It has taken some time, but the engine update is now finally available outside the public test branch. I have taken the feedback from you and further improved some features and I hope you will have fun with it.
I will not spoil too much right now, but I already started the pre-production of the next update which is going to be massive! it might take until late spring or early summer, but I will enhance the game to the next level. This engine update was a great preparation for the new content that is going to come! Let's just say you won't be longer alone in your galaxy...
So, for those of you who are not following every dev log: What's new today?
You can now pack resources and items into inter-dimensional containers and share them across any galaxy in any save game! Do you have achieved riches in one save game and want to start a new game? Just store some of your stuff in inter-dimensional containers and access them from anywhere.
One of the new rooms, the assembly room, has a station to pack up to 200 goods and up to 5 items into one inter-dimensional container. These containers are normal items and can be traded and moved as such. The other new room, the portal room, has a station to access the new global inventory. You can only put inter-dimensional containers in there, but the inventory can be accessed from any other portal room in any colony in any save game!
The inter-dimensional container is a new craftable item which requires rune stones. Rune stones are new collectible items from temple ruins. Temple ruins are part of a story line, can be encountered in random space events, and they can be part of rumors or ground missions.
You can also craft a new piece jewelry which grants four extra skill points!
Treasure maps and dungeons
There is a new item that can be looted from enemies: trasure map parts. You can assembly several of them to a treasure map. Treasure maps are useable items that will reveal a new dungeon position. The mechanic pretty much works like rumors, but you will have a temple at this location which is your prime source for rune stones that are required for the portal stuff.
An entirely new feature is the cockpit upgrade which is available for any spaceship. Below your selection for drones and weapon turrets, you can select the cockpit upgrade you want to use. You can change it free of charge at any space station - just like drones. Each upgrade has a certain effect for your space exploration like increasing or decreasing the chance to encounter a pirate.
Improved level editor
The overview of the available terrains for the level editor in the main menu has been cleaned up.
New maps have been added that you can use for previews in the level editor and they will also be used when exploring planets.
User interface controls that had no effect and where obsolete have been removed from the level editor.
New filter options for planetary content have been added to the editor.
When capturing a new ship, a dialog shows the difference between your ship and the other ship before you finalize your decision of capturing the ship.
The chance of temple dungeons to have multiple levels has been increased.
When you are in a multi-level dungeon, a new panel shows in which level you are. Players were confused in the past why they could not complete a dungeon, but they missed stairs that lead down deeper into the dungeons.
New players are also welcomed to use the new easy mode. It's a bonus card you can select when creating a new game that lets you fail every fail condition once without actually losing the game.
Game engine improvements
The majority of time went into upgrading my game engine. As you may know, I developed my own 3D game engine for my video game projects and I ran into issues. I only use few third-party components, but one of the few I use stopped support during the development of Galactic Crew II. I forked a branch from its latest release and continue its maintenance when developing Galactic Crew II or the game engine. In this work, I migrated my games and the engine from .NET 4.7 to .NET 5 which does not sound like much, but the technology changed a lot and I had to update the projects accordingly. I also updated all used third-party components and compile them myself, whenever possible and appropriate. The GPU load dropped, the CPU load dropped and I found many memory leaks. Most of which were in the third-party components I mentioned earlier. The game should now be smoother and more stable. Please report, if you encounter any issues.
Kind regards, Benjamin aka GameDevAlien