The final version of what will become Distant Star 1.7 is finally starting to take shape. The biggest change this time around is probably (bear with me!) the removal of the Cephala and Apparat races — so many aspects of the game have been transformed so completely that rebuilding and rebalancing one race (Humans) is just about all I can handle at the moment.
That said, there’s a metric ton of completely new or totally redesigned features coming in this release, including:
- Planet upgrades: farms, starports, research labs, and banks (among others!) can be built on colonised planets to increase their ship production speed, population growth rate, or the number of research points generated.
- Research: gone is the weird, confusing system where X% of your income went to research; instead, planets produce a fixed number of research points per turn (upgradeable by building research labs) and technologies require a fixed number of points to complete. It’s way easier to understand, research takes less time and makes more sense, and it’s pretty much just better in every possible way.
- Ship Production: similar to research, ships require a fixed number of production points to complete (they still have a cash cost as well, though!). Build starports to increase the rate at which planets build ships.
- Tutorial: the in-game tutorial has been greatly improved — it now walks you through your first few turns in a much less annoying (no more tap-to-dismiss!) fashion. It also takes a lot less time to complete.
- Fleet Selection: selecting fleets has been simplified, and the touch sensitivity improved — issuing move orders should be quicker and more reliable than it (ahem) may have been in the past.
- Achievements: Game Center support finally comes to Distant Star, with over a dozen achievements to complete.