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We have been hard at work making the mod compatible with the 3.4 update for stellaris but technical difficulties, personal life events, and a thorough code review and rebuild has made this update slower than we had hoped and slower than our past updates. If all goes well this will allow us to make future updates faster and more stable than any of our past updates.

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Hello everyone, Risker here from Binary Helix, and welcome to another dev diary for Mass Effect: Beyond the Relays. This is less of a traditional dev diary and more of a brief update of what the team has been working on since the previous dev diary. Due to the sudden increase in attention we felt that giving a brief breakdown of what we’re doing, what we’re planning, and what's hopefully coming soon™ would help keep everyone on the same page and give newer users somewhere to start as they learn about the mod.

Where am I?


While Beyond the Relays has been featured in articles before; the recent PCGamer article Is the first to be solely about BtR. Perhaps because of that we have seen the largest number of downloads since the release of our Beta build almost a year ago. Our dev diaries are famously sporadic but we have begun taking steps to get on a more regular schedule. Until then, hopefully this will help new players get up to date on our plans for the mod and what is currently being worked on.

As promised in the previous dev diary we are hoping to begin publishing a series of Empire Deep Dives. These will be focused entirely on a single empire and go over where that empire starts, what unique traits and mechanics that empire has, and what we hope to achieve as we continue development with that empire. We are hammering out the order that these will be released in, and we are hoping to have the writer of the empire also write the corresponding deep dive but that may not be possible in every case. Currently we are planning to begin with the empires already implemented into the mod but that may change.

But what has changed?


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Recently the bulk of our efforts have gone into a thorough code review of the mods files. This has been something we’ve intended to do for awhile, but had other things that were higher priority. The goal of a code review is to remove redundant and obsolete files, standardize file structures and naming conventions, and indirectly improve performance and reduce lag by making the mod slightly less bulky.

This has taken a lot of time and effort from our coding team as our mod has over one hundred thousand of lines of code spread across hundreds of files. While it has slowed down the addition of new content, the longer we put doing this off the longer it would take, so it was better to do it now than wait and have it take several months later down the line. It was also more important for us than some other mods because of how many integrated mods we are using combined with how often the scope of our mod has changed in the past year and a half.

Thanks to the influx of support and attention from our Beta release we were able to grow our team and add many talented members who have allowed us to do more ourselves than we had ever thought possible originally. Because of this we have been able to bring a lot of our ideas in house, rather than rely on integrating things from other mods. The pros of this are that we have more control over all aspects of the mod and things will have a more uniform feel and quality. The drawback is that it leaves many files unused but going through and rooting them out takes a lot of time and effort.

Update When?


Game development, and by extension mod development, is unlike many other projects because there is no way to gauge how long something will take until you’re two weeks past the deadline and it still isn’t working. Plus at any moment things that had been working can decide they are going on strike until further notice, for seemingly no reason. Because of this it can be very difficult to give timelines and estimates on when things will be done or ready. However, we can say that our team's main focus is making the game playable in the 3.4 update.

deadline respite date time time


Tune in Next Time to Find Out!


The eagle eyed among you, or those who are on our Discord, will probably know that we had put out a casting call for voice actors not long ago. The positions we were looking to fill with that call are now filled but expect another casting call sometime in the near future. In the nearer future we will be releasing a snippet of what our voice actors and Beyond the Advisor team has been working on but due to a series of unfortunate technical difficulties it was not ready in time for this diary.

The Galaxy Needs You!


If any of this sounds interesting to you, or you just want to mess around in our dev builds, apply to join the team today! We are looking for Writers, Scripters, Testers, Community Managers and Artists, for more information about what each position does and how to apply check out our application page or reach out to members of our team on our Discord.

Comments
Wookienator
Wookienator - - 1,023 comments

Just take your time ;) I am really impressed with the Beta so far^^
Good luck

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