It’s been a bit since my last Devnote, and, well, first my birthday intervened, then a minor but persistent illness, then the holidays. There were also work projects for the end of the year, and shut up Arynnia, we want to hear how the game is going.

Idle Space Navy 0.09.0 has been clearing a lot of dev milestones behind the scenes. Many of the quality of life aspects I wanted to address have been partially or fully addressed (some are still waiting for UI reworks), and the new features are really taking shape.

To start with, there have been a ton of rebalances. The Shipyard now makes proper sense, Ship levels increase in cost faster but are more powerful (making leveling ships a bit less clicky), and the game runs significantly quicker, as the base number of waves has been reduced from 50 to 30 – nearly doubling the game’s base speed.

Almost all of the Terran Union upgrades for the Artifact System have been done. I just need to add the Lab portion of the new Terran ships as well as one more Artifact upgrade relating to the Shipyard damage boost, and then the Terrans will be set for 0.09.

The title of this Devnote speaks to just what the long-awaited second Alien Power will be, the Centauri Conglomerate. The Centauri are resource traders, supplying raw materials to the neighboring powers in return for finished goods. The Centauri will be providing ships and upgrades that can boost material income – Scrap, asteroids, and the like – and have a special love for using missiles in combat. Their Artifact upgrades will focus on increasing Scrap, upgrading the foundry, and boosting your Missile-based weapons. Their basic upgrades will be available in 0.09, with their first ships and weapons coming in 0.10.

In the world of UI, the whole map system has been reworked and now uses a much easier clickable mini-grid. Active ship placement is now done on the fly after every placement update, which should clear up some of the stubborn bugs with ships staying on the field. It also provides the ability to purchase map squares individually. You’ll have to make sure the squares you purchase are laterally contiguous with squares you already own, but beyond that, there are no limitations. (Your Calibration Chips for map purchases will be refunded when you first load into 0.09.0, of course. You will have to re-place your items because the new system starts with just the first square unlocked.)

The decision has been undertaken that Lab and Shipyard upgrades will be placed on screens similar to the Artifacts Screen, making the UI much easier to view. Additionally, UI buttons for changing screens are going to be standardized with dark blue backgrounds, and either green (for the selected screen) or white text. There have been some recommendations to replace the cyan-on-dark-blue scheme and to make the scheme consistent, which it will be in the new version.

Now to speak to the tricky portion of the devnote: release dates. I had originally targeted “end of year 2023” for 0.09.0’s release, but not only the busy December I had but another illness in November made that non-feasible, alas. I am making good progress now, though, and should be ready for release in mid-January 2024. I’m setting a tentative target of 15 January 2024, but that may advance or slip as development time provides.

Either way, 0.09.0 grows nearer and nearer, and I’m looking forward to just what everyone thinks of the rebalances and new features!