Post news RSS Dev Diary #12: Beta and Releases

Over the last few months, we've been been pushing out each of the three main factions to our testers in their own alpha builds, and this week the third and final alpha was given to the alpha testers. I

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...Development...


Over the last few months, we've been been pushing out each of the three main factions to our testers in their own alpha builds, and this week the third and final alpha was given to the alpha testers. In light of this development milestone, we're writing Dev Diary #12 to address some of the most common questions about what you can expect in the first version of Ascendancy, as well as what's coming beyond that.

Anyone who's followed our Empire at War mod, Imperial Civil War, knows we're pretty fond of incremental releases and they are something we're going to be continuing with Ascendancy. This allows us to release earlier to get feedback and broader experience with different systems to see how they function before we pile too much on top of them. It also helps us set attainable short-term goals and stop from falling into "development hell." So, here's a quick preview of everything that will be in the first release.

Dev Diary #12 Screenshots

...Ascendancy: 1.0 and Beyond...

The main thing that 1.0 will include is all three of the main playable factions, fully functional and with all of their units. They'll also include complete tech trees and unit abilities. However, as in ICW, there's several models and skins we're not quite happy with, so every subsequent release will feature visual updates of various units where we feel it's necessary, and maybe a one or two new toys if they need them. Tech trees will also be expanded and contracted based on feedback; there are a few areas we want to explore with the Remnant in particular which won't be attempted until afterwards.

The majority of what's been announced already will also be in the first release; migration, degrading systems based on damage, fleet commanders and the like will all be included in the first release. The only major absence of something we've already announced will be, unfortunately, minor factions. After several internal discussions, we've decided to handle them a different way. Ultimately we feel like people will enjoy the new way a lot more, but it does mean we have to delay them. Hapan and Ssi-Ruuvi fleets will still be present as militia, however they will not yet be present as independent galactic powers. This will be the focus of the second version, so we'll address what we're doing with them more fully after the first release. The worst-kept-secret fourth major faction will also be addressed at that point as well, which we're pretty excited for. We've posted a bit about them in the Admiral's Lounge on our forums (accessible to people with 25 posts or more) and everyone thinks their ships rock. In addition to the faction changes and additions, there's a bunch of gameplay changes we want to make going forward, especially on the economic side to expand the non-military aspects of the game.

Dev Diary #12 Screenshots

...The To-Do List...

Everything's been coming together pretty nicely in the last few weeks but there's still quite a bit left to do. There are still a handful of ships and structures that need to be finished, however we're at the point where the main focus is finishing up tech trees and abilities, which overall are about halfway done. After that, the main thing is to get voice overs put in, finish off some planet textures, and the tedious task of making several hundred icons for abilities and techs. The more diverse the voiceover cast, the better, so if you think you have the proper audio equipment and voice for it, send an email to ThrawnsRevenge@gmail.com . The main stumbling block at the moment is music, which we don't quite know how we're going to handle. So, on the off chance you're a composer who's interested in recording some Star Wars style music for the mod, send an email to the same place.

Dev Diary #12 Screenshots

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Comments
conran7
conran7

Hey, sent a mail with some voice samples of my stuff, dropping a soundcloud link here also, see what you think.

Soundcloud.com

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Ximema
Ximema

Great voice , aren't you the guy who did the voices for Sins of the prophet ?

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Ximema
Ximema

I was wondering , can't you simply use the "basics star wars music ? Like taking music from some Games and the movies ?

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MrPerson
MrPerson

I would be fine with that, and that's what everybody else does. If not, its easy to replace for personal use. Maybe they are just trying to make sure there is no chance of copyright issues.

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Ximema
Ximema

I've seen many things to avoid that , just put a " Community use , no money intended " message and everything is fine

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.Corey. Author
.Corey.

Like MrPerson said, the problem is legal. The music is owned by Sony, and if they find stuff they tend to be very strict. The fact that it's not for money doesn't matter, no company is ever okay with people just uploading entire soundtracks. It's no different from just posting it on a torrent site or something.

The fact that it's free doesn't matter; uploading any music for free on its own is still an issue. When people post "I'm not the copyright holder, no infringement intended" it doesn't matter. You may not be intending to infringe upon copyrights, but you still are. People only get away with that when the copyright holder doesn't notice or care, and I can assure you, Sony does care. Fair Use doesn't mean you're not getting money for it, it means it has to be for parody, scholarship, archiving or criticism. "We needed music for our mod" doesn't quite cut it.

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MrPerson
MrPerson

Sony owns the rights to Star Wars music? Would have thought it would be Disney.

Then why does no other mod get in trouble for using the music? A star wars mod without star wars music is just kinda....strange

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.Corey. Author
.Corey.

Yeah, Sony's owned it since like 2004 unless it's changed in the last year or so. It certainly wasn't included in the acquisition of LFL, but either way it's not like Disney would be less stringent about copyright stuff.

There are some mods that get away with it, yes. That's not because it's not illegal or that they don't care, it's that they haven't noticed. They wouldn't see it as any different from distributing the music for any other purpose. Plenty of Star Wars fan projects get taken down by Sony's claims (including Let's Plays of our own mods on Youtube), and plenty of mods within different IPs have been taken down for including copyrighted content. To us, it's not worth the risk of having the entire mod taken down just to include a few songs. If people own the tracks they can put them in themselves.

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Kuikka88
Kuikka88

Aaah it's happening! *treats the team with virtual beer/soda/tomato juice/select your favourite*

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umad41
umad41

I don't have a voice or an orchestra to throw at you. Sorry.

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