DevBlog #39 - Space Haven Alpha 9 Now Released!

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(This post was last modified: 07-31-2020, 12:41 PM by AdmiralGeezer.)

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Alpha 9 is now Released! Below is a recap of the new main features included in Alpha 9, along with a full list of patch notes. Enjoy this new update and let us know if you stumble upon any big problems!
Faction Interactions

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So far all the communication requests have come from the player, whether it is the want to trade or have a simple discussion otherwise. We've spent some time and implemented these interactions further, allowing other factions to contact you in case there's something they need or want.

These additions will give more life to your encounters with other faction spaceships, as they can now signal their want to communicate with you too. Currently other faction spaceships may contact you if you happen to have prisoners or refugees belonging to them, asking for the possibility to get them back. Sometimes they might need some resource and ask for it, or simply push their luck by asking for a gift.
Signaling

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A small problem with communicating is that it is tied to the operations console, and the player doesn't necessarily have someone there at all times. This could make it problematic to establish a communication channel, or for the player to know some faction ship wants to communicate.

We decided to implement signaling to help with this. Signaling can be seen as some form of Morse code signaling, which allows spaceships to communicate simple intents, like "we want to communicate", "we want to surrender", "we want to establish a cease fire and communicate".
Other spaceships can signal back their intent to accept or decline this request, thus making both parties aware of communication intentions and to get a crew member to the operations console.
Distress state
When a faction spaceship gets destroyed the crew members of that spaceship will look to evacuate and abandon their ship. If there's another spaceship belonging to their faction, they will flee to that spaceship and continue their journey with their faction.

However, if there's no other spaceship belonging to their faction present in the sector, they will look towards other faction spaceships with whom they are in a ally/neutral stance relationship wise. They will seek out to ask for help and become a refugee in hopes of being reunited with their faction one day. Since they activate their distress beacon other factions are allowed to enter their spaceship and help them.
Refugees

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There's a big hole in our ship, can we come with you?

We've created a new character status in addition to the prisoner status, we're introducing the refugee status. Refugees are crew members, who have lost their home spaceship in a battle or otherwise, and are now looking to be reunited with one of their other faction spaceships somewhere in the galaxy.

If a pirate is with you in a sector bombarding a civilian spaceship and that spaceship gets destroyed, the civilians will want to reach out to you and ask for help. You can then decide if you want to take them with you, offer them sanctuary and a chance to be reunited with another of their faction spaceships one day.

Refugees are willing to help in some way. However, they do not work as long hours as your main crew members do during a day, as they want to save their strength. They are willing to help by carrying out logistics jobs, but are currently limited to that since they do not want to interfere with your crew and their specialized tasks you have set for them. Their priorities and schedules cannot be changed to keep a good balance. They yearn to be reunited with their faction one day, and will grow restless with time if this doesn't happen.
Refugee Conditions, Mood and Satisfaction

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Keeping the refugees happy is important if you want to keep them working for you. Keep them satisfied by creating a nice area for the refugees to spend time and sleep in, keep them well fed to increase their mood. Refugees of a faction will react to seeing another member of their faction be a prisoner instead of a refugee. This will have a negative effect on their mood and could lead to them refusing to work for you.
Lying, Suspicion and Scanning

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One of the most important things for a faction are their crew members, and once one is lost they usually want them back, unless it's that irritating Bob guy, whom nobody wants. (If your name is Bob please know we did not mean you but another Bob!)

When you encounter a faction spaceship they might contact you and ask if you've seen some of their lost crew members somewhere. If you have some on board as refugees or prisoners, you will have the options to tell the truth or lie.

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Civilians scan some random areas of your ship and find out you have some of their faction crew members as refugees.

Lying is not nice. But hey, those refugees can be a good work force and you're not ready to give them up just yet. When you lie the other party might grow suspicious, or just want to check to be sure. If this happens they might do a scan of one of your ships.

