King under the Mountain is a simulation-based strategy/management game where you design, build and run a settlement in a fantasy world. Then, once you're up and running, you can send out groups of adventurers to explore and loot other players' creations, playing out through turn-based tactical combat. You start a game on a randomly-generated area map with a few settlers, tools and other provisions, and slowly grow into a self-sustaining village, town, or eventually, a city. You play as one of several fantasy races each with their own unique gameplay mechanics.

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Another month has flown by and development is kicking up a notch to be ready for the goal of a Kickstarter campaign in July. The over-arching feature currently in development is farming of crops, and so here's a video showing the latest progress:

First of all though, we're finally starting to see some fruits of the Patreon campaign, to begin with a new set of sprites representing natural (rough) stone walls and the overlaid ore and gems.

Before and after new wall assets


Following these new wall assets, there's a tidal wave of new items and furniture to support the features intended for the Kickstarter prototype (related to farming, industry and the preparation of food and drinks). One of the central gameplay themes in King under the Mountain is around setting up production chains for turning raw resources into finished goods through multiple stages - expect to see a detailed breakdown on how beer is brewed in the near future! Here's a preview of just a few of the upcoming items which you will see implemented in the next couple of builds:


Preview of new art assets related to farming


Thanks to Derek Restivo as the artist responsible for these and more upcoming in-game artwork for the foreseeable future.

With that out of the way I want to go into some detail on farming which should hopefully be in the next playable build. While dwarves aren't well known for their horticultural skills, at this early stage in the game's development they'll probably rely on growing at least some of their food from above-ground crops. As the game develops and more options become available, the dwarves may have a greater reliance on underground (mushroom) farming, but for now they'll be fairly proficient "normal" crop farmers.

The main inspirations for this stage of the game are the Harvest Moon series and by extension Stardew Valley. These games make a slow and simple farming life fun, and that's something I'm aiming to capture in King under the Mountain. The main difference being that instead of planting seeds and being able to harvest a ripe crop just a number of days later, King under the Mountain has a more realistic seasonal and annual cycle to growing crops and storing up food. The player will need to sow enough crops (mostly in Spring although different crops can be sown in other seasons) and tend to them until the harvest in Autumn/Fall. Ideally this will provide enough raw ingredients to provide enough food until the next harvest in the following year, much like in real agarian communities. It will be possible to "top up" food reserves through other means (fishing, growing mushrooms underground, hunting) but the majority of a settlement's food is expected to come from the annual harvest. While it's not in the game yet, storage and spoiling of food will play a big part in the challenge of making sure food supplies last throughout the year. Some crops and fruit or vegetables will spoil relatively quickly, while others like wheat/grain can be stored until they're used to produce something more edible like bread.

To make all this possible there's been a fairly major revamp to the way plants are defined and modded into the game. Every type of plant is now extremely customisable in how it is defined - they can have a set colour or range of colours, or even a transition of colours (as seen in tree leaves in autumn or the tomato fruits above) for every colouring "layer" (leaves, branches, fruit, flowers, etc.) which can be defined for any different stage of growth or something specific to a season. Plants also define what they're made out of, how they are planted, and what they produce when harvested.

This means it's already possible to have "plants" made out of rock or crystal, flowers that bloom in winter, or leaves that cycle through different colours in different seasons. I'll be sure to document this all when modding is opened up properly (currently planned very soon after Alpha 1).

Right now I'm in the process of hopefully finishing up farming in time for the next build going out to Patreon backers on 1st May. This has also necessitated more complex needs with settlers' inventory, so the dwarves now need to either be carrying or find the right tool for the job they want to do. For now they will spawn onto the map with all the tools they'll need but in the future this will be customised before embarking to a new settlement.

The next month should see farming completed, including underground mushroom farming (not quite started yet) moving on to actually producing edible food out of these crops that are being grown. Eating and distributing that food comes next, followed by needing to drink and the (fairly complex) brewing of beer. It's a lot to get done in a short amount of time but I'm extremely eager to get all of this done for a much improved Kickstarter demo come July!

