Welcome to our 80th 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.
After a few interesting weeks, last week was again a bit lighter on the news. Definitely worth mentioning, however, is that the player base seems to have embraced the Never Alone campaign, which also led to an uptick in Escape Velocity activity. Meanwhile, Twitter has been filling up with threads and videos about Star Atlas, proving to the team this is a viable way to involve the community in their future marketing efforts.
Fortunately, we did receive a new Atlas Star on Friday (issue 18) to provide some much-appreciated news regarding the team’s progress. Let’s dive in!
The Atlas Star came with updates on the progress the team is making on their products, and as always, we picked the highlights for you here! Let’s start with the meatiest one: the Volant Station – Showroom.
The team is currently testing their UE5 marketplace implementation and hooking up the mechanism allowing players to test fly any ship in single-player mode. This option will allow players to try out ships before buying them, and also will enable everyone to check out ships that are too expensive to even consider.
Furthermore, the team has been busy “reworking” the dogfight-mode, while also improving both the ship flight models and controller support.
Of course, the team has also spent a good deal of time fixing bugs. Both existing ones, and new ones they found through their internal Q&A.
Showroom R2.1 is expected to go live next month!
The team finalized all ship components and weapons (quantities/sizes) for the upcoming Ship Config V2 system! This V2 overhaul of ship components (including weapons) will no doubt trigger a great deal of feedback, but it is in everybody’s interest to make sure the game’s vehicles are all well-balanced.
The first concept for in-game, vehicle-attached weapons is ready, and the team is currently busy setting these up as “detached” SFTs for future customization of our vehicles (ships). Of course, this is also a first step to generating accurate visuals for the default components that will be airdropped to current ship owners in the future.
Besides the above, the team also notes their progress on refining the Opal Bitboat interior block mesh (so rudimentary interior state). With the Ship Config V2 coming along, the team had to rethink some of the layout. A little earlier in the process, is the interior of the Pearce C9. The Game Development team has been working diligently to map it out, though!
Lastly, Danny (CPO) confirmed that the team has nearly finished their work on 6 ships (in other words, these are close to being 100% finished)! The ships in question are the Fimbul Airbike, Fimbul Lowbie, Fimbul ECOS Unibomba, Pearce X4, Pearce X6, and the Opal Jet.
The team is pretty busy with the character animation inside UE5. They added tail and trinket dynamics to the Mierese model (head), made progress with their work on MUD headgear (for the humans), and did a first pass on setting up the Punaab model for players. The team has also been working on giving the Usturs some love, with their fully articulated body construction now moving to the high-resolution polishing phase.
The Environment team has been working on Volant Station improvements, such as the 2nd floor and rail tracks. In addition, they have put in work towards playable Ground racing environments.
They have also integrated a (homemade) Amstrong Asset pack to give them more options to improve the fidelity of the map.
Lastly, the team reports having worked on Experimental Map load outs, including modular landing zone areas (which sounds a lot like what you see in this video).
Since the launch of the Never Alone campaign a little over a week ago, over 3000 players have been trying to complete the quests in order to get Saand his memory back! If you have not yet started, then be sure to check out our guide, or the latest introductory video from the team.
Next up, the first time-limited quest is here! Join the team this Wednesday (May 24th, 17:00 UTC) at the Atlas Brew (on the Star Atlas Discord), for the full duration, to complete the quest and earn 138XP.
The blockchain team is reconciling the Fleet Program with the (updated) requirements for the upcoming Resource & Extraction release. The web team is working on creating the UI for both Crafting and Astroid Belt resource extraction. Meanwhile, the Economics team has been busy determining the rewards table for both of these activities.
Lastly, the Design team has been working on the Mining & Space Inventory user interfaces.
You can expect the Resource & Extraction release to drop in Q3.
We had a quiet week regarding Escape Velocity, but as you can see in the chart below, activity is definitely going strong. A potential interesting observation is that the activity last week was higher than the preceding week. The effect of the first Surge event is clearly visible, but the remainder of the week can probably only be explained by the Never Alone campaign, which incentivizes players to put in more time.
At the moment, there are around 1000 daily active Solana accounts playing/testing Escape Velocity, as can be seen in the chart below.
Super short news crumbs that we do not want to withhold from you nonetheless:
- Star Atlas launched support for the Backpack wallet on Solana.
- Last year we enjoyed COPA (Council of Peace Assembly) in June, but this year’s edition will be a few months later. No date has been announced yet.
- Work on CORE issues 7, 8 & 9 is underway!
- The DAO Proposal platform is being prepared for internal testing.
- Orderbook history is being worked on for the Galactic Marketplace.
We’ve received a few WIP/in-engine shots this week, most of which you can find throughout this newsletter. The Ogrika Hydroponic system definitely warrants special mention, however. This system can be found on all Ogrika ships, in one form or another, allowing plants and crops to be grown while flying through space.
And lastly, enjoy this freshly rendered image of the Fimbul BYOS Packlite in the UE5 engine!
Until next week!