They put out a beta update a day or two ago and a lot of stuff has changed. Most of the assets are the same, but the UI is better (more informative) and a bunch of useful changes have been made.
It reworked the way some things worked, added the remaining races, changed around some technologies, and various other tweaks. A lot of the complaints I had from the alpha haven't been specifically addressed, but it does seem to have taken a solid leap forward in overall quality. Still seems to need some AI improvements, but in the game I've played since the update it feels like the whole thing moves at a better pace and is somewhat more intuitive in terms of progression. We'll see what they do with it, but they are certainly working on it and the work shows.