Release Notes

This page details all the changes to High Frontier in each version. They are in natural order; if you're only interested in the latest changes, then please scroll to the bottom.

Version 0.01 (2014-06-21)

This is the first release to include all three major sections of the game (Design, Build, and Manage). Working features include calculation of shield mass, air mass, and gravity; file I/O; and a basic population model with resident reactions. Spin is currently applied to all parts uniformly, except where they join a Box component, which connects via (implied) rotating bearings.

Version 0.02 (2014-06-27)

This second release adds radiation and radiation shielding, air pressure, and a number of small features based on user feedback:

  • Various units now use superscripts rather than ^2, ^3, etc. [#23]
  • Added a Quit button to the main menu. (You can still use the standard Quit/Exit menu command as well.) [#24]
  • When a design is saved, a "Design Saved" message appears briefly to let you know it worked. [#25]
  • When entering Manage mode, if no colony is selected, the Select Colony palette pops out in an inviting fashion. [#26]
  • A Squawker feed has been added to the main menu screen. This one presents messages about the game itself, including occasional usage tips. [#27]
  • Air pressure has been added to the simulation, including its effects on shell thickness, and resident/visitor satisfaction. [#29]
  • Added radiation and radiation shielding. Radiation varies with orbit, and shielding includes structural mass, soil, and any extra shielding you select (up to 50 tons per square meter). [#30, #31]
  • Readouts and configuration controls are now properly cleared when a new design is loaded. [#32]
  • The file format has changed slightly. As a result, colonies from v0.01 will not load properly. [#33]
  • If you delete a part while actively dragging it, it no longer leaves attachment handles behind. [#34]
  • Deleting a part now clears the configuration controls, avoiding an error that could otherwise occur. [#36]
  • Ugly scrollbar on the Design screen Load dialog has gotten a makeover. [#37]

Version 0.03 (2014-07-08)

The third release adds polish to various parts of the game to make it more realistic and informative:

  • The radiation simulation is now far more accurate, with separate attenuation curves for low-energy particles, high-energy particles, and low Earth orbit vs. higher orbits. The data for these curves was taken from NASA's OLTARIS simulator. [#38]
  • In Manage mode, the Earth and Moon are now drawn with approximately the correct size and position for the orbit you're in. [#35]
  • Various readouts in Design mode now have additional information that can be accessed by clicking the little "?" icon that appears when you mouse over them. [#40]
  • When High Frontier is updated, you will now be notified via a Squawk on the main menu page. [#39]

Version 0.04 (2014-07-16)

This release adds support for rotating bearings, as well as better support for rotating parts in general, and a few other enhancements.

  • In design mode, the Parts palette now has separate parts for Living, Structure, and Utility. Structure includes a new Bearing part, as well as Box. (Utility is currently empty.) [#42]
  • When you mouse over the Spin control, we now highlight all the connected parts that must spin at the same rate. [#45]
  • Spin may now be negative as well as positive. This lets you design colonies with counter-rotating parts, for a net angular momentum of zero.
  • Dragging a palette no longer gets ahead of (or lags behind) the mouse on some platforms.
  • The configuration dialog that appears at launch now sports a spiffy new High Frontier logo. [#41]
  • Colonies are now texture-mapped. Different textures are applied depending on whether you have additional shielding on each part. [#44]
  • Corrected an error that caused kilotons to be displayed as "Mt" rather than "Kt". [#46]

Version 0.05 (2014-07-24)

This is another refinement release, bringing a number of enhancements that make High Frontier more pleasant to play.

  • We now have a title screen, with music and a nice Earth rolling by under the High Frontier title. (Click the mouse or press any key to move on.) [#47]
  • Twitter tweets with the tag "#HighFrontier" are now displayed in the Squawker feed on the main menu. [#28]
  • When you move from Design mode to Build mode, your design is automatically saved, and then automatically selected in the Build screen. [#48]
  • Size, position, and rendering of the Earth, Moon, and Sun has been substantially improved for all orbits. [#49]

Version 0.06 (2014-08-27)

  • Manage mode now includes custom physics code that correctly simulates rotational dynamics. [#52]
  • In Design mode, there is now a "Stability" entry that shows you how stable your colony is likely to be (click the "?" icon for more detail). [#51]
  • Fixed a problem with selection of cylinder and torus parts. [#53]

Version 0.07 (2014-09-05)

  • Info panels now provide much more whole-colony design analysis when no part is selected. Just click on the background to deselect the current part, and then check out the colony's overall stability, radiation, gravity levels, etc. [#55]
  • Info panels now display a warning icon on parameters that are out of the generally safe or recommended range. This should help alert you when the radiation or gravity is too high, stability is too low, etc. Click on the icon to view more detail. [#54]
  • The Squawker feed is now maintained on a per-colony basis, so if you switch from one colony to another, you don't get confused about who's squawking about what. [#50]
  • Attaching a part now automatically applies the spin rate of the thing you're attaching it to. [#57]

Version 0.08 (2014-09-12)

  • Design mode contains a number of new parts: solar panels, power plant, radiators (including "skirt" style), docking bay, and communications dish. These are currently cosmetic, but will start impacting the simulation soon. [#58, #59]
  • Control palettes are now better about applying any manually-entered values when you leave the field.

