1.9 Beta 4

The final beta for the 1.9 release is now available.

I haven’t written for a few months because I’ve been busy with contract work. But I’ve also been working on 1.9 Beta 4 and I’m happy to announce that it’s ready for you to play. If you’ve already downloaded one of the previous 1.9 betas, you will get Beta 4 automatically the next time to run the game. If not, you can download it directly here.

1.9

Transcendence 1.9 is an important release for us. Transcendence has always been a niche game—a hidden gem—that takes some effort to appreciate. 1.9 is designed to attract a larger audience. We will fix most of the unpolished parts of the game while doubling-down on what makes the game great: exploration, interesting mechanics, and a fully realized universe.

The primary feature to attract new players is the difficulty setting. Many of the cool parts of the game, such as the Battle Arena or St. Kat’s or Point Juno don’t appear until several systems in. Many novice players don’t even make it out of Eridani because it is too hard to play. In 1.9 the default experience will be Story Mode, which is the easiest difficulty setting. This should allow beginners to get quite deep into the game, and hopefully hook them into the universe.

In addition, I’ve made many quality-of-life improvements to the user interface, which should help guide new players. For example, a new squadron screen lets the player command all their wingmates and autons from a single place.

Price Increase

With all the improvements to the game since its first Steam release (version 1.6), I think it’s time to raise the price of the game. Most indie games are selling for $15, and the amount of content in Transcendence—easily 24 hours of game player—justifies a standard price.

Another incentive is that it currently costs more than $9 to acquire a customer via advertising. That is, if we spent $100 in advertising, we would earn less than $100 in sales. Clearly that’s not sustainable. A higher price would allow us to gain sales by buying ads and thus grow the community.

Starting with 1.9, we’ll raise the Steam price to $15. The Multiverse prices for Corporate Command and Eternity Port will go up to $6 and $9 respectively.

New in Beta 4

In this video I describe some of the new features in Beta 4.

Here’s a list of the major features:

  • Radiation mines for Sapiens: Sapiens are the only sovereign to use radiation weapons. In Beta 4 I’ve given them radiation mines to protect their stations.

  • Dwarg missile defense: Dwarg stations now have a way to disrupt tracking missiles causing them to veer away.

  • Shields for Heliotropes: Heliotropes are masters of energy production and can afford to power massive shield generators to defend their stations.

  • Ranx freighter: The workhorse weapon for the Ranx is the Akan 30, which requires large amounts of ammunition. In Beta 4, Ranx freighters move through the system supplying stations.

  • Domina powers UI: Beta 4 improves the user interface for invoking Domina powers (and CDM shard powers). In addition to showing an icon for each power, we show a cool-down timer to tell when the power will be available again.

  • Squadron UI: The new squadron UI integrates the communications menu and the auton bay screen. You can now deploy, command, and view wingmates and autons from one screen. The new screen even shows you ships that you’ve left in other system.

What’s Next?

It’s been a long road, but 1.9 is almost done. Now that Beta 4 is out, we’ll wait about a month to make sure there are no showstopper bugs. Then we’ll release 1.9 to production and start working on 2.0!

Join the Universe

What do you think of 1.9 Beta 4? Let me know in the comments below, or write to me: transcendence@kronosaur.com.

You can buy Transcendence on Steam or download a free version on our site. If you’re really brave you can download the development version and/or contribute to the code on GitHub.

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