Post feature RSS Dev Diary 4: Playable Demo Time!

Finally, after more than a year in development, I'm releasing the first public demo here to get feedback.

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The First Public Build!

This is a very exciting blog post to write, since this is the first time I’m sharing my prototype with the world. So far I’ve gotten colleagues and friends to play test the game and give me feedback, but now I would like to invite anyone to test it and let me know what they think!

I would still like to mention what I’ve worked on since my last blog post. But, if you just want to download the build right away, here is the link to the playable prototype:

The Fertile Crescent Prototype

Snapshot of the Playable Build

snapshot 2

New Unit: Javelin Thrower

javelin thrower

Javelin Throwers have a slow and powerful ranged attack. They have more hit points than other ranged units, however their attacks have less range. When they attack buildings they run to the building to deal melee damage, so they are better siege units than archers and slingers.

javelin thrower 2

Updated Unit: Axeman


The Clubman slash neolithic Axeman has had its art replaced with a more modern Bronze Age style Axeman.

New Technologies

new techs for demo version

Writing: increase knowledge generation.
Organised Warfare: increase military unit production speed.
Composite Bow: increase range and damage dealt by Bowman.

Other Features Worked On

- Balancing all units and their roles
- Added Game Settings page that shows before you play so you can choose difficulty
- Made it easier to select single units
- Polished ranged units’ behaviour
- Defined weapon types so weapons can be upgraded separately (most of the planned unit upgrades are currently part of the road map)
- Added support for units to have both melee and ranged attacks (for Javelin Thrower)
- Added an arena map to test crowds of units against each other for balance testing (not included in demo)
- Misc bug fixes and changes (eg. replaced title of Polished Stone Axe technology to Advanced Woodworking)

I Want to Play Now

Okay, let’s do this!

Here is another link to The Fertile Crescent prototype:

The Fertile Crescent Prototype

Please let me know what you think!


Excellent. It really feel like AoE1.

1. beautiful menu pixel art
2. nice music
3. like the idea with tribe unit, to position your base.
4. No mini map. :/
5. very interesting approach to research. however, building lose one of its purpose (being point to upgrade something).
6. there could be queue of research, to limit the not-fun micro. [research could even auto start at the beginning of game]
7. bottom big block of menu, obscure the game view. Maybe you could put more UI buttons on the side?
8. research panel could appear on the left, and be smaller.
9. no game speed modification :/
10. no unit group ctr+number :/
11. metal is not useful :/
12. i'm not convince to "wealth" as resource. IMO you should go wood/food, and Stone for advance building / Metal for advance units.
13. great idea with food surplus as bonus to training/research speed. And as well penalty for starving.
14. Fantastic idea with Farm fertility, dependent from tile.
15. resource are depleted too fast.
16. no patrol command :/
17. bug: i have icon of attack+stop instead unit in barrack for training. pic :
18. bug: if unit get involved in melee. Fleeing one continue receiving damage, even if go away from attacker.
19. I believe would be nice to have custom controls - i like to move camera with WSAD and have other keys around.
20. many shortcut keys are missing
21. its odd that slinger has bigger range than bowmen.

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ManaSky Author

Thanks @Lagi, this is fantastic feedback.

4. Mini map is on the road map.
5. I actually implemented AOE style upgrading in buildings to begin with. However, I decided to implement the Tech Tree instead.
6. I'll add this in a future update.
9. I will add this when I implement Lockstep. It's a bit further down the track.
10. Grouping is part of the road map and should be released in one of the next builds.
11. Metal will be more useful in the next updated build. :)
12. I understand where you come from, and I'm continually re-assessing this resource. I'm not sure how I will change this, or if I will, yet. I thought about stone for a long time, but I'm not convinced it fits the Bronze Age era (given sun dried mud-bricks were used instead of stone many places).
16. Patrol command is on the road map.
21. Good slingers were known to have longer range than archers. However, the Composite Bow technology increases Bowman's range to almost the same as Slinger's attack range.

