This one is just to expose you the final draft of the roadmap until 1.0 beta. The list only include major versions. I put clarifications under each of these to explain what it means.
*(0.5.2): Playable Apha - first phase of the game complete w/ the full CPS
Yes the first playable alpha will not be 0.6 but 0.5.2, why ? Just because that the CPS is already implemented for most part of it since the 0.2 but not completed. This version will include most of the colonization objectives, a complete score management, and a complete end of colonization phase.
---Post First Alpha FeaturesSince FARC is in realtime but need more reflexion from the player for post 0.5.2 features, like the research & development, i need to not rush the player. Pausing the game during the player set his/her R&D settings or set up a new space unit design isn't a good solution because it kills the mean that the game is in real time, like someone said on a game design website, if you need to arbitrary pausing the game for some part, better be to dev the game turn based... So the most logical method is to slow down the time flow, not too much, but enough. It will be not an easy task but will be worthwhile.
*(0.5.5)-hybrid rt system
*(0.5.5)-hybrid rt system
*(0.6.0)-RDS incl. dynamic tech trees + incl in parts (items, equipment modules, infrastructures)
This version will be a key one, because the technology will affect what you can assemble, build and manufacture. It will include one big technology tree like for Civilization, splitted in 8 research sectors. I will try to include a static system and a dynamic one, i have already the basis of a tree management on paper, we will see if it's a failure. At worst there will be only a static tree. The tree itself is mostly completed in the game design and will include more than 150 sciences and technologies.
*(0.6.5)-FUG complete + scene cleanup + scene reload + load game + new game during in game
The FUG is the FARC Universe Generator, a design tool (not for the player) that i'll use to generate all the planetary systems in FARC. It's already implemented for part of it and requires to be completed. The rest will concern mostly of 3d scene management, for switching the 3d view from a planetary system to an another, and also will add the capability to load any saved game file ingame.
*(0.7.0)-SPUD + all design elements + space unit construction
The SPUD is the Space Units Designer, a design and ingame tool to allow to modify and create designs of spacecrafts and space based infrastructures. It will also expand the production phase to allow to build space units.
Obviously this version will include the AI of the other major and minor factions. A big nightmare but well no choice eh ?
*(0.8.0)-trading system + semi automated missions
The trading system will allow products / technology exchange between faction, including the player's faction. The Semi-Automated missions will include automated mission like this: 1/load stuff from colony A, 2/travel to colony B, 3/unload the stuff to colony B and 4/return to colony A. And this w/o a constant monitoring for the player.
*(0.8.5)-unified combat system
Yes the bloodthirsty ones among you will be happy with this version. Why unified ? Because it will process aerospace and ground-based combat in the same impulse, useful thing when you attack a colony and support in the same time your troop on ground with space units in orbit.
*(0.9.0)-game events + scripted historical events
game events are semi-random events that can happen to a colony, space unit or globally in a planetary system. Semi-random because some of them will be linked to existing things like a Nuclear Meltdown event will never happen if a colony haven't any nuclear reactor. There will be also sort of missions and contract the player's faction will can take to add some additional objectives. Scripted historical events is an another beast, it will include events related to the geopolitical background of FARC, like some crysis between factions, and over happy events. Even if FARC is more positive than our real world related to the human space exploration and expansion, it's not Disneyworld and so problems exists...
The GLOCS is the Global Communication System. A key part to induce some fog of war in the game and remember you and the AI that space is huge and that you aren't omniscient. This system is mostly completed on paper.
*(1.0)-diplomacy + memetic war (and even engineering if not implemented previously) / major features complete - Beta
The last features but not least concerns all possible interactions between factions with diplomacy and memetic war.
And i hope to complete all of that in... 2 to 2.5 years. Am I crazy ? Maybe, but sometimes we need some madness to reveal ourself and our creation (my philosophical 2 cents for 2012).
I know that the PC gaming will be dead until that... Ok let's go away the sarcasm and get back to work.