Atmocity is a resource management and city building sim meets Minecraft. Allowing players to build sprawling cities that defy gravity.
Work on the Atmocity alpha release is coming along quite nicely. Aside from adding content I've managed to do more testing which revealed a handful of bugs that have now been fixed. All alpha building types are in, which means I am now shifting my focus to UI, music and SFX. This write-up is about the UI.
First step was coming up with a handful of concepts. Since the beginning I've had a menu bar with building options that slides in from the side when you've selected a location to build on. I was fairly sure that I wanted to keep this solution as it allows for many options while also not taking up any space most of the time (you're not building stuff at all times after all).
I mapped the options out on an image (featuring all the alpha buildings btw...) and hosted a poll on Twitter and also gathered some opinions on the Unity forum. These were the options:
Option A and B appeared to be the most popular (and these are also the options that I prefer the most). Most people asked seemed to agree that the build options to the right feels more natural so that seemed to be a given. With that in mind I decided to start making the side bar.
For the alpha, all building types will have their own buttons. But given the final game will consist of so many different building types (3 types of schools, 4 types of health care institutions, a couple of different entertainment buildings etc), the buttons on this menu will open a smaller sub-menus later on. But currently, this is the look of the side bar:
The city statistics bar, that most people wanted to the top left of the screen, will be displayed at all times as default, but will feature a button that slides it upwards. I want this feature so that people will be able to view their cities without any cluttering UI.
The statistics bar will host stats for credits, population, unemployment on the top row, and education levels, health levels and pollution levels on the bottom row. Since this game also features management of resources such as wood, concrete, water, food and sand (among others), I've decided that these will displayed in a separate resource window, since they would take up too much space on the statistics bar, and the player will also not have to keep track of these as much as the general stats for the city. On top of this, there will be notifications for when there is a shortage of a good for example.
The finished statistics bar:
The values on the statistics bar will flash red or green when they decrease or increase and then fade back to a bluish/greyish color when the values stabilize. I decided to make the "windows" for each value type see through, but added a blur to make things less cluttered around the values.
Here's what the UI looks at the moment:
As usual, things might come to change as the game gets developed further, but this should do for the alpha.
The alpha is scheduled for release to a limited few around the end of the month/early February.
/ Dispersing Minds
A write-up on some of Atmocity's core gameplay mechanics.
A middle class, low density dwelling has been added to the game.
In Atmocity you will have to manage the food supply.
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