It's been exactly 3 months since I released the last patch. Since then, I've finished 50% of my planned tasks for Beta 1. However, since each task vary in complexity, I'm probably not 50% done yet. But let's get on with what I have done so far.
I've added the ability to design how your hardware products will look and Lasse has been hard at work making it work and look great. This system will be fully moddable and hopefully it will add a bit of life to all the endless text-only lists of products and make them feel a bit more tangible.
Overhauled hiring and traits
Ignore the unintended Dexter reference.
Traits have moved from independent/social, fast learner/hard worker and lazy/stressed to individual traits that are determined by an employee's personality, sprinkled with some RNG. Additionally, there is no longer an infinite pool of employees lined up to be hired or deallocated, but it'll be much easier to filter through applicants as the hiring system is moving from pay-to-view to pay-to-filter.
Notifications have been somewhat unhelpful up until now, mainly because it was hard to tell important from trivial messages, causing people to ignore them altogether, but also because issues would stick around even if they had already been fixed. This has changed in Beta 1 and I've added more complex interactions, making them super extra helpful.
Improved release process
I've overhauled the final review system, combined the post-release marketing and printing prompts, and merged it all into a single flashy release dialog, to make releasing new products a bit less anticlimactic.
You'll now be able to release DLC for your games, or joysticks for the most popular console on the block, to milk each product for all they're worth. With subscription-based software, releasing content for your products will also help bring back old customers, to gain those sweet extra monthly payments.
Bugs are no longer magically transported to your customers devices as soon as you fix them, you'll now have to develop and release patches, which will also present an opportunity to upgrade tech levels, for even more subscription-based income goodness.
I'm not sure I can guarantee save compatibility with Alpha 11 currently. I have not yet broken compatibility, but engine-related issues might force my hand later down the line. In any case, Alpha 11 should still be available, even after Beta 1 is out officially, so you can keep playing old saves, and a lot of the new mechanics in Beta 1 wouldn't be accessible from Alpha 11 saves anyway.
You can now get a detailed breakdown of expenses for products you have developed
HR can now auto-prioritize specializations based on active tasks
Assembly lines can now cross over pallets connections
Fixed a bug causing AI to buy OS licenses from player for porting, even if OS license was ridiculously expensive
Fixed it being almost impossible to get level 3 service employees when hiring
Tons of other fixes and improvements
I also have another super secret mechanic planned, which will involve a new class of employee. I will reveal more when I get there.
As for when you'll be able to play it: I'm still on track with my initial estimate of 3-9 months. With the progress I've made so far, that estimate is narrowed to 3-6 months from today, as long as there aren't any major roadblocks.
Thanks for sticking around! Hope you're as excited as I am :D