Kerbal Space Program is one of those few games you can hold up as a paragon of how the Early Access system should work. With its first playable build released back in 2011 as an early alpha, it’s slowly progressed through many versions and iterations, with its developer, Squad, adding features, planets and fixing bugs along the way. Now though, we’re just a few days out from the biggest release of its space-faring life. Version 1.0.
Squad announced a few weeks ago that the release version of the game had entered the experimental stage, which meant that its 100 or so closest collaborators had been given access to it to complete some final testing. Although many speculated that multiple months of tweaking might be required for such a release, less than three weeks have gone by and Squad has already begun teasing the buildup to its official release on April 27.
KSP 1.0 brings a lot more with it than just the final version number. It’s also fixing up a lot of longstanding problems with the game and adding a lot of long-requested features. These include things like female Kerbals, an overhauled and revamped aerodynamics model — including lift and drag — and new parts such as larger wings and landing gears.
There will be a new ‘Game Over’ screen in the launch version of the game, so players will need to be a little more careful with their funds and reputation when in the new and improved career mode. However, they’ll also get a lot of new toys to play with, many of which have previously only been available through mods. An engineering system will give Kerbanauts access to important information like delta V for each stage, thrust-to-weight ratio, and more, along with a new warp-to function, which will make jumping to your next node, or apoapsis, a bit easier.
Kerbal Space Program 1.0 officially launches in just six days’ time, but that won’t be the end of its development. Squad has promised other long-requested features, including an official multiplayer mode, which it will begin work on as soon as the developers have enjoyed a serious celebration.