Thursday, May 26, 2022

Hades' Star: DARK NEBULA now in Early Access

Today, we're releasing Hades' Star: DARK NEBULA in Early Access on the Google Play store. You can download it here and start playing: 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ParallelSpace.Cerberus2

In the first stage of Early Access, you will be able to access Blue Stars and Red Stars (and if you reach all the way to RS5, Dark Red Stars). Later stages of Early Access will focus on other star types.

As you'll see in the build, DARK NEBULA update will bring significant changes to Hades' Star. The reason for the significant changes is simple: I want the game to survive for decades into the future. During the first 5 years, we have received feedback and evaluated in game activity from a very large number of players. It's become clear some early design decisions have greatly limited the game's ability to scale - both for the people who design it (it's very hard to add new features without breaking or negatively affecting old features), and for the people who play it (the experience at all levels can be greatly improved to improve retention, which is the lifeblood of long term games). 

Major change in a game that has been live for this long is disruptive and risky. We have also made a conscious change to bring most structural, major changes in a single update, instead of disrupting the experience for many years in the future. I believe the risk and disruption at this stage is worth it, and that it increases the chance that the game will be thriving 20 years from now. 

Even though some of the changes may seem radical, none of them are meant to disrupt the *spirit* of existing activities in the game:


  • Yellow stars will remain a personal space to expand, progress and build. They will now also offer opportunities to more meaningfully connect with other players, show off the star system, and participate in galaxy wide trade, for players who actively choose to participate.

  • Red Stars will remain the daily PvE activity that helps progress critical Module technology. They will also add more diversity to match varying playing styles - from conservative players who value consistent and predictable progression rate above all else, to adventurous players who are willing to risk minor progress setbacks in exchange for higher potential rewards and more exciting combat.

  • Blue Stars will remain an intense PvP space, with new and modified Modules that aim to bring more fun - both when you have them equipped, and when you have to counter them on other players. They will also become a more central part of your daily economy, by removing the risky elements of tying rewards to absolute wins, which are difficult to achieve by many players and make even minor mismatches in matchmaking very bad to the overall experience.

  • White Stars will take a step back towards their original vision of a strategic, asynchronous team PvP experience that doesn't require someone to be glued to their screen all day. They will remain the central team PvP experience for a Corporation, and offer numerous improvements both in and out of the White Star match that address crippling Corporation progress issues present in the current version of the game.

  • And most importantly, many of the changes will attempt to make all the different star types work well together, in the context of the daily routine of a player who wants to experience everything Hades' Star has to offer and to progress at a reasonable pace without spending an unreasonable amount of daily play time. 

The more detailed changes that will be described in upcoming blog posts are not set in stone, as DARK NEBULA will be under active development for many more months. The best way to offer feedback and affect change is by downloading the Early Access build, and joining our Discord server. Having the background of WHY those changes are coming will enable you to offer better feedback on whether the changes effectively address the problem, or maybe you can even think of better ways to address the same problem. 

We are especially looking for long term feedback that can only be offered by long term testing. During the next few months, we'll be introducing additional Early Access stages that focus on testing specific star types with higher level modules. If you are able to participate in the Early Access in the long run - thank you. Your time will be appreciated and it will help make the game better. 


Andreas

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

The future of Hades' Star

In a few weeks, it will be 5 years since Hades’ Star launched. During that time, we’ve had 3 million players creating an account. Collectively, all these players have discovered over 30 million stars. There are thousands of players that are still active more than 4 years after they first downloaded the game. Far more important than any numbers is the quality of the community that has formed around the game: welcoming to new players and helpful, without aggressive and abusive elements found in other online games that have competitive elements.

I have no doubt these qualities of the game will allow it to thrive for many more years in the future.

Up until now, we’ve been improving the game with updates small and big, and this will continue in the future. But after 5 years of development, the time feels right to try something bigger than any update we’ve done before. The upcoming DARK NEBULA update, which we announced late last year, will feel more like an expansion pack than a regular update. It will bring a lot more content for existing star types, a new star type, a visual refresh for some game objects and parts of the interface, and new features means to strengthen the core economic and combat activities in the game. It will also attempt to address problems that exist in these core activities.

This post is an attempt to describe these problems and discuss ways we’ll be involving the community in solving them together as DARK NEBULA goes through development.

 

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Incoming server update

 

On November 17, the following server update will be applied: 

All new White Stars will generate Cerberus ships according to new rules:

- One third of all White Stars will be generated with no Cerberus ships 

- The remain two thirds will spawn Cerberus ships in various configurations, including Cerberus never before seen in White Stars. Spawned Cerberus ships will always be equally distanced from either corporation's jump gate.



This update will automatically roll out to all players, no app update is required.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Incoming optional client update

 We will be releasing a new app version starting September 6, with the following changes:

  • Fixed bug in White Star Time Machine where certain visual effects would not show up. 
  • Added support for linking Corporations with the upcoming BATTLESHIP APOLLO game (all members of the Corporation will receive crystals after a successful link)

You do not need to update to this version to continue playing the game.

On mobile platforms, the update will be rolled out gradually over 7 days. You may not see it immediately available on your device, and the devices picked to offer the update each day are random.


Thursday, August 26, 2021

Incoming Server update with module balancing

We will be deploying a server only update next week (August 30-September 3). No app update is necessary but there will be a short maintenance while we deploy the update. 

The following module changes will be part of update: 

  • Laser Turret: Damage greatly increased on all levels. Hydrogen cost to activate reduced. 
  • Hydrogen Rocket: Damage greatly increased on all levels.
  • Alpha Drone: Damage per second greatly increased. HP reduced on early levels.
  • Dart Launcher: Hydrogen movement cost decreased