First off, Correcture Games will attend the Indie Playground at Dreamhack Winter in Sweden at the end of the month. Atmocity will be showcased and you can have a go at some gravity defying city building!
I’ve spent most of the week working on systems in the game. The traffic system is now functional, but needs quite a bit of work so that it looks good, spawns and despawns vehicles and just overall adds to the atmosphere of the game.
There’s quite a long ways to go, but at least cars don’t freak out when going around corners (that was a headache to fix).
I’ve started reworking some of the building placement stuff. Before, all buildings would be assigned a random rotation when built. Now I’ve changed it so that building rotation is controlled by the player using the scroll wheel. Buildings can still be rotated when they’ve been placed too. Here are some farms freely placed.
Next up, I’ll be changing block and road placement to allow players to assign areas with blocks and roads instead of having to place one after the other. This should allow for quicker construction of the foundation on which you build the city. Being able to click and drag where to place roads is also standard in most games of this type so it’s a given to add.
I’ve added a building register that assigns a unique ID to each building in the city. This will be used along with the traffic system to assign a vehicle to each building. Goods are produced and consumed globally, but each building will need access to other key buildings and this will be “tested” using the vehicles. The building register also allows for quicker processing when using the different view modes (like building efficiency view or building owner view) among other things.
Policy is on ongoing project. I’ve changed how tax rates affect citizen happiness from a somewhat consistent curve to one that allows you to set fairly high tax rates before truly affecting happiness. This should allow for some more player freedom, but also allows players to set fairly high tax rates if they have other things that offset the unhappiness from higher taxes.
The tax rates are still divided into three, targeting low/mid/high skilled labour respectively. The effect of taxes on happiness will also depend on how large the proportion of the targeted class is compared to the overall population. If you have a small low skilled labour population you will be able to tax them higher without losing out too much on the overall happiness.
I’ve also finally managed to get the graphs looking more up to my own expectations.
Lastly, I’ve implemented toggles for day/night, always day and always night into the UI. When moving the mouse to the top center of the screen, a small options panels slides down. From there (and the keyboard of course) players will be able to set the game speed (paused, normal, 2, 4 and 8x).
Next week I’ll continue work on cars, doing some modelling/texturing and trying to finetune movements and then adding some basic path finding and traffic rules. I’ll be working on drag and drop for blocks and roads and also some initial work on decoration tiles that can be used to improve your city visually. More policy is also on the schedule!
/ Dispersing Minds
This week I’ve been revisiting making buildings for the game.
I’ve focused on commercial buildings this week having finished 5 new buildings.
That means I’ve finished another full set of commercial buildings.
When finishing up this set and placing all commercial building sets next to eachother I decided to switch them around a bit. The above one was initially intended as the upper middle class set, but after reconsideration I’ve decided to make it the lower middle class set.
The set that was formerly the lower middle class will become the new middle class, and the former middle class will become the new upper middle class. I’ve also decided that post release, once there is time, I will expand each residential and commercial set with one more (a sixth) density. I’m also considering three classes (low, mid, upper) of single or possibly dual density commercial and residential buildings with smaller “foot print”. This would allow players to zone left over space. These sets should be available for the initial early access release of the game.
I’ve not only worked on buildings, but also continued work on the traffic system. Unfortunatly, this is proving slightly more difficult than expected. Hopefully by the next devlog I will have more info and maybe a gif to showcase the progress.
Next week I will also continue work on the middle tier of industrial buildings, and hopefully I can finished it too, as these tend to be fairly simple to make.
That’s it for this time!
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This week I’ve mainly worked on systems and bug fixes.
Most of the squashed bugs have been buidlings not setup correctly (box colliders, layers etc), so nothing huge has been found.
On the systems side of things, I’ve started implemented policies. First off simpler stuff like tax rates. Currently I’ve got tax rates for low, mid and high skilled labour implemented as well as commercial and industrial tax rates.
Along with the tax policies I’ve also added a new city stat – happiness. This depends on overall health, education and wealth levels as well as on current levels of pollution and tax rates. In the future I will add unemployment and safety into the mix as well. The level of happiness determines how fast your city grows, when happiness is too low, citizens will start to move out of the city.
