BETA + 2019 September Development Update

I’m very pleased to announce that the beta of XO should be released in one to two weeks.  We are testing the current beta candidate now and barring any major issues we will go beta in one week.  Latest would be two weeks from today!

In beta we’ll complete the end game, get Mac and Linux native builds working, and make about 25 tweaks to the game before moving to Steam Early Access before the end of this year.

For this and future updates, I’m switching things up and pasting in the weekly updates we are sending to alphas (and soon betas!)  Our focus is on beta now, and I’m sure everyone would rather we focus on that.  🙂

Thanks everyone for the incredible patience, the great ideas, all the helpful comments, the bug fixing, support and good times.  I can’t wait to get the beta into your hands!

XO v1.10 “Free Trader Beowulf”

The relationship penalty for disabling non-fleet ships is now -2 (from -1).

Weapon stats have been simplified into 1-6 pips.

Weapon lore has been added to all of the weapon detail views.

The weapon detail view stays active while you hover weapons in your inventory for easier comparison.  It also stays in a fixed place making it easier to compare items for trade.

Each weapon now has an icon and a 3d portrait view as well, even plans.

The melting value for a weapon is now displayed when hovering it.

New ships jumping in show a blip on the minimap.  When dialog boxes are up, this blip also displays, helping anchor who is talking.

Ships in the minimap, and the new contact blip, now only display once you’ve exited jump.

Disabled ships now have a diagonal bar across them in your fleet list, making it clearer.  The bar will soon be replaced with a better 3D model.

Ships now display their current orders and their current rule of engagement (ROE) when hovered.

Weapon recharge bars are now visually complete.

Disabled ships now show ‘disabled’ when hovered.

The minimap solid box has been replaced with a triangle, this is now final.

The mouse pointer now changes to Mouse Pointer Nope and displays a tooltip when you need to return to tactical for comms.

Hovering the jump button now displays a tooltip.

A new event tag condition called requiredJump was added.  More on that in the monthly update next week.

All tooltips now have an opacity layer for improved visibility.

Ship weapon details now include the ore icon next to the trade price.

Scanning ships now displays their health as xx/xx.

I made tweaks to the faction leader text.

The Harvester expansion rate was increased about 33%.  It may be a little fast.

I mocked up the upcoming graphic settings options dialog.

I modeled all the weapon icons, the disabled bar, checkboxes and checks for the upcoming graphics settings, 3d weapons and the 3d model for plans.

I adjusted and animated the jump in and jump-out animations in preparation for their being added to the game.

I created new events including the bloody decks, the mixed decks, the Irenic shock, and the escalating decline.

I added ROE text for hovers

When a warship has no weapons, it now does not display an ROE on hover.

To help with confusion about when and how you can trade, tradeships have been renamed cargo haulers and peace traders are now peaceliners.


Last week’s build was delayed due to a series of bugs including one that prevented you from adding crew to a ship, and one that displayed weapon details offscreen.

Planets should no longer overlap or give strange course lines in the starmap or galactic map.

Your music and sound effect settings are saved even when you start a new game.

Abandoned, disabled ships now tumble as they should

The weapon detail box was squinching all the text and pips together the first time it was displayed.

ROEs and commands with spaces in them now display as tooltips.

XO briefly was running in the background, which is not desirable.

We made a lot of tweaks to placement and sizing of various elements like the health bars, crew boxes and the like.  That’s still a work in progress.

The bizarre disembodied head bug was fixed.

Resuming from a saved game now shows all minimap pips.

Some weapon display z-fighting was resolved.

The camera was being improperly set low and at an angle on resuming a saved game.  We still have some tweaks to do on the camera, but it’s better.

A bug with our 3d slice-9 model was fixed.

XO v1.11 “Pixels for Second Breakfast”

This update unlocks a lot more events, and adds more things you can do in events.  Try marooning crew, or pulling crew off ships during missions…

Graphics settings have moved to the options menu, and I’m quite sure we’ve broken things there, so whack at it and let us know what needs to be fixed.

Unity’s default start menu was removed and similar functionality was added to the options menu.  We’re still tweaking it to get monitor selection right, and there are some wacky bits with the way that sliders work which we’ll fix soon.  On and off this has actually taken something like two weeks for Heru to finish!

Quite a few new events were added, both early and mid/late game.

