This week I've been refactoring and cleaning up the progress bars above animals and objects, improving camera movement and fixing bugs as usual.
In essence, Tribe of Pok is a tribal survival simulation/strategy game inspired by games such as Dwarf Fortress and the Cultures series. A tribe of hunter-gatherers attempts to eke out an existence in a savage environment. Help them become the most prosperous tribe in the area by constructing the great Megaliths of the Stone Age, building, crafting, hunting and gathering. As you become more prosperous, rival tribes will take notice, not all of which will be homo sapiens!
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Simulated Natural Environment
The natural environment is heavily simulated. Water flow, ground saturation, evaporation, fertility, temperature and humidity all contribute to shaping world. Cut down all the trees and eventually they will stop regrowing. Use up all the water in a pond and it will be dry until the rains return.
Day/Night and Seasonal cycle
Temperature and humidity are affected by the time of day and season. Winters can be harsh with below-freezing temperatures, so keep the camp fires going to prevent hypothermia. Summers aren't much better, with the possibility of heatwaves causing strokes.
The Circle of Life
Plants and animals adhere to the circle of life. Plants absorb organics from the soil as they grow, produce fruit during maturity and return organics upon death. Animals travel in herds around the map trying to fulfill their own needs. For predators, this means hunting other animals when hungry. For prey, this means running away from anything that wants to eat them.
Nature is the Ultimate Provider
Almost everything you need will come from nature. Plants are harvested for their produce, animal carcasses are butchered for materials and rocks are broken down to make tools.
Craft the Tools of Survival
Craft spears to defend against wildlife and other tribes. Axes to cut down trees and awls to make clothing. Some tools are even capable of performing several tasks. The stone knife speeds up fire creation, but can also be used as a weapon in a pinch.
Stop the Decay
Food left in the open decays very quickly. Build pits to slow down this process. Don't place it too close to camp, or the warmth from a campfire will speed up decay. If the pit gets wet, any food inside won't last very long either. It's all part of the deep simulation that drives Tribe Of Pok.
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I've been thinking about the combat statistics this week and what each value adds to gameplay. In the current model, we have pierce, slash and blunt attack values with corresponding defense values. I've found this to be difficult to balance and not very intuitive.
The existing combat model
Take for example the mammoth. They have high defense values against slashing, which means Buffalo (which deal piercing damage) will be able to fight them, but Tigers (dealing slash damage) will be slaughtered. This large contrast in outcomes applies for the player's weapons as well. In the end it didn't add anything to the experience, and was more of an annoyance for the player to keep track of.
Removing damage types while keeping variety
Therefore I've removed pierce, slash, blunt in favour of a single attack damage value. Individual defense types have also been replaced with one value for Armor. The variations in combat are now mainly from attack cool-downs and dodging. An animal with a fast cool-down will be able to do more attacks, but in general have weaker attacks and be less capable of breaking through armor, although they will still be able to do damage. An animal with a high dodge chance will simply get hit less often. It's also a benefit that this type of combat variation is easier to represent on the game world.
Finally I've made some tweaks to the damage algorithm so that the maximum protection armor/clothing can provide is 80% of the total damage. Bruises, cuts and bleeding remain unchanged, but I may evaluate their contribution at a later date for improvements.
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Weekly update is weekly updated T.co
Oct 6 2015
Whenever I encounter a bug I feel the urge to fix it right away... which sometimes leads to very late nights
Oct 6 2015
Added scrolling acceleration and the game feels so much better! Amazing what simple improvements can do
Sep 22 2015
I love the process of iteration; making something a little bit better each time you work on it!
Sep 17 2015
New update posted T.co
Sep 15 2015
Sep 14 2015
Latest weekly update posted T.co
Sep 13 2015
Sprouting trees, maturing trees, dying trees are now animated
Sep 13 2015
Tree animations going well! I've even managed to squeeze more performance out of the simulation
Sep 12 2015
Working on better animations for plant growth and death
Sep 10 2015