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