I added new triggers to quite a few events that enhance gameplay, mostly around crew actions.

Ships that are disabled now show the final graphics for being disabled in the fleet info bar.

Heru fixed a bug in 1.10 that made it so you could only equip weapons to the hailing ship, now you can equip any ship in your entire fleet again.

We made some adjustments to the camera, pulling it a little higher and making sure that it was consistently returning to that state in all cases.

Events that previously were not being seen are now being seen.

The trade menu was adjusted.

Numerous small fixes and adjustments to individual events.

Lore for plans was written and added, but it’s not displaying quite right just yet.

XO v1.12 “Keep Jumping”

Ships jumping in/out now display an animation!

Water, ore, and the relationship graph are shown progressively, only displaying when they become relevant for the game.  The relationship graph now works as intended, gradually revealing itself over time.  Hopefully this helps cement how relations work.

The scouting box only appears once you have another ship in your fleet.  It is also disabled on the galactic view, since you can’t send scouts from there anyway.

Plans have been added to all warships (and the gatherer) so you can now use plans to equip or upgrade weapons on all relevant ships.

Crew transfer is now (hopefully) clearer with better mouse hovers and a mild, nonintrusive warning for putting passengers aboard an abandoned ship with the wrong faction.

Graphics settings have been improved.

Many events now react if you de-crew the ship during a mission.

Those events that I said were going to be present last update are now actually present in this update.

The trade menu and associated windows were made consistent.

The non-functional stereo/mono toggle was removed, because it seemed silly.

A couple of game-breaking bugs related to jumping and one related to scouting were addressed.

The scouting timer decided to take an unauthorized vacation but we forced it back to work.

Ships in your own fleet no longer attack if you decide to disable one of your own ships in a formation.

An issue with some cruiseliner events not triggering was fixed.

Weapon icons were finalized, this also fixed a z-fighting issue.

Some pretty nasty bugs related to the jump in/out animations were fixed before you even got to play.

XO v1.13 “Return of the Hardpoints”

Stations, caches and lifeboats have been adjusted to zero acceleration.  

There’s a new command for accessing caches: access.  This replaces the hail command for caches (hail didn’t really make sense). 

Lasers now fire their weapons from designated hardpoints (mining lasers are coming soon).  Lasers now track on moving enemies and pieces now fly off of ships where the weapons strike.  So, go get in some battles!

Two big strides were made towards a more permanent game state and permadeath; when you make a choice in an event, the game now autosaves.  And game over now deletes the save game.

The user interface of the ship detail view was improved.

Relationship change messages now appear on fleet info and scout lost event conclusions.

The jump-out animation was polished, and some bugs related were tracked down and fixed.

I added a couple of missions to address some cases where you can arrive from jump and have no events.

A bug that made minmap pips disappear was fixed.

The ghost grid that would briefly show during starmap to tactical transitions was removed.  Phantom planet names no longer show during the reverse transition.

The protect order briefly went nuts, but that’s been de-nutted.

Trying to access a cache antispinward used to crash the game in a spectacular fashion, happy to report this is no longer the case.

Attacking non-destructible ships also briefly sent the game into a death spiral, but that spiral has been halted.

I updated the harvester intro events to accommodate the new jump-in animations, and did some general clean up of those events.

I added more requiredJump/from logic to all the combat events.

XO v1.14 “Depth of Pirates”

In this update I greatly increased the number of actions that attack ships and pirates would both do and respond to in all of the many events that use them, including some events that bring in reinforcements.

The getShip action now randomizes when choosing a ship.  This is pretty important for the greatly increased scope of actions in the numerous pirate-type events in the game.

Automatic resource collection now stops when you jump and does not resume until you emerge from jump.

I made the laser beams smaller to better match their hardpoint placement.

I adjusted the minimum range of the shield up.

Several bits of visual polish in this update with numerous improvements to the ship detail view and fleet list, these are now final.

Character dialogs now show a ship icon in addition to the ship type below name and job title.

The feedback form now throws an error if it can’t reach the Internet when sending feedback to us.

Final alignment, tweaking and text adjustments were done on the trade interface, this just needs one more piece of text and it’s final.

Adjustments were made to some hover tooltips, particularly in the starmap.

Ships now display ore storage capacity (if any) in scan.

The mining laser now uses hardpoints.