A system for traffic is also in the works. Currently this is rather simplistic – cars are spawned and then drive around with no goal or purpose. The concept I’m working on should end up working though, but will require a few more weeks before it is fully functional and looks good.
Only one new building has been made this week – The centrifugal particle extractor. This building serves the same function as the atmospheric particle filtration plant, namely to filter out carbon, metal dust, sand etc. from the atmosphere for use in other production facilities. The centrifuge is more expensive and requires more electricity and water to function properly, but on the other hand pollutes much less. The idea is that this building will become viable only after having built a sizeable city.
I’ve tweaked the screen space reflections a bit and found a good balance between visuals and performance. It looks good especially during nights I find.
That’s all for this week. More stuff next week!
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The game will be updated on Steam fairly soon, this makes the third alpha version. After the next update, the game will move onto beta-testing for which I will involve more testers. The hope is to have most of the buildings and underlying systems ready for the beta, although some of the ui etc. will be underdeveloped.
This week I’ve finished the upper middle class tier of residences. This means that cities will now spawn the highly skilled labour required for the third tier industry (medicine and jewelry among others) and buildings like clinics and hospitals.
Prior to changing the buildingblock size, buildings grew out of the blocks. To prevent buildings from popping in, they were contrained to the same size as each block. Since there’s now a completely new sequence for when buildings are constructed (still WIP but detailed in earlier post), this limitation no longer serves a function. As such, the top densities for the upper middle class residential and commercial zones will be taller. This can be seen here:
This should make for more interesting city silhouettes once players start building for highly skilled labour.
The upper middle class and upper class tiers have high demands, Requiring buildings such as the library to be built nearby as well as consumption goods such as jewelry and processed food.
Since I recently added medicines as a resource, clinics and hospitals have been updated to require medicines as an input to function properly.
I’ve updated the UI to work with a new class – Window. Some ui-functions will be window based, like the options menu and global economy view. This class is used to manage windows better and make sure that if one is open, it’s closed before a new one is opened to avoid cluttering up the screen.
Options have been implemented in a fairly limited, but functional form. It allows toggling some of the more demanding visual features.
Moving into next week I will get back to work on traffic, which sadly didn’t make it into this update due to time constraints. The upcoming week will be heavy on systems work, like road connectivity and resource distribution systems. I should be able to finish a few of the remaining 30 buildings left for the EA-release of the game.
/ Dispersing minds
I missed last week because of a heavy workload! Sorry!
This week I’ve mostly worked on expanding the resource trees.
There’s now an additional food type – funghi. Like cereal, legume and fruit, it will be an input of the processed food building. But funghi will also be used to produce medicines in the medicine plant (to the left):
Another resource that has been added is diamonds. These are produced in the carbon pressurizer. Diamonds can then be used as an input to make jewelry (in the middle building):
Diamonds will also be used for the advanced circuitry resource, which will be required for high tech industry and the laboratory.
The electronics plant (seen to the left in the previous image), jeweler and medicine plant are all high tech production facilities which means they pollute much less, or not at all, and require highly educated labour to produce at maximum efficiency.
They also have a much cleaner look, as seen here:
Since there are now quite a few buildings that require highly educated labour, I’ve started working on the upper middle class residential buildings. Like lower middle class that houses both low skilled labout and mid skilled, the upper middle class tier houses mid skilled and highly skilled Labour. The first density is more or less done:
Overall, it’s been a productive week. Next weekend the game will be getting another update going out to testers. What I’m hoping to have implemented by then is the options menu, some more sounds, the full upper middle class tier and an early iteration of traffic (visually only).
/ Dispersing Minds
Although not a super efficient week, I’ve started picking up pace again. This week I’ve started expanding the UI to be able to fit new features in. More space for buttons at the top, slider for Resources (since the entire pane was full and I’ve still got resources to add).
The empty buttons at the top will be for the stock exchange/trade center, local economy/budget, conglomerate/citizen advisory board and the last empty one will likely be used for research.
Two new buildings have made it into the game this week. The Police station (here almost finished):
And also the Carbon Pressurization Plant, that will produce Diamonds that will be used for advanced circuits and jewelry.
