September 30, 2015

Inside Interplanetary: Behind the Sound

My name’s Jack Powell and I am the sound designer for Interplanetary. My role was to create all the sound effects that you hear in-game. In this brief write up I will be dissecting a few sound effects from the game, specifically the main menu ambience and the building sounds for the nuclear plant and water mine. So grab your scalpel and let’s begin.

Main Menu Ambience

The main menu ambient loop sits discreetly in the background and lets the theme music take the forefront.

The loop has 2 layers. The first layer is a processed version of a recording NASA's Voyager made of interstellar plasma sounds! Science! (NASA has made a bunch of fascinating copyright free audio recordings available on their Soundcloud for people to listen and download, I highly recommend you check them out.)

I pitched the sound down and set up a prefade send to a dark chamber reverb to add depth. It felt a bit static so to add some dynamics I automated the reverb send level so it builds and fades away in places.

The second layer is a low rumble sound I made for the planets, which is a recording of my old bathroom extractor fan pitched down and filtered.

Nuclear Plant

When you place a building it should sound gratifying and have characteristics similar to the building type. For the nuclear power build sound I used layers of sounds associated with energy and concrete/brick construction.

It is made up of 4 layers. A recording I made of a refrigerator humming, the startup sound of a hard drive and some wood and brick impacts.

I processed the sounds using pitch shifting, reverbs, EQ and some light compression. The brick and wood impacts were pitched down to add more punch and represent the initial construction of the building. The fridge hum and HDD startup sounds quickly fade in after as if the power plant is powering up and becoming operational.

And all mixed together

Water Mine

As with the power plant, and a lot of the other building sounds, I used elements that would fit the building type. So, no surprises I used the sound of water, a heavy river flowing to be precise. I also added in a snippet of a construction site ambience where a worker is hammering. The final layer is a sound I made using Sonic Charge’s Synplant. I don’t remember how I got the end result but it sounds similar to a big turbine pulsating or spinning. Well in my head it does.

For these sounds I only used high pass filters on the construction and water sounds and boosted the mids of the synthetic layer.

I synced up the pulses with the hammer hits which gave it a mechanical feel, as if a big turbine was being powered.

That wraps it up. Thanks for reading and I hope that you found this interesting. If you have any questions shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to answer them. / 

July 7, 2015

Interplanetary Development Update and AI Speed Patch

Greetings, Interplanetarists! Team Jolly Roger here, with another little patch that should greatly increase the joy of demolishing AIs. Also, we'd like to give you a quick update on Interplanetary's state, the pace of future updates and such. Let's get right on it!

AI Speed Up!

As some of you have pointed out, the AI can sometimes take its sweet time calculating attacks. The more AI players and the higher the difficulty, the longer it takes.

To alleviate the frustration, we've made changes that should make turn processing much faster. The AIs now start their calculations already during the player's turn, which in the ideal situation can make turns lightning fast! This is something that people on our forums have suggested, and while we initially had to keep it simple, this is obviously the better way to do things.

My God, it's full of AIs!

On top of that, we have some little tweaks, but nothing massive.

Interplanetary Patch 1.0.6378
  • AI performance optimizations
  • Minor Load Game performance optimizations
  • Fixed typos on Event Log
For previous changelogs, head for the forums.

Situation Report

Overall, Interplanetary 1.0 launch went quite well! We got a nice burst of new players and the added features were well received. Having given it a little time, we determined that the launch was indeed successful enough for us to continue updating the game, but not quite on the scale we originally thought we might. All promised features are still planned, but the timeline had to be expanded. Of course, possible fixes of all sorts take priority over features.

Some new issues were discovered, as is customary when releasing a game, but we did and are doing our best to handle them. The most persistent and serious problems have had to do with the game getting stuck on turn processing. There have been different reasons that have caused this to happen: networking problems, AI issues or just unrelated bugs causing the game get confused.

Not this one, though! Flying buildings were harmless fun.

