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Planetary Annihilation brings RTS gameplay to a new generation of players in a way that's never been seen before.
Planetary Annihilation brings RTS gameplay to a new generation of players in a way that's never been seen before.
44,162 backers pledged $2,229,344 to help bring this project to life.

Weekly Update: Galactic War Present And Future

Posted by Planetary Annihilation Inc (Creator)

Last week was a big one. On May 22, we unleashed Galactic War, Planetary Annihilation's single-player experience. Since the opening hours of its launch, many of you have annihilated and explored the mode's procedurally generated systems. You've discovered new abilities and Tech -- and maybe even unlocked a loadout or two for your next adventure.

One of the goals of Galactic War was to create an engaging meta-game that layered even more interesting choices and decisions into Planetary Annihilation. When should I take out this Faction Leader? How can I do it without, say, advanced orbital? Should I toss my storage capabilities in favor of Advanced Bot capabilities? These are the questions we hope you're asking yourselves as you play.

This isn't the last you'll hear about Galactic War. This week, we're working on fixes and tweaks. We're also going to be smoothing out the difficulty curve so, as you play, you encounter bigger systems and more difficult battles. We also have plans to add in something called "Hardcore" mode, which sounds as delicious as it is.

But, Wait, There's More!

A single-player experience wasn't the only feature the Galactic War Update introduced. As you've probably noted, we also added voice-over. VO, in general, is an important component. VO has the ability to alert you to things you'd otherwise may or may not notice. But, more generally, it delivers information.

With the voice, we wanted something that sounded firm and in control. We didn't want a voice that was too excited or intense, as that tends to be grating or numbing after a couple of hours. We think we hit a good balance. We also wanted to make sure we had an enormous amount of alternate lines. All said, about four hours of audio were recorded. Most of it made it into the game.

We also added a new hotkey system. Earlier today, our executive producer Adam talked about the design requirements we had for the system:

  • All items should be buildable from the keyboard so you don't need to move the mouse back and forth between where you place things and the build bar. 
  • The same key sequences should deterministically build a given unit, regardless of selection of fabricators/factories, so you can commit the the key sequence to muscle memory and stop thinking about it. 
  • Just as common key sequences are important, common visual locations are import for people who prefer to use the mouse. 
  • The interface should visually represent what keys could be pressed, so it can teach people how to use the keys. 
  • A spectator on Twitch should be able to see what key was pressed so they can know what was built even if it happened quickly. 
  • Key sequences should be short and easy, especially for the most commonly built items. Queuing up multiple units at a factory should be fast. 
  • The design should have some capacity for expansion and modability. 
  • Avoid collisions with RTS standards, like A is Attack and S is stop. 

And those are just the requirements -- you should jump into the thread to get a look at how we designed the system. We're also actively looking for feedback, as we polish it up.

And, finally, the Galactic War Update will give you more modding capabilities. Chris wrote an great post the other day in the modding forum, shedding a bit of light on what we have in store for all of you. Very exciting stuff!

And Now For Some Questions

When will there be a single-player mode?

Right now! Enjoy!

When will we be able to save a private game with just AI and play offline skirmishes (and save them)?

This is something we're still thinking about and working on -- and the same goes for pausing Galactic War games. We'll get you details as soon as we can.

Are the Commanders completely autonomous or is there a human or alien in there?

That's a great question. Commanders are sentient machines. Humans, as far as they know, are gone ...

Have a great week, guys, and be on the lookout for an update or two in the near future. Feel free to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or our forums! Also, if you have a question send it to:!


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    1. Radd Berkheiser on

      @Jim Bolla: You can expect it in November of last year. From update #49:

      "Since beta’s in such a great place and so many fantastic things are coming down the pipe, we’re granting instant access to anyone who has backed or pre-ordered the retail version. Specifically, if you pledged $20 (or $15) to our Kickstarter or pre-ordered Planetary Annihilation through the Uber store, you’re going to be smashing some planets with us really soon."

      As a backer at $15, I've had the beta for nearly 6 months now. You've probably been sent one, and other updates have had instructions on how to get your key if you lost it.

    2. Ryan Linkson on

      Still havent been sent my steam cd key ? :(

    3. Edward Jones on

      I got to say love it so far but my one problem is we need a PAUSE option, I can't take a bathroom break. when I come back I am dead also a tutorial would be great

    4. Timothy Roller

      OK, how about "when will a tutorial single player mode that slowly unlocks units and abilities in the way of Starcraft or any other RTS be released?"

    5. Jim Bolla on

      When can those of us who are owed the finished game that was estimated to be delivered in July of last year expect to gain access to this game? Now that the game has missed its estimated delivery by 10 months, those of us who are still waiting should at least receive access to the current beta version.

    6. Manolis Krestas on

      Mine CTD on start :(

    7. Rand Chua TL on

      My game Galactic War hang a few times too, need to restart the game all over. ...

    8. Missing avatar

      Jeremy A. Cunningham on

      I cannot play Galactic War. :( Every time I start to play, it tells me that my single player game lost connection to the server.

      Yes, I know this is beta/gamma, and still in testing. Just a bit sad that I cannot play.

    9. Missing avatar


      I have lost track. paid for the basic game level, should I have received something to play it?

    10. Lord Panda on

      The game is really shaping up extremely well - the art direction, audio, and gameplay is all coming together. I recently completed my first Galactic War session and had a blast despite the mode being pretty rough around the edges.

      The new UI looks a bit clunky but I really love how the hotkeys are displayed next to each unit / building. Saves me from digging through the options / key-bind menu.

      A quick question if I may about this QA point:

      When will we be able to save a private game with just AI and play offline skirmishes (and save them)?

      This is something we're still thinking about and working on -- and the same goes for pausing Galactic War games. We'll get you details as soon as we can.

      I just wanted to confirm with Uber that offline play is still in the works?

    11. Nick Johnson on

      Awesome update! I've been having a lot of fun with galactic war.

      Just a small request: Can we please, please, have a 'remember my password' box? I use a generated password, and copying and pasting it from my password manager every time I fire up PA gets tedious.