Indie space agency sim Kerbal Space Program is finally in beta. The latest #update, #BetaThanEver, #launched today on the KSP Store, Steam and other digital platforms. It’s free for existing players. This update marks the game’s first beta release and, according to its developers, is the first major step towards a fully launched game.
“It means we’re in the home stretch,” lead developer Felipe Falanghe said. “We’re not done with the game by any means, but it’s matured to a point where we can safely say that hitting 1.0 is within sight.”
Players now start the game with a basic space center and can update it using the new upgradeable facilities feature. The Kerbals themselves have new specialised skills, including advanced piloting, science gathering and spacecraft repairs, that you can improve by taking them on missions.
More exciting features included:
- A Retooled Craft Editor: Build crafts better than ever before with advanced part sorting and construction gizmos that allow players to place, offset and rotate the different parts on your craft.
- Expanded Contracts: Brian “Arsonide” Provan, creator of the highly rated mod, “Fine Print,” has implemented and expanded his mod into the game, granting greater variety, depth and difficulty to the previously implemented contract system.
- Biomes Everywhere: KSP-TV host, Alyson “Tanuki Chau” Young created new biomes for the game, bringing them to over 100 areas from which Kerbals can collect, store and send science data. The new biomes have been placed all across the universe, giving players bigger incentive to explore every inch of the game.
- New Mk3 SpacePlane parts: Prolific modding community member, Christopher “Porkjet” Thuersam has overhauled and added to the popular collection of Mk3 parts that allow crafts to carry larger payloads.
Developer Squad has snagged official use of the European Space Agency’s logo and imagery for the game, so you can create authentic-looking ESA missions in the game, too. Fresh off the unprecedented success of their Rosetta mission, their cooperation adds even more detail to players who’d like to recreate their own ESA missions in the game. There’s more on the update on the Kerbal Space Program blog.
“It is, already, the sort of game you could play for 100 hours without exhausting its potential and yet, even when you’re pootling around with doomed-to-fail contraptions, taking the most basic introductory steps, it’s never less than charming, engrossing and entertaining,” he wrote.
“That you can go from such humble beginnings to explore an entire realistically crafted solar system is nothing short of remarkable. Strap yourself in. It’s going to be a long and wonderful ride.”