Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Hades' Star Roadmap - October 2019

Hades’ Star has been live for more than two years - almost 3 years if you count the pre-launch public beta. During that time we have been constantly improving the game. When we first launched there were no White Stars or Blue Stars, Red Stars had just 4 enemy types, the number of modules to equip ships with was about half, and there were no warp lanes or options to automate shipments.

Today I’m sharing thoughts on what the next 3 years *may* look for the Hades’ Star universe. These are not feature promises, and there is also no promise that the game will keep getting updates for 3 years. They are my current thoughts on what the
future may look like, should we continue to be lucky enough to have a passionate, sizeable fan base that continues to support the game and keep development sustainable.


Focus on improving existing activities

Hades’ Star is a game that offers diverse activities. Some people play just for the ritualistic daily shipment routine. Some play for the PvP that Blue Stars offer. Some love progressing technology or helping others in Red Stars. Some are only in the game because of their Corporation and White Stars. And some players enjoy the variety of participating in multiple activities daily. Going forward, the focus will be on improving the existing activities instead of adding new activities. There may be space for one more star type players can access once they finish exploring their own Yellow star, or perhaps that star type would be a variation of an existing star type. But other than that, there will be no more new star types in the game.

There are a few reasons for this. First,  I’d rather have a game with the existing 4 star types done exceptionally well, instead of a game with 8 star types, some good and some mediocre. Even if done perfectly, the 8 star version would require players to learn even more game types and choose which one they want to play each day and which ones to skip, whereas with the existing 4 star types it's possible to play a little bit of everything each day. And any new star types would split the players even more between activities, negatively impacting the matchmaking experience.

There are a lot of potential improvements that can be done to improve the existing star types and have them better meet their goals. Red Stars could benefit from random events and secondary objectives that add variety, give more opportunity to work together and break up repetitiveness. Blue Stars can become more exciting with more viable strategies and module layouts, more Cerberus ships, more dynamic maps and special events. White Stars could be suitable to a long term territory capture meta game. These and similar improvements will be explored in the next years, and will be much higher priority than adding completely new things to do.

Module design philosophy

Like with star types, there is work to be done to improve existing modules in the game. Expect to see reworking of existing unpopular modules - some will just have their numbers tweaked and some will alter their functionality in small or big ways. It's also possible one or two modules will be completely replaced if there's no clear way to make them useful and increase their use rate.The eventual goal is to make all modules useful in a dynamic way, especially for White and Blue stars. That means that whenever the Blue Star or White Star meta starts to settle towards specific modules, it should always be possible for an advanced enough player or team to pick combinations of less popular modules to successfully counteract the popular ones. New module ideas are more likely to be considered if they also help us move toward this goal.

New game in the the Hades universe

As Hades' Star is focusing on polishing what's already there, a new game (currently very early in development) will focus on tactical real-time combat between massive Battleships and their support fighters.

Why create an all new game, instead of applying the extra polish to the existing combat in Hades' Star? Two main reasons:

- Some of the things we want to do with combat do not suit the existing Hades' Star game - not without breaking existing progress people worked for years to accomplish, and not without a huge amount of work to make sure everything is balanced across 4 different star types/game modes. A new game in the same universe gives us the opportunity to start fresh and explore more radical ideas without constraint.
- A new game is a second chance to market the Hades universe to new players. While the Steam version brought many new players to the game, it has always been difficult (and is becoming more difficult as time goes by) to direct new players to an old game, especially a game like Hades' Star that takes a very long time to show a new player what its strengths are. The new game will be an opportunity for us to apply the lessons of multiple years and create a game that better brings and keeps players into our world, and to the original Hades' Star game. It is my belief and hope that the two games together will allow us to grow the overall audience to more than twice of what each game could accomplish independently.

The new game will have some sort of alpha testing in 2020, for existing Hades' Star players that want to provide feedback and help shape its future.


26 comments:

  1. This is the only game I've played for so long and at a constant rate. The community is lovely and the game is suitable for simple and/or complex play style.
    Looking forward to the improvements and to the new game

    ΠΑΜΕ ΑΝΔΡΈΑ!

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    1. Sameee the only game i acc played soo long

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  2. I’m looking forward to everything mentioned above. But (this is coming from an area of wanting to help) the bottom half regarding garnering new players is an excuse. There are many examples which disprove those ending statements. Please invest in learning how to sell & market. I’m not saying it’s easy, just saying it’s possible

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  3. Hades has been an off and on game of mine since its launch. Always come back. Only thing that throws me off is how long things take. But I just got to rs8 and I am loving it. On good maps I can solo it, which is nice. I know devs do not want that. But I can! And I have worked hard over the years to do it. Higher upgrades and I will rofl stomp it. But devs will make it harder upon seeing this now...haha

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    1. I feel like there's always been two stages to Red Stars (especially 5+): The first half where your ships are incapable of clearing a planet solo and you are still playing around with techniques for new enemies. In the second half where you've got things down and you CAN solo a planet or two. The new Influence bar has been nice because when you are in that second stage, you still need to work together to clear ENOUGH to get that blue even as the individual sectors become easier.

