Post news RSS Our New Year's Resolutions

Cat Banana Studios shares its plans with Imagine Nations for the New Year in this update. You can read about the goals and milestones for the game which will feature the Stone Age.

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So we finished last year off with some high notes (being Greenlit on Steam), and some low notes (missing our goal on Kickstarter), but we now start the new year off with a clean slate and a clear plan to move forward. Today, we’d like to share what our New Year Resolution is for 2014.

Stone Age Build

Our first major goal is the “Stone Age” build, which is slated to be released during the Summer. All of our builds are built on the assumption that they act like a final release. That means that they will be properly bug tested and have a full game experience with the features currently available. We strive to look at each milestone as our only goal at the time, and to approach each with the care of the full game when released. However, bare in mind that these initial builds will have very basic systems available that will constantly expand over the years (or be removed altogether).

The aim for the Stone Age Build is to include:

  • Culture System
    • Initial culture is setup and functioning properly after the player creates their character.
    • Citizens will be going through daily routines that have a purpose for the town.
    • The town will expand as its needs are met.
    • Basic missions will be offered both to the player and NPCs.
    • Basic research will be utilized to expand the technologies presented.
  • Terrain Generation And Manipulation
    • One “face” of a planet will be generating properly. This face will be based on a seed that can be manually typed in to get a near “infinite” amount of possibilities.
    • All terrain will be interactive to allow it to be dug out, destroyed, and placed by the player and NPCs.
  • Player Character
    • Character will be able to be customized at the start with some limited options.
    • Base GUI will be in which includes health and stamina.
    • Player will be able to get missions from the town.
    • Player will be able to adventure and explore the planet side and find a small sampling of locations.
    • Player will be able to move into the town.
  • Skills
    • Basic skill system will be available. These will include all skills applicable to the age.
    • Skills will increase in efficiency from use.
  • Combat
    • Basic combat will be available to fight against the NPCs within the first town using primitive weaponry and hands, as well as a small sampling of creatures in the countryside.

Features we’d like to have but may not make it in the first build include:

  • Magic System
    • Basic magic system head by a primitive shaman/soothsayer of the town that will potentially teach their basic magic to the player and other NPCs.
    • Mana bar to show magic usage and limitations.
    • Magic-based UI for spells.
  • Families/Dynasties
    • Basic functionality for being able to start a family, as well as NPCs setting up and maintaining families.
    • Basic interactive possibilities between families.

First Build

The first stable build will be available to all backers slated for March. We are currently in the process of putting together the base engine, which will be presented to backers and the community overall as a series of tech demos over the next 6 months. The goal for the first build is to have at least the proper terrain generation and manipulation working solidly, as well as player controls and UI. We will then expand from there in various stages to meet the Stone Age build.

Tech Demos

Tech demo production is already in progress. We are looking to offer every module of the game’s engine as well as upcoming features as separate tech demos. Backers will have the opportunity to test these out directly and offer input on the direction of these systems, while we will be presenting these demos to everyone through one minute movies on a weekly basis. The content of each tech demo will be implemented into the base build as it becomes stable, so we really want to ensure that the community is comfortable with the direction of each tech demo before we make that shift. This is a project that we want to ensure that you are part of every step (within reason), and get to see every step first hand.

The lineup of tech demos that will be available and tentative deadlines includes (anything with an * denotes a lower priority goal for this first milestone):

  1. OpenCL (end of January) – This tech demo will focus on utilizing the power of the GPU to really get every ounce of performance out of the system. With OpenCL, we will be able to push systems like simulation, AI, physics, etc. to the GPU which can handle many tasks better than the CPU. In turn, we can offer a much more immersive game.

