It has been 6 months and nearly 70 releases since we first launched 0.17 to the world. Now is the time to let it be enjoyed by all the players of the game. We are going to be continuing our work on 0.17 over the next few months, with small experimental releases of new features, and finishing all the GUI reworks.
The new map editor can be accessed directly in-game with the /editor command. Packed with new features and improvements, such as cloning tools, multiple surface support, and time control. The new editor also allows collaborative map editing in multiplayer. More details: FFF-252.
The enemies in the game, the native inhabitants of the planet, have received a major facelift in this update. As well as a graphical overhaul, the attacks and balancing of the spitters and worms has been revised, incorporating skill-based elements and some tactical decision making. More details: FFF-268, FFF-279.
Now when trying to join your favorite server, you can directly sync your mods with the server from in-game, and automatically join once they are all installed. This massively reduces the friction for joining modded servers. The in-game mod browser has also been redone to help find new mods and manage your installations.
We have massively optimised (and parallelized) the fluid update in 0.17. In effect each section of pipe can be updated independently of other pipe sections. This comes as welcome news for any megabase planners out there. Furthermore we have limited each pipe section to only a single fluid, and will actively block any placement that could mix fluids, to prevent the catastrophe of mixing water into your oil system and bricking the whole system. More details: FFF-271.
This release has a completely new rendering backend, written almost from scratch to our exact requirements. The new engine takes advantage of more modern GPU features and is highly optimized. What this means is that the game can now work with much less VRAM and allow players with older videos cards to still enjoy the game in high resolution at 60 FPS. More details: FFF-251, FFF-264, FFF-281.
Due to the more modern architecture, some issues may be present with certain hardware configurations, please see this forum thread if you experience any graphical problems.
We have added a completely new introduction scenario on a hand crafted map. It gives new players some simple goals and provides a place for them to experiment with a smaller toolset than Freeplay allows. The scenario is open ended, so that players may experiment with larger bases. A separate techtree is provided for this purpose which includes some infinite research. Our companion robot, Compilatron, is also present to help guide the player. More details: FFF-262, FFF-306.
We have added some powerful shortcut keys, which use the intuitive layout we are all used to. Now you can undo your last action by pressing CTRL + Z, quick equip a cut tool with CTRL + X, do quick copy/paste actions with CTRL + C/CTRL + V, and assign robots to upgrade your factory with the new Upgrade planner. More details: FFF-255.
We added a new GUI skin, along with the first batch of GUI reworks. The new GUI aims to unify the look and feel of the game, and provide a consistent visual basis for the players interactions with the world. More details: FFF-243.
As always there are a ton of smaller features and changes to discover in this latest major update. You can read the changelog in game for a full rundown, or checkout the release notes here.
We have our plan moving forward for the next version of the game, which you can check out here.