Game Progress – August 2015

Due to various extended health issues with being old and decrepit, progress on updating the game has been very slow this past year. Things are starting to settle down now, so this is an update to let all the fans (and anybody else!) know where things are at and where things are going.

Firstly, I took the decision not to just patch and patch the current game, because it was a rabbit hole of last-minute porting issues from PC to iOS and then back to PC all over, from the graphics, to the physics to the animation, sound and so on. The process of fixing it made me realise the best way to fix it in a way that wasn’t going to make the situation worse was to basically re-do it. Instead, I am restructuring and reconstituting the game for Steam/PC to better reflect the kind of gameplay possible on the platform.

What does that mean?

  • Anybody who bought the game previous, gets this new one automatically. When it’s released, it will be the main option for launching the game, and the old version will be a secondary launch option.
  • The updated title is going to be quite different, in terms of gameplay, and contain all the stuff I was wanting to add to the original, as well as some cues taken from feedback on the original title.

Why a second option, and not just replace the original title?

It’s quite a different game, in terms of missions, objectives and structure and a lot of other things. Thematically, it’s Rover Rescue. The core principles are there, it’s focus is on rescuing people from the apocalypse, but I didn’t want to just blindly remove the first title, as the update is a big change and not all will be able to adapt to it.


How different? Tell me something!

It’s not going to turn into “Strawberry Race Run 2016”, it’s not that different! but everything has gone “HD”, not just the graphics. The gameplay still has the general idea of the dragging vehicles around, but now as a tool you can choose to use, not the only way to play, and certainly not the only thing to do. I hope you like to drive. I do. I like to go off-road too.

The gameplay will alternate between ground and space, it won’t be solely ground-based. Space will not be overly complicated, it’s not going to be Star Citizen or Elite Dangerous or EVE, it’s a wrinkle on the ground gameplay, and they flow together.

It’s a little bit more “open world”, there’s no Waves any more. People will need to be evacuated from buildings. Where this game’s going, it’s going to need roads (and bridges, and if I can make it work, tunnels).

Meteors are going to be reduced in frequency, but be far more of a threat. Asteroids now too. One’s a lot bigger than the other and potentially more conclusive.

I like Homeworld. It’s a great fun space game. I like 1 more than 2, mostly because of the persistent resources. Everything’s just that bit more precious as a result. Expect this to be ingrained into the game e.g. to get to the next planet, you will need fuel. To go back to the previous planet, you will need fuel. You run out of fuel, you better hope you can find it where you are. If you don’t have the right vehicles to collect the fuel, then that’s going to be an even more serious situation.

There’s more. I ain’t saying just yet the cake is still in the oven.


What’s going to happen next?

Firstly, I’ve set up a YouTube  Rover Rescue Developer Playlist so people can see updates on the game’s progress.This will be a raw “brain dump”, so stuff will be all over the place, and subject to occasional violent change, and probably some annotations as I work with some of the team around the world to get stuff in.

Secondly, there’s going to be an Alpha of sorts that people will be able to participate in. This will not go through Steam, it will just be direct from this website. How the Alpha will be managed, how to apply, and when, is up in the air at the moment, so stay tuned. As this is an Alpha, it will not be the full game, just some core concepts & test missions.

Beta to follow that as well. It’s too early to say what form that will take.

Once all that’s “good”, it’s going out on Steam.


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