Double Fine’s announced that Spacebase DF-9 will release this November, so they’ve a few more weeks to fix bugs and polish their management game to high sheen. The announcement does however have another implication, a few large features originally planned have yet to be implemented and, at this point, won’t be.
There’ll be no time travel, holodecks, legal system, multi-level bases, teleporters, or funerals.
Neogaf have pulled up an archive page of Spacebase’s original development roadmap where it lists some excellent sounding features. A great deal of what Double Fine planned has made it into the game but the last part of the list is completely absent.
Originally it was planned that when characters died their remains would be jettisoned into space, Spock-style. There’d be a service that would raise crew morale and your crew could hold onto momentos of those who died.
There were also plans for robots that could either go on a rampage against all organic life or become enlightened and assume names, personalities, and live normal lives amongst your crew.
Also missing are two key bits of Trek tech – teleporters and holodecks. The former would have served as a means to visit planets and bring back alien technology, aliens, and find new bases; the latter would act as entertainment (until it malfunctioned and killed everyone).
The omission that makes me saddest is the lack of time travel, which was simply described as “events deemed timeline-critical by the IGTTC Armistice of 7978 cannot be changed without serious consequences. however, we are pretty sure time travel armistices are for babies.”
We contacted Double Fine and were given this statement: “Spacebase DF-9 is coming out of Early Access after a year of open development. Although the ultimate scope of the game is partially a function of its Early Access sales, we have planned and prioritized its feature list to make sure that its 1.0 version a fun and complete game.”
So it sounds like the funds weren’t there to continue development until all the original features were included in Spacebase. And, it was originally written above that roadmap that “Nothing on this list is carved in stone, and we can’t promise any date for when it might go into the game. We may decide something isn’t worth it, or an idea may mutate into another thing entirely. We’re sharing this with you because we want to give an idea of where the game is headed!”
And, all isn’t lost, a very welcome announcement from Double Fine reveals that they’ll be “releasing the game’s full Lua source code a short time after 1.0, which will allow the community to create potentially far-ranging mods that add content, new features, and change some fundamental game behaviors.”
They’ll stay on to fix bugs that crop up but “any new content for the game will now be in your hands.”