Ore mining now resumes after a save game.

You can now equip a Pact frigate with a weapon after you’ve melted down its existing weapon.

Right clicking the battleship while the game is over no longer locks the game in a paused state.

The gatherer now correctly shuts its shield off when you are mining.

Nested hailedBy actions now work correctly.

I oriented the Harvester reaper correctly.

The main menu no longer zfights with a character dialog.

We had a moment there where the starmap wasn’t working, but that’s fixed.

I learned something about text tags and adjusted them so they weren’t appearing to change randomly (unintentionally).

An issue related to having two ships trying to hail a ship no longer triggers a blank dialog box.

Fixed a bug where accessories were duplicating.

A nasty bug that disabled the jump button was fixed by Heru.

Fixed a bug that was causing story boxes to go berzerk.

Fixed a z-fighting bug that disappeared ship icons when using the formation editor.

Heru wiped out a big that resulted in mystery planets appearing in the starmap.

And he took care of another problem where pips weren’t showing in the minimap.

Jury rig conditions now properly trigger.

Fixed a minor issue preventing a short destination goal not working if you took many days to reach it.

A few issues with the ‘access’ action were cleared up, including making sure ‘access’ was always in position 2.

Systems no longer claim as harvester without harvesters being present.

XO v1.15 “Proximity of Destruction”

We fixed two issues with the proximityDestruct action.  This was the last bit of functionality needed to create a type of event inspired by something that happened to a ship called the Olympic Carrier in the 2004 Battlestar Galactica TV series, which ya’ll may know had an influence or two on this game.  That event can only start from day 30, if you’re looking for it.

Characters are now colored per their relationship with you in all dialogs.

The game now begins with a splash screen, yay!

The fleet info bar is now final.  Visual tweaks were made as well as functional improvements.

I adjusted the placement of certain events on the timeline.

A few minor tweaks, fixes and clarifications were made to events.

I built Mac and Linux versions for testing and confirmed we have two showstopper bugs (at least) to tackle for those platforms.

Scouts now use the jump in/out animations.

A new tag was added, resourceCapacity.  This gives me finer-grained control over the appearance of certain things, primarily farmships.  I then used that tag to gain the aforementioned control.

Tags and timers are now definitively cleared when used in all events.

The Harvester expansion rate was adjusted down slightly.

Color blind palettes should work with no issues now.

Ships dropped due to a water riot can now be scanned, change color, and are now harvestable.

Relationship colors in the galactic map are now saved in save games.

The getter now displays ROE when hovered.

Spinward/antispinward controls are now (attempted to be) explained in the tutorial.

I added a welcome message.  We may use that space for updates after we release to Steam.

It is no longer possible to haggle down to zero.

You can no longer goof up the starmap by clicking too fast.

The number of jumps now resets every game.

I began adding a number of late game events.

A handful of events got special actions if ships were attacked before they were hailed.  Restoring from a save game now correctly applies the attack-before-hailing action.

The windows mouse pointer now disappears when alt-tabbing back to the game under some Windows configurations.

I added some helpful text to a couple of dialogs.

I added a bunch of action blocks relating to crewing and decrewing ships to quite a number of events.

Scout dismissed text was added for warships.

Three game-breaking bugs relating to save games were fixed.  Figuring these out and fixing them is what delayed our normal Friday release.

Repairing a ship no longer releases a cloned phantom ship.

The ship destroyed sound no longer plays when you jump.

You can no longer trick the game into crewing a different ship by going into the starmap.

If you jump while paused, shields now appear on the ship instead of where the ship used to be.

Ships no longer squish into interesting shapes after emerging from jump.

Jumpaway no longer triggers a second time if a ship has already jumped.

The jump-in animation wanted to break, so it did, and then we made it work again.

An event where a ship was supposed to blow up was fixed so the ship now in fact blows up.

Along those same lines, ships somehow acquired some kind of cloaking technology, but have now been made visible again.  This was a bug, not a feature.

Jump rings now clear when an event is ending during an animation.

Proximity destruct no longer triggers an explosion because the ship detected itself.

Music/sound effects decided to ignore on/off settings for a bit.  Service is now restored.

The paused window no longer zfights with scouting

Formation numbers were visible below the fleet info scroll bar

Formation tooltips wanted to be black for a while, and now they’ve been returned to whiteness.