Why no Early Access

The question has popped up a few times now and I understand that the slow development process might feel frustrating.

However there are several reasons why an Early Access is not planned for ASG at the moment. To begin with EA is a lot of pressure, management effort and legal responsibilities. All of this is part of game development of course, but in this project’s particular circumstances, engaging into that path too early would essentially divert limited resources from actual coding. Secondly the overall objective is to build a space game, not a pure simulator and so a public release in the current state would certainly be confusing.

The same pragmatic approach goes with the testing team: the best size is large enough to significantly improve the program’s quality (bug hunting, UX streamlining etc…), but also small enough that it is actually more of a community of online friends that basically manages itself.

And so in order to hopefully help do with these constraints I’m trying to provide regular updates so everyone can monitor the project’s advancement, in this blog and through the newsletter.

Thanks again for your interest in the game and your understanding!

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Tobias C

    Crowdfunding/kickstart might be a good middle road *wink wink* nudge, nudge.
    Or simply releasing a tech demo. But I understand your reluctance and you are most likely making the correct decision…..BUT I WANT SHINY TOYS NOW XD

    Keep up the geat work and keep those vids comin’ 🙂

    1. David

      Will do! Thanks for your understanding 🙂

    1. David

      Ah yes sure, thanks! I would suggest http://toughsf.blogspot.com/ for specific topics too. Generally speaking the doc for the game comes from reference books (mostly about orbital mechanics and spacecraft systems), my previous experience in electronics engineering, and from online material of course (Wikipedia 😍). I tried to add the corresponding links in the website’s sections.

    1. David

      Ah I know about KSP and some mods for sure: even wrote an ascent optimization / aerobraking planning add-on for it actually! 😀 (It’s now unavailable as it was made obsolete when they changed the aerodynamics in the game).
      On the other hand ASG is about managing and piloting an existing ship in a more standard space game setting, that is with operational missions as part of a career as a Space Guard captain. So regarding the power plant the focus is about operations, optimization and maintenance rather than “design” actually.

  2. Jake

    When do you think / estimate the game will be released? I know the release date can easily change and it’s difficult to figure out when the game will be done. But I’m mostly curious of how long to wait and how much the game been developed so far.

    1. David

      Difficult to answer indeed! Here’s the current dev roadmap:
      – NPC traffic (current Q2 + Q3/2021?)
      – Ship systems 2nd pass (monitoring and alarms, life support, maintenance… Q4/2021?)
      – Missions and Career framework (Q1/2022?)
      That is from that point (Q2/2022?) the fundamentals of the gameplay loop will be in place and all subsequent additions to the ship’s capabilities will enable new types of missions. And so the release should occur when there is sufficient diversity (and to be built upon later on!).
      I hope this gives a time-frame, to be refined in the coming dev reports 🙂

      1. Mateusz

        are you planning to add sandbox mode?

        1. David

          The objective is to implement a “semi sandbox” play style. That is the player will always command and manage a Space Guard ship and her crew. However they should be able to choose their missions and career development according to their preferences. The mission system will be dynamic, probably with some additional orbital police and customs tasks being always active.

  3. Dragon

    Bonjour David, je suis tombé sur ton site grâce au discord d’orbiter, qui suit ton travail de près pour certains membres. Sera-t-il possible d’avoir une démo dans un proche avenir?
    Le twitch de Jay’s m’a fait baver d’envie.
    Je rejoins l’avis de Kabouik (fofo conquête spatiale) sur son analyse de ton travail.
    Bien à toi,


    1. David

      Salut Dragon, je vais aller te répondre sur le forum de la Conquête Spatiale ! 🙂

  4. Brooks

    Hello, just wondering if you have any update on the a planned release date? Thank you.

    1. David

      I’m afraid that’s still difficult to foresee at the moment. Hopefully things will get clearer the coming year when working on the gamification layer, and I’ll keep you all informed as well as I can!

  5. Jim

    Stumbled upon the review by ObsidianAnt. This is what I’ve been looking for.
    I worked for 20 years as a software engineer for a company that builds and maintains flight simulators for the military; am an avid FlightSim Pilot, an ‘Orbiter’ http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/index.html pilot, and all-around gamer (Elite:Dangerous currently).
    I have described Alliance Space Guard to my friends as Orbiter meets Elite on steroids.

    Anxiously awaiting a release date – Keep up the good work!

    1. David

      Thank you for your encouraging words 😊
      It is thanks to Orbiter that I started to learn about orbital mechanics back in 2000! I wrote a little flight planning add-on for it (“NavMFD”, long forgotten ^^) but the low-level trajectory propagation layer in ASG’s flight planner is a direct descendant from it 👨‍🔧🙂

      1. Jim

        I’ve been thinking a lot about my last post, your reply, some other comments you’ve replied to, your past contributions to Orbiter, and a liberal sprinkling of ‘reading between the lines’.

        When I think about Orbiter (and via the associative property: ASG) My thoughts always lead me to ‘The Expanse’, ‘Babylon 5’, ‘Farscape’, ‘Firefly’, maybe a couple more but you get the idea;
        An open universe where we can go out into the ‘black’ and make of it what we may.

        One of the best features of Orbiter was not just the ability to create mods… but the whole-hearted endorsement of the modding community and their contributions.
        You have created a very enticing universe for your creation – my question (finally) is will mods for ASG be a thing and if so will there be a mechanism (as in Orbiter) to apply said mods.
        Anxiously awaiting your thoughts – and extrapolations…

        One last thing… I’d really love to be an tester… but I don’t think I’d have the time to really get into it and test the way testing should be done… that said, I’d really love to be an tester .


        1. David

          Hello Jim, thank you for your interest in the project!

          Unless I’m mistaken Orbiter is by design more open to modding since in essence it provides a complex simulated environment for space flight, and then an API to complement its existing vehicles or fully build new ones. In ASG the player ship is meant to feature all the necessary systems to operate in the game’s world already, and that’s because the goal is to make it a “space game” rather than a “space simulator” actually. For instance the integrated flight planner and flight controller are included to be able to deal with the orbital mechanics in a functional way (and that was precisely the type of mod I worked on for Orbiter 👨‍🔧🙂).

          That said the honest answer about modding is “we’ll see how it goes” as I definitely intend to continue working on the game after its public release! The ship’s systems are very intricate and I don’t think that a full external design would be practical, but an API to be able to add some instruments or the like seems totally feasible – just not now ^^

  6. lobo

    I understand EA was a no go in 2021 but were already in 2024, do you plan to reconsider your approach?
    The way I see it, launching Early Access might give you funds to fuel the development further and get constructive feedback.

    1. David

      Thanks for your interest in the project 🙂
      I’ve just completed the crew module, and so from now on the dev will be focusing on building a “game” around the simulator at last. The plan is to go for a public release as soon as there’s enough content in place, and I’ll go on adding the more complex features later on. Meanwhile feedback is always welcome, here or in the vids’ comments!

  7. APQ-130

    Even if I disagree somewhat with your approach, I absolutely respect it, and it seems to be working well given the impressive pace of ASG. I’m curious, however: what are your thoughts on videogame modding, especially for when the game is finally released? I know some devs dislike it quite a lot.

    1. David

      Ah I have no issue with modding in general, I just want to be able to set the game’s frame first! 👨‍🔧🙂 The plan is to try to build the gamification layer with an external mission creation tool in mind. So the base game would release with routine space guard tasks, dynamically generated missions and probably a few scripted tutorial / introductory flights. But then more complex and lore rich content could be added externally.

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