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  4. First off, thank you for years of providing a great game... Some changes have been briefly frustrating, but most have been great, and all have come from a good place.
    In regards to the new game, I'm definitely looking forward to it... I can understand how a new player coming in can be daunted by the number of high level players because they have been around for years. Count me in for the Alpha!

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  5. Im working in my account before the ws update and im still far from the late game, but ill try to be present at the first moments of life of that new game when it comes to play store/steam!

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  6. Good idea to have modules that is balanced in a way they can always offset each other by just changing the combo instead of everybody flogging to one strong module. All hate p2w so it would be nice to be able to support you guys by buying cosmetic changes. One last one, allow players with completed yellow stars to build a planet even if you need to use an existing planet as a skeleton.

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  7. Thanks for the update ... i've been with you for over a year and loved almost every minute. One thing I'd ask for is a way to practice tactics once you have upped an RS. Somewhere you can go without gaining or losing points, somewhere you can assess some of the upgrades and what they do.

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  8. This is absolutely fantastic news. Super on board with this roadmap and potential new game.

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  9. I can't wait to see this happen! A RS could have an event where you need to save the population and when you do so with your BS or TS and bring them back to your system they help with planet upgrade or something else, like a temporary boost.

    Also it would be nice in the next game to look into improving the Diplomacy within a Corp. It's hard to help other Corp members when you have only 1 Diplomacy station and the 2sd one cost 500k. Maybe we could have a new station type for Corp Diplomacy which opens all systems to other corps members systems and put in place a lvl of access that allows us to say who can come and take arts from your system.

    Quick question if a v2 comes out, will we have to start all over again? Or there will be a feature to take us as we are over to the new game version?

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  10. I do like this idea guys, full thumbs and for it xD.

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  11. Corp "diplo" station (call it Corporation HQ) is a great idea. Instead of all corp members automatically linked, would prefer that it works by allowing multiple active links. That is, you can request a second, third, etc. [partner, but restricted to corp members. Leaving a corp should reset the whole HQ and sever all links. Jump and view actions would need a selection step to pick which corp member.

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  12. Another way to implement Corporation HQ would be to have a special yellow star system, with gates to all corp members. Could do some interesting things as well, like random Cerb bases popping up that need to be cleared before spawning. Or opt-in Cerb Invasion events.

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  13. 181 УРОВЕНЬ!!! почти два года вместе!!! ТОПОВАЯ игруля для мобильного!!!

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  14. When improving current stars, consider that ppl enjoy playing against their friends.

    It would be great to be able to create a blue star within your own corp, or even an in-corp white star simply for strategy practice.

    It's not about the rewards, rather playing with friends.

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  15. One easy way to expand the current yellow star sector “cap” would be to have a wormhole appear in the final sector explored that leads to another star system (like a diplomat station, but unoccupied). Make each sector difficult to clear or constantly respawning enemy basis with good credit and mining rewards. Sort of a frontier system you’re constantly trying to claim or hold. Keeps the game progressing and interesting after you’ve fully explored your yellow star.

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  16. I'll test it out for Android for you

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  17. Add a long range scanner that will operate from the last sector scanned. It will find a dwarf star. The dwarf star would be surrounded by six sectors and would have 2 or 3 planets available. Devs can add as many dwarf stars as they want. They can be contiguous with the yellow star or accessible by a wormhole or a star gate. They would be in a permanent physical location in relation to your yellow star. If contiguous you could fly your ships over there if not contiguous you could gate. Either way you would see them by moving your map. Maybe you could teleport to them if you have a high enough level of teleport. You could allow long range scanner to be built at a specific credit cap instead of last sector.

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  18. Hi Andreas, first of all very nice game! I have been playing for almost 2 years now and I have no plans of stopping. I don't know where to write suggestions so I will do it here... Have u ever thought about being able to deactivate active modules or cancel modules while in the activation delay? For it to not being broken, even if the activation is canceled (while on activation delay or while the module is in progress), the user would still need to wait the cooldown before using the module again. Thanks and keep it going!

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  19. First of all, thanks for building and continuing to develop a great game. This is the only empire building game I have played for now 14+ months and still enjoy it. Looking forward to all the new changes and completely agree with the approach of refining what you have versus continuously adding new items into the game.

    Specifically around new user adoption, I will give you my perspective as a long term high level player. I wont have stayed with the game if I hadnt met a team of players who enjoyed the game and all the collaboration options that offered. I wont have stayed this long if I hadn't been in a corp where I can learn new ideas and new strategies and try them out in the game. I have also helped a lot of new players from the beginning of their Hades journey to now getting to a RS5 and RS6 levels, and I think the only reason they stayed is also for the same reasons I did.

    All that said, its an area that could use a massive overhaul and can help the stick rate of new players. The community aspects of this game, given how much of the design lends to collaborative play, are really weak. You have essentially outsourced all of it to discord so a new player who happens to hit the right discord server with the right corp is destined to stay versus most others will get confused with all the various options and the length of play and leave.

    I would add that to the roadmap with the goal of improving the experience of new and mid range players, along with find ways to reward login behavior that you want with things that help speed up the time to get to higher levels of income, which inherently helps users get to higher levels of tech and strategy.

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  20. new player from steam here, i like the new game news and i think it goes well!

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