Below you’ll find the roadmap for the production of Sunless Skies. Like many developers, we work in 2-week periods called ‘sprints’. This roadmap will allow you to see which general features we’re working on from now until Early Access (we’ll update it with more sprints once we enter Early Access!).
There are a few important things to note:
- Whilst the tasks and features have been outlined and planned ahead of time by our producer, Lottie, game development is quite a fluid process.
- Some tasks turn out to be more complicated than anticipated.
- It is also very rare, for example, that we would complete a huge component of the game, like all combat, art or writing, within just two weeks. Large features will be developed across multiple sprints.
- Time for polish at the end is also key. Since game development is iterative, production schedules are basically set as a skeleton of what needs to be achieved. Once we start getting player feedback, we can confirm what is working and what isn’t, make adjustments, and then flesh everything out with final art, prose, audio and animation.
Once a sprint is completed, we’ll update the information below to reflect more specifically what was accomplished, and link it to the individual development blog, in case you’re curious to know more!
KICKSTARTER – EARLY ACCESS ROAD MAP
last updated 20 June 2017
Sprint 9 – Traveling Through the Reach: APHELION Part I
ART: initial UI pipeline set up, initial locomotive designs
CONTENT: initial region work on The Reach
GAMEPLAY & DESIGN: beginning mechanics on hunger/death/fuel/time, procedurally generated movement through the game world
Sprint 10 – Traveling Through the Reach: Part II – APHELION Part 2
ART: terrain pipeline
CONTENT: Port: Traitor’s Wood
GAMEPLAY & DESIGN: implementing fuel/hunger, initial work on Terror, beginning character progression
Sprint 11 – Traveling Through the Reach: Part III – BIG BANG
ART: beginning art and animation greyboxing
CONTENT: vessel classifications
GAMEPLAY & DESIGN: combat AI specifications for tactics, error report capturing, hold management
Sprint 12 – Combat in the Reach: CHROMOSPHERE
(Extremely hot red part of planetary atmosphere. Our first heavy combat sprint!)
ART: terrain types within the Reach, player locomotive animation prototype, AI agent animations
CONTENT: wrecks & discovery content, Legendary Wreck Parzifal, randomised loot system work
GAMEPLAY & DESIGN: first-pass at combat implementation, title screens, storylet-UI, collision damage, first sound effect commissioning
Sprint 13 – Combat in the Reach: DARK MATTER
(The mass that explains all the astrophysics we can’t explain. First part of combat complete and first bits of audio.)
ART: Traitor’s Wood, collision animations, welcoming a new artist!
CONTENT: Old Tom’s Well, Hybras, Magdelene’s, art briefs
GAMEPLAY & DESIGN: pathfinding implementation, first SFX, enemy agent behaviour, combat AI implementation
Sprint 14 – Populating the Reach: EXOGENESIS
(Theory that life originated elsewhere in the universe and was then transported to Earth. People of the Reach!)
ART: Hybras, Titania, Scrive Spinster, Tackety Scout, art UI pass
CONTENT: Port Prosper, Leadbeater & Stainrod, Officer spreadsheeting, Non-Player Locomotive names
GAMEPLAY & DESIGN: long distance pathfinding implementation, implementing tooltips, balancing survival mechanics, gazetteer work, sand implementing agents.
Sprint 15 – Populating the Reach: FORTUNE
(Dante’s personified cosmic intelligence responsible for Earth. People/denizens/character sprint.)
ART: Leadbeater & Stainrod Nature Reserve, Magdalene’s, Inconvenient Aunt, locomotive vessel classes
CONTENT: locomotive pitches, first Ambition content
GAMEPLAY & DESIGN: operating system versions, storylet service, implementation of AI agent passions, character creation and progression specs, closed-alpha preparation
Sprint 16 – Enriching the Reach: GANYMEDE
(Jupiter’s largest moon, and the ninth largest object in our solar system. A smorgasbord of tasks all aimed at enriching the environment of the Reach.)
Art: Royal Society, officers, locomotives, improved docking
Content: Albion outline, Polmear & Plenty
Gameplay: Wrath, heat, armaments, shop mechanics, and UI
Sprint 17 – Enriching the Reach: HYPERGALAXY
(A usually spiral galaxy surrounded by smaller satellite galaxies, like the Milky Way and Andromeda. Smorgasbord fleshing out the outlines of the Reach.)
Early Access tutorial work, weapons content and bug fixing
Sprint 18 – Out of the Reach: INVARIANTTHEORIE
(Einstein’s preferred term for special relativity. Fine tuning the Reach!)
Bug fixing, preparation for Early Access and our first look at a new region (Albion)
Sprint 19 – Out of the Reach: JANSKY
(A unit of spectral irradiance; a big bright burst of light. Heading towards Early Access fast!)
Creating a responsive world, galaxy-wide game mechanics, and prioritising tasks to be finalised ahead of Early Access
Sprint 20 – Out of the Reach: KEPLER
(Planetary motion and celestial physics. Now it’s time for Early Access to begin!)
Smuggling implementation and finalising the Reach for Early Access