VoidExpanse - Update v0.8.0

Added on 30 May 2014 by Lurler.

After almost two months of hard work we are finally ready to present you with our largest update to date on VoidExpanse!

In this time we were finally able to implement a mountain of new features that were not possible to with shorter updates! We have also had loads of great suggestions from the community and we've implemented quite a few!

Enough of the formalities though, lets get to the good stuff!

Launcher
Before we go into updates of the game I would like to present to you our new launcher (screenshot)! Now you don't need to bother with downloading each update, unpacking the archive, transferring the saves, etc. Just download one executable file to your desktop, run it and it will take care of everything for you. It can download each new version we release, patch the game for you, keep track of all new updates. You can also opt-in to receive early experimental versions to the game if you want to be the first to try out the new changes. Easy!


New storyline, dialogs and quest system
If constant combat or asteroid mining made you a little tired you can now finally start exploring the game world and its history. With this update we created and will continue to extend the new quest system that helps you develop your character and advance your progress in the game world. How did Xengatarn came to be? How and why was VoidExpanse created? Why were Far Colonies cut from the rest of Federation worlds? Why are there different factions? You can now find the answers to these questions as well as uncover more secrets along your way.


Stations now have different areas
We have finally implemented different areas to space stations that different NPC might occupy. One-eyed Joe likes sitting in a bar drinking booze, for example, while traders and other pilots will be running around the hangar or docking bay, scientists are in their laboratory in a Science station, and general Troyden can be found on the command deck. Mind that your character won't be automatically allowed to enter all of these zones. Especially areas where hight command officers reside. You have to earn an appropriate access level before you are admitted to these areas.


New content
This update brings quite a few additions to the content of the game. You can expect several new weapons, for example; good old machinegun or an insane particle discharge cannon that will one-shot almost any ship. There are also several new ship modules, new quest items and generally quite a few new things to encounter! But these additions are not just for ships, we have also added two new space station types: military and business, a new ship - Orca, a heavy cruiser boasting several missile, energy and mine hardpoints, and other!


Real consequences
Be careful now as destruction of your ship finally has consequences! You can set the difficulty of the game when you create a new world. You can choose between standard mode, semi-hardcore, where if your ship is destroyed you will lose it for good and be cloned at the nearest space station, and finally, complete and brutal hardcore mode where if you die - you die.


New possibilities
We included many new features into this update. One of these additions is the persuade skill, you can now use your speechcraft abilities to make other characters more inclined to your demands. You can even try negotiating with a brutal pirate to get out of trouble or ask slave drivers to release their prey.


New improved character relationships system
Now you have to think twice before robbing a trader or getting yourself involved with pirates. Faction relationships will change depending on your actions.
Saved the Order scientist? Now they will treat you with more respect and may offer you help, be more inclined to listen to your requests or provide you with some unique equipment or missions.
Killed a Fanatics miner? Now Fanatics faction won't even allow you entry into their stations or might open fire if they see you, maybe even hire mercenaries to get rid of you.
This relationship system is a very important step towards a completely dynamic world that will develop alongside the player.


Is that all?
Not even close! This is just the tip of the iceberg! You can find the complete patchnotes on our forum (here), we would also really like to hear your opinion on our progress as your feedback is very important to us!

Improvements to character generator

Added on 16 May 2014 by Lurler.

Another preview of changes to come in the next update! While we are working on the code our artist decided to give another round of polish to the character generation system.

Here are few more rediculous faces you can make :)

Note the havaii shirt - we couldn't pass on the classic shirt for the space ship pilots (Firefly, Andromeda, etc.).

Interview

Added on 14 May 2014 by Lurler.

Just something interesting for you while you wait for the next update :)

It's an interview with some more info about the game, company and some other things in general.

VoidExpanse: New weapon type!

Added on 12 May 2014 by Lurler.

Another sneak peek to what's coming in the next version. We have finally implemented mines as another weapon type. This will make gameplay and combat system in particular much more diverse. Now you don't just attack head on, but you can make some smart maneuvers and make your enemy hit your mines or deploy a mine right in their face if they are pursuing you :)

Here is how it looks like on a ship.

