November 5th 2008 - More Release Details
Now that things have settled a little from our appearance and the announcement of Shattered Armistice, it's time to talk in a bit more detail about what we plan to do in the future.
Diaspora will consist of a series of mini-releases at first. I've already covered a little of what you can expect from our first relase, Shattered Armistice. However that's not what you should be expecting from Diaspora. Shattered Armistice will follow the Battlestar Theseus during the Cylon attack on the Colonies. R2 will tell a different story, probably one completely unconnected to the Theseus. Will we return to the Theseus in a later release? Maybe. But Diaspora is not just the story of the Theseus or any other Battlestar. It's about telling all the stories in the BSG universe we can. Some missions will be straight out of the show while others will cover stuff you didn't see on camera.
If you give a BSG fan the chance to play as a viper pilot, about the first thing they are going to want to do is to fly in all the big battles from the show. Can't blame them. I'm a BSG fan myself and I want to help the Galactica blow up the Resurrection Ship. I want to defend the fleet in the Battle of the Ionian Nebula. I want to take on the 1st CW era raiders while protecting Pegasus. Those are some of the best battles in the show and it would be a poor BSG flight sim that wouldn't let you do that.
So yes, you will get to do that in Diaspora. As well as the other big battles from the show. They'll all be there.
So why Shattered Armistice then? Why not go with a canon BSG universe story first? Well that's when we get into the dev part of the dev blog. When Diaspora was formed one of our goals was to get the game into the hands of the fans quickly. It's been 5 years since the show came out. You've waited long enough. The usual mod nonsense of saying that we wouldn't release until we had the full game ready would leave fans waiting for years rather than months to play a BSG game. A demo followed by the full game was swiftly ruled out for much the same reason. What usually happens is that the fans play the demo to death and then wait for years.
The problem with a show like BSG is that you need a lot of ships before you can do anything. Pegasus and Galactica are obviously what the fans want to see. Almost everything with Galactica is out unless you have large amounts of the RTF. Galactica for instance spends almost its entire on screen time with the RTF so unless you have a large chunk of them done any mission you make is going to be woefully incomplete. And if we wait till we have them we're right back to making the fans wait for years.
Although there are a couple of missions you can make with only one of those two Battlestars and a few other ships you can't really make a campaign without a lot more assets. Not unless you want to seriously compromise your own storyline.
The team decided on a system whereby we would release several small campaigns each of which funnel more and more ships into the fleet. R1 would be something we can do quickly but in high quality. That way, in the end, the amount of time fans have to wait to play the canon missions is going to remain roughly the same but at least they're going to be playing something in the meanwhile.