Get the developer’s full blog post on the delay below.
■ Early access moved to first half of 2023
As the title suggests, we’ve decided to postpone our Early Access window.
We are now starting in the first half of 2023.
Why? Well, in the last month over 80,000 players have played our demo and many have given a lot of positive and constructive feedback. We’ve decided to take a lot of that feedback now and expand the scope of the game that will be coming to Early Access. But we still need some time for that.
■ What feedback led us to this decision?
To be perfectly clear – we just didn’t expect so much positive attention and feedback from our demo and for that we are eternally grateful. On the surface everything seemed great. 83 percent of respondents gave the demo an 8 out of 10 or better. But as we took a closer look, we started to see things that a lot of players were missing.
We’re now looking at a much larger influx of players picking up the game during Early Access than originally predicted. As such, we want to lay a better foundation for more of our core mechanics so that everyone can have a much clearer idea of what else to expect from the future of heaven forever.
■ What we expand
1. Under the Dust basics
So far we have only shown locations above the dust. Yet the world that developed beneath the toxic clouds is an equally integral part of it heaven forever. This is still in deep development, so the original plan was to add this as one of the first major updates in Early Access. But the feedback and questions about what’s happening under the dust has shown us that we really should have some basics from under the dust from the start.
Beneath the Dust is meant to be dangerous, so there are various risk/reward systems that we want to introduce here along with notable progression systems. There will also be new mechanics, blueprints and viruses. Now the foundations for all of this are being laid sooner than we planned.
Also, after seeing how many valuable lessons we gleaned from our demo, we’re strongly considering publicly testing our Under the Dust gameplay before adding it. Whether this will happen as a public demo, with a closed group of players from our Discord community, or in some other way is yet to be decided.
2. Deeper site diversity
The derelict towers and locations breaking through the toxic dust are part of the main exploration loop heaven forever. The way our system works is that locations are created by our level designers and then put into a pool or database. A procedural generation system then looks at all available locations and creates a custom map for each player.
In the demo we only enabled two locations and a lot of feedback was that the game would benefit tremendously from more. Our initial plan was always to have more locations at launch and keep adding more through updates. This is still the route we’re going to take, but we’ve decided we need to make sure our existing locations have a lot more variety and reasons to explore them.
3. Basics of airship damage and repair
This brings us to another complex system that we left out entirely in the demo: the airship damage and repair systems. Our toxic devastated earth is intended to pose a significant threat to both the player and their airship, but what we’ve just developed still needs work, so we decided to leave it out of the demo altogether. And many players noted that this was a key element that they wanted.
However, we don’t want this system to feel like a chore that needs to be done in order to keep playing. Damage to your ship is inevitable. But what we want is a system to help you weigh the options. Do I have to take care of it now or can it wait? Do I prioritize problem A or problem B? This is undoubtedly a system that will continue to evolve throughout Early Access, but again, we see that deeper, more solid foundations need to be in place, at least from the start.
4. More airship customization
The previous point ties in pretty well with another key element that we want to flesh out more – airship customization. This encompasses a whole range of things, from the building mechanics as a whole, to the modules you can build to customize your ship, the different tools you can craft for gameplay, the accessories you can create to customize your personalize airship, and so on. We now want to expand this list and will of course continue to do so throughout Early Access.
5. The scientific approach to survival
heaven forever is designed around the idea of a “scientific approach to survival” and our demo only hinted at that. Although there are some elements in this design, our virus research mechanic is the main pillar for it. The final vision is a variety of viruses that gather from different sources and affect your character in different ways. Therefore, of course, various remedies and remedies must be discovered. Additionally, we plan to add an entire system where you can further research and modify these viruses to give you new abilities and boosts. Some are tied to improving your character, while others are tied to mission progression. This system will also evolve and evolve throughout Early Access, so it’s important to have a remarkable foundation from day one.
■ Core features coming during Early Access
We also want to quickly highlight the features we’ve already announced that will be added later during Early Access.
The first big one is co-op [60 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/genres/multiplayer/co-op”>Co-op, up to 4 players. Everything we design takes into account that eventually four players will be playing. This isn’t “that is not a feature that we simply add after the fact. However, the game is constantly evolving and the co-op system that we have at this point is very basic. So we know co-op is going to be something we’re going to be working on, a notable part of our time in Early Access.
A compelling story about how Earth got into such a state and what our scientists are doing there has always been a big part of the plan as well heaven forever. We just need the time to get enough of our game mechanics so we can build our story around the gameplay. Therefore, the plan is to finish and fully implement the story towards the end of Early Access. Basic elements of our story are presented at the beginning, while we have yet to decide how to release the full story (chapters versus a major update).
There are also some other features that we have in the prototyping phase, so expect more along with ideas that emerge from player feedback.
■ New release window
With this in mind, the team has decided to delay the start of Early Access heaven forever into the first half of 2023. This way we can start Early Access for heaven forever with a much better foundation that allows us and our community to make the next stages of the game better from the start.
We say the first half of 2023 because that is exactly what we have planned as a team. We haven’t picked an exact day ourselves, so we’re telling everyone exactly what we know. Once we feel comfortable and ready, we will announce the PC Early Access release date for everyone.
■ Closing words
We would like to thank everyone again for their support and help in getting us to this point. And we hope that our transparent explanation of everything that’s happening will give you a better understanding of why we’ve decided to delay our Early Access launch by a few months.
Please keep talking to us, whether it’s here or on Discord, which you can join using the button below. We will be running another AMA in late November 2022 and will be collecting questions for it throughout the month.
And in case you missed the news, we’ve also added back our Steam demo after making some quality of life adjustments that players have been asking for, which we’ve now been able to implement, along with extending the timer for exploring the open world.
—Team far from home
#Skies #Early #Access #Delayed #Gematsu