Note that we put it on a shuttle just for testing purposes, the shuttle won't actually have a mine slot.

Let us know what you think on the forums!

VoidExpanse Ships: Orca

Added on 5 May 2014 by Lurler.

So, we are working on the new update now! It's will take some time, but it is really going to be big! Here is a first sneak peek to what's coming. A new ship called Orca. It is personally one of my favoriates so far because it has two medium missile hardpoints as well as rotary mounted ballistic slot and good other stats.

And here is more detailed specifications and a 3D preview. You can rotate the ship in the 3D preview to get a better look.

Orca

Class: Light Cruiser.
Price: 20000 d.
Armor: Heavy armor, Heavy structure.
Hardpoints:

  • Medium Missile (top launcher)
    • Stationary mounted
  • Medium Missile (bottom launcher)
    • Stationary mounted
  • Medium Ballistic (wing)
    • Rotary mounted
    • Firing arc: 30°
    • Tracking: 60°/sec

Utility slots:

  • Consumables - 3
  • Devices - 2
  • Boosters - 6

Specials:

  • None.

Description: Orca was one of the first light cruisers built by the Federation hundreds of years ago. But even now, after so many years and countless modifications it still remains as one of the best light cruisers available. It is also one of the most customizable ships having a all six booster slots.

VoidExpanse - Update v0.7.12

Added on 29 April 2014 by Lurler.

Okay, this time the build should be stable! :) We have implemented a lot of fixes as well as rewritten several subsystems to address the issues reported since the last version.
We have also changed the save system to check the compatibility of saves. In the previous version we warned the people that saves are incompatible, but many still decided to use old saves which made some other problems appear. Now the game will check for any compatibility issues upon loading. So that too should be good.
Overall this update was focused on bug-fixes, compatibility improvements and optimizations. Hopefully it should be the last build of 0.7.x branch. After that - big new features!

Here is a detailed list of changes as always:

  • Implemented save compatibility checking.
  • Cosmetic fixes in star tooltips.
  • Fixed inability to rebind keys.
  • Improved item comparison tooltip.
  • Fixed updates of prices on space stations (when trading skill improved, etc).
  • Sometimes debris from previous star system present in current star system.
  • Fixed system map displaying objects on wrong positions.
  • Fixed too many "weapon empty" sounds.
  • 2D sounds (like "weapon empty") played in 3D space.
  • Added texture compression settings (auto/forced).
  • Improved textures & models caching.
  • Fixed blinkers sync problem.
  • Fixed re-centering when open system map is opened.
  • Added client stats log writer (average fps & other metrics regularly written to log).
  • Load music/sounds from cache instead of disc. Should improve performance a lot.
  • And a whole bunch of other small fixes.

What can you expect in a new version? Oh, a lot of features and content! I will post screenshots of a new ship, stations and some other info in the following days.

VoidExpanse - Update v0.7.11

Added on 23 April 2014 by Lurler.

The update is finally here and with a lot more stuff than we initially planned! Here goes.

( Random screenshot to grab your attention :-P )

New stuff:

  • New hint system. If you are doing something wrong the game will tell you. For example trying to equip an item in a wrong slot will show you a hint on what you are doing wrong.
  • Ability to ask for fuel from other friendly ships in space.
  • See contents of the asteroids skill if finally implemented. So, if you are a miner it will really come in handy!
  • Added "show on map" feature and ability to cancel quests.
  • All stars now do radiation damage to the neighboring ships.
  • Implemented skill: bonus to quest reward.
  • When near JumpGate it indicates where it leads.
  • Item comparison window.
  • Added button to quit to the main menu from the character creation screen.
  • Added faction icon near ship names (if the pilot belongs to any faction at all).

