Here are my 2 cents.
I really don't understand all the hipe that our models are so incredibly low poly.
We are trying to make some upgrades on the models and attach subtile details like engines, turrets, hangarstuff and a few modifications to the outer hull. But if we plug the hull full of greebling, we will distinguish the models from their original look that we are trying to keep. Not to mention, that a lot of these subtile highpoly stuff isn't really visible in intensive battles. We have to satisfy two groups of people. New ones to attrack them to the game, and the "older" group that seek the nostalgic feeling and want to came across something similar. so we have to find the way between the two
Even more important, the main release will have even bigger battles with lots of fighters and capships, and making them any higher poly will certainly have a negative aspect on performance, since there are much more people with crappy systems out there that I had imagined.
I.e. our kilrathi cruiser comes with 6000 polygons, 4400 if I remove the hangarstuff (while 1500 are in the turrets). That's certainly not highpoly, but I think it's enough for a good gameplay and a good look. Of course Bobboaus detail box code is a great addition, but it will require quite some extra work for a little "Oh-Effect" in my opinion, and we don't have the ressources for this extra work. Our plans for the main release are very big, and we will have to focus on more important stuff first. If then there is a possibility to improve the models, we will take it of course.
But like mentioned above, one reason why we took so long already, is that we always start working stuff all over again. New engine possibilities or our own experience growing are two of the reasons for that. That's a problem when a project takes as long as ours. Of course we could do a lot of stuff better, but when we want to get finished someday we will now have to continue with what we have achived with the prologue and make the rest in a similar lookout. I want to have some continuity in our model style, and that requires to forfeit some things, even if it sometimes hurt
For the moment, we are taking this sort of improvement, some ships a little more than that :http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php/topic,28932.msg590784.html#msg590784
Same goes for the textures, I like them, but they can be better (capships, our fighters are great IMO and very well detailed). But now we have started this style, and so we have to keep it if we don't want to rework everything again. Because of the UV-Maps we can't simply switch the textures, but I really hope that with bumpmapping or something similar we can improve the look a little more and add some more subtile details to the models when someday the release will be made.
@SadisticSid : It's a 10 mission prologue