Work on 0.14 progresses. Quite a few things remain, but a lot of things are falling into place.
As mentioned in last week’s log, I was working on adding separate demand functions for each resource.This is now fully implemented. Demand is set in two steps: each group of resources has a demand function. The groups are raw materials, building materials, foods and consumer resources (like eletronics or plastic). These run along a random sin curve similar to how the global economy works. The other step, is that buying and selling large quantities affects demand. There’s also a bit of randomness implemented to make things develop independetly on a per resource level.
The demand curves will be able to be toggled on and off (in fact they can be already, but the picture is from before that
). All these things combined, trade can now be part of a player’s strategy to make more money.
Goods tickets, which have been mentioned before are also in the works. These are requests for three resources (one from each of the four groups). If you can deliver them in time, you will be given a resource or modifier as a reward. Delivering on them also boosts conglomerate happiness, which boosts output. Here’s the trade panel along with one goods ticket (work in progress, thus a bit messy). As can be seen, you can now also add trades that are not timed, so they will run until cancelled.
The mini size zones are also in the works. Industry and residences are now finished. You can now fill those small left over spots with some small single family homes.
I’ve come across some performance issues, primarily in the new click n drag demolish function. This was a recent discovery, so it has not been fixed yet, but I’m hoping to have it fixed for 0.14.
Other than that, there’s a bunch of smaller things done, like the addition of a restore default controls button in the options menu as well as an FOV slider.
In the upcoming week I will be finishing the goods tickets, working on currency, inflation and interest rates for an early implementation of this as well as finishing up the mini sized commercial zones and a bunch of other smaller fixes and additions.
Work on the next update is on-going! This update will primarily focus on expanding trade and a basic addition of currency and inflation. In this version, the “mini”-sized zones will also be added. These are single family homes, small business and small industry. They only have one density, so they won’t hold many people (4-6 each), but can be used to fill small leftover areas or add variation to bigger neighborhoods.
The trade overhaul is in the works. Mainly, this week I’ve worked on separating the bonds related functionality from the trade panel. What is currently known as the resource panel has also been added into the trade panel. This should prove more logical once it’s finished. Trade and overall resource management will be under one panel, and joining bonds will be currency, currency depreciation and interest rate setting. More on the latter next week.
Trade functionality has also been changed a bit. First, what has been refered to as “direct trade” has been removed. You can no longer buy resources and instantly receive them. Now, you can instead place an order of 500 units of a resource and it will be delivered over time. This, like the direct trade, costs extra. To enable trading contracts, a customs house has to be built. Trading contracts work the same way as before, except you will now be able to set indefinite contracts that expire only when you cancel them. This will allow players to build wealth using trade in a much more natural and less time consuming way.
Trade yields have also been raised. This means you can expect higher costs when purchasing resources, but also higher revenue when selling.
Another feature that is in the works, is that unlike before, each resource will be given its own demand function. Before, the pricing on a resource depended on the global economy and on how much you had traded in recent time. Now, there are four demand functions – raw materials, building materials, foods and consumer goods – that determine the demand of the respective groups. On top of this, a random demand offset will be added to each resource. Like before, the amount you have traded will also affect demand slightly.
Inflation is also making its way into the game. This means cities will now be given its own currency that needs to be managed. Generally, things that are isolated to the city itself will not be affected much by the strength of the currency. Building maintenance costs will remain the same, as will tax revenue. Where the presence of a currency will mostly be evident is in trade, where a strong currency allows you to buy resources cheaply, and a relatively weak currency will be benefitial when exporting. Wages and production output will be affected slightly be the strength of the currency.
Overall, these changes will add a new layer of complexity to the game, but with the additional help documentation I’m working on and after giving it a go, I think most people will find it nifty.
I’ve also continued work on controls, tutorials and help texts. More on this next week, as well as more on trade and currency.
– Customs house building -> in the next version this will unlock long term trade.
– National bank building -> in the next version this will unlock unlock bonds
– Super absorbent. A later stage water production building. More expensive, but produces more water and can be built near pollutant buildings without production penalty.
– Side decoration, to spruce up those concrete blocks.
– Modifiers implemented. The first batch of modifiers include increased tax revenue, increased production, lowered production costs among others. These are valid for 20 time cycles. Modifiers are saved on a per user basis, so they can be collected in one city and used in another with the exception of super challenges. Building info may be off when mods are activated, this will be fixed in the next version.
– First challenge added. Challenges are tricky scenarios that will require a lot of planning and skill to complete.
– Day/Night cycle adjusted to hide some of the TAA ghosting.
– Temporary blocks now autodestruct also in paused mode.
– Temporary blocks can be demolished.
– Parks and decorations were missing prices – fixed.
– Rotation can now be performed on either mouse or keyboard, rebindable in the options menu.
– Fixed issue of accidentally anchoring to buildings when rotating view.
– Crates now display icon of reward.
– Added background to text in upper stats bar to increase contrast and readability.
– Tidied up the controls tutorial and added a few more control items to it.
– Objectives are now hidden when using visibility modes. Unhidden when opening panels.
– UI panels location moved.
– Two new achievements, found crates and challenges finished (this one can’t be done yet, as there are not enough challenges atm, but soon!).
– Increased zones’ road reach slightly, allowing small scale zones to be packed more densely.
– Increased number of active trade sales/purchases from 5 to 20 each.
– Electronics plant production yield increased.
– Tweaked density check that allows buildings to grow to the next density.
