Questions by Vincent Haoson, Onrpg writer
Answered by Gustaf Stechmann, Splitscreen Studios
It is always a pleasure for us here in Onrpg to hear from companies who are eager to share what goes on behind the closed doors of their “think tanks”. It’s just so happens that the people behind the new sci-fi space game Pirate Galaxy opened their doors for us to let us know what’s happening with their Closed Beta Test.
We have Gustaf Stechmann from Splitscreen Studios giving us the what’s up with the world of Space Pirates.
Onrpg: How is the Closed Beta Test going?
Pretty good! We had problems with the database but the game itself is running like a breeze. We are getting some very positive feedback from the community, as well as some valuable bugreports and suggestions which we are working hard to incorporate into the game.
Onrpg: What can improvements do players can expect to see as the game progresses in its closed beta stage?
We are working on lots of smaller tweaks and UI improvements, but most notably we want to make sure the overall stability is up to snuff.
Onrpg: We noticed that in one of the recent updates you finally included the W,A,S,D controls to the game system. Was part of the plan or was it thought off as the closed beta test?
That was something we added because so many players requested it. We would have added it earlier but it took us a while to figure out how to do it right so that it harmonizes with the more indirect point-and-click control system that we have. I think we have found a pretty good compromise – the WASD controls now give you a good degree of control over your ship, while at the same time not making the game too “skill”-driven.
Onrpg: Will you include more game system, or system tweaks before closed beta ends?
We are launching a new starsystem, ANTARES, very soon now. You will see some very exciting new missions (our mission system is getting better and better as we speak), as well as a cool new feature called CONQUEST. The conquest system allows clans to take control of planets, defending it against other clans and gaining exclusive access to the Kryonite crystals to be found on that planet. We expect that our players will have loads of fun with this new feature!
Onrpg: Will you include more ship choices? Where did you get the idea for the designs of the current roster?
In the Antares starsystem you will be able to access to a whole lot of new ships, as well as new customization options. The ideas for what’s in the game come from many different places… Asimov novels, watching Battlestar Galactica, drinking beer, smoking bits of the houseplants in our office while watching Galactica and drinking beer…. 😉
Onrpg: Will there be more customization choices come commercial launch? Can you give us an idea what the players can expect?
We are working on items that let you modify your ship, weapons, shields and other onboard systems. There will also be an editor to create your individual logo, which you can then also use as Clan insignia.
Onrpg: Will you include more planets where players can explore? Will it be integrated into the terran’s war against the mantis?
Definitely. We are looking to roll out a new starsystem every 2 weeks now. Much of the material already exists, we just need to put it together and polish it to a degree where it is good enough to put it into the game.
Onrpg: How would the PVP system work in Pirate Galaxy? Will it be implemented anytime soon?
The PVP system, called PIRATE MODE, was in fact launched just yesterday! It’s pretty straightforward – just click on the large skull icon on the top of the screen to activate Pirate Mode. When in Pirate Mode, you can fight other players. You also get more XP with PM on. Check the in-game help system for details.
Onrpg: Will Pirate Galaxy include Guilds in the game? What will they be called? And will they become an important part to the whole storyline?
Yes, we have a Clan system that allows you to team up with other players. This will become very important in later phases of the game when you journey towards the Mantis homeworld. But I don’t want to give away too much of the story at this time. 😉
Onrpg: How big do you expect the community will take part in Pirate Galaxy?
The first planets are very story-driven. But as you progress in the game, it becomes more and more open and player-driven. The Conquest system mentioned earlier is the best example.
Onrpg: How did you manage to make the browser gamers connect with those who are playing through the client?
What issues will you be expecting when more players join the game? Our software is completely programmed in JAVA. This allows us to run from a browser or off the desktop. It is the exact same client in both cases, so from a technical perspective it makes no difference. We could even run the game as an applet inside an HTML page if we wanted. Whether you run off a browser or permanently install the game on your PC is really a question of taste – the experience is always the same.
Onrpg: Did you consider browser compatibility issues and how it would affect the game? How did you handle problems like this?
We have issues launching the game from some of the more exotic browsers, such as Chrome and Opera. But we will fix those in due time. The game itself will not be affected, it only affects the start-up process.
Onrpg: There has been bug and glitch issues with the mission system how are things fixing those issues?
Fixing the glitches is usually very swift – finding them is the problem. That why it is important for us to work hand in hand with the community. Keep in mind that our team is fairly small – we simply don’t have the resources to test all the missions as thoroughly as we would want to.
Onrpg: Would you include a tutorial guide for new players? Or would you put in more Missions that can help players get more familiar into playing the game?
Yes we are thinking about ways to make the first 15 minutes even more pleasant and accessible.
Onrpg: What’s in store for Pirate Galaxy in the succeeding weeks?
We’re working very hard to go into Open Beta as soon as possible, so that even more players can try the game and provide feedback.