Post news RSS Home By The River Update 9 - Launches 15 Feb 2023!

I spent a lot of time eradicating bugs and improving the game in general. A great improvement is that the hoverboard now hovers which makes it fun and easy to build taller buildings or up in the sky. Revive your polluted land and build your home, farm and lab. Defend your home from drones that come at night, and take down the corporation sending them. Remove trash, dead trees, and plant new trees. Build green energy like solar, wind, a clean reactor, and transform your world by your efforts.

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I'm not far away from the release of HBTR which will be the 15th of Feb 2023! I tried many times to make a trailer that made any sense and this time I think I managed it by just focusing on an aspect of the game, but there is much more to the game than what the trailer shows.

HBTR is part of the Steam Base Builder Fest and will be in the Steam Next Fest this February. Here's the Steam page link, and you can also play the free demo.

Home By The River summary:

Revive your polluted land and build your home, farm and lab. Defend your home from drones that come at night, and take down the corporation sending them. Remove trash, dead trees, and plant new trees. Build green energy like solar, wind, a clean reactor, and transform your world by your efforts.

These updates apply to both the demo and full versions of the game:

  • I’ve changed the hoverboard so that it actually hovers now. I realised that I really want to hover in the air and build structures and it is so much easier if the hoverboard maintains its position. So from now on the hoverboard will no longer keep on falling slowly. It will keep you steady until you move it with your WASD keys.
  • I've changed the sun and moon back to travelling in an arc instead of vertically up and down. I had gotten feedback from two people that the vertical rising and setting looked odd. Let me know how travelling in an arc looks.
  • I’ve developed a better in game tutorial that helps take the player through fundamental controls of the game and accomplish the first ten objectives. I think this will give an easier start for any new player and certainly less fumbling around learning the UI and controls. HBTR is a non trivial builder game and as such I’ve built controls and UI that match the gameplay.
  • I’m adding voice narration to the game objectives. As you complete objectives you’ll hear some narration explaining what to do. So far I’ve implemented narration to cover the in game tutorial.
  • I’ve changed the construction menu and inventory menus to be single row horizontal scrolling. This allowed me to make the icons 25% larger, making them easier to see and I find the horizontal scrolling to be easier than vertical scrolling for finding blocks.
  • Ongoing bug fixes leading up to release; ducks could appear without pollution being none.
  • I've changed the polluted world to a grey colour instead of the dirty yellow. I think most people could not understand that was supposed to represent pollution so I hope grey will better represent that. I've also changed sky nodes to a gold colour to make them look more like a collectible.
  • I've removed the background tiles that were behind the trash piles. I think the player was having to needlessly break down background tiles which I think didn't make much sense. I've removed that and now the player only removes the trash piles.
  • I will no longer be launching in Early Access. Data suggests that this is only sensible for upcoming games that have a large audience. HBTR does not so it makes more sense to do a normal launch and then for me to continue updating the game. It appears that HBTR will be a mostly developer driven game rather than one that gets a lot of community engagement for now anyhow.
  • I’ve implemented a business console. You can unlock this from the supply chain workstation at level 2 and you use this to unlock the background business ventures. I got a bit tired of having to click on the backgrounds so instead I made this console so all backgrounds are accessible from one place. Also no more confusion between clicking on the background and clicking on a props tile.
  • I've improved the reward for completing the Master Riverman quest so it is no worthwhile for a player to cook corn bread and sell it at the Rivermen Lodge.
  • I’ve gained some more performance by further reducing texture sizes at a slight sacrifice to quality that is not very noticeable. I removed volumetric property of lights to improve performance as well. If there were too many volumetric lights in the world the game would start to get a bit laggy. I’ve also optimised the reflective water a bit but I’m hoping to find a way to optimise it more. The most likely thing to cause slow down in the game is the reflective water.

This applies to the full version of the game only:

  • I’ve added an end game write up for each of the three end game goals; which are making Sigil irrelevant, world prosperity, and world environment. This will help make it clearer that you have accomplished a major objective.
  • I’ve added a Cyber Expert pioneer named Iqbal. Place a classic workstation in the world and he’ll use that to bring down Sigil influence every hour. Buy him upgrades and he becomes more effective. Once Sigil is no more he will give you some of his Cyber Security consultancy earnings every hours. Psst.. He earns a lot! He’s one of the best in the world.
  • Previously to convert research points into research cards the player had to click for each research point which was super tedious when you can easily have a hundred plus research points. Instead now research points are automatically converted to research cards and you get to see that happen over a few seconds through an animation. Use a research lab computer and then you can click on the Generate Research Cards button. Much better than before and no longer time consuming!
  • I’ve added Carlos the trader and he will use a trading terminal to earn some income every hour. He can earn about $7,000 a day when fully upgraded.

Jan 2023 Plasmas World

The hoverboard makes it really easy to build tall structures because it maintains its position and you can then fly around wherever you need. I think this change has made construction in the game more enjoyable.

A bleak world Dec 31

I've changed the polluted world to look bleak and grey. It was a putrid yellow before but that colour didn't make sense to players whereas grey seems to make more sense.

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