Version 0.09 (2014-09-21)

  • We now calculate the energy balance of your colony design, taking into account surface area facing the sun, energy used in the colony, and energy radiating away. [#63]

  • Residents now squawk about the temperature, docking ports, and communications dish. Also, the squawk system has been reworked to better prioritize more urgent topics. [#61]

  • A cosmetic problem with the cylinder texture has been fixed. [#62]

Version 0.10 (2014-10-01)

  • Fixed several small bugs with attachment points in design mode.
  • Also in design mode, the selected part is now yellow rather than blue, to make it easier to see (especially with solar panels).
  • Fixed a bug where the spin on one part would sometimes get reset to zero when adding another part. [#70]
  • Added mouse-over help for the various items in the Parts palette. [#60]
  • In Manage mode, we now show transport ships coming and going, provided you have docks for them to use. [#64]
  • Added initial support for mods (plug-in modules that add functionality to the game). Watch the blog for more details about this. [#65]
  • Converted all files to a new format (called GRFON). This unfortunately means that old designs and colonies will not load in the new version. However, the new format is much more flexible and extensible, so we expect this will be the last time that ever happens! [#67]
  • In Manage mode, replaced the Select Colony palette with a Manage palette. This has a files button that brings up our standard file dialog, providing a way to delete old colonies. It will also be where the rest of the management controls go, which will be important soon as we start adding internal colony management. [#66]

Version 0.10.1 (2014-10-22)

  • Fixed some math errors related to livable area in the Torus habitat part.
  • Fixed another Torus bug which caused spoke radius to be off by a factor of two. [#79]
  • Fixed a bug in the physics simulation that caused tumbling colonies to break apart under certain circumstances. [#78]

Version 0.11 (2014-12-20)

  • Reduced the size of the build from over 200 MB to about 65 MB. [#80]
  • Added a command console which can be accessed by pressing F3. It doesn't do much yet, but it will have more and more utility for advanced users in the future. [#86]
  • Fixed a cosmetic bug with the star field in the background. [#81]
  • Added an internal colony view, accessed via the context switch buttons in the management tab. For the first time ever, you can now go inside your colony and look around! [#72]
  • Added keyboard camera controls for the internal colony view. By default, these are: arrow keys or WASD to move around; Q and E (or period and comma) to rotate the camera; and left and right brackets (or home/end) to pitch the camera up and down. [#99]
  • Added an Info button on the main menu screen, from which you can view credits for the game, including most of the amazing people who supported our KickStarter campaign to fund some killer artwork for city mode. [#93]
  • Added a Terrain tab on the management palette in city mode, that lets you tweak the water level, add/remove trees, or adjust the land up or down. These changes are saved with the colony and should persist across context switches or multiple runs (unless you're using the demo version, of course). [#87 and #88]
  • Added a Linux build, so we now support three platforms (Mac, Windows, and Linux). [#91]

Version 0.12 (2015-01-16)

  • Added "show coords" and "hide coords" commands to the debug console (toggled with F3). This shows or hides the coordinates and object the mouse is over, and is intended for debugging. Those coordinates are now hidden by default.
  • Added basic support for building mods (that is, mods that add buildings to the game). If any such mods are found, the buildings can be placed via the new "Build" tab on the Manage palette.
  • Fixed an issue in the demo builds that caused a "mem" folder to appear on disk next to the app. [#101]
  • Added a "Path" tab to the Manage palette. This currently lets you make a foot/bike path by clicking and dragging. (More path types, and curved or multi-segment paths, will come in the future). [#68]
  • Added a "Zone" tab to the Manage palette. This allows you to view and edit the Residential, Commercial, and Agricultural zones in each habitat module. Note that these zones don't yet have any effect on gameplay, but they will soon! [#69]
  • Grass no longer grows on slopes more than 45° (with respect to pseudogravity). [#102]
  • Squawks have been added for all the SQUAWKER level KickStarter backers who have selected a message. [#104]
  • Transport ships are now announced in the squawker feed, including custom ships named for our TRANSPORTER level backers that have selected a ship name. [#105]

