I wanted to ask, when you talking multiplayer, is it only single battle multiplayer? Something like a 1v1, 2v2 and what not? Are their plans to introduce coop sandbox mode for 2 to 4 players to enjoy together? So many games focus on competitive multiplayer nowadays, and few go for a cooperative experience. I would LOVE a coop mode for the sandbox, but I think that would have to come after the singleplayer is nearly complete to really make any sense. I also don't know if that is something you guys had any inclination in trying to do. I know with a real time scenario, and the ability to alter game speed, a cooperative sandbox/campaign mode seems somewhat bazaar, but Paradox has been doing it for years, albeit in grand strategy games, which is a bit different than a real time strategy game somewhat. I bought two copies of this game, and gave one to my friend because I had thought this game was going to be a large galaxy to explore, and attempt to make bend it's knee to our will as we start with little, and fight our way to emperors. I am not saying that you must do this because that is a big reason I bought the game, but I will say there is a strong contingent of people, that look for those type of cooperative games that offer a lot, but also are not too slow (Some games like Civ series can be slow to start, and for long stretches.) I voted for single player first either way, then work on multiplayer.
As for the "draw some eyeballs to the project," I think once the sandbox mode has hit it's stride with many main features added, like building of stations, upgrading ships/stations, research, ship/station boarding and capturing and other core things, putting this game into the hands of some avid strategy streamers will get the game seen by thousands. Handing out some game keys is an easy way to advertise, as I know I see about 90% of all games for the first time while watching streams on Twitch or Youtube.