March 2018 Update - AI rewrite and heading back to Kickstarter

March 2018 Update - AI rewrite and heading back to Kickstarter

News

Monthly dev update for King under the Mountain - a simulation-based settlement-building strategy game inspired by Dwarf Fortress, The Settlers, Dungeon...

February 2018 update - Rounding out the edges

February 2018 update - Rounding out the edges

News

Monthly dev update for King under the Mountain - a simulation-based strategy game inspired by Dwarf Fortress, The Settlers and Prison Architect

January 2018 update - A Dwarf's Hold is his Castle

January 2018 update - A Dwarf's Hold is his Castle

News 4 comments

Monthly dev update for King under the Mountain - a simulation-based strategy game inspired by Dwarf Fortress, The Settlers and Prison Architect

December 2017 Update - Go with the flow

December 2017 Update - Go with the flow

News 4 comments

Monthly dev update for King under the Mountain - a simulation-based strategy game inspired by Dwarf Fortress, The Settlers and Prison Architect

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King under the Mountain win32 v0 3 3

King under the Mountain win32 v0 3 3

Demo

Early playable prototype of King under the Mountain, for Windows 32 bit.

King under the Mountain linux64 v0.3.3

King under the Mountain linux64 v0.3.3

Demo

Early playable prototype of King under the Mountain, for Linux.

King under the Mountain mac v0.3.3

King under the Mountain mac v0.3.3

Demo

Early playable prototype of King under the Mountain, for Mac.

King under the Mountain win64 v0.3.3

King under the Mountain win64 v0.3.3

Demo

Early playable prototype of King under the Mountain, for Windows

Comments
EarlyAccessGamer
EarlyAccessGamer

Hi, I was really enjoying playing your game. Even so early in development the mechanics are tight and fun. However, the demo crashed shortly after I started using it and I noticed that I was up to 3GB of memory usage from the game. I think you might have a memory leak :(

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RocketJumpTechnology Creator
RocketJumpTechnology

Here's a quick look at memory management under the hood - it's very spikey due to the Java garbage collector but over time seems to use the same amount of memory for the duration, dropping down to about 250MB on average. How much memory do you have on your machine? Any info helps!

Kingunderthemounta.in

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RocketJumpTechnology Creator
RocketJumpTechnology

Thanks a lot for bringing that to our attention! Looking into it now! The game does seem to hover around 2.8GB of memory usage normally (not been at all conservative with memory usage at this stage) which is a lot but shouldn't be a problem for modern desktops/laptops. Will do some debugging now to see if I can find a memory leak.

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EarlyAccessGamer
EarlyAccessGamer

Hi, I have 32GB of memory so it shouldn't be a problem at all (and I'm not even entirely sure it was the cause of the crash - I looked for a log file just now but couldn't find anything). My suspicion is that not enough memory is being assigned to the JVM which could cause it to crash if memory usage spiked. I'm really keen to make a video on this game so I'll try again this evening (GMT+13) and get back to you with an update.

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Rasip
Rasip

The windows demo is using 32bit java. It doesn't matter how much ram your computer has 32bit java will not be able to address more than 4GB, but in most OS it is closer to 3GB.

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ayarger
ayarger

The game's looking good! I enjoy all the activity and movement, and Dave's art is adorable. I think you could really make things feel cartoony and lively if you gave the sprites a bit of bounce as they move, south-park style.

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SenSei76
SenSei76

Look greate! ;)

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King under the Mountain
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Latest tweets from @rocketjumptech

The monthly dev update covering farming and a revamp of how plants are implemented is now online at… T.co

5hours ago

First full look at farming (tomatoes in this case) which will be released in the new Patreon build on 1st May!… T.co

Apr 22 2018

The #IndieGameDev version of #GameStruck4 - the 4 games that most inspired King under the Mountain (so many thanks… T.co

Apr 19 2018

Preparing for the next step of farming - the dwarves now need to manage their inventory to have the right tool for… T.co

Apr 19 2018

A sneak preview of some of the new art assets in #KingUnderTheMountain thanks to the proceeds of the Patreon campai… T.co

Apr 17 2018

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