Version 0.13 (2015-02-22)

  • Added support for zone density. You can now select low, medium, or high density, and either paint this along with a zone type, or (without a zone type selected) update the density of any zones you paint over. [#108]
  • The game includes several built-in municipal buildings: fire station, police station, and colony hall. [#109]
  • Buildings now have a collision radius, preventing you from placing buildings where they overlap paths or each other. [#111]
  • The way manual building placement works has been updated; you now get a "ghost" image of the building, which turns red when the potential placement is invalid. [#112]
  • Manually placed buildings can be rotated using the 9 and 0 (zero) keys before placement. [#113]
  • Added background music to design mode. This music adjusts to reflect the current state of your design.
  • Fixed a bug in which squawk mods could display squawks in the wrong context (main-menu squawks in management mode, or vice versa).
  • Fixed zoning in barbell habitats. [#107]
  • Residential and commercial buildings now appear automatically within the corresponding zones, near a footpath. (No agricultural buildings yet.) [#110]
  • Palettes now stay where you put them (with one layout per screen size). Also, we try to ensure that palettes are visible, even if you're running at a smaller-than-recommended resolution. [#103]

Version 0.14 (2015-03-19)

  • Added an Options screen that lets you configure display resolution and key mappings. [#82]
  • Fixed placement of communications dishes in design mode. [#106]
  • Fixed a problem with the appearance of zones on a small torus. [#123]
  • Fixed an error that would occur when selecting the Build tab in external city mode. [#115]
  • When placing a path, clicks on a palette no longer add a path point (instead just manipulating the palette as you would expect). [#116]
  • Camera movement within the colony is now faster — and faster still if you hold the Shift key. [#117]
  • You can now place multi-segment paths! Click once to start a path, then click for each bend in the path. Double-click or hit Return when finished. [#119]
  • Population growth now depends on buildings, and vice versa. [#121]
  • Large buildings now conform to the spin of the habitat, so that local "up" is always towards the spin axis. [#122]
  • Manage palette no longer starts in the wrong state when switching back to city mode after switching to another colony. [#125]
  • Tree and path placement now ignores buildings, other trees, etc., and instead always places on the ground. [#129]

Version 0.15 (2015-04-24)

  • Atmospheric carbon (CO2) is now tracked, including the impact of people, buildings, trees, grass, and a new "atmospheric regulator" unit. [#131]
  • A large number of new buildings have been added, including medium- and high-density variants. Zone density now matters: only buildings of a matching density will appear in each zone. [#110]
  • Fixed a bug that caused buildings and other city parts to stick around when switching from one colony to another in the internal view. [#130]

Version 0.16 (2015-05-31)

  • Added an economic model: when you build, you now get a grant based on the orbit and the area of your colony [#136, #137]. Excess grant money becomes your starting budget for the colony. While managing your colony, money comes and goes according to the simulation and your own actions [#138].
  • Added an achievement system, with a dozen or so different achievements you can unlock. More achievements will be defined in future versions of the game. [#139]
  • Added various sound effects [#140] and management-mode music [#132]. You can adjust the volume of all music in the Options screen.
  • The game is now built with Unity version 5.0.
  • Grass and trees now turn brown when carbon dioxide levels are too low. [#134]
  • If you attempt to build a colony with no habitable parts, you will get a helpful error message. [#135]
  • The Build tab of the Manage palette has been redesigned to group potential buildings into categories, for easy access to far more municipal buildings than we could provide before. [#141]
  • Numerous new buildings have been added, including two stadiums, a planetarium, and much more.

Version 0.17 (2015-08-07)

  • Added a water model: buildings now require fresh water, and produce dirty water, which can be converted back into fresh water by building a Water Treatment Plant. (You can also build a Dehumidifier, which produces a small amount of fresh water too.) [#150, #151]
  • Added lighting support: in addition to the standard electric lighting, you can now choose to use windows. If your habitat is a torus or cylinder, you will also need to add an appropriately sized and positioned primary mirror to reflect light into the colony. In city mode, a poorly lit habitat will actually look poorly lit, though you can build light posts to help somewhat. [#146, #147, #148, #149]
  • When placing municipal buildings, you can now shift-click to quickly place the same building multiple times. [#153]
  • Barbell minimum and default sizes have been adjusted to avoid a rendering limit, and to help new players make a more viable colony. [#144]
  • Numerous new buildings and decorations are now available in city mode — some of these you can place manually, others will be built by your residents when the conditions are right.

