Okay so you've probably seen the notice on the main page about 0.7.0.4. This is a nice little bugfix version, not nearly as major as 0.7.0.3 but I wanted to push it out anyhow. As with 0.7.0.3 you won't lose any of your saved games.
What you should also know about VtV is that the worlds are all autogenerated. How autogenerated? Well, let's just say really autogenerated. Systems, planets, cities, alien races, architectural styles, alien languages, ships, weapons, monsters, bosses, items, cargo types, NPCs, quests, and well, actually that is about it.
The idea is, it's all about replay =) I want VtV to be fairly quick and easy to beat, per se. So that it becomes more about being the first person in your game to finish, rather than just slogging through forever improving your character. Since each autogenerated world can still be defeated by the same gameplay strategies, it's going to be up to you to figure out how you want to beat them.
So I have released a new testing world into the wild for you folks, Testing 5. Basically, I have a special tool on my end (a large, complex, actually quite a hefty program that is almost as many lines of code as VtV itself) which I can use to spit out these game worlds.
In case you wonder why all the initial loading and planet generation delays, well that is partly why. What is transmitted to you is a smallish world file (it's compressed about about 5mb or less.) The actual data that the game needs in order to render the planets, enemies, and so forth is quite a bit larger. How much larger? Well, maybe about 500mb or so. So you can see, although it's annoying to have to sit through the load times, it's a lot less annoying than having to download 500mb (at least for most of us...)
And I have really really optimized the heck out of those planet generation routines.
So you wonder, what happens if you download a lot of world files and gradually play them and the data is generated and suddenly your HDD is full! Oh no!
That won't happen. VtV also includes it's own little disk manager which runs periodically to determine which files are used least often, and deletes them if VtV is using more HDD space than you want it to. I reccomend giving it about 2 gigs, if you can spare it. If not, the game will run fine with only a few hundred megs, but if you install multiple world files then you might end up having to regenerate some data.
Why this long explaination? I don't know! I just thought you might be interested. If you want to try out this new world file, Testing 5 then go on and join the game I've created (actually I haven't created it just yet, but I will in the next few minutes) or create your own. You will then be able to see how much really is autogenerated.
Have fun and thanks for playing!