The second (and final) backer planet is out, along with a second batch of “quality of life” improvements to the game. The new planet is called the Depths (for reasons that will quickly become clear), and once again anyone can travel to it by going to the new star system (it’s at the bottom right of the star map).
This planet is mostly about exploration - the quests don’t guide you as closely as the science path. There’s a lot hidden, and it’s better to go into it blind, but if you get stuck don’t forget to try fighting some of the new enemies.
We also added Difficulty Modes this update. Unlike in most games, you are not asked to set a Difficulty Mode when you start a new game, instead you can change it in the settings at any time. We’ve had people complain that the game is too easy, and others that it is too hard, so we decided to give players the flexibility to adjust the game difficulty up or down as they play. Is one planet or boss too difficult? Move the difficulty down. Too easy? Move it up. Since you can change it whenever you want, you never have to worry about choosing the wrong mode. Just be careful with the Permadeath mode - it will delete your save slot if you die - only the most hardcore players should attempt it!
In addition to the new planet, the following changes affect the full version:
- Added three new bosses to the arena.
- Added the ability to repair colony ships postgame (after the ending).
These changes affect the demo as well:
- Added difficulty settings to the options menu.
- Can export and delete saves right from the saves menu.
- Added a hammer item that builds blueprints.
- Added sound effects to familiars so they will occasionally make noise when idling (i.e., a cat will meow).
- Holding the shift key now reduces your speed to the starting value (walking). This is useful if you’re zipping by with too many upgrades and need some precision, and can also be used with flying equipment.
- Many other minor improvements and bugfixes.
This more or less completes the single player experience of the game. There are a few loose ends we’ll continue to add - like being able to build the science ship and entering the last incomplete postgame secret area, but these are not major game changers and may not be added until after the full launch. Our main goal from now until March 2020 is adding co-op multiplayer (and we’ll have a few betas along the way). The full launch will come soon after multiplayer is added.
Multiplayer in Aground will be the ability to invite other players into your game. It’s completely optional and server-less, and will not affect the single player experience at all. When you invite people, they can help you fight enemies, gather resources and complete quests - the storyline will be the same, you will just be able to work together.
I hope everyone is looking forward to multiplayer as much as I am! We’re getting close to the full launch, but we will definitely continue to be active in the discord and post updates to the game even after launch! Thank you to everyone who joined us on this journey and trusted us in Early Access!
P.S. Don’t forget to join the social channels below if you haven’t already: