The artist just submitted his last batch of artwork, so I now have all the necessary artwork for the game (excluding new races and space combat particles). This includes all the background screens for ground combat, one for each planet. Here's a couple that I really like:
Now about sounds. My biggest obstacle is my deafness. So I'm unable to debug sounds, or be able to know whether or not music/sounds are good. So I've asked Spencer (remember the neat nebulas? That was his handiwork), and he said he will help me implement sounds/music in the game. However, I still need the sounds and music themselves, what to do?
Then out of blue, a composer saw my game, and said he liked it, and offered his help. We agreed on a reasonable rate of payment, so soon he will start producing music and sounds for my game! The next version will be delayed due to this, but it should contain the new music and sound effects!
On other news, I've started moving over fleets from grid-based to star-to-star. I've re-done the pathfinding algorithm to use Dijkstra algorithm instead of A*, and reworked the fleet movement/position to use the new system. Right now I'm debugging the whole thing, fixing issues as they pop up. So hopefully soon I'll be done with the conversion, then I can start work on the new UI for combat selection (when you attack a system for example), colonization, population transfer, and ship positioning in a squadron. As well as fleet management screen, then at that point, the whole fleet stuff will be done. When this is done, as well as the sounds/music, I will then release 0.6.0! (0.7 will be when the space combat is fully done, 0.8 when diplomacy is implemented, 0.9 when saving/loading is done, and 1.0 when AI and general polishing are done)