The team hosted one final Town Hall this year to wrap up the year! The goal was to reflect on everything the team accomplished during 2023, while also looking forward to 2024 a little.
Below, you can find our report/summary of the event. If you prefer to listen back, then StarAtlas TV has got you covered.
Santi (Community Director) and Michael (CEO) are on stage, welcoming people before they dive into it.
Santi starts by sharing that the Honeyland collaboration is delayed due to the Econ team being too busy with other upcoming changes. Michael points out such collaborations represent a strong opportunity to recruit people from other projects and further support collaboration within web3.
They have been discussing with teams since Escape Velocity, but the notion is gaining some traction now.
There are some other teams that they have soft commitments with, so 2024 should see more of these!
Awards, Changes & Exploitative Mechanics
Santi pre-pre-announces that some “spicy” changes are coming to the economy.
They briefly talk about the GAM3 award show and thank the community for getting them to win the People’s Choice award for the second year in a row.
Michael shares once more that the studio is closing down for 2 weeks. The team will be back on January 8.
Michael feels like sharing a notable experience he had with the community team during the year. As the team was planning for several sales campaigns, the community team pointed out that some of the mechanics seemed exploitative to them. Now, that is, of course, not at all their intent, and those discussions became pretty confrontational at times.
They change gears and go into their 2023 highlights, which contain:
- Escape Velocity
- Sage Labs
- Never Alone – Social Campaign
- Star Path V2
- Breakpoint ’23
Talking about the outlook for 2024, Michael states that the team is well-positioned for 2024. The team is in a much stronger position today than ever. Short to say, Michael is optimistic for 2024, and beyond. Of course, there is still uncertainty out there, but Michael feels the team has demonstrated that they are able to navigate stormy weather and rocky waters.
SAGE Labs V2
This is followed by a sudden surprise announcement when they share that SAGE Labs V2 will go live right after the Town Hall is over! The biggest update is the addition of a fully interactive map of the Galia Expanse, which also shows the real-time location of all fleets. You can inspect all those fleets by clicking them, which also allows you to see what resources they are holding.
They show some SAGE Labs V2 footage that Dominic (Community Manager) recorded earlier, where you see fleets move over the map (arrows) and others being stationary (circles).
Michale notes that this will have huge implications for SDU farmers.
IP Program & Composability
He proceeds by sharing that 66 teams have applied for the IP licensing program since April.
The team is working hard to get R2.1.9 out by Friday, but they’re unsure if they will manage. However, Danny (CPO) and his team are doing their very best to make it so.
Michael goes through a truncated list of upcoming changes in R2.1.9. [See the official Medium article of the (meanwhile) released patch].
While going over the changes to the acting track, Michael teases that the founders discussed having teams man the pit stop (in the future) to make racing more of a team effort. This would be perfect gameplay for guilds. You could think about the crew having to be quick with refueling your ship or adding ammunition.
At this point, they show a video of Hano (Character Director) playing R2.1.9 on his PC Racing setup, helmet and all.
On the topic of the DAC Platform’s release, Michael shares that the team unfortunately ran into some issues with the Player Profile system and, therefore, won’t be able to release this in 2023. Instead, they are looking at a January 2024 release date now.
The team will, however, release a pre-release alpha version on Atlasnet over the break, to solicit feedback during that time. [Red: this did not come to pass, so far]
Dominic has been working with Danny (CPO) on an updated roadmap that will be published on the Play-portal (website) of Star Atlas. No ETA was provided.
R2.2 will come with character progression, to which Michael is greatly looking forward. He played MMOs primarily, and having character progression means that putting more time into the game is paying off.
On top of this, Ship mastery (a progression system tied to your ships) is coming, which will come with various earnable components, modules, and upgrades to your ship. This is the play-to-own system.
All those features, including ship configuration and crew customization, combined with the game no longer being behind an access code, will make the game feel real.
With R2.2, the experimental modes will also see upgrades, and Michael is particularly looking forward to the shooter mode.
Rescaling the company
Asked by Santi if he would do things differently regarding scaling the company back up, Michael answers that they’d do many things differently.
He adds that he is going to be very conservative with scaling the company back up in the near term. Though the team’s revenue improved, there is still a long way to go. Additionally, the team is very cohesive at this point, and Michael does not want to damage that either.
Any scaling would most likely happen on the production side (Danny) and engineering side (Jacob). Michael would also like to hire a creative director and make other marketing hires in the new year. So far, they accomplished a lot without having any marketing team (at the moment). Instead, the team relied mostly on the network effect. This means they have effectively 0 marketing costs at this moment.
It is high on the priority list and has a dedicated team working on it in 2024.
Crew Cards & Mobile Companion App
Crew cards require them to use a new token standard because they need millions of them. So, they are looking into compressed NFTs (cNFTs) at the moment. However, the Marketplace does not support that, so that will also need to be updated. Therefore, a new revision of the Galactic Marketplace is coming online next year. The upside to using the MetaPlex cNFT standard is that cNFTs are already supported across other Solana marketplaces.
The team had some planning meetings in the past week. They are still limited in development capacity due to the reduction in team size. Crew cards and the mobile companion app will likely be deferred to the middle of 2024. First off, StarComm, the Showroom R2.2 update, and updates to SAGE have the highest priority (Starbased & Combat).
Coming next is Starbased construction. Players will start in their starting zones, at their central space station, with their faction having only 4 other starbases in their Secure / Low Risk Zone. Every other starbase will have to be constructed and upgraded. This effectively introduced the territory control aspect of the game.
This will come with the Loyalty Point system, which measures how much you contributed to the Starbase construction and upgrading. This will allow the team to fully transition from SCORE to SAGE, as ATLAS earnings will go live in SAGE then as well.
For the Armstrong IMP (capital miner), the 50% discount tranche on both USDC and ATLAS sold out. In the spirit of Shipmas, the team will offer a new 25% discounted tranch on Armstrong IMPs during the team’s break (which ends on January 8th).
And with that, the fourth Town Hall of 2023 ended.