Changes:

  • New mining system. The main idea is that now you will actually get some good money for mining, but much less experience compared to before.
  • New experience system. We changed the amount of exp you get from killing pirates depending on their level as well as how much exp you need to level up.
  • Rebalanced the freighter hull. It is now somewhat weaker in combat.
  • Extended name generation for star system names.
  • Rebalanced the game start. It is a little bit easier now.
  • Galaxy map now reports actual asteroid density in different systems.
  • Added energy usage for all weapon types upon each particular shot, not just recharge. So, now all weapons use energy. We are still balancing the system so we would really appreciate your feedback on the forums.

Fixes:

  • Finally fixed multiplayer (lags, hangs, "lose of control")! And this time it really does work! :)
  • Fixed disappearing items icons (finally!).
  • Fixes to some quests, e.g. now they properly put markers, in the correct category and contain less grammatical mistakes ;)
  • Fixed collision box for science station.
  • Fixed docking zones for all stations. No more going through walls.
  • Fixed "Spiral docking" issues.
  • Fixed merchant Ships being stuck on certain stations.
  • Fixed "if game path contains Unicode symbols, NoesisGUI does not works".
  • Fixed random lags in game.
  • Fixed camera jumping after death/jumpgate.

And a whole lot of other small fixes!

As always we welcome you to join the discussion on the forums!

And more importantly - join us in multiplayer. We really want to see big battles going! Join in and show your skill!

PS - Due to a lot of new stuff added to the game unfortunately the savegames from the previous version is not compatible with this one... sorry.

VoidExpanse - Wallpapers

Added on 15 April 2014 by Lurler.

Initially we planned to release this VoidExpanse wallpapers pack with the Beta release, but since we were mostly working on the bugfixes these past two weeks our artist had some extra time he could spend finishing it. And I've gotta tell you it looks really gorgeous!

Here is an example:

This wallpaper pack is available to all Gold and Platinum game version owners. Thank you guys for supporting us! You can download it in the "My games & items" section.

Additionally I hope we can add even more wallpapers later on as well as adding more concept art images (several of which are in the works now).

VoidExpanse - Update v0.7.10

Added on 11 April 2014 by Lurler.

And it is finally done! This update primarily addresses all the reports that were given on the forums. Really big thanks guys! We were also able to slip some improvements to the game along with bugfixes. Overal I am very pleased with the work done this week. I hope you will like the changes! As usual find the list of updates below.

Oh, and below is an example of a rediculous face you can now create :) PS - there are also Hulk Hogan mustache available :)


New features:

  • Added industrial miner 2.
  • New generator (tritium + capacitor).
  • Whole lot of new face parts for character generator.
  • Consumables drop from pirates.
  • Added autosave interval setting to options.

Changes:

  • Consumables can now be equipped in flight. You don't need to dock to a station to do that.
  • Signposting - we have added clear indications to some actions to make it more clear why you can't do something or how you should do it.
  • Modified and rebalanced Avalanche hulls - now they are actually made for speed as it was intended.
  • Added missing icon for the first quest item.
  • Increased energy capacity for all generators.
  • Tooltips for ships now show tracking angle and tracking speed for each weapon.
  • Other small changes.

Bugfixes:

  • Fixed bugs with some quests. Particularly the Scurvy quest was changed significantly.
  • Fixed unequipping of devices when changing hulls.
  • Now it doesn't tell you "Docking failed" when you already docking.
  • Fixed NPC dialogs and container exchange states closing.
  • Now you cannot talk to turret platforms and pirates.
  • Fixed the problem with conversations when you talk to another ship, exit with Esc, the ship was zoomed-in and unresponsive.

Known problems:

  • Path to the game must not contain unicode symbols. Basically only symbols in default Eng keyboard are allowed. It should be fixed soon.

Tell us what you think of this update on the forums!

VoidExpanse - Update v0.7.9

Added on 5 April 2014 by Lurler.

So, here it is! Our first update to VoidExpanse (v0.7.9). It mostly addresses all the issues that were encountered by the players after the initial release. It should make the game much more stable now. Additionally we implemented several small features requested on the forums. But let's get into details!

Changes:

  • Your ship no longer stops when your open the map.
  • Help screen when you start a new game (or press F1).
  • Changes to world generation. You will see systems with anomalies more ofter.