While we've done our best to try and eliminate as many of these problems as possible, we've wanted to also add two fail-safe features: Reconnect and Online Saving. Both features have been promised multiple times and reconnect was technically ready when we discovered a huge problem. The system, as it's currently made, works, but it is very slow. In common cases, reconnecting to a match can take over 10 minutes, which brings the match to a halt for all players. 

Needless to say, this doesn't work. Not only is it possible to accidentally get the game stuck, but this feature would also be very easy to abuse. Since Online Saving is part of this system, we've had to push back both features. Sincere apologies for the inconvenience! The features are still coming, but we've passed our internal deadline for them, so their programmers have to move on to different tasks. We can't say exactly when it will be possible for us to patch in reconnect and online saves, but it will be a while.

Basically, the pace of updates won't be what it was during Interplanetary's Early Access run. Even though many of us need to switch to other tasks, we will still keep a close eye on the forums and use every possible chance to continue work on the planned features. There's still a nice big list of goodies planned!

If you have any questions, concerns or bug reports, the forum is a pretty good place to find us! You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter or just shoot a traditional email to Another nice way to keep updated on the development is to join our mailing list at

Keep on blasting!

May 12, 2015

Interplanetary Released!

This is it! Interplanetary has spread its wings and left the cozy Early Access nest!

It's been quite a journey. Back in 2013, when we first started active development, we were still working from school, with no idea what would be in store for us. Our first alpha testing campaign, with a homemade key code system, was really the first thing that started drawing large scale attention to the game. This is where the ride started to get wild: the founding of our own company TJR Games, our Steam Greenlight adventure, Early Access release, development, development, development!

That's what two years of hard work and coffee abuse can do.

Now, we can finally say that Interplanetary has reached the point we determined to be "1.0", in the early days of development. It's actually more, since the ideas have expanded and our stay in Early Access gave us the chance to develop the game more towards the direction the players wanted.

Like we said before, we will keep supporting the game with patches and updates, as needed. There are even a couple of bigger features that we promised at various times, but which couldn't make it to the launch. Features, such as online save games, online AI bots, ranked matches, LAN game and the third superweapon, will be added in a later update.

Thank you for playing! We hope you will enjoy the 1.0 version of Interplanetary and do keep sending that feedback. Just because it's finished doesn't mean we're going to leave it!

Get the darn thing here:

May 6, 2015

Interplanetary 1.0 Coming to Steam on May 12! Also a Trailer!

It's finally happening! After a year of hard work with Interplanetary on Early Access, we're getting ready to release the 1.0 on May 12th, 2015! Celebration!

Ah, those were the days.

Major Added Features
  • Online Matchmaking
    • A quick way of starting online matches with a push of a button
  • Match Customization Options
    • A nice amount of options to change up the rules of the game. These include the ability to choose the amount of Cities, change the size of the planets, modify the strength of gravity, disable certain weapons or gameplay elements and more.
  • City Projects
    • A new gameplay mechanic that allows players to assign Projects for cities. The projects generally have a set duration and give resource bonuses and other perks. The amount of population in each city determines the amount of projects the player is able to initiate.
  • AI Difficulty Levels
    • Four difficulty levels for the AI, including a stupid, impossible cheating AI for ultimate challenge
  • Saved Games
    • Matches might drag on a bit, so this should come in handy!
  • Damage Area Visualizations
    •  Hit area markers that show the exact area of damage dealt by the projectiles. They lend themselves to some interesting, advanced strategies.
  • New Event Log
    • A clearer, much less spammy event log. Also quite a bit prettier.
  • New Tech Tree
    • A lot of new techs have been added to house all the Building Upgrades and City Projects. Also a nice graphical update that helps visualizing the branches, paths and unlocks.
  • New Building
    • The Offshore Mine, an advanced resource building, buildable only on water
  • New Upgrades
    • A bunch of new upgrades, most of them having pros and cons to add some interesting choices and strategy paths.
  • New Intel Mechanics
    • Intel View UI completely redone. Players will be able to see the exact amount of Intel needed to see more of the enemy planets and also spy on their resource amounts.
  • New City Growth/Science Mechanics
    • The players will be able to boost their Cities' Population growth by using Projects or attaching Power Connectors to them. The amount of Population is also tied to the amount of Science generation, so the more citizens you have, the faster you will gain new Techs.
  • Achievements
    • 26 achievements for players to unlock. Won't be easy!
  • Improved UI and Graphics 
    • Lots of smaller changes

A complete visual and aural damage dealing experience.

