this game wasn't funded by a publisher or by a Kickstarter campaign.
Thus, for us, 1.0 is simply the beginning of Ashes of the Singularity. We already have post-release features and content that we'll be working on after the game goes 1.0. Most of these things we will be releasing for free.
A few things at the top of our list of free features includes:
* Customization of single-player scenarios
* Modding (make your own AI personalities)
* Observer mode
* Scenario creation (make your own scenarios) - we're working on a tutorial
On the near-term DLC front we'll also be looking at things like:
* Player requested units
* New map environments and features
* Scenario Packs
* New construction projects
And on the longer-term road-map we have:
* The third race
* Naval combat
* Environments that require other classes of units (crawling, treads, bipedal)
Why the long-term roadmap?
I suspect I'm not the only one who has fallen in love with an RTS only to see it orphaned for whatever reason.
I think it's important for us to be transparent with you guys in knowing that this will not be happening to Ashes of the Singularity. For example, Stardock recently updated Galactic Civilizations II (which came out in 2006). We still do updates for Sins of a Solar Empire on occasion.
We only answer to you: The customer
That statement is usually an empty phrase. But in this case, it's literally true. Stardock is a privately held company. I personally own the company. All of it. I answer to no publisher. No investment group. I only answer to you and I live on these forums and elsewhere. You have direct access to me.
Hence we absolutely welcome people posting mockups and ideas on things they'd like to see in the future.
Why the Ashes tech matters
You hear a lot about Ashes tech and there's a reason why it does really matter. How often have you seen a game that has stopped being able to be updated because it hit a technological brick wall?
We've run into the tech issue with our own Sins of a Solar Empire. It's an amazing third generation engine (single core, DirectX 9, 32-bit). But even though we (Stardock and Ironclad) would love to do a lot more with that engine, we're up against the tech wall.
Have you ever loaded up a great old game and found it wonky because of your resolution or because it can't use your hardware properly? This is why Ashes matters.
Ashes of the Singularity is the first, and so far, only strategy game that is multi-core neutral. That means, as you add more CPU cores to it, it gets faster. In 5 years, when people have 12-core systems, Ashes will be able to support map sizes that make what we have today look like a joke.
Similarly, Ashes will run on a 5K display. I know because I'm running it on my NVIDIA 980 right now at 5K. UI scaling and all. While it seems crazy, in a few years, 4K, 5K and someday 8K monitors will be as common as 1024x768 was.
Ashes of the Singularity is crashing on me! How can it almost be done?
I have some good news and some bad news on that front. The good news is that every time the game crashes, we get a really cool crash log sent to us. For you devs out there, it's actually pretty amazing. We get the dxdiag of the system, the stack, the process list, etc. It's just nuts. In MY day, when a game crashed you would have to send out debug builds.
Anyway, the bad news is that the vast VAST majority of crashes are being caused by third party programs inserting themselves into the game's process. This isn't an issue on DirectX 11 but on DirectX 12, it's a big deal (and very very annoying).
We're working with Microsoft on this issue as there's not much we can do. DirectX 12 just doesn't like other programs being in the process. The most common ones are video streaming apps. After that, third-party overlays. And after that, I kid you not, malware. The data we get is anonymous so we have no way to contact the person to tell them their computer is infected. But a startling percentage of players have malware in their processes.
If Ashes is crashing for you, check your system tray and make sure you don't have things attaching themselves. Then, run a virus scanner.
Basically, Ashes 0.92 never crashes in single player on any supported machine (I mean as in, statistically) with the above exceptions.
Multiplayer, by contrast is still a challenge. 1 on 1 is doing great. 2 on 2 is doing...fine...Beyond that it gets murky.
As you've probably guessed, it's largely based on inconsistent performance from the different players interacting with the simulation.
Luckily, this is something that will get better as we get more data. I will be online a lot playing 3 on 3 games so look for me.
Thank you guys!
Many of you have participated in various RTS communities over the years. I know I have. I don't know specifically why this community is so excellent. It may be a demographic thing (i.e. average age or something). But whatever the reason is, thank you.
I can't even begin to tell you how much we enjoy talking to you guys. I love being able to talk candidly with other players on the various issues in the game.
We really enjoy being able to talk to people who know the pros and cons of different RTS games whether that be Total Annihilation, Dark Reign, C&C, CoH, StarCraft, Supreme Commander, Grey Goo, Planetary Annihilation, Kohan.
As a development community, we're a close nit group. If I get stuck or have a question I can ping the Uber guys and the designer of Grey Goo is only 30 feet from where I'm sitting. Soren Johnson (Civilization IV) sits even closer to me and Jon Shafer (Civ V) is in the next room and Chris Taylor is always willing to talk shop. We (you guys and us) are part of one of the best technology communities there is.
We look forward to talking to you over the next several years!