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WHAT IS AN EARLY ACCESS PROGRAM

The ‘Early Access Program’ (EAP) allows you to get your hands on the game before release.  When you buy it, you’ll get a download link and you’ll be able to get the game and play it immediately. However, this is not a complete game. This game is still in development and we want your help to make it the best it can be. By joining the Early Access Program you will become part of the team and help guide the future development with your ideas and feedback.

The Road to the Moon is the first of 3 episodes for Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager. It covers the first 15 years of Space flight, from the dawn of the Space Age until the manned Moon landings.

In an ‘Early Access Program’, the game is not complete and is still under development. The game is playable but has missing features and content and almost certainly bugs.

GAMEPLAY

  • The ability to construct and upgrade buildings at the GSA space complex.
  • The ability to hire personnel via their respective space centers and assign them to tasks. GSA has three types of personnel:
    • Scientists, Technicians and Engineers (SET): They perform RD on the mission components and improve their reliability levels.
    • Flight Controllers: They monitor the progress of the missions and kick in when a failure occurs.
    • Astronauts/Cosmonauts: They fly the missions, and directly affect their chances of success based on their skills.

  • Personnel related game mechanics:
    • Support for sending employees to advanced training in order to improve their skills by paying a training cost and having them unavailable for assignments for a certain number of seasons.
    • Support for retiring employees.
    • Support for dismissing employees.
    • Support for employee morale which, if left unmanaged, might make the employees leave the agency
  • The ability to open programs, improve the reliability of their corresponding mission components and schedule and launch missions, which may succeed or fail based on the reliability of the mission components involved and the skills of the assigned Flight Controllers and Astronauts
  • Limitations based on the current evolution state of a building:
    • Astronauts Center, Mission Control Center and SET Center limit the amount of employees that can be hired.
    • HQ limits the amount of programs can be run concurrently.
    • The option to ‘close’ programs, in order to reduce expenditures.The ability to open programs, improve the reliability of their corresponding mission components and schedule and launch missions, which may succeed or fail based on the reliability of the mission components involved and the skills of the assigned Flight Controllers and Astronauts.
  • Sandbox Mode:
    • The player starts with a fixed amount of money and budget. 
    • The budget gets reviewed every 12 seasons (i.e., 4 years) and depends on the amount of prestige at the moment of the review.
    • Prestige can go up or down depending on the outcome of the launched missions.
  • Campaign mode:
    • Evaluation of long and short term campaign objectives.
    • Long-term campaign objectives must be accomplished before the end date. Failure to do so will cause the game to end.
    • Short-term campaign objectives provide an boost or a reduction of prestige points, depending on whether they get accomplished before the deadline or not. Unlike the long-term capaign objectives, the player must make the decision on whether it's worth to ignore those short-term campaign objectives that don't align to the chosen strategy and face a prestige penalization or spend time, funds and effort in order to comply with them.
  • Achievement of goals that enable opening more advanced programs.
  • Load and save feature. Includes an autosave feature that gets triggered at the end of each turn.
  • Automatic generation of stats files in CSV format, which can be easily imported in spreadsheets tools like Excel in order to generate charts. Just like the autosave, this feature gets triggered at the end of each turn.
  • Difficulty levels, which have an impact on the starting funds and prestige points.
  • First iteration on the in-game help screen. More information coming during the EAP as the game develops and the developers find the places where players are struggling the most with.
  • First iteration on balancing the interaction between budget, prestige, costs and reliabilities levels, but this will evolve during the EAP.
  • Ability to schedule, assemble and scrub missions. Missions can be scrubbed during the turn or right before the launch.
  • Support for extended missions, which last for more than one season. Some robotic missions (e.g., the ‘Jupiter flyby’) last as much as 20 seasons!

