You've all been very active in providing feedback the last few weeks, which has been super helpful. As you'll find out below, some of the recent suggestions from you have already been implemented in our internal build. Also please be aware that everything mentioned in the blog is not yet live on Steam.
We're currently lining up a lot of things. Very soon you'll find out what all the secrecy has been about:
I'm a big tease, I know. But this is the last week I'm not allowed to talk about [censored]. I managed to smuggle this secret image out to you, what could it be?
Just as last week, I'm just working on secret stuff again. Hopefully it won't be a secret for much longer.. Here's a beautifully pixelated tease!
This week has not been as productive as far as the game is concerned as the last few weeks, due to company work taking up much of my time.
I have been doing some more tweaks to the new water system, and doing some research for the save system problems.
Yesterday we had a play test session, where I for the first time in a long time could just sit down and actually enjoy the game. So I feel really good about where the game is right now. Looking forward to letting everyone play it :)
This week I have done a lot of different minor fixes and balancing. I also added one new mechanic. Commandments themselves can now be blessed or condemned with a low cost of influence. Blessing the commandment makes its lifeforce immun to associations draining it. This allows the player to spend less influence to keep a commandment around than proclaiming a new one when the old is removed. Condemning the commandment does the opposite and drains the lifeforce at an increased rate when an association is made. Condemning also comes with a rather large hit to the following cities' local faith.
The word discovery has gotten some updates. Coast is now unlocked after a new city is built instead of requiring a city with a harbour. Hungry, Happy, and Unhappy word requirements have been changed to be accumulative instead of being a number of followers fulfilling the requirement at the same time.
The trading between islands is now enabled and can occur between two harbour cities. The normal prerequisites for trade still applies.
The last three expertise buildings are now added to the game. Diplomacy gives a bonus to successfully create alliances. War increases chance of winning a battle. Trading expertise increases the amount of wealth received when selling resources. These are more late game expertises than Granary, Mining, and Construction as the words needed to be unlocked are Tier 2 and Tier 3 in the new Word Tree.
This week I finished changing how food is stored in the game. When This week I've mostly worked with how followers decide on their actions, i.e. their A.I behavior. We've had issues with balancing that and need to adjust some things to give us more control.
One of these issues is how follower actions haven't been available or referenced in the Unity editor and our balancing and tweaking is mostly done through serialized variables in Unity's inspector windows. The goal has been to list all possible follower actions in the editor along with corresponding variables for us to balance and experiment with.
This has been fixed at this time but there's still some work to do with how follower actions are added depending on how expensive they are in terms of follower stamina and time. I believe, when these things are slightly changed for the better, we'll have more control in making the game balanced and a more fun and interesting experience for players!
I have worked with followers reacting to being attacked by animals. My first iteration had the followers cancel what they where doing, change into warrior clothing and if they survived they would play their defend with shield animation. After this they would walk home. It looked kind of funny, in a bad-funny kind of way, so I made another iteration. My second and final iteration has the followers cancel what they are doing and running away in fear toward their home hut. About half way home they will stop and decide what they should do instead, building new orders.
During this work I re-enabled running animations for followers and animals again. I also smoothed out walking in general a little bit. There were some visual issues when their target was on the move. They re-made their path and walked back about 1-2 tiles each update. Now, that is a thing of the past!
What have I been doing this week? Time has flown and every day blends into each one another, I have been deep into the water system but I have started to add influences from animals, berry bushes and farms.
We also have an internal playtesting session every week that is super useful for me, it helps me find and identify systems that are not working as intended or if my balancing is unnoticable and needs more tweaks. You can really feel the difference the balancing is doing so hopefully it will come together quite beautifully.
This week has been very company heavy for my part, so not much news in terms of production from my end. However, we are of course still steadily improving upon game features and balancing the overall experience, as you've been able to read above.)
Have a nice weekend!