Game update released on Steam, now version 0.4

A new update has gone live on Steam, and it’s a big one! An entire new district, new UI design and a lot of other stuff. Release notes here.

Here’s a video that shows off some of the new stuff:



Patch 0.2.11, huge changelist

A new update for Satellite Reign has gone live on Steam, which brings the game to version 0.2.11. The changelist:

We’ve got lots of new fixes and changes for Satellite Reign. The update is now live for Windows. Mac OS and Linux builds will be available in the next 24 hours.

Please note: there have been changes to the way missions progress is recorded, so some saves may list certain missions as being incomplete. This will not affect your previously-awarded weapons, gear or agent progression. You will be able to repeat the missions and attain extra loot though!

Changes

Mission action “give items” now being saved.
Setup missions to now display what items have been previously awarded.
Going back into completed facilities will now re-award lost prototypes.
Removed splash screen tutorials.
Added some missing missions descriptions and message broadcasts.
Fix for re-spawning and being able to re-trigger tutorials.
Fix bug where items were not being awarded after loading.
Fix mission “folder path” when clicking on mission messages.
Fix bug where agents will have no weapons if they re-spawn after their corpse is de-spawned.
Fix researchers not saving on current research item.
New researchers will now automatically replace external researchers.
Added 3 leg augmentations revolving around sprinting.
Added items shield boost and shield re-charger.
Stopped adding targets to battle when you try to shoot them.
Fix wanted-level reducing (now reduces at 2 speeds: when in danger and not)… UI is still coming.
Fixed Up-cursor key not scrolling the camera.
Fix bug with tracker sprite masking madness.
Police and Corporate soldiers shouldn’t want to kill each other any more.
Fix bug where wanted and suspicious values were not being reset on death.
Info can now be purchased about what items will be rewarded from breaching facilities, once the info-broker has been found.
Fix disappearing laser-uzi bug.
Setup missions to show rewards (only items are set up so far).
Changed siphon amounts for ATMs (now gives slightly more money).
Reduced info costs for missions.
Shuffled research costs for items.
Changed research costs so it is now cheaper per-researcher, but items need more researchers to complete.
Fixed bug where agent was not being spawned from Police Station.
Added lots of new items and weapons (some only first-pass).
Increased XP for stealthing through compounds (also added progression stealth XP increase).
Fix bug where ‘Teleport All’ on relay beacons only worked once all agents were rescued.
Added ground plate to ziplines to make it more obvious where to click.
Fix agents dying and falling into cover (now always fall backwards).
Power generators and doors can now be Hardwired (doors require a Hardwire point to be Hardwireable).
Able to force-use Hardwire boxes now.
Add chance to be electrocuted when force-interacting with Hardwire boxes.
Added chance to fall from zipline when force-using.
Added ability to force-hack terminals.
Added chance to fail on force-hacked terminals (stuns agents and calls reinforcements).
Added varying chance to fail based on level of terminal/Hardwire box
More work on random missions.
Added fail info to info panel.
Reduce EMP resistance on agents.
Added 15 second grace-time after a wanted-level is added before it starts reducing.
Fix timers from turning into a full white square.
Increase size of terminal indicators and set up flashing sequence.

There are more changes, but Mike didn’t record them in our internal changes document, so now we’ll never know what he’s been doing for the past couple of weeks.

– Mitch



Patch 0.2.10 out

Release Notes (source):

We’ve got a new update for Satellite Reign available.

This update does include some significant changes to the Save/Load system. We’ve tried to make sure it is still backwards compatible with old saves, and it seems to be working in our testing. When an old save is detected, it will be slightly modified to work with the new system, which will update the timestamp on the file. If you have troubles with old saves, please send us your save file so we can identify the cause.

Also, we are aware of the heavy slowdown when loading. It will last for a few seconds while various things in the world are generated, and then return to normal.

On to the changelist!

New skills and items (all work-in-progress)
Distraction grenade.
Neural scramble.
Suppression.
Sniper setup.
Draw Fire.

