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Roadmap update

Periphery Synthetic EP in 2024

Greetings surveyors!

Since the release of Project Ephemera, I have been taking a short break from game development for my mental health. I felt unexpectedly exhausted by the success of SYNTH jam, and determined that it would be detrimental to the project and myself to proceed without rest. Sadly, this pushed back the planned release of Periphery Synthetic EP from Spring to Summer 2024.

Today I wanted to share that I have been making steady progress on its next update! I now also have a better understanding of the overall roadmap and what’s coming next. Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming update, the Steam release, and free content expansions.

Spring 2024: v3.2.0 update

Since the Side C preview last December, I have received numerous messages of feedback and support from folks participating in the open beta. There were also requests for support and bug reports. I’m very grateful for everyone who has reached out to help make the EP better.

The purpose of the next update is to address all of your feedback. It adds new features, enhances existing ones, and fixes a swarm of bugs. Here is a breakdown of those changes.

New features in v3.2.0

  • Some destinations will have dynamic names to encourage surveyors to investigate them further.
  • A new screen lets surveyors review how and where they have found the materials in their inventory.
  • The other bodies of Alpha Periphery will be modeled and visible in the skies of each world.

Enhancements in v3.2.0

  • Cave exploration will feel more responsive with a greater sense of agency over how they are revealed.
  • Collectibles will have better spatialization in the audio mix.
  • Material and destination discoveries will be removed from the Perceptions screen to make it less repetitive.
  • Menu buttons will have dynamic cursor styles to indicate whether they can be clicked.
  • The game manual will receive several revisions for clarity.

Fixes in v3.2.0

  • Sounds will be properly killed when surfacing and diving in the waters of Alpha Periphery C.
  • All sounds will be properly killed between loading levels.
  • The skybox will behave more like a sphere on all worlds.
  • Screen readers will behave better on several screens.
  • Various typos will be fixed.

Summer 2024: Steam release

Beware! You will lose some progress at the release of this update.

The open beta for the EP will end with the upcoming Steam release. Its main feature will fulfill my penultimate promise: the rest of its story.

Previously only the text of Side A was present in the EP. This release adds the text for the perceptions added in the Side B and Side C previews. The complete text lays the foundation of an intergalactic mystery for surveyors to piece together and speculate.

With the EP leaving beta, I am presented with my final opportunity to make substantial changes to its world generation. I plan to take this risk to make the project its best. Here the worlds will be rescaled with small refinements to their terrain. Importantly, their destinations and other features will be rearranged in a way that prepares them for future enhancements.

Unfortunately, I regret to announce that saves carrying over from the beta will lose some progress. Existing saves will begin at the Landing Site with no memory of past perceptions or destinations. However, they will keep all of their upgrades and collected materials.

I understand if this is frustrating to hear. By keeping the vast majority of your progress—and with recent updates—my hope is that it should be easy to return to your favorite spots. Perhaps you may even see this as an opportunity to experience the EP’s story as intended: non-linearly through playful experimentation.

That’s why I’m adding another new system in the full release: collectible trinkets. Returning from S.E.A., surveyors will collect a variety of lesser artifacts from the worlds of Alpha Periphery. These could include minerals, fossils, or technologies which loosely allude to the events of the worlds. Their goal is to provide more worldbuilding opportunities, without requiring full paragraphs of text to describe.

When it’s ready: Side D release

Beware! The price of the EP will increase to $4 USD when Side D is released.

My ultimate promise is to support the EP with free content expansions. The Side D release will be the first to test this model.

Side D will deliver a new musical world to the system: Alpha Periphery D2. This verdant moon of a micro black hole is covered by an otherworldly moss. It offers surveyors a unique view, with new technologies to unlock and perceptions to reveal.

The big new feature I’d like to explore in this release is the baryonic economy. Two new currencies might be introduced: Baryons and Antibaryons. By breaking down materials into their corresponding baryons, they could be transmuted into other materials of that type of matter.

This opens the possibility for several new upgradable systems and subsystems. For example, the Storage system could be expanded with new Baryon and Antibaryon storage subsystems. Or, returning from E.X.O., a Recycler might allow surveyors to downgrade or fully uninstall certain systems. And materials might be collectible again if they can turn directly into baryons.

The goal of this new economy is to remove the arbitrary limits which the materials impose. Once unlocked, surveyors can experience their favorite parts of the EP at their own pace. For example, when combined with the Distillery, they may never feel the need to leave the surface of Alpha Periphery C.

And beyond

My goal for Periphery Synthetic EP was to provide myself a platform for creating musical worlds in this shared universe. There are plenty of themes to explore, mechanics to implement, and clues to drop whenever inspiration strikes. I’d certainly love to add a few more sides between future projects.

I’m excited to share this new content with you soon. Thanks for playing!

Wishlist on Steam