Version 0.18 (2015-09-12)

  • Added a new "tube" part in design mode. This is a handy structural part that is useful for connecting parts together, without looking as boxy as, say, boxes. [#156]
  • Refactored the readouts in the Analysis panel, and because many of the measures there depend on what orbit you build in, you can now analyze for any orbit using a new menu on the first tab. [#154]
  • Added an X/Y/Z axis indicator in design mode, to help when you're not sure which way is X and which is Z. Note that you can drag this around by its center, and place it wherever you like. [#152]
  • Habitat parts can now be built from any of several common (and not so common) materials, each with realistic strength, density, and cost. This impacts things like radiation levels, colony mass, and cost. [#155]
  • Adjusted the camera controls in Design and Manage (exterior) modes to better cope with overly large colonies.[#120]
  • Mac and Windows builds are now code-signed, which should avoid the scary "unknown publisher" warning dialogs that would previously appear when launching the game. [#118]
  • The Windows builds now come in a standard installer that guides you through the process of installing the game. [#89]

Version 0.19 (2015-10-15)

  • Includes a fix (released as 0.18.1) for zones not being drawn in Zone mode on some Windows machines. [#157]
  • Build screen: added "Zoom Out" button that lets you extend from cislunar space to the inner solar system, and from there to the outer solar system. Clicking on any planet zooms you back in. [#158]
  • Defined orbits around Mercury, Venus, and Mars (in addition to the cislunar orbits we already had). [#160]
  • Added accurate models of all the planets in the solar system, plus Deimos and Phobos. [#159, #161].

Version 0.20 (2015-11-20)

  • Added support for multiple games, with a Continue/New Game/Load Game menu on the title screen. [#164]
  • Added a new "standard" game mode (previously referred to as "career mode") in addition to "sandbox" mode.
  • Changed achievements into "opportunities" which award experience points (XP) when achieved. [#167]
  • Added a "Project Tree" of side projects on which you can spend XP. These projects enable new parts and orbits in the standard game. [#165, #166]
  • New games now include two predefined colony designs: "Stock LEO," intended for low Earth orbit, and "Stock HEO," which works well in high Earth orbit. [#169]
  • Colonies that use natural lighting, when built in a low orbit, now show a light/dark cycle inside due to passing through the planet's shadow. [#162]
  • Fixed a bug in design mode, where attachment points could become offset from the part after saving & loading a design. [#171]
  • Fixed an error in how soil was included in the calculation of part mass. [#170]

Version 0.21 (2016-02-11)

  • Fixed a problem with laying paths across an invisible boundary where map coordinates wrap around. [#174]
  • Added people to internal (city) mode, who walk from place to place to illustrate traffic patterns. [#175]
  • Added new ways to power your city: Fusion plants and microwave Rectenna (each available after completing the corresponding Project). [#173]
  • Improved appearance of the Load Game and New Game dialogs. [#172]
  • Reworked the game overview screen to better present an overview of the game. [#168]

Version 0.22 (2016-03-17)

  • Various projects that ought to reduce launch or construction costs (e.g. NEA Retrieval) now actually do. [#188]
  • Background sound effects now change when the atmosphere goes bad; birds will stop chirping, etc. [#187]
  • Fixed several rendering problems that appeared in the last release: no-water icons not appearing, pink flash when planting trees. [#185] [#184]
  • Tweaked the amount of export revenue a small colony can generate from agriculture. [#183]
  • Adjusted the frequency and timing of background sound effects, especially right after a large colony is loaded. [#182]
  • Fixed a bug causing the HEO Settler opportunity to be considered achieved even before settling HEO. [#181]
  • Fixed a problem causing city residents not to use newly-laid paths until exiting and re-entering the colony. [#179]
  • Fixed a bug that could cause a colony to be inadvertently copied from one game to another. [#190]
  • Fixed a problem painting zones near the edges of the map, or at the invisible "wrap-around" point on cylindrical/spherical maps. [#180]
  • Water shortages now have a variety of effects, including grass and trees turning brown, and reduced building services. [#189]
  • Added a new warning icon and info panel for the CO2 level in city management mode. This tells you what level of CO2 you should try to maintain, and how big your carbon sources and sinks are. [#186]
  • Fixed a rendering issue with zones on some Intel/Linux machines. [#178]
  • Addressed a menu button glitch on some machines. [#177]
  • Reworked how traffic patterns are computed to avoid problems in cylindrical/spherical habitats, seen as residents walking on water or other places they shouldn't walk. [#191]

Version 0.23 (2016-06-24)

  • Added map overlays in city view on the Stats/Econ tab, including fire hazard and crime rate. [#195]
  • Added crime and fire events, including animated flames and building damage. [#197, #198]
  • Added a Dispatch tab to the main palette, which lets you place call beacons to summon police, firefighters, or engineers. [#194]
  • Added police patrol cars which fly around within your colony, and respond to police call beacons. [#196]