I’ve been continuing optimization work. Since switching to smaller building blocks the same volume of blocks produces 8 shadow casters instead of one. This, along with the increasing number of props like trees and containers, was pushing the number of shadow casters a bit too much (1500+ in a view). To remedy this I made a system that creates a shadows only volume based on the blocks within segments of 5x5x5 sized spaces. Together with a system that merges all similar props into one object per building has meant the number of shadow casters in now generally below 500-600.
The grouping of blocks can be seen here:
There’s been some other minor progress too, fixing bugs, mini-optimization and overall polish and work on LODs, but that’s pretty much it.
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Since roughly a week, you can now get keys for Brink of Extinction and Twinstack from the startup www.cloudr.gg
So support us small players in the business by purchasing the games from there. 🙂
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It’s been a couple of slow weeks again. Been bogged down with regular job and some family matters. But now I’m back at developing the game properly again! Recently I’ve been working mostly on graphical touch ups and optimization.
Main progress recently is that I’ve finally managed to get trees that look good and perform well. I’m now using an unlit shader with an illumination layer. It also has vertex distortion so that they sway, looking like a bit of a wind effect without having to use colliders etc. I also added so that the cutout is affected by distance, allowing me to “fade” trees before they are culled by the camera.
To accomodate for the increasing amount of props in the cities (trees, containers etc), I’ve added a mesh merging system so that objects of the same type for each building are merged on build.
Since changing to smaller building blocks, buildings can no longer grow from within the blocks. Buildings now being bigger than the blocks. Instead, I’ve added a cutoff based on height. Buildings will now appear from the bottom and up. Hopefully I can make this look even nicer with some working machinery or something.
I’ve also started texturing roads. There will be two types of main road depending on whether they’re connected to residential and commercial zones or not. Currently the latter version is the finished one and as such it’s shown even alongside industrial zones in the images below.
Trees and roads:
Night time roads:
I did manage to also get some systems work done. Mostly related to the global economy system, which is now a bit less unpredictable. I also fixed a handful of bugs, among them one where nominal costs would increase over time (due to inflation), but incomes would remain the same, meaning that over time you would start losing imense amounts of cash
Moving forward towards the next alpha release, the third, I will focus on adding a handful of new buildings and improving the UI further. I will also start incorporating new menus, such as the global economy menu.
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This week’s focus has primarily been to reach a new stable version of the game. There’s been a lot of under the hood work done – stuff that initially pretty much broke the game and required quite a lot of effort to get working.
First of all, the game has moved away from the big block sizes into a smaller block size. Along with this, there will be two sizes of buildings. Currently, only roads and canals are the smaller size, but in the future there will be a set of smaller residential and commercial zones along with small parks and statues etc.
Another big change, hinted above, is the introduction of roads. The current implementation is rather simple – each building requires a road. However, there is currently no control as to whether this road leads anywhere. This system is still in its infancy and was therefore cut from the new alpha build.
The addition of a road system means the game moves away from a global resource system and into a system where resources are shared within an area connected by roads. This “Island” system as I call it is more or less finished, but as I mention above, the road does not connect different islands and as such, the game still handles resources as if they were global.
The finished road system should make it into the next alpha version.
This version also features three sets of residential zones and three sets of commercial zones along with the addition of the carbon storage facility and carbon power plant. This means that there is now also a carbon resource.
I’ve also redone the density function meaning that sparse areas of residential zones will not spawn higher densities. This is to avoid areas completely maxing out in areas that do not have a lot of densely packed zones. This also gives cities a more “realistic” skyline.
There are now also tool tips to help players understand what is what. Obviously, the game is still very light on information to the player, but this will be added in as more things get finished.
There’s also been quite a few bug fixes in the game, but I’ve mainly focused on optimization. I’ve managed to cut quite a few textures by adding together textures and mapping UVs differently. I’ve ensured things batch together properly so that there are as few new instances of things as possible meaning I could go from roughly 1500-2000 drawcalls in a medium sized city, to about 500-600.
A few things had to be cut from the alpha. Some policy stuff was meant to make it into this version, but had to be cut due to a few bugs needing to be ironed out. I’ve also pushed the addition of music for now.
Those willing to stream the game, please contact me via email!
/ Dispersing Minds