Naturally, we have a lot of fixes and other improvements in store as well, but these are the most visible features for most players.

After the game is finally released to the world, we won't just abandon it! No, we're going to watch over it and keep up the support! There are still a couple of relatively big features, such as ranked matches, online bots and online saving, that we have wanted to add, but didn't have a chance to do that before release. It's not really too late to give us some feedback either, just like you've been doing so far.

Speaking of feedback, as we're getting closer to the end of our Early Access adventure, all of us would like to once more thank all the players and testers who have been involved with the project! Whether you came aboard last month or you've been following us since pre-Early Access public testing, you've all been a massive help, in one way or another. Giving excellent feedback, building the community or just silently supporting the development of Interplanetary are all things that we are genuinely grateful for. We hope you will enjoy the end product, and even if you don't, send some more feedback our way!

One more thing. Starting from May 12th, Interplanetary will cost $14.99/€14.99. Don't panic! There is still one more week to get the game for yourself and friends for $9.99/€9.99, before it leaves Early Access.

Thank you!
~Team Jolly Roger

April 2, 2015

Interplanetary Status Update: The Final Stretch Approaching

We're living exciting and busy times. As some of you may remember, we've been throwing around "The Early 2015" as the release date of Interplanetary for a long time. If our watch is correct, it IS the early 2015 already!

We are now scrambling to finally get Interplanetary to version 1.0 and out of Early Access! A huge amount of progress has been made since the last public version and we're hoping to get this thing released soon. We'll announce an actual release date a bit further on, but when we say "soon", we mean in about a month or so! Scary.

The reason why we haven't released a lot of patches and updates recently, is that we've been working hard on adding all the final features and fixing them in place. This means we've had to spread the game open in such a way that packing it back up into nice updates would've slowed down the development too much.

We've now managed to implement pretty much all the main features that were a part of the initial plan. Being in Early Access, however, slightly expanded the scope of the game according to player feedback.

Some of the features available at release:

  • Ranked Matches and Online Matchmaking
  • Custom Game Setup
  • City Projects
  • AI Difficulty Levels
  • Saved Games
  • Damage Area Visualizations
  • New Event Log
  • New Tech Tree
  • New Upgrades
  • New Intel Mechanics
  • New City Growth/Science Mechanics
  • Achievements 
  • Improved UI and Graphical Touches

And then some! This is just a little sneak peek of the upcoming features and we'll be revealing a more detail list later.

We've added a lot, but unfortunately, a few of the features we've explicitly promised to include, will have to wait until after the release of Interplanetary 1.0.

Promised features that will be added post launch:

  • Grey Goo, the third superweapon. Includes some pretty unusual mechanics.
  • The return of LAN Game. We had to disable LAN matches during the network overhaul. There are simply more vital features to add before launch, but we haven't forgotten about this one.
  • Online AI Bots. Needed to be pushed back so we could finish other features.

Uncontrollable problems, such as some particularly terrible in-office flu seasons, have sometimes slowed us down dramatically, but the good news is, we will not abandon the game once it's released. We want to keep patching it and updating in the features that just couldn't make it to the initial release.

Now, this is another good opportunity to sincerely thank all of you who have been with us during our stay on Early Access! All the game testing, suggestions and bug reports from the players have definitely improved this game and we would have never been able to develop it to this point without your support. It's not too late to send us some more feedback, though, even if we are going to leave Early Access! We will have a good opportunity to add more things to the post-release updates.

Anyway, this is where we are, at the moment. We'll be making a proper release date and feature announcement sometime closer to the date. Look forward to it!

