Hey Below Zero fans! Hope you are enjoying the Lost Ship update!
We’ve got lots of big changes coming soon to Early Access and wanted to give a quick heads-up before they start rolling in.
What you need to know:
- The next Below Zero release will feature the new story in an early form.
- Once the new story goes live, old saves will stop working. You’ll have to start a new game.
- (Steam) If you’re playing on the Steam main branch, you will be able to play your save games as usual until the next update. At this point, they will become unplayable and a new save game will need to be started.
- (Steam) If you’re playing on Steam’s experimental branch, the changes are imminent.
- (Steam) If you want to keep playing your save in the current release without interruption, read on below.
- (Non-Steam) You will be able to play your save games as usual until the next update. At this point, they will become unplayable and a new save game will need to be started.
Why is this necessary?
We try our best to not disrupt saves except when absolutely necessary, but this is a rare case where we think doing so will result in the best experience for everybody. The changes to the game are significant enough that old saves would likely be a buggy mess; it’s better to just rip the band-aid off and move forward!
We’ll have a warning inside the game so you know that things are in flux. These changes are imminent on the Steam experimental branch, but will not affect the main branch until the next Early Access release.
What if I want to keep playing my current save?
For Steam players: If you want to keep playing a game without losing your save, you can stay on the main branch for now. We are going to start rolling the changes out in the experimental build.
You can also switch to our tagged early-access-8 branch. Use the password belowzeroearlyaccess to unlock Steam EA branches; you can go back and play all of the EA releases there if you’re keen!
For non-Steam players: You will be able to play your save games as usual until the next update. At this point, they will become unplayable and a new save game will need to be started.
What else is the team working on for the next release?
Getting the new story designed and written and implemented is a big effort, but we’re also focused on improving other parts of the game – most notably the surface gameplay experience.
We’ve been struggling to nail this part of the game down since the very beginning of the project. Subnautica is primarily an underwater game, and much of what is compelling about the experience doesn’t automatically translate onto the surface.
We read the forums and watch streamers play – as well as regularly playtesting ourselves – and it’s clear that the surface isn’t up to the quality standards of our fans or the team. As a result, we’re going to take some extra time to get it right before 1.0.
We’ve spent a lot of time analyzing the problems with the surface and debating possible solutions. We’re looking to make the surface more connected with the rest of the game, to better motivate exploration and discovery, and to improve existing creatures and tools. If you’re curious about the specifics, have a look around our Favro; you can see what everyone is working on (outside of story spoilers).
And in case you were wondering, story and surface work aren’t the only things we’re focused on. We continue to polish and tune the core underwater experience that is at the heart of Subnautica and will continue to do so until we are happy with the game as a whole.
Want more info about the new story?
We’re not ready to start revealing things just yet… but stay tuned. We’ll have plenty to share very soon.
As always – let us know what you think! And THANK YOU for all of your support!
Project Lead / Subnautica: Below Zero