– New basic building practice tutorial – humble beginnings. Practice makes perfect tutorial will be back in the next update, but then as a more in depth tutorial.
– Objective skip bug in campaign fixed.
As can be seen, goods tickets were not implemented this version. This is due to prioritising further tutorial improvements and additions based on feedback. They should be in with the next version.
The major additions this time around are challenges. Currently only one challenge has been added. Challenges are tricky scenarios, similar to the campaign levels, but way more difficult. Often they require some clever solutions both in terms of policy to make money and maximizing the space available.
On the subject of tutorials, the old “basic” tutorial has been replaced with a simpler one that is more direct in how to get a city going. For the next version, another more in depth tutorial will be added too.
I continue to tweak controls and systems. This week I’ve changed the anchoring mechanic, as well as adding camera rotation to the keyboard as well. I’ve noticed that most movements can be performed with WASD and panning and rotation with the mouse, which will be added into the movement tutorial as well as a hint.
There is now also a later stage water production building. It’s more expensive, but produces more water and can be placed in dirty industrial areas with no penalty.
The next version, 0.14, will not add as many new features, but rather focus on changing things that are already in the game. Primarily the trade mechanic, which will be expanded quite a bit, and there will be an addition of timed delay when trading directly as well as a purchase/sales price that later on will depend on the strength of your currency.
There will also be a focus on optimization of systems, old and new. As well as fixing minor bugs and issues that I’ve noticed.
First of all, I’ve updated the roadmap and added some additional items to it:
Some things have been implemented since the last roadmap, multi building destruction, rebindable keys etc.
Some of the items are given a more extensive description below.
Additional tutorial work.
Expanded set of small buildings, second density with alternates.
Mini zones (10 residential, 10 commercial, 6 industrial).
4 additional challenges.
Accepting bribe consequences.
Inflation. Interest rates, additional bonds options and currency depreciation.
Additional tutorial work.
Cursed earth retromode scenario.
5 additional challenges.
Early iteration of laissez faire capitalism.
Changed trade system.
Floating islands retromode scenario.
5 additional challenges.
Early iteration of communism.
6th density for residential and commercial zones.
Additional citizen board demands.
Additional conglomerate demands.
Updated localizations for Spanish, French, Russian and German.
Goods tickets are an expansion on the current system where conglomerates sometimes ask to buy or sell goods to you. Like in the current system, tickets will be timed. Each ticket will contain a handful of resource types. To complete a ticket, you need to have all resources available.
Following the addition of the national bank building in the next update, the next step is to add inflation into the game. This will require a lot of work, as there will need to be separate sets of purchase and sales prices for each resource and an interest rate. A currency rate will be added as well, which will affect pricing and wages.
Mini zones are single family residential buildings, small business type lots like convenience stores and small industry. (Smallest square is the mini zone…)
Atmocity currently incorporates a fairly complex simulation of what is commonly refered to as a mixed economy.
Mixed economies feature private enterprise, but also has public systems to cover up in areas where private enterprise might not be viable, or in areas where there is opposition to private business.
In Europe, for instance, we see private business in telecommuncations, manufacturing etc. Oftentimes, healthcare and education is completely or predominantely run by the state.
In Atmocity, the policy window along with taxes and welfare options can be used to adjust how mixed the economy is. But this adjustment is only marginal. In order to implement economic systems such as communism and laisse fair capitalism, more comprehensive changes need to be done to the core of the economic simulation.
The first step, which is a somewhat simpler affair, is to implement an early iteration of laissez faire capitalism. The plan is to have a very early and basic implementation of this in October, and have ongoing expansions on this and the policy system in general from then on. Communism is trickier to implement, but should see an early iteration implemented in November.
Mayors will be able to place water blocks to add more customization to their cities. This is planned for a November release.
By December I hope to catch up on translations for the game. The reason this is taking a backseat at the moment is because the above mentioned changes require a lot of new text. It’s very time consuming to have only a handful of items translated at a time, rather than a big batch. So moving on new text will be in English, and then given a translation around a mid December release.
Obviously, if there are QoL requests, these will be added in for the upcoming release. There might also be some misses in the schedule, but hopefully, this should all have been implemented by the end of the year.
As for this week, there’s been progress made on the 0.13 version, which among other things will add a few new buildings that play a role in the upcoming changes. Among them the customs house, which will unlock the long term trading contracts (unlike now when they are unlocked at all times). This marks the first step in expanding the functionality of trade in the game.
Modifiers have been added into the game! Modifiers are currently found in loot boxes (free ones, not the icky kind) that spawn around the city randomly. Later on, this will also be awarded when finishing goods tickets. Modifiers are unique to the player, so they can be used in any city in free roam mode, campaign or retro mode. Below is how it currently looks. Like all UI it will get more work later on.
I’ve continued adding more decorations into the game. This week I’ve added a type of wharf type decoration to spruce up those dull and grey foundation blocks:
A national bank building is also in the works, this will mark the start of the implementation of proper inflation into the game. I’ll also be adding a new water production building. This one will be a later stage water production building that isn’t sensitive to polluting buildings, produces more water, but is more expensive and requires more resources.
The latest build will be live in a bit! It features a bunch of additional features, some QoL improvements, UI fixes and some other things.
In the retromode, there’s now an alternate version of the windfarm that can be built in the sea. Similarly, there’s now also a wave power plant.
In the retro mode, the research for the centrifugal particle extractor has been replaced with research for the resource separator building. This building is available in the standard mode without research too.
– Click/