January 16, 2015

Patch 7.2: New Year, New Patch

Happy new year, interplanetary warlords! It's been a hectic beginning of the year for us. Lots of planning and meetings to see how we're proceeding with the development of the game.

As you may have heard, we've had long-time plans to get the final release version out sometime in the first half of 2015. There's still a lot to do so we're pulling out all stops and developing like crazy! We won't be able to put out updates as regularly as we've used to; wrapping the game up every now and then to release something playable can take a bit too much time. We're don't know yet how many big feature updates we will have between now and the eventual release, but we will have a big one for sure and smaller ones as needed.

Even though we've had to lock in the schedule pretty tight, we're still listening to all the feedback you have! Keep it coming, there are still many ways you can help steer the development, from bug reports to feature requests.

New health bars, now in fresh green, refreshing orange and dumb old red!

Patch 7.2: New Year, New Patch

To kick off 2015, we've been doing some patching. The AI had been a bit naughty during the holiday season, bending the rules and hogging multiple superweapons for itself! We now took its toys away to level the playing field. There are also lots of other fixes, UI improvements and hopefully the complete eradication of a couple of crashes.

Some players have reported the game still getting stuck in-between turns. We've suspected for a long time that this could be due to some unexpected player behavior with missiles and lasers. To counter many possibly problems, we've changed it so that if you target a missile or a laser and don't complete the targeting by selecting the target on the planet surface, the weapons in question do not fire. Similar problems were also caused by the ability to upgrade a building and then sell it during the same turn. This should also be fixed now.

Hey, don't forget about the Codex! There's some new stuff.

Here's a proper change log to give you a good idea on the scope of this patch:

Interplanetary Patch 0.7.5470_EAC_7.2
  • AI can now only build one superweapon of each kind, as intended
  • Missiles and Lasers do not fire anymore if targeting is not properly finished
  • Upgrade related turn processing bug fixed.
  • City health bars now update properly on city icons and population bar
  • Hotseat victory conditions fixed
  • Intelligence View no longer cycles through dead planets
  • Building health bars now change color according to the damage level 
  • Added scaling indicators to health bars
  • Codex updated
  • Minor AI fixes
  • Online Lobby UI fixes

Enjoy! If you want some more development updates, you can check out our Twitter and Facebook. For some more exclusive things (but not spammy, we promise!), you can sign up for the mailing list at

Oh, we also have a brand new Tumblr-blog.

Interplanetary is available on Steam Early Access.

December 19, 2014

Interplanetary Patch #7.1: Holiday Cheer for the AI

Happy holidays from all of us at Team Jolly Roger! We're about to disperse for a little while and have a quick break, but before that, we have some little news for you:

Patch #7.1: Holiday Cheer for the AI

We've had loads of good feedback about the AI update last week. Many thanks to everyone reporting bugs and just giving general suggestions!

After doing some testing, we've managed to push out a little patch that should fix a couple of issues that the absolutely massive update brought with it. Unfortunately, we didn't manage to include AI bots for online matches yet. That's definitely coming in the next update, though.

Everything went so nicely, until the AI decided that it wanted to spawn hundreds of weapons on top of each other.
The AI's accuracy has now been reduced to a more human level. Some of us felt a bit bittersweet about that, so we compiled a little tribute to the AI's craziest shots.

You can go give the game a little spin and see if it works nicely. Here's a proper changelog:

Interplanetary Patch 0.7.5435_EAC_7.1
  • Shot difficulty now affects AI accuracy, which has also been generally lowered
  • Weapon damage to cities increased
  • Player turn status markers re-implemented
  • Victory screen bug fixes
  • Event log performance issues fixed
  • Action phase simulation accuracy increased (less zigzag movements for shots and the chance of appearing to go through the planets is minimized)
  • Timeout for AI calculations added, fixing AI getting lost in thought
  • Missile bug fixed
  • AI turn message spam fixed

Happy holidays, everyone! Remember to eat a lot and play many, many games! See you next year!

Interplanetary is available on Steam Early Access.