Game development is a quirky beast. You plan to do X, Y and Z, but then none of those things happen and in the end you have a game that is simultaneously nothing like you imagined and exactly what you meant to make. Sense it makes not.
It so happens that I’ve run into a couple of snags with Blackout, the next major update to Stable Orbit. Part of it is the new features not coming together quite as quickly as I would have liked and then the other part is that, with each new feature added, the burden of testing and debugging builds increases exponentially as each and every feature in Stable Orbit interacts all the others – sometimes in surprising and not quite intentional ways.
After struggling with and, quite frankly, failing to deliver the release candidate for Blackout in time for it to be released at the timeslot that my publisher, Green Man Gaming, and I had lined up for it, I’ve had to take my breath for a moment and think really hard about the best way to deliver on all the features we’ve promised will be in Stable Orbit 1.0 later this year.
The plan I’ve come up with is to not do a full release of Blackout and the subsequent Umbilical. Skipping those releases frees up valuable time and allows me to reshuffle the remaining work into an order that makes most sense development wise. All in service, of course, of making Stable Orbit 1.0 the best possible game I can make.
Since I do wish to keep the early access community involved, I will soon release a work-in-progress version of the latest Stable Orbit on a Steam beta branch. That branch will be updated semi-regularly, so that those of you who are willing can still follow along with the development as it happens and – of course – provide me with some much needed feedback on how I’m doing! Beware that this beta branch will not constitute a full release and thus may be a bit less stable than you’ve come to expect.
I’m sorry to disappoint some of you by this change of plans, but it is what I believe is best for the game… and that’s what it is all about!