Strap in for a long post!
The GameGlass team has been heads down, working hard to get our Beta ready. We have news on some new features coming to Alpha, an update on our release plans, and a new Star Citizen Org for the GameGlass community.
Before we dive into the details, we wanted to give you an update on our new plans for updating GameGlass – both during this pre-launch stage and as we continue to develop for the life of the platform.
Alpha and beta and launch, oh my!
In the two weeks since we opened the Alpha floodgates 831 people have activated their accounts and started using GameGlass. Your feedback has been incredible, and the bugs and issues you’ve raised have been crucial in making GameGlass STRONK!
Our original plan for developing and testing GameGlass involved very distinct and separate Alpha and Beta phases. Each was planned to be stand-alone, with any updates bundled into the next phase.
This made sense from a product planning standpoint, but doesn’t reflect the pace of our development, how we collect and process your feedback, or the evolving state of the games we support.
So we’re changing our plans.
There will still be a “Beta” phase, but between now and then we plan to release more frequent updates with new features. Some will be big, some will be small. But more frequent updates, on a more responsive schedule, will let us test new content faster and let you give more feedback prior to our launch.
We’ve designed GameGlass to operate as a service that is always being improved and updated to meet the needs of our users and the games we support. The new flight model coming in 3.5 is a great example of this. We have redesigned the flight strip that appears atop most of our Shards to work with the new flight model mechanics – and the technical nature of GameGlass means everyone will receive these changes when they log in, without the need to perform a software update.
New Development Roadmap
We just released a new Developer Roadmap so you can get some insight on what our team is working on. We’ll be updating it as our development plans evolve.
Check it out here:https://trello.com/b/c0xww1Gi/gameglass-development-roadmap
We have an update coming soon that will add some big new features:
Ground Vehicle Shard
Flight Strip (redesigned for the 3.5 flight model)
A quick word on keybindings…
The Star Citizen 3.5 patch brings with it a LOT of new keybindings, most of which are not bound by default, but GameGlass needs them to be bound to execute your commands. To save you the hassle of changing all these manually we’re adding a new feature that will allow you to automatically update your KEYBOARD bindings to those required by GameGlass.
We’re also adding built-in support for QWERTZ and AZERTY keyboard layouts.
This new feature will NOT change your HOTAS, joystick, mouse or game controller bindings, but will give you a much smoother setup process, and ensure each of the buttons in our Shards operates the way you’d expect.
We hope to have this ready when the Public PTU starts, but depending on how soon that is we might have to hold off until the 3.5 LIVE release.
So, what about beta?
Beta is still a thing, and when we release it we’ll be opening GameGlass up to everyone who purchased a Perk on Indiegogo with that item. We’ll also be allowing people get access to the Beta right away when they buy a Shard Pack or a 6/12 month subscription.
Front and centre in the Beta will be our revised and polished Combat Shard. We’ve redesigned the centre targeting cluster and we’re VERY excited to announce completely redesigned Power and Shields management – including drag/tap to dynamically allocate power and shields.
Along with the new Shard, we’ve made major changes to how we make the layout responsive to a wider range of screen sizes – our Shards will now look and function correctly on smaller phone-sized devices.
The Mining Shard is in the queue for development too. It won’t be present in the initial Beta, but the new development plans outlined above mean we’ll be able to add it soon after.
Native Apps? I think so!
In addition to the great deal of updates and features we are adding to beta, we are also working on getting native applications ready for beta launch. One of the issues right now is we are designing for such a massive variety of devices and browsers within those devices. It means we have to work on small fixes here and there for each browser rather than focus on our long term goals. With native applications for iOS, Android, Amazon and Windows devices, we hope to eliminate some of these problems all together.
NOTE: You will still be able to use a browser to access GameGlass if that is what you prefer.
Onwards to launch!
We have some huge new features planned for launch, one of which is a brand new, and extremely powerful Host application. The focus will be on a smoother setup experience, and fewer issues with firewalls, keybindings and international keyboard layouts.
The new Host will be more of a hub for controlling and managing your devices and Shards too.
The Ship Databank is undergoing design; it will allow you to easily search for and examine specific ships. Tactically relevant information will be displayed, you can pin ships as a list for each reference, and more.
We’ve also begun preliminary work on visual themes for Shards, including color shifts and more radical visual changes to design elements.
We’ll have more news on these features as we get closer to launch.
As we’ve spoken to more of you during testing, and listened to you talk about the games you’d like to see supported by GameGlass, we’ve re-thought the way we plan for the games we intend to support.
Rather than give you a specific roadmap of games, we’d rather just list a selection of games we believe we can build great experiences for. This lets us respond more easily to our community’s preferences, new game releases and updates, and adjust our plans based on development priorities and resources.
The data you gave us from the first “Vote on Games” poll was also instrumental in helping us decide where we should focus our efforts (a new poll will come after Beta).
Here’s some of the games you can expect us to support in the coming year:
Elite Dangerous (coming up next), No Man’s Sky (planned to release in time for their Beyond patch), World of Warcraft, Euro Truck Simulator 2, Subnautica (planned to release in time for Below Zero), Farming Simulator 19, Sea of Thieves, The Division 2, Destiny 2, Elder Scrolls Online, X4 Foundations, DCS World, EVE Online
We want to build amazing, immersive and satisfying experiences for the games you love, and we want to support a diverse range of game types. Flight sims and space sims are our immediate focus, but we have exciting plans for MMO’s, action games and many others.
GameGlass has never been about just one game, or even one genre. Your subscription will give you access to an extremely broad range of Shards for a huge range of games.
We also hope to have an exciting announcement to make soon, about a title that will have GameGlass developed directly into its gameplay. Stay tuned for more on this.
GameGlass community, unite!
GameGlass has some huge and revolutionary (if we do say so ourselves) plans for game-related interactions between people who use GameGlass (yes, that’s intentionally vague).
To help you find others who use GameGlass, we’ve started a Star Citizen Org – GameGlass United (GGU). Hang out with people from our community, fly with devs, and when our top secret features are released you’ll have a quick way to hook up with people who you know will be able to use them.
An Elite Dangerous Squadron is coming soon!
The team is busy, excited, and listening to all your feedback. Please keep it coming.
Cheers, The GameGlass team.