The project started sometime way back in 2012, back then the game was cell shaded, lacked a lot of parts as it only had a small selection of cockpits, chassis, and weapons. Eventually things started happening and the game became playable in singleplayer, then sort of playable in multiplayer.
The Dark Ages
We don't talk about the dark ages.
In all reality, the dark ages were a period of post release depression, happening soon after some favorable news coverage and a small influx of users. The new users, along with bug reports, combined with the pressure to continue to get favorable news coverage lead to a series of rushed releases, each with increasing bug counts and the game becoming less and less playable. The peak of this was a rushed release of campaign mode, which was horribly broken and caused several media outlets to chose not to cover the game at that time.
The combination of these events stalled development for some time while Bombdog recollected and planned a more sustainable development method. This started with the removal of campaign mode. After this, there was a period where no updates came out, but progress eventually started back up with regular updates. Now all updates are 'themed' to ensure they stay on track and a 'dark' period without updates is watched for and treated as a sign of development danger.
This update cycle focused on preparing the game to be presentable for a kickstarter and steam greenlight campaign. The visuals where updated with new part designs and spacers where added.
Commander Update v1
Previously the commander module served no purpose. When the Commander Update started command modules became usable by updating the map to support seeing alley and enemy locations, adding the grid, redesigning the ally / enemy / player images, and adding the network area effect.
Along with the commander Heavy Gunners got a rebuild with a reticule update allowing howitzers and rocket pods to show the distance that they should land at.
Finally the last part of the Commander update was improving the Siege game type so it would become more reliable.
After much nagging by the vocal player base the Commander Update was split in half so that much needed social features could be focused on. It added achievements, persistent player stats, the player profile, and an updated waiting for battle lobby.
After a long period of time with no real big updates we finally got the Beta Update. This brought about a huge number of changes. This includes a new map, new sound system, track prints on the ground, new particle system, new impact effects, new main menu, the end of earning silver camo, and so much more. This spanned for several updates which brought lots of stability to MAV and increased the game's optimization by a fair amount as the goal is 12 mav's running at 60fps. This also includes the long awaited Ejection Button.
The end of Steam
http://bombdogstudios.com/blog/important-announcement-steam-support-ending/ After a lot of deliberation and looking at stats and long stressful nights steam support ended. All paying players from steam have access to the stand alone game. This has so far proven to mark what feels like the real beginning of the Beta as updates start flying in at the breakneck speed of a content packed update every month. This period was mostly spent on leading up to and easing out of leaving steam though we did finally get during battle menu / leader board along with updating the post battle leader board. Also a quick start menu, because not everyone checks the you tube / raksal website.
This is a series of updates starting in October of 2016 and going to December of 2016 that started the monthly update cycle. And starting it off we had a bang with the first exclusive part contest for the Bertha (an alternative Ivan Heavy Howitzer). This tend of adding new part types happened each month in the set with heavy rockets / heavy howitzers / spikes, fireworks, and railguns along with the support cockpit and new spacer / armor options. This is also where Cyber has started really hiding [EggHunt|easter eggs] in the game.
Bringing along an improved ai system and a new way ai builds are generated, they are now scarier then ever. AI can now use player generated builds which is both a blessing and a curse based on who's builds they copy. Other improvements include the new No Mans Pass release and bots can now place deployment devices such as turrets, walls, and uplink systems. Rounding this whole update cycle off we've got the great part re-balance. It's been a long time since we had a major part stats change.
Fast on the heels of Skynet the Heat Update was introduced, this changed everything as it introduced a new form of damage / balance and brought along three new part types. Each part can now generate heat, has a different heat threshold, and there are parts that act as radiators and more instant cooling. Flamethrowers and ground fires now increasing your parts temperature instead of dealing straight dot damage. With all this the first vision device was added, Thermals.
This is a very big deal as it means weather, time of day (night maps), and other vision devices like night vision and explosives detector are possible.
Adding the rest of the planned features for commanders, the ability to tell AI what to do, waypoints / pinging the map, and hopefully multiple base options in Siege.
Server / Website API
Eventual support for third party hooking into the MAV game servers / master servers for more customized experiences such as dynamically changing AI each round / balancing teams / etc. Also SergeDavid really wants these for Raksal features like automating the forum signatures again.
Campaign / War Update
Confirmed somewhere by Cyber that the campaign game-type (Currently known as Assault) is in the development plan by the end of 2017.