CONTENT

  • All the animations for all mission configurations that belong to programs from the following program categories that belong to the GSA campaign:
    • Earth orbiting research satellites
    • Lunar probes
    • Sun probes
    • Mercury probes
    • Venus probes
    • Mars probes
    • Jupiter probes
    • Space planes
    • One crew ballistic capsules
    • Two crew ballistic capsules
    • Short-term lunar expeditions

  • Intro video
  • The badges for all the goals that can be achieved throughout the game
  • The Buzz-opedia, which provides background information about the real-life counterparts of the existing programs.
  • An advisor character based on Dr. von Braun that provides advice on the chances of successfully completing a mission before launch. The final version will also feature an advisor based on Sergei Korolev.
  • Personnel names and images are placeholders, they will be replaced with the names and pictures from those early adopters that purchase the ‘Apollo Tier’.
  • Mission configuration information screen that shows a breakdown of a space mission into seasons with the possibility of digging further and examining all the mission steps involved at each season and the components/flight controllers/astronauts involved at each step.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Resolution supported: 1024x768 at the beginning of the EAP. During the EAP support will be provided for retina display size (2048x1536) and widescreen resolutions (16:9)
  • Single player support for all three campaign modes and the sandbox mode. Multiplayer support will be added for the race to the Moon campaign; players will be able to compete against others in order to be the first to set foot on the Moon!

WHAT IS NOT IN YET

As the game is still in development expect to receive regular updates (usually weekly) and new features and content. Notice that this list of intended features is subject to change based on the feedback during the EAP and we may add different features and content, but this is the current plan:

GAMEPLAY

  • The implementation of the race to the Moon campaign and the multiplayer mode
  • Personnel related stuff:
    • Support for Astronauts and Flight Controllers gaining experience after missions.
    • Provide support for viewing employees that have been fired/retired.
    • Have a ‘working environment rating’ for GSA, which will influence the quality of new recruits, the chances of employees leaving the agency, etc.
  • Add functionality so that the VAB limits the types of programs that can be opened. The building will need to be updated in order to support programs that feature bigger boosters.

CONTENT

  • Missions for the ‘Saturn probes’ program category from the GSA campaign.
  • A bigger variety of mission configurations for the Apollo program, including the 'file-in-the-hole' test performed by Apollo 5.
  • All the remaining missions for the Soviet race to the Moon campaign, such as the PKA space plane, Soyuz and the LK-700 Direct Ascent program.
  • The space complex required for the race to the Moon campaign.
  • The missing historical information entries in the Buzz-opedia.
  • Text for the descriptions of all missions components, mission configurations, diagrams, etc.

SPACE COMPLEX BUILDINGS

  • Enhance the current implementation of the ‘Public Affairs Office’ screen by:
    • Adding support for the ‘Public Affairs Officer’ character, which will provide advice in order to better meet the short and long term goals.
    • For parts 2 and 3, this screen will suffer even more changes in order to accommodate more gameplay features, such as being able to liaise with external entities. These gameplay features will be determined during the development of parts 2 and 3.
  • Create the ‘Observatory’ screen, which will feature information about the planets and will provide a way to visualize the progress attained in the exploration of the celestial bodies.
  • Create the ‘Museum’ screen, where the player will be able to:
    • Review the news screen for all past seasons (ideal for creating AARs).
    • Review the list of fallen astronauts.
    • Review the list of achieved goals and their associated badges.

OTHER ENHANCEMENTS

‚óŹ     Language support (the list of languages is yet to be decided).

We are offering 3 Tiers in the Early Access Program:

  • Mercury Tier - $19.99 for the digital version of the beta supplied immediately and updated throughout, private beta forum access to report issues and discuss the game with the dev team and other early adopters and your name in the beta tester credits.
  • Gemini Tier - $34.99 includes everything in the Mercury Tier plus a boxed copy of the game at final release (usually $44.99) which includes a personalized disk with your name and serial number plus a full colour manual/art book with a collection of gorgeous renders for the game.
  • Apollo Tier - $99.99 includes everything in the Gemini Tier plus your name and photo in the game as one of the SET personnel, a flight controller or an astronaut and the game sound track in MP3 format. Instead of a beta tester credit you will be listed as a contributor. This option will not be available post release. More information on this Tier is available HERE.

If you have any questions about the EAP or the game please feel free to ask.

We really hope you enjoy SPM, see you at the forums!

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