Alpha Phase 2 Begins
Thank you for your continued support and patience. Andrew and I could not do this without you. This update is so big it needs a table of contents!
- Save 50% on Templar Battleforce
- Phase 2 has launched!
- Digital Soundtrack Reward Listening Party
- Faction NPC Reward launches this weekend
- Reward Status Review Twitch Schedule
So let's get started!
Templar Battleforce 50% Off Sale
We’re having a sale on Steam and Google Play this week featuring a discount on Templar Battleforce of 50%! If you haven’t played Templar Battleforce, you’re missing an amazing tactical romp in mechs crushing xeno, cultists and Narvidians alike and you want to try it out. Pick up a copy and climb into a Leviathan mech today!
Phase 2 Alpha Build (v1.2.1)
Phase 2 is going live tonight across all platforms! Phase 1 was 75 days long -- our longest and busiest alpha test phase ever. We’re so proud to be working with you to polish Star Traders 2 into a real gem. During the Phase 1 we put our focus on character creation, trading economy, missions, ship combat, and crew combat. In addition, we have been continually pushing forward in completing the creative rewards for our KickStarters (Legendary Captain, Famous Officer, Join the Lore).
In prep for Alpha Phase 2, we have shifted our focus to finishing and polishing advanced trade (Black Market, unique trade goods), operations (Exploring, Spying, Blockading, Patrolling), contacts and in later updates, Storyteller support.
Across the quadrants, dishonest Faction merchants are operating non-Exchange trade houses that cater to Captains who wish to purchase outside of the trade laws that restrict legal commerce with off-worlders. Access to these Black Market trading houses requires a Contact who can provide an introduction and the quick wits and steely nerves of a fearless smuggler. We’ve expanded the black market implementation to include circumvention of both permits and legality.
To support the smuggler play style we’ve buffed indy worlds, increased the generation of Smuggler contacts on high Trade Law worlds, increased the number of Contacts who can introduce you to other Smuggler contacts and added scoring/awards for this playstyle.
Phase 2 also includes a focus on the game’s operation mini-games, including Exploration, Patrol, Spy and Blockade. We’ve rebuilt the UI for the card game and have rolled in all the lovely flavor text for the individual cards. If you’re Exploring on an oceanic world, your expedition might be attacked by toothy aquatic predators (sharks) or you might get rolled under an avalanche on a ice world. For each operation type we’ve put in a comprehensive list of Risk and Reward factors (bottom right) so you can see exactly what is contributing to the draw of the cards, and make informed decisions as to whether or not this is the place to be risking it.
Phase 2 expands Contacts in every dimension. We’ve added new services, the ability for contacts to grant discounts on zone services (Fuel, Doctor, Reparirs), new contact types, improvements for the contact generator, more contacts in your games, a revised the contact link system and an improved influence system. As we move through Phase 2 we’re working to rebuild the contact UI and incorporating the contact artwork we’ve been working on for the past 6 months. These upcoming features really bring these characters to life: my greedy, militaristic friend Davin Scarpitti will feel a lot more alive when I can see his serious Zenrin face and talk to him as well.
Key to phase 2 are the expanded Contacts types that were added to start migrating concepts from the Lore Book into the game. In Phase 2 you’ll be able to meet new types of characters like Blade Dancers and Gestalt Technologists and old friends like the Chaesin Doctors, Xeno Hunters and Templars. We’re filling in gaps with both epic and ordinary contacts. For example, Phase 2 includes both Smuggler Lords and Spicetender contacts. These new contacts provide new service combinations, recruits, discounts and ways to expand your contact network. We’ve made the cost of new introductions variable -- many will be more affordable, but high quality contact introductions will cost more. This can make it advantageous to buy introductions to contacts in the early game, because they become more expensive to meet as they grow in Influence.
Our game engine’s narrative system is code named “Storyteller” and while not immediately available in the first launch of Phase 2, we will be dropping the first story elements, side quests and character vignettes during phase 2 for testing and feedback. The very first story element will feature John’s character Nikolai Ramius. Because he is an honored Exec Producer and repeat backer of our projects we’re excited to see his handsome mug in Star Traders 2. While he has already appeared in Heroes of Steel and Templar Battleforce we think his Star Traders 2 appearance will be unique. Once his test story is launched, we’ll be adding additional content quickly and the galaxy will fill with story fast.
One of the core promises of the Star Traders 2 Kickstarter was that we would blend the sandbox universe of Star Traders with a rich narrative and bringing Storyteller to life in Phase 2 is what will enable us to deliver on that.
Digital Soundtrack & Listening Party
We are working with Peter, our composer, on final edits for the soundtrack. Once the tracks are finalized we will roll the new soundtrack into the game and move toward getting everyone their digital copy!
We’ll be holding a Digital Soundtrack Listening Party on our Twitch channel Thursday, 4/20. Join us at 4:00 PM EDT (-4 UTC) to hear the entire album we’re releasing to our Kickstarter backers. We’ll talk about the design process for each song and just enjoy some really awesome digital music. This broadcast will be available in a VOD format as well as viewable on YouTube if you miss it. After the listening party, we’ll be sending out the soundtrack for all our backers pledging $25 or more.
Faction NPC Reward
Over the weekend, we will be opening the next creative reward and asking our backers who pledged at $350 or higher to create a Faction Contact. Those gamers already playing the alpha know just how important Contacts are -- they are your quest givers, your allies, able to help you get Permits, promotions into the Faction military, death warrants, recruit specialized crew members, access Black Markets, discounts on services like Fuel, buy your Intel Records and more. They are your acquaintances, enemies, and allies.
Each backer will be invited to create a unique individual by defining their name, appearance (by providing reference images), as well as traits. You’ll also be able to help us figure out exactly what services are appropriate for your unique Contact to offer. In addition, we’ll gather background information and goals so we can work on giving them a special place within the world and story!
Don’t Skip the Alpha!
If you backed at Alpha level or higher and haven’t had a chance to play, please join us! Send a KickStarter message or email Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions for joining. The alpha will continue until we get the game right, so there is still lots of time to join in.
You can see from the rewards status chart below that we have made some really exciting progress over the last few months, flipping a ton of items to green and orange. We’re excited to be closing in on wrapping this puppy up!
Twitch & YouTube
If you’d like to check out the latest build in action, Cory will be streaming Star Traders 2 on Twitch this week. Follow us on our Twitch channel for notifications of any impromptu streams.
Our schedule this week is:
- Thursday (4/20) at 4:00PM EDT (UTC -4)
- Monday (4/24) at 2:00 PM EDT (UTC -4)
- Thursday (4/27) at 8:00PM EDT (UTC -4)
If you are not able to catch the broadcasts live, they will be archived and available on our Twitch channel’s videos page.
Thanks for your support!
Cory and Andrew Trese
Trese Brothers Games