They will randomly scan some parts of your ship revealing what's there, and if they happen to reveal a captive crew member belonging to them they will know you've lied. You can expect to get a hail request after this with someone quite angry on the other side.
Relationships with Factions
These new additions will give some first opportunities for your relationship towards another faction changing over time. Your decisions to help or not to help will affect how the faction sees you, and if you disregard calls for help often enough your relationship with a faction will dwindle to hostility.
Space Hazards

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  • Solar Flares

  • Micrometeoroids

  • Siren Worlds

  • Nebulae

Space Hazards are represented with icons on top of sectors in the starmap. This will allow you to see what you are getting yourself in to =)
Solar Flares

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Holy crap! What's going on here.

Solar flares overload your power nodes, possibly damaging them and cutting your power transfer short to a part of your ship. Fires can also break out, which means it is important to have some crew members on board the ship at all times.
Micrometeoroids

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Watch your head, Charley!

Micrometeoroids rain down on your ship constantly while you're in a sector where they are present. Shields will mitigate their negative effects to a degree as long as they stay up. Mining pods can be struck by the meteoroids, causing a concussion condition for the crew member inside and possibly damaging the mining pod.

Micro breaches

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We have also implemented so called micro breaches. Micro breaches are smaller hull breaches, not fully tearing the hull open but causing small cracks which cause depressurization. Micrometeoroids and certain turrets may cause these as they hit the ship hull. These micro hull breaches can be repaired by your crew members with their construction guns.
Siren Worlds

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Jet has lost his mind, or really hates his bed.

Siren Worlds are peculiar planets whose strange signals mess with the mind. These signals will periodically cause your crew members to act in a strange manner, ranging from aggressive behavior to staring at walls. Be alert when staying in these sectors, as your crew members might do something you don't want them to do.

The signals from the Siren World may result in crew members getting conditions like the urge for destruction, effectively making them a saboteur starting fires on board your ship. Other examples are insomnia and loss of appetite, causing tiredness and hunger among your crew members. Aggressive behavior might also occur and your crew members might start fighting each other.
Nebulae

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The fourth space hazard is the nebula. An interstellar cloud of ionized gases, which has a draining effect on shields. The nebula itself is not very dangerous, but it can lead to interesting and dangerous situations if ship-to-ship battles take place in a sector with a nebula.
Note on Space Hazards
The presence and frequency of the Space Hazards in the galaxy can be tweaked at will in the game customization menu, even individually. This comes handy if these hazards are something that you don't find a desirable feature. Furthermore, at the moment there's nothing forcing the player to enter theses systems unless a pirate happens to be in the same system interrupting the player fleet.

Some of you our players have voiced concerns that the aim of the hazards is just to punish players. That's not the aim at all =) The aim of the hazards is to create more variation to the stories emerging from the features in the game, more strategy to the starmap as one ponders the risk and the rewards of a sector, and interesting situations emerging within a sector with hazards impacting both your crew and the crew of other faction spaceships.

We've gotten feedback praising the new hazards, stating they add a ton to the game, but we've also gotten feedback that some of you might not enjoy these challenges, which is why we made sure to allow for disabling the hazards individually simply by clicking a toggle in the game customization menu. Alpha 9 contains other new features beyond the hazards, and this update is just one update among many to come. =)
Crew fights

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Crew members can now start fights among each other if they get irritated enough. The chance for a fight to occur is based on various factors, such as overall mood and food status. If the crew member has a low overall mood and is also hungry on top of that they are more prone to become really irritated at someone.

Fighting causes some health damage, but crew members do not aim to kill each other. However, this could happen in some very rare instances where one of the crew members just happens to have very low health to begin with when the fight starts. Once they've let out enough steam they stop and go about their business.
Upcoming plans

Summer is short in Finland and the three of us need a break after what has been a very stressful year. We'll be taking some weeks off as a summer vacation and recharge our batteries for the upcoming Alpha 10 update.

Don't worry, we'll stick around to ensure there are no game breaking bugs with Alpha 9! =) After Alpha 9 looks stable we'll take that much needed break. We will return after the vacation and immediately start on Alpha 10, and we will post news of what's next with Alpha 10, once we have something to show!
Full list of Patch Notes - Alpha 9
  • Environment hazards Implemented - Solar flares, Micrometeoroids, Nebulae and Siren Worlds.

  • New Faction Interactions Implemented - Signaling, NPC Hailing, Distress State and Refugees.