General Changes
Setup re-spawn costs based on progression, items and skill points.
Reduce starting funds to 1000.
Setup new “Harden” skill VFX.
Slight reduction of ammo on all weapons.
Add charge indicator VFX to sniper-rifles.
Save Slots. Ten of them. YES, TEN!
Added a conversion step to convert old save format to new.
Simplified Save/Load system.
Go-to and Cover indicator that’s larger and fancier.
First pass at Clone Screen in the UI and agent customisation. Still very much work-in-progress.
Fixed health offset actually offsetting the health multiplier.
Setup multiple map states for ATMs and Relay Beacons
set everyone gets a pistol by default
fixed shield sizes
fixed being able to toggle enemy weapons
A Tutorial, noobies rejoice!
Cars can u turn, Hover Style.
Prep work for streaming assets.
Fixed clicking on cover when you meant the nearer scenery.

Plus lots of work to other systems and districts yet to be unveiled!

Mac and Linux builds are lagging behind a little bit, but should be available within the next 24 hours. Apologies!

Thanks everyone to all of your feedback and bug reports. Keep them coming!

– Mitch



New patch out, v. 0.2.9.1

As announced here, a new patch has been released on Steam. Here are the details:

A new update is out just in time for the holidays!

– Cars now explode in an appropriate fashion. Use this to clear out traffic jams until the traffic system is less broken!
– Further fixes to save and load (saves from previous version should still work).
– Minimap is now resizable.
– Added ability to rebind keys. Press the ; (semicolon) key to bring up key-binding menu.
– Updates to environment dressing.
– Improved agent responsiveness to sprinting and entering/leaving cover.
– Added more tooltips to various UI elements.
– A special present from Lead Designer Chris at the bottom of the options menu.

Happy holidays to all of our players, and also happy birthday to Yasmin, our QA and customer service rep!

-Mitch.



Patch 0.2.9

A new patch has gone live on Steam, which brings the game to 0.2.9. It includes a ton of bugfixes and some new features. Full patch notes:

Update Version 0.2.9 Release Notes
18 DECEMBER – OUKRUK

NOTE: Lots of fixes have been put in place for the save game in this release. This does mean that previous saves will not work with the new version of the game.

Mac: There’s a known issue with some mac’s that we haven’t been able to recreate/fix yet where it doesn’t run in medium or fantastic quality, for now select “Older PC Quality” then in the options menu enable the settings suitable for your mac.

Bug fixes and gameplay changes:

Atm suspicion values fixed (no longer going into negatives)
Fix Infiltrators sword attack animations
Fix Infiltrators sword attack energy drain
Infiltrators sword attack charge distance increased to 15m
Melee kick distance reduced to 3m
Add District + Location Bonuses info in resource panel
Fix guard station not giving bonuses
Fix assassination bonus not working
Fix cctv slowdown not working (District level)
Decreased base cctv suspicion time to 3.5
Fix bug where cctv suspicion was climbing at half rate
Increased time for cctv cameras to stay suspicious before cooling down
Fix skills saving and loading
Fix not being able to run or sprint if the agent is already walking
Added vertical scale markers to status bars.
Added more user interface sound effects
Update quest logs to show all previous entries. (Collapsing individual entries still to come)
Fix not being able to spawn soldier with load and save bug.
Fix Load and Save of parked cars, fix traffic breaking after load game
Fix Brain Dead Civilians
Fix Cowering Civilians
Add Jobs and BasicInteraction to save System
Load And Save popus up a success/fail window
Fix Stuttering Enemies and repeated vocals
Stop Enemies seeing you through walls on occasion
Fix agents refusing to Move after reviving in cover
Fix 30 second pause when destroying some cover
Fix item association with facilities not saving and loading
Consolidated doctors and scientists into 1 “Researchers” category
Issue agent commands on mouse down rather than mouse up.
Orient Players to vertical when exiting car on a slope
Fix hijacked civs not using cover

Thanks again for all the input, videos and bug reports! They really help us figure out what some of the big problems are and how to fix them. :D
– Chris



Early Access release: Reactions and Discussions

A couple of days have passed since Satellite Reign has gone live as Early Access on Steam. Since then, interest in the game has spiked. A number of “first impression” articles have gone up around the web, twitter users are twittering their excitement, and the new discussion forum on Steam has seen a lot of action.

