After over two years of development, the last one with a full-time schedule, indie game developers System Era is finally releasing Astroneer into the Game Preview program. The announcement blog post for its early access release describes the game as follows:
This is a game about discovery and mystery, as you uncover rare artifacts and the resources you need to find, on vast worlds where every cubic inch of space can be explored. It’s a game about creativity, as you use your tools to dig, build, sculpt, and shape the very ground to serve your needs, whether utilitarian or aesthetic. It’s a game about solitude, as you enjoy the beauty of your surroundings as you might on a long hike or camping trip. It’s also a game about cooperation, as you invite your friends to share the experience with you in multiplayer co-op.
Unfortunately, the multiplayer co-op will not be available on release tomorrow but is yet to come in a future update. Even so, Astroneer has some pretty ambitious goals for a small indie team. The game aims to be a sandbox of interplanetary exploration where the player can deform terrain and build their own world’s.
— ASTRONEER: Countdown out now! (@astroneergame) December 10, 2016
Still, Astroneer is in early access for a reason. System Era warns any players that are intending to buy and play the game tomorrow might be met with a less than stellar product, particularly for the Xbox. “The game is very incomplete,” noted the team in their Xbox Wire announcement post. “We’ve worked hard to ensure a stable experience without game-breaking bugs, but there definitely will be some we haven’t caught, along with many minor issues.”
Of course, with many games in early access, System Era is hoping the fans will join in the development process to pound out the bugs and work towards the successful launch of Astroneer 1.0.
Described as a game about independent space exploration, many gamers are having flashbacks to the controversy surrounding No Man’s Sky. But System Era is determined to shed any negative vibes with pure transparency. In fact, the team released a Trello roadmap with their clear intentions and progress of the game.
Astroneer will be available to play for the first time tomorrow, December 16. Eurogamer reported that it will cost $19.99 USD. As an Xbox Play Anywhere title, you’ll be able to purchase it once from console or on Windows Store and switch as you see fit. Astroneer will also be available to play on Steam.