Bug fixes:

  • Fixed inability to control your ship in multiplayer.
  • Fixed a crash when entering space station in multiplayer.
  • Fixed bug with textures in main menu.
  • Fixed issues with startup of the game on some systems.
  • Fixed crash with inventory and other menus.
  • Fixed problem with offline mode and master server.
  • Fixed problems with saving and loading the game.
  • A whole lot of other smaller fixes!

Guide on how to update the game - here.

You can discuss the changes on the forums!

VoidExpanse Alpha Released!

Added on 2 April 2014 by Lurler.

VoidExpanse Alpha is open for business!

After almost a year of intensive work, the AtomicTorch Studio team is excited (okay, and a little nervous) to invite you to play our first game! VoidExpanse started out as nothing more than an idea. To watch it grow and take shape into something that is not only playable, but also enjoyable, has been an amazing experience.

It's always a little frightening to send a work-in-progress out into the world. You start to worry if people truly understand that, as an alpha, there are still many features to come, bugs to stamp out, and concepts to expand. On the other hand, this is exactly why we want people to play as early as possible.

Feedback from players is something that we take very seriously. Whether talking about single- or multiplayer, we want VoidExpanse to be a game focused on community, with players forging alliances and fueling rivalries, modders creating new content, and people arguing the virtues of their favorite ships and equipment on the forums.


Much of our inspiration comes from old-school action-RPGs in which players had the freedom to choose their paths and to deal with the consequences. We see a lot of games that end up going too far for the sake of balance; streamlining character-progression and limiting choices to the point that players are just there to click buttons.

We want people to make the characters they want, the ships they want, and to play by their rules, because that's when a game transforms from entertainment into a truly memorable adventure in another world.

VoidExpanse Ships: Avalanche

Added on 27 March 2014 by Lurler.

So, it is time to continue with the ships demonstration! But this time I found a neat tool to make the demonstration a bit more cool. Now you can actually see the model in action, rotate, zoom and do other cool things with it. Better than the static picture, eh?

There is one thing to keep in mind though, this ship is specifically designed to be low poly to allow for best performance. So, don't expect Crysis 5 graphics quality :)

Anyway, let me introduce...

Avalanche

Class: Heavy frigate.
Price: 6500.
Armor: No armor, Medium structure.
Hardpoints:

  • Small Energy (left & right sides)
    • Rotary
    • Firing arc: 120°
    • Tracking: 300°/sec
  • Medium Energy (center)
    • Non rotary
    • Firing arc: 0°
    • Tracking: 0°/sec

Utility slots:

  • Consumables - 2
  • Devices - 2
  • Boosters - 2

Specials:

  • Increased maneuverability.


Description: The ship was initially designed for speed yet failed in this regard, but after its other characteristics were properly examined it was repurposed as an interceptor ship thanks to it's maneuverability and good weapon platforms design.

VoidExpanse Alpha Trailer

Added on 18 March 2014 by Lurler.

VoidExpanse Faction System

Added on 6 March 2014 by Lurler.

Here is another update on the progress of VoidExpanse! This time I would like to talk about faction system in VoidExpanse.

As you can see above we have several factions already in the game. The line color shows relationships between the player (in this case) and other factions. You can of course select any other faction and you'd get a very different result. In the example below the "Freedom" faction is selected and you can see how the other factions treat them.

Additionaly each faction has their own territory on the global map where they have the most influence.

In the example above you can see territory of the Order and Freedom factions.
Each of the factions have their own agenda and fleets of loyal pilots and worlds. Depending on who you decide to join you will get very different results. You can join Order for example, and many of the job they can offer you would revolve around getting the galaxy rid of Xengatarn influence. Or you could join pirates. In that case it would be a whole different story. You may be asked to take part in raids on some systems.

Ultimately our goal was to make each faction unique. And offer not just a nominal ability to join a faction, but actually completely new story depending on who you decide to join. And your choice ultimately can lead the galaxy to a very different future!

And finally, as with any other part of VoidExpanse - everything is completely moddable. You can create your own factions, their NPC characters, quests and everything else. We are looking forward to see what the players can come up with :)

Meet the AtomicTorch Team

Added on 3 March 2014 by Lurler.