  2. OpenAL/Audio (end of January) – This tech demo will focus on the OpenAL backend for all audio within the game, and some examples of how audio will be utilized to increase the immersion of the game.
  3. Threading (end of January) – This tech demo will focus on using multi-core systems (which have become mostly a standard at this point) to enhance the benefits of OpenCL and get more horsepower from the system and in turn a better experience.
  4. GUI/States (end of February) – This tech demo will focus on the various states the game is in, and will show the flow of the game through the intro, menus, and universe creation while also incorporating the GUI elements used during the game itself.
  5. Rendering (end of February) – This tech demo will focus on the rendering techniques and art style we will be locking down for the game. It will derive from the art styles seen during the Kickstarter demo, and showcase the visual experience. This will be an ongoing tech demo as we add new features into the rendering engine.
  6. Player Controls (end of March) – This tech demo will focus on the input system including the keyboard and mouse controls, their responsiveness, hotkey/favorite systems, and more.
  7. Planet Generation (end of March) – This tech demo will focus on the planet generation process. First pass will be one “face” of the planet which is all that will be needed for most of this year, and expand to support the entire planet.
  8. Terrain Manipulation (end of March) – This tech demo will focus on the terrain and how it can be manipulated by the player and NPCs be digging it up, destroying it with various equipment, and placing it down to create primitive structures.
  9. AI/Pathfinding (end of April) – This tech demo will focus on the base AI and pathfinding systems used within the game utilized by NPCs and creatures.
  10. Culture Simulation (end of April) – This tech demo will focus on the overall culture, its town, and how the town is managed by the NPC town leader. This includes town expansion, missions offered, management of resources, town projects, research, and more.
  11. Skills (end of May) – This tech demo will focus on all skills available to the player and NPCs, their usage, their progression, etc.
  12. Inventory (end of May) – This tech demo will focus on the inventory system utilized both by the player and NPCs and how it can be interacted with.
  13. Combat (end of May) – This tech demo will focus on the base combat system.
  14. Missions (end of June) – This tech demo will focus on the missions available, how to accomplish them, and the rewards associated with each, as well as the GUI elements needed to convey them easily.
  15. Home Creation (end of June) – This tech demo will focus on the process that the player and NPCs take when securing a plot of land to build a home, the process of putting the home together, and the process of actively moving in and being a part of the town directly.
  16. *Magic (end of July) – This tech demo will focus on the base magic system and it affects the environment.
  17. *Family (end of July) – This tech demo will focus on the family or dynasty group, both with NPCs and with a player finding someone, courting them, and raising a family of their own.

Backers

As a reminder, backers of our funding campaign at Imaginenationsgame.com at the $15 “I AM A PIONEER” tier level will gain access to all of the above as they are released, as well as all all future builds, the final release, and patches from that point forward. We invite everyone to both support the team in opening more time to develop our game, as well as having direct input in each of the stages of development to mold this game into something as near to perfection as possible. While waiting on the first builds, everyone will have access to the backer’s forum to discuss concepts and polls that will reflect in the tech demos that have not been started yet, and the game overall.

Overall

We see this being a great year. While the process of working on the game will be difficult doing this on the side, it does not mean that we will not approach this with any less effort than our primary jobs. And with Steam Greenlight already secured, it comes down to meeting the quality standards we’ve set for ourselves and ensuring that the Stone Age build is to the highest standards possible. We feel the above breakdown is both attainable with our team and time commitments, but also very fun for anyone playing with the fundamentals in place. From there, with funding and this foundation in place, we can move forward enhancing these features and adding the countless others over the next few years.

Its a long road, but we look forward to the challenge to develop a game that we all want to play, one that let’s use do what we want with minimal constraints. This is our New Year’s Resolution and one that we do not plan to forego.

- The Imagine Nations Team

Support the Imagine Nations Campaign at Imaginenationsgame.com

Comments
gh44444
gh44444 - - 10 comments

So I played the demo and im impressed but is it possilbe that you can give people with a computer like mine that cant handle such beautiful graphics. It would be cool cause im runnin on like 2 fps and i want to play this game. Just a another comment from a guy who wnts to see this game/project go far and not end up dying on me. Best of Luck.

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