For example, @CThiefUK writes:

OK, @SatelliteReign definitely nails the feel of Syndicate so far. Well done chaps! […]

@JKashaar has this to say:

@SatelliteReign Congrats on the release! Finally played for the first time, loving it already! Very promising game :) Keep up the good work!

A consistent theme in the first reactions appear to be that this game looks great and has a lot of potential, but that it is indeed still very Early Access at this time. For example, the piece on Gamestar (German) asks whether the game is already worth buying. Their answer (my translation):

No, because too much of the gameplay elements are still missing. The controls and the interface are not yet mature, furthermore there are many bugs and significant performance problems. […] Therefore we recommend: Wait a few months and see how the project develops.

The reviewer even mentions it may be ”tight“ for the developers to release in the first half of 2015. However, it should be added that the reviewer has likely not seen all that the game has to offer at this point, as he reports that he was unable to advance after the first mission (rescuing an agent). That may have been because of a bug, or he may have simply not found out how to do it. It is easy to guess that he may have come to a different conclusion had he seen the full content of this build.

Three other news sites that have covered the release are VG24/7, Eurogamer.net, and PCGamer. You can read their pieces here, here and here. (As always, these are also added to our press coverage page).

The discussions whether it made sense to go to Steam already with the game in its current state has also been ongoing on the Steam forum. In one of the threads, a 5LS developer (I am guessing it is Brent) has given a detailed reasoning for their decision to release as Early Access at this point. The post is given in full below, as it may clear up some questions that people have at this point:

WetWired [developer] 16 Dec @ 10:37am

Early Access provides us with 3 major benefits as developers.

1) It brings in extra funds, which contray to your concerns aren’t being spent on money hats and yachts. It all goes straight back into the game to make it better, this means keeping some of our contractors around a bit longer to work on the game, none of it goes in our own pockets.

2) It allows us to extend our tester base with literally thousands of combinations different computer specs and setups, something we just can’t do on our own. The amount of bugs reports we’ve recieved over the past few days has been amazing and we’re squashing some of them already.

As an aside I’d also like to thank the people who have submitted bugs, I’m surprised at the level of detail and explaination in some of them in how to reproduce the bugs, I’ve seen less professional bug reports from people who’ve been game testers for years.

3) User feedback has been incredible and much needed, some of the feedback is based around things we’ve yet to implement but there’s been some great new ideas put forward by the community in just the few days it’s been out publically.

As a developer we can often get used to certain features or the way the game operates just because we’ve been living with it every day for the past year and a half. So it’s good to get fresh takes from people. Watching some of the youtube video play throughs has been eye opening, We here in the office will play the way we intended it to play, whereas the end user doesn’t have the bias of how it’s meant to play, they just play it the way it’s been laid out in front of them, doing things we never intended or thought could happen (this includes some of emergent gameplay and inventive strategies we hoped would come from the way we’ve designed the game). So when we see someone new playing it, it allows us to see the gaps we need to fill and flesh it out to produce the experience we have in mind.

Rest assured we have enough money to finish the game and won’t be abandoning ship halfway through development, we formed this studio to make THIS game and unlike other studios you mentioned our attention and budget isn’t fragmented between multiple projects. It’s in our best interest to make this, our debut title as a new studio as best as it can be and earn the trust of our players.

Other discussions which are ongoing at the moment are for example an achievement ideas thread, or a combat feel PROs/CONs thread, to name just a few.



Steam Early Access build is live

The Steam Early-Access version of Satellite Reign has been unleashed to the masses today. This build has the number 0.2.7 and is an updated version of what was earlier released to alpha/beta tier backers. Those people who have not backed the game on Kickstarter or later through the Satellite Reign website can now purchase Early Access on Steam.

