Hey everyone, I am Pete. I am the Project Lead for the amazing Starship Troopers: Extermination team. Wow, it has been an amazing 6 months of learning for myself and the team. We have managed to deliver 3 major content updates that were focused on the world of Valaka, starting with Mutated Sands, then following with the Relentless Horde and recently launching our first foray into 4-player content with the Hives of Valaka.
The next phase of growing our galaxy just started with the release of update 0.6.0 Battle for Agni Prime. This update brings our first new world to the game, new Bugs, player customization, accessibility features and so much more. Our team has delivered fantastic results this year and we continue to grow the game, the team and the systems to ensure we arrive at our 1.0 launch in a really good place.
Community is at the core of everything we try to do here at Offworld and we deeply respect and listen to you all, whether it is on our Official Discord, Steam forums, X or Facebook. We will continue to engage and listen to every bit of feedback we receive. We introduced our Community Q&A in August and we will keep doing these as the experience has been awesome!
As usual, I want to touch base on a few bigger initiatives, feature updates and community conversations that we are working on over the coming 12 months. So what’s next? Please note, all features discussed below are subject to be changed due to the ongoing development of the game.
- Holiday Studio Shutdown: We are all taking a much deserved holiday from December 18th, 2023 to January 2nd, 2024. We will of course have team members standing by to deal with emergencies.
- Quality of Life and Engine Optimizations Updates: As we mentioned in our November Community Q&A, upgrading to Unreal 5 came with some unforeseen challenges with our game client and server performance. We immediately began hotfixing and patching the most serious issues and fast tracked our investigation initiatives. A common question we received from the community was why we did the upgrade now and not wait for 1.0? It was important for the long term health and viability of the game to complete this engine upgrade as early on in development as possible. Upgrading our tech in Early Access would ensure we could iron out all the critical engine and server bugs before our 1.0 launch. Our team has been hard at work with optimization and investigating issues since the release of the engine upgrade. That being said, our first couple patches in January and February will be focused on quality of life, critical bug fixes and engine optimizations. We have a list of QOL updates that we gathered from our Community feedback channels that we feel would be really good updates to get out to you all as soon as we can.
- Playtest Realm: We will be deploying our first Steam Alpha build in Early 2024, where community members will get to play unreleased content, features, systems etc… This group of players will be able to give feedback though our playtest channels so we can ensure the game designers are hearing from the most dedicated players who play the game. People selected for this program must be of good standing in the community. More information about this program will be communicated as we get closer to launching this initiative!
- Class and Progression Revamp: We will be evolving and growing our classes in 2024. The new Class Progression system will be released tentatively in 0.7.0. This will require a full reset of all XP based systems. The good news is this reset will be the only reset/progression we plan to do. All progression from 0.7.0 onward will carry over through the official launch of the game. When the Class revamp is released, we will be doing multiple XP events so existing players can quickly progress during these event windows.This Class and Progression revamp is a massive undertaking and it includes a reimagining and rebalancing of our classes and it will include a mastery system for weapons, perks and utilities. We will be sharing more about this in the new year. The one thing I can tease you with is this. “The enemy can not press a button… if you have disabled his hand. Medic!”
- Galactic War: This feature is tentatively coming in the late Spring of 2024 and it will introduce a new metagame layer to the game. Our goal for Galactic War is to encourage players to band together in timed campaigns centered around a specific Federation goal in which the stakes are high and where victory must be achieved at all costs. Below are some work in progress mocks that the team is working on.
- Controller Support and Accessibility: We are taking every opportunity to make sure we improve the controller support currently offered in game. We have big aspirations in mind for our game so offering balanced control to our players no matter what the input they use is very important for us here at Offworld! As for accessibility, we have added Text chat, text to Voice and Voice to text options for players in the latest update to go with the existing settings for color blindness. As a team we are committed to looking at new ways to ensure we are adding more accessibility options, which includes language localization which will be coming later in 2024.
- Clans (which we are calling a Company) and Galactic War are being designed/built from the ground up to be a symbiotic system. You can participate in Galactic War as a lone wolf without a Company and make a solid impact on the current running campaign, but the benefit to being in a Company is overwhelmingly positive to every player. We cannot wait to share more info about this feature in the new year!
- Updated Living Roadmap: My goal is to provide an updated Roadmap in early 2024. As of right now everything seems to be fitting in albeit the phases they were originally included in will be updated to reflect where they currently sit on the project feature priority list.
I want to especially thank the thousands of Troopers who are playing the game everyday, interacting with us on our community channels and for simply being awesome! This game is your game and we will continue to listen and interact with you all as much as we can until the war against the Bug is won once and for all! I for one am humbled by the positivity in our community, please have a safe and healthy Holiday Season and talk to you in the New Year!
- Peter aka @OWI_PMO