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Weekly Star Atlas Newsletter #76

escape velocity

Welcome to our 76th newsletter on Star Atlas! This weekly newsletter is published by Aephia Industries and focuses entirely on Star Atlas. Here we try to aggregate all the newsworthy tidbits that were dropped by the team throughout the past week.


Most weeks, there is little news, and then some weeks, there is a ton. Last week falls squarely into the latter category. After two and a half months, the team finally organized another Townhall, and it came with a major milestone achievement: The pending release of the very first module of SAGE, the Movement Test! And, of course, right alongside that, the Scavenger Hunt.

That is not all that happened last week, and certainly not all that was discussed during the Townhall, so without further ado, let’s get to it!

escape velocity
Escape Velocity announcement

SAGE – Escape Velocity is coming!

A little over 16 months after Faction Fleet (SCORE) went live, and (only) two weeks after Faction Claims opened up, the team at ATMTA is about to give us our first taste of the gameplay of Star Atlas: Golden Era (SAGE)! The first test-only module will launch on Wednesday, April 26th (or 4/26)!

Earlier this year, during the previous Townhall, Michael shared that they had decided to break up SAGE into smaller modules, so they could start testing and deploying them quicker. Last week, we gained some insight into which modules the team is planning to release, and what gameplay is contained in each of them. In short, the plan is to release three modules (movement, mining & crafting, pre-alpha), before the release of V0.

Now the first of these, the Movement Test module, will be released this Wednesday on Solana’s mainnet! Alongside it, the Scavenger Hunt will kick off the very same day! The sole purpose of this Hunt is to encourage people to actually playtest the movement module, as otherwise, besides some initial curiosity, there may not be enough of an incentive to participate in it. By randomly rewarding players who move around this early version of the Galia Expanse, the team is hoping to actually collect proper data and iron out any kinks that may be present in this module, before launching the next.

The next module, Resource Extraction & Crafting, is already in development. The blockchain contracts have already been finalized, but the user interface (UI) is still under heavy construction.

Prepare Yourself

With the release being a mere two days away, you may want to get up to speed and prepare for this event. For an in-depth overview, please check out our guide on Escape Velocity. This document will be updated throughout the week as new information, including the game itself, becomes available.

X6 Engines NozzleFlaps small2
Star Atlas – Pearce X6 – Engine Nozzle Flaps

Volant Studio Showroom – R2.1

During the Townhall, the team released a load of sneak peek videos from the upcoming R2.1 release and beyond! You can find that video footage at the bottom of this newsletter. Besides these videos, we also got a list of things we can expect to find in the upcoming Showroom release:

  • Single-player ground racing; in other words, a solo experience where you will race against a clock. This will work similarly to the current racing in R2.
  • Additional ships will become available for dogfighting.
  • The team is looking at a photographer career mode, a way to earn ATLAS by making images in-game by joining a competition.
  • Bug fixes & performance improvements
  • The Train has been overhauled and is now working.
  • There will be an option to enter the game on an expanded experimental map that is still under construction. The sole reason for this seems to be to show you a bit more of what is to come and open this up to people who don’t want to find their way around “invisible wall” limitations. 
  • You can select your default ship from the main menu (which will also become your background).
  • Ships will feel different while racing with them
  • More “mind-blowing” surprises coming!

So, how far along is the team with R2.1? Last week we clearly misinterpreted the team’s roadmap update: the Marketplace has already been implemented into the showroom! With that, it looks like R2.1 is on schedule to be released in the coming 2-6 weeks!

IP Policy

This week, the team will release its new Intellectual Property (IP) Policy. This will allow the community to use Star Atlas property in a whole new way. This includes things like lore, faction logos, characters, art, gameplay, and videos. Community members will be able to monetize any commercial project that is using Star Atlas IP.

It’s going to be open to anybody, S/NFT ownership is not required. There is not going to be a pre-approval process, though you will need to fill in a form to let the team know what you are up to.

