Eternal Silence Community,
First, we'd like to officially announce Update 3.55. In this update we plan to release several maps including es_Derelict and es_Vertigo, many new sounds including scripted voice-acting and game music, and several gameplay changes. Expect this update around mid-April.
It has come to my attention that there has been some miscommunication, or perhaps no communication from the team about what the current development purpose behind Eternal Silence is. Please allow me to briefly clarify. Our current development goals for ES are:
1) To increase the player base. The best way we perceive to do this right now is by making the game more newbie friendly.
2) To tailor the gameplay to better satisfy the community's desires. We have always been a community driven development team which means that a large part of our decision making about what we do with the game has to do with what the players want.
We have several plans laid out that will hopefully address the general goals.
1) Tutorial. We plan to create a tutorial for the game that will teach new (and veteran) players about the game mechanics. This is already almost half-way completed.
2) Porting to the Orange Box. This is a very large task that will pay off greatly in the long run. The downside is that every scrap of code ever written will have to be checked for compatibility, but the advantages are best shown through this rather impressive list. In short, the game will experience a boost to its graphics engine, multi-core support, and an improved development kit. We have yet to start on this.
3) Sound overhaul. The sound team (currently Spindoctor) is hard at work recording and re-recording dozens of voice lines. In addition, Spindoctor has devoted a lot of time to creating an entirely new audio theme to the game including in-game, condition-dependent soundscaping. For example, you will hear a different soundscape for when you are on-board a capitol ship or in space as well as when in combat or anticipating it. This project has a healthy start, but won't be able to be completed until the port to Orange Box. Here's some of the work so far:
4) Feng Office. This is not so much a project or plan, but an action that we've taken collectively as a development team. Kage Musha has been working hard to find the web-based development aid that fits our team best, and has finally found one that hits the sweet spot. Hopefully this program will ease communication and organization amongst the team's departments. To check out it's features, watch the video tour.
Finally, you must understand that these are not promises. Our plans for the game are subject to change. One of the major impetuses to us making such a change is your input as a player.
Another step towards easing down the barrier of miscommunication between the team and the community is that every development team member will have their ModDB blog linked via RSS feed to a central location (Eternal-silence.net) on this site, eternal-silence.net. If you want to keep up with everything that's going on with I.P.E., or just with a specific department, be sure to check the link "Dev Blog" on the left sidepanel regularly.
And last, if you haven't completed it already, please fill out the poll at the top of this page regarding your favorite game-mode. We will use this information to help in the decision making of what the game-mode of future maps will be.