Progress on StarDrive proceeds smoothly and quickly. Cosmetically, things are looking good and are rapidly closing in on being finalized. The various screens used to interact with and manage your empire are largely implemented and will undergo further refinement as we discover through testing the best ways to manage things.
The Kickstarter funds are working out brilliantly and as intended. For instance, check out this radical alien video (attached), designed and funded by one of the race designer backers! We've also added a ton of new ships and sounds, music, and other aliens, many of which were designed or influenced by backers.
The major tasks left to be completed are Diplomacy and the final AI overhaul. I have a fairly rudimentary AI in the game right now just to give the world a little life, but once all of the final gameplay systems are in place, the AI is going to get a good workover as we head into beta.
AI opponents will have several randomized personality traits, like Aggressive, Xenophobic, Friendly, Deceptive, Cautious, and so on, which will affect the strategies they choose when dealing with other races. For instance, a Friendly and Deceptive opponent will make overtures of peace including non-aggression pacts and alliances and so on, and will attempt to manipulate you into committing your forces in such a way as to allow a sneak attack on your more valuable worlds.
We've also got a heavy content push that will be made heading into and throughout the beta period. This content push will involve the fleshing out and finalization of the technology tree as well as implementation of the various weapons we have planned with unique sounds, sprites, and animations.
All in all, things are looking good right now. I believe we will be feature complete and ready to go to beta by July 1, where your tester feedback will really become invaluable. A new website is almost completed and should be up within a week. I will update you then.