Also, thanks for the bug reports. I will consider everything you mentioned.

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12. mud-bricks are fantastic idea.

the mud was gathered near waterfronts. So in game brick could be produced in near coastline factories [furnaces], work similar to farm. But maybe its too much complicating for RTS.

is 4th resource really required game-play wise?
like tree's are all around as landscape element. food is nice. Realistic, accurate. and not stiff like in other games.
Metal is for higher tier rare stuff. Kind like oil in Warcraft2. obsidian and metal are same resource gathering mechanic = exploit rock piece on map. I know same was in AgeofEmpires or Tzar, but it wasnt good. In Armies of Exigo the crystal [late res] was more abundance underground, so it force player to expand in new territories.

IMO if you want more resource it should either have belivable application[wood from trees, consumable food], be interesting/fresh gamesystem[research, consumable food], be harder accessible forcing player to expand [oil in water in Warcraft2], or grant access to advance things [gas in starcraft, gold in AgeOfEmpires]

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ManaSky Author

Thanks for the input!

I decided mud bricks as a resource would complicate the gameplay too much, since this is not strictly a slow-paced city builder.

At the moment:

Tier 1 units: cost wood.
Tier 2 units: cost wealth (and sometimes wood).
Tier 3 units: also cost metal.

Plus, metal will be used for unit upgrades in a soon to come update.

So a well-balanced economy is required for higher-end units.

I understand your concern about having two resources that are harvested the same way. However, there will be other ways to generate wealth than mining obsidian and gold in future builds. When all the planned core mechanics are tied together, and if it doesn't work out, I'll definitely consider changing or removing wealth as a resource.

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some ideas:

1. Let dwellings also create villagers.
Build house will automatically start training villagers. there would be 6x queue in slot. Each villager could be manually remove from the queue by the player. But player will not be able to add new villagers.
this will allow for faster reaching max villagers count (multiple spaw points) and allow to create work force in distant resource outposts. idea.jpg

2. mud-brick as resource (instead wealth)
let it be swamp, an farm like field on map (located usually close to water), from which villagers will collect clay.
brick would be use to create buildings.

Especially for walls, towers and advance structures.
Ruins of buildings can be harvest for clay.

3.resource drop points
granary (food), lumber mill (wood), furnace (clay and metal).

4. stable (new building)
besides combat horseman, chariots and war-elephants [also with archer version]

stable create also farm animals: sheep and goat.
sheep - harvest for wool => wood resource
goat - harvest for milk => food resource

sheep and goat can commit suicide [click icon on panel]. When corpse is clicked, villager will gather the meat => food.

5. structures for creating combat units.
a) barrack (all foot melee and range units)
b) stable (all mounted melee and range units)
c) academy (late building, creating metal expensive elite units - type of available units depend from chosen exclusive research)
d) harbor - sea ships
e) workshop - siege machines
f) temple - clerics

6. forum[?] - late game building.
can activate global effects like:
reveal map, reveal enemy, teleport/create units, generate new resource on map (tress, fruit bushes, wild animals),

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ManaSky Author

Hey, thanks for more suggestions.

1. I might add a Colony building that can create new Villagers.

2. I'll re-consider adding mud bricks as a resource. The only problem is that some of the factions I want to add did historically use stone, limestone etc., so it doesn't necessarily make sense to add. :)

4. None of the factions from the time period I'm basing the game of from used War Elephants or Horse Cavalry, but War Chariots will be the ultimate elite unit in the game.

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ManaSky Author

Btw, the game has a Discord if you want to discuss further there:

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invitation is expired.
and I'm comfortable with xpressing my ideas in rush :)

BTW i make some pixel sprites 32x32 pix for other game before. The quality was similar to your units. Would you like me to draw something?

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ManaSky Author

If you change your mind:

I'm not in need of help drawing art right now, but thanks for the offer, appreciate it!

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try to advertise your game here:

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