It is worth noting that the game is still fairly incomplete and far from finished at this point. Those of you considering to spend some money on this Early Access version should be aware that this is still work in progress and that you can not expect a smooth and polished experience at this point.

First reactions from players popping up around the internet seem to be predominantely positive. Similarly to the earlier alpha-/beta-releases, people express praise for the look and the atmosphere of the game, but note lacking features, low framerates and occasional bugs (which is not unexpected in an Early Access release).

Whether 5 Lives Studios have reached their goal of releasing by the end of 2014, as stated in their Kickstarter campaign, is perhaps open to debate. While they have technically fulfilled the promise by releasing something before the end of 2014, the reality is that the game is far from done at this point. What looked like a 1.5 years development cycle at the time of the Kickstarter campaign now looks more like a 2 year development cycle, with a final release expected for the first half of 2015. We are therefore realistically talking about a delay of ca. half year, which is actually not bad compared to other Kickstarter funded games (and video games, in general).

It does seem a bit odd though that they are on the one hand insisting that this is still a “pre-alpha” build, but at the same time rushing to make it available to the general public on Steam. I would have expected this to be in “beta” and feature complete (although not yet tested and balanced) when it is released to the public. I just hope this is not a bad sign, as it could be taken to indicate that they need the additional funds from the Early Access sales to finish the game.



Early Access release coming up

Christmas will come a bit early this year for backers of the Satellite Reign Kickstarter campaign. According to the Steam website, the Early Access version will be available from 11. December, which is less than two weeks away at the time of writing. 5 Lives Studios have said that all backers will get access to this version, not only alpha/beta tier backers. Non-backers will be able to purchase early-access, obviously. The alpha and beta periods will then both have lasted roughly one month (the alpha build was released on 9. October and the beta build on 18. November).

The Steam website also has a short Q&A with some new information. First, there is this about the release date:

We plan to launch Satellite Reign in its entirety in the first half of 2015. However, we plan to continue updating the title after the full release

Furthermore, there are some details about what will be included in the early access build:

[…] The city is divided into four main districts, each one themed and controlled by different factions. This initial release contains the entirety of the first district, the Downtown District.

All of the districts have been built, but the Downtown District is designed as the first area players will explore, and so we feel it is the best area to serve as a test-bed for our core mechanics.

The following is a short list of a few of the features available in the current Early Access build.

All four player agent classes.
Agent skill and ability upgrades.
Cover-system for both players and NPCs.
Mission/quest system.
Weapon loudouts and upgrades.
Gear/item researching.
Destructible cover.

The following is a list of features which are presently being implemented, but not currently included in this build for balance and stability reasons.

Agent cloning.
Additional skills, abilities, weapons, items, etc.
Factional relationships.
Propaganda system.
Playable tutorial mission.
Iron-Man Mode.
Localisation.



Dev Diary #11: Release plans clarified

The latest Dev Diary is mainly about the team’s visit to PAX Aus 2014. But it also i contains some clarifications regarding the upcoming releases of the beta build and the early-access release on Steam. 5LS announced that the beta will be available as early as next week! The beta build will be available to all backers who backed at 29£ or more. Sometimes in December we will see the game appear on Steam as an Early Access title. This early access release will be available to all backers of the game!

The speed of development seems pretty crazy at the moment, considering that the (fairly rough) alpha build happened not so long ago and we will see two more releases this year. Of course, the game will not be “done” yet in December, and it will likely remain in Early Access for some time. Nothing is known yet about how long the early access phase will last and when we will see a final “1.0” release (that will probably depend on a variety of factors, including backer feedback and how many bugs pop up).



Satellite Reign at PAX Aus 2014

First of all: I am sorry for the lack of updates recently. My laptop died, and as I don’t have a second computer available at the moment I had to wait until the replacement arrived. It’s all sorted out now, though.

Satellite Reign has been shown off at PAX Aus 2014. You can find some reactions on Twitter, and there is some additional information about it in the latest Dev Diary.

The team is now back in Brisbane and (presumably) hard at work to prepare the upcoming beta release.