There will be some limitations with regard to video game products, those do require pre-approval. There is also a non-confusion requirement. For example, you can not use “Star Atlas” in your product’s name.

The team is going to open a repository that contains the Star Atlas IP. This will include everything that is a final, publicly available, creative work. It won’t include items that are still in the pipeline. You’ll also find brand guidelines, going into things like which fonts to use and color palettes.

There will be a royalty imposed on the Gross Revenue that you generate. However, no royalties are owed on the first $1 million in revenue. After you reach a million dollars in revenue, there will be a light royalty imposed to continue commercializing your product.

In all cases, the royalty will be less than 10% of Gross Revenue, and often significantly lower, depending on the industry you operate in.

There is one other requirement: If you create a blockchain(-adjacent) product, and it is feasible for your product, you will need to implement some sort of ATLAS or POLIS payment option. Similarly, if feasible, you’ll need to incorporate the use of Star Atlas S/NFTs.

Lastly, there will be a new version of the Star Atlas logo introduced that you can stamp on your products. All of this will be unveiled later this week!

MECover
CORE: Issue 6 – Limited “Magic Eden” cover

CORE – Episode 6

Episode 6 of Star Atlas: CORE is out now! As mentioned in a previous newsletter, the team took a little more time before publishing the latest issue of CORE. However, in exchange, you will get a whopping 25 pages to enjoy!

This issue wraps up Act 1 of the CORE Graphic Novel! Act 2 will kick off three months from now, during Comic-Con, San Diego (July 20th-23rd).

As always, this comic is available through an online viewer, a freely available e-book (Apple Books), a 20 USDC limited (cover) edition on the Galactic Marketplace, and an alternative limited (cover) edition on Magic Eden for 0.83 SOL (roughly 20 USDC at the time of publication).

Social Campaign

The team is launching a Social Campaign that integrates with all the product launches, events, social events, and digital experiences this year. The team hopes this will also serve as an encouragement to recruit new people into the Star Atlas ecosystem. It’s structured in a way to demonstrate to others that you were there at the very beginning of Star Atlas.

Note that there will be loot involved! In fact, it will come with a custom loot table, with its own requirements. Michael compared all of this to a “big mission system”.

More will be revealed next week when this Social Campaign will launch!

GameStructureBrew

Atlas Brew

We seldom report in Atlas Brews, but for last week’s episode, we’ll make an exception. XCode (Project Manager) was present, along with the usual suspects (Santi, Dominique & Jose), to talk about Claim Stakes, present and future. It was packed with useful information, for anyone who has any interest in this type of gameplay. Definitely recommend a listen if you have the time!

News Tidbits

  • Danny (CPO) lifted a small piece of the veil on their plans for planets in the Galia Expanse. Planets will be much smaller than in our own universe, and will even be (on average) smaller than the ones you can find in a game like Star Citizen.
  • The team is continuing to work on the DAO Governance tooling. This will start out with us being able to vote and join the discourse, but the (foundational) proposals will come from the team.
  • The design phase for the DAC tooling (MVP) has been concluded, it has now been handed off to Engineering.

Development / WIP Videos

As mentioned in the Showroom section, the team shared a ton of videos with us during the Townhall on Friday. Most of these (if not all) are coming from the quarterly (online) meeting the team just had, where departments demonstrate their progress. Enjoy!

Showroom R2.1 – Integrated Marketplace (preview)
Showroom R2.1 – Opal Jet firing at the sand while (ground) racing
Showroom R2.1 – Demonstrating the new rearview
Showroom R2.1 – Showing off the train ride
Showroom R2.1 – Ground race track overview
Star Atlas – Demonstration of procedurally generated landing pads on planets [note: The rest of the environment is using temporary assets]
Star Atlas – Demonstration of putting an oversized manned turret on top of an Opal Jet, resulting in an “Opal Apocalypse” [Note: this configuration is not actually possible]

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