Today, I want to share some details with you about the AtomicTorch team, about who we are and what we do for fun when not busy working on our first project; VoidExpanse.


Valentin Gukov
I am one of the founders of the company, and the game designer and producer for VoidExpanse. I am the person who talks with our external teams and takes care of the general day-to-day business that keeps AtomicTorch running.
My story as a game developer goes way back to when I was still in kindergarten. My father bought a ZX Spectrum and I tried writing small programs that played sounds by following a guidebook. I didn't understand any concepts of programming back then, but it was a good fun for the five-year old me. Later, I started writing small games using Delphi in school, then online stuff in PHP, then C# in college, and now, here I am finally working on a something big with a team of other awesome people!
I also like to actually play games; my favorites are System shock 2, Stalker: Call of Pripyat, Morrowind, Gothic 1&2, and Evil Islands. For indies I would name Kerbal space program, Minecraft, Factorio, and Gnomoria.
I’m not really the sort of person who watches a lot of movies or television, but I would say that my few favorites are the Star Wars original trilogy, Terminator 1&2, and the Matrix. For TV series, my favorite is Stargate SG-1, which is an important inspiration for this game, as well as, Stargate: Atlantis, and Mythbusters.
When I am not at work on VoidExpanse, I enjoy studying linguistics and game design. I also play airsoft and dabble in electronics (as in soldering stuff together and programming ICs).

Dmitry Zaborovskiy
I’m a developer here at AtomicTorch. I was born and raised in Moscow, Russia. I graduated Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, worked as a software engineer for a couple of years, then moved to Ho Chi Minh City to become a part of the AtomicTorch team. My history in game dev goes back to 1997, when my brother wrote his first program in BASIC and I watched over his shoulder. That was the first time I realized what I wanted to do in my life - create something.
I prefer video games that offer unique and interesting stories. Most of my favorite games are from 1995 to 2005 – my golden age of games, including Gothic, Morrowind, Dark Earth, Neverhood, Little Big Adventure, Quake, Drakan: Order of the Flame, Blade of Darkness, Rune, Outcast and many, many more. More recently, I’ve enjoyed Dishonored and The Cave.
I like to let loose creatively with a variety of hobbies in my leisure time; creating my own tiny games, composing music, writing novels or scripts, and other kinds of stuff. Of course, I enjoy spending time with my family - my wife and my son.

Vladimir Kozlov
I come from Samara City Russia. My job on VoidExpanse is developing the client for the game and overall control of the code base. The game client is a piece of software that connects to the game server and actually allows people to play the game, while the server provides the connections and sends information back to the game client. As you can imagine, Dmitry and I work pretty closely together.
When I watch television, I am a fan of the Stargate series, Game of Thrones, and House M.D. For games, my favorites include Fallout, Gothic, The Elder Scolls, Need For Speed, and Operation Flashpoint.
One thing that sets me apart from my coworkers is that I am a fruit maniac! I live to eat fruits and veggies, so if you ever invite me over, make sure that is what’s for dinner.

Andrew Shevchenko
I was born in beautiful city of Odessa, Ukraine. I am the artist here at AtomicTorch, doing both the 2D graphics and 3D modeling for VoidExpanse.
As an artist, I am inspired by science fiction, fantasy, and historical books and films. Among my favorites are Alien, Terminator 2, Game of Thrones, and Lord of the Rings. My other sources of inspiration are folk metal music, nature, and of course my kids and wife. My favorite games include Dwarf Fortress, Mount and Blade, Planescape: Torment, DayZ and many indie titles.
Sometimes I wear armor and take part in battles, castle assaults and tournaments. I play airsoft and enjoy backpacking in the mountains, and I also enjoy reading about a wide variety of science-related topics, like biology, history, paleontology, astronomy, and so on.

So, that is a little insight into our team at AtomicTorch Studio. Remember, if you are a game developer who wants to work with a great team, you can check our Jobs Page to see what positions we have available. We want to work with the best people. If that is you, please apply to be part of our team.

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