  • Signaling - Allows spaceships to communicate simple intents directly, like "we want to communicate", "we want to surrender", "we want to establish a cease fire and communicate".

  • Distress state - Allows a spaceship and its crew to turn on a distress beacon and call for help.

  • Refugees - A new character status in addition to the prisoner status, saved crew members from destroyed spaceships who are looking to be reunited with their faction.

  • Suspicion - A new faction status, whereby another faction can be suspicious towards you that you are hiding something from them.

  • Implemented a lot of new communication dialogue related to the new faction interaction implementations.

  • NPC spaceships now signal and hail the player at times, asking if the player has seen their crew members who sent out a distress call.

  • The player can now try to lie in certain dialogue scenarios.

  • NPC factions can now help each other in distress situations as well.

  • Solar flares - Overload your power nodes and may cause fires aboard your ships.

  • Micrometeoroids - Rain down on your ships and strike your mining pods. Shields mitigate to a degree.

  • Microbreaches - Small cracks which cause depressurization.

  • Siren Worlds - Peculiar planets whose strange signals mess with the mind.

  • Nebulae - An interstellar cloud of ionized gases, which has a draining effect on shields.

  • Added Space Hazards individually to the game customization screen - Tweak their presence and make them non-existent if you so desire.

  • Ability to set the resource amounts for derelicts added to the game customization screen.

  • Harsh game difficulty is now rebalanced to be harder.

  • Shuttles and miners can now become broken if hit by micrometeoroid.

  • Broken crafts can't work and leak oxygen.

  • Many Siren World character conditions added: Disorientation, Psychotic, Schizophrenia, Lost Appetite, Insomnia, Aggressivity, Urge to Destroy.

  • New Character conditions and behavior possibilities: Committing suicide, poisoning, seeing a captive crew member.

  • Implemented an improved way to override crew member schedules for a set amount of hours, for situations needing quick action.

  • Crew member schedule overriding can be done by selecting a crew member and from the crew management screen.

  • Tweaked Character conditions.

  • Tweaked energium to energy rod ratio lower.

  • Rebalanced trading prices of resources.

  • Made the game log more selective of which conditions and events are listed.

  • Hangars can be paused/unpaused to prevent craft from doing work.

  • Crew members can fight each other if they get irritated enough.

  • Added additional information for grow beds, to easily see if conditions are optimal for plant growth.

  • Graphic assets Improvements and Polish: Toilet, Hypersleep chamber, Operations console, Power capacitor, Airlock, Assembler.

  • Fixed in-floor power node restrictions to a degree.

  • Tweaked the surrender trigger from bullet hits to function in a better way.

  • Added a scaling system to the presence of space hazards within star systems, giving the player a bit more time to build up a ship with necessary systems ready. Space Hazards can still be encountered early on, but it is much less likely than in later systems.

  • Added auto-toggling repair for micro-breaches, making crew members react to them more quickly. If auto-maintenance is toggled on (As it is by default) crew members will prioritize
    micro-breaches even during their free time and sleep.


  • Tweaked the solar flare event occurrence interval range to be a bit longer within a sector with a solar flare, this gives the player a bit more time to repair their ship before another
    solar flare hits.


  • Adjusted crew members with the Suicidal trait to not get a mental break so easily.

  • Fixed bugs.
Community Highlights

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Power of the sun by Invisieman
 
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Small and effective, by kerolefou
 
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Nice ship by TibiEtlgni
 
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A familiar looking ship by Ungai

If you want a chance to get your own ship in the updates post them in our Discord server #screenshots-and-videos channel =)

Join Space Haven Discord: http://discord.gg/spacehaven
You can also post them on Steam: https://steamcommunity.com/app/979110/screenshots/

Report bugs here: https://steamcommunity.com/app/979110/discussions/4/
Discuss Space Haven here: https://steamcommunity.com/app/979110/discussions/0/
Technical Support: https://steamcommunity.com/app/979110/discussions/1/
Space Haven subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/SpaceHaven/

Thanks for reading and see you again in the next update! We'll return after our summer break and will give information on Alpha 10 =)
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