Version 0.24 (2016-08-25)

  • Added animation & timing effects for building construction & destruction. [#205, #206]
  • Added a new "Assistant" tab which provides context-sensitive suggestions to help new players learn the game. [#85]
  • Fixed an incorrect app version number in the Windows installer. [#204]

Version 0.25 (2016-11-18)

  • When entering numeric values in Design mode, you can now commit your entry with the Enter key (as well as Return). [#203]
  • Fixed a bug which caused barbells to become visually separated from their bars in Manage mode. [#208]
  • Added dozens of new orbits, projects, and achievements for the outer solar system, from the main asteroid belt all the way out to Neptune!

Version 0.26 (2017-01-19)

  • Reduced the frequency of disasters (crime, fire). [#211]
  • Reworked part attachment and detachment in Design mode. It should be much easier now to edit your designs. [#213]
  • Improved the default locations chosen for parts when you click a part button in Design mode. [#214]
  • Analysis/Support tab now shows the net power and temperature for the whole colony, even when you have a part selected. [#215]
  • Fixed a cosmetic problem in the credits. [#209]
  • Removed the Unity configuration dialog that sometimes appeared on launch. [#210]
  • Fixed and updated the application icon. [#212]
  • Advisor now refrains from advising you to demolish a building that's still under construction. [#216]
  • Advisor gives more useful advice on how to complete a path (by double-clicking or pressing Return). [#221]
  • Switching to another mode while laying a path now correctly cancels that path. [#221]
  • Advisor panel now closes automatically (once you demonstrate the advised feature) if it opened by itself. [#222]
  • Residents now complain more strenuously about temperatures below -50°C; also, plants turn brown below freezing. [#223]
  • Fixed a problem with code signing of the Mac builds that caused "This application is from an unknown developer" warnings. [#225]

Version 0.27 (2017-05-12)

  • Cash now matters! You will receive a warning when you start to go into debt, and your spending will be cut off (except for emergency services) when you are more than $1M in debt. Please budget wisely. [#236]
  • High-density agricultural buildings now will not appear until you have done the CELS (Closed Ecological Life Support) project. [#251]
  • Internet bandwidth complaints now depend not only on the size of your dish, but also how far you are from Earth, and whether you have done the SpaceNet project. [#253]
  • Builders who are unable to find a suitable site for a building will now occasionally squawk about this in the Squawker feed. [#254]
  • In management mode, clicking the right mouse button now means "I'm done." When laying a road, this aborts the final in-progress segment but keeps the rest; in other modes, it simply exits the mode. [#233]
  • Help tags for municipal buildings now show the cost. [#234]
  • Fixed incorrect values sometimes appearing in the Annual Income display. [#237]
  • Adjusted the default position of the Analysis palette in design mode so that it no longer overlaps the Advisor palette. [#231]
  • Habitat shells now have a minimum thickness of 1 mm, even if for some reason you remove all the air, soil, and shielding. [#240]
  • Torus hubs and spokes are now included in the part cost, mass, and air mass. [#228]
  • Window lighting now accounts for your distance from the sun. This means things will start to look gloomy out around Mars, and be much too dark in the outer solar system. (Artificial lighting works everywhere, provided you have enough power.) [#243]
  • Fixed shadows cast by secondary mirrors on torus and barbell habs, which means you can't just stack these up arbitrarily and expect them all to see the light. [#245]
  • Cylinder dimensions are now restricted such that inverted endcaps cannot overlap. [#247]
  • Torus spokes are now properly adjusted when you try to make the torus itself thinner the spokes. [#229]
  • "Load Design" and "Load Colony" dialogs now provide more information about the selected design or colony. [#226]
  • Colony name is now displayed at the top of the Statistics palette. [#226]
  • Fixed two issues with the cost estimates shown in Design mode. [#239]
  • Fixed an issue that caused 3D printers to appear when shift-clicking to place small things like lamp posts. [#227]
  • Fixed some camera-control issues in the outside colony view. [#232]
  • Substantially revised land value calculations. [#235]
  • Zone buttons now have little color or pattern swatches as a quick reference for what those mean. [#238]
  • Buildings are now no longer built in water. [#242]
  • Atmospheric regulators were causing wild CO2 fluctutations in tiny colonies; they have been adjusted so such fluctuations are much smaller and less common. [#244]
  • Clear (bulldoze) tool now shows you what you're about to clear, and how much this will cost; costs now vary with what you're clearing; and trees are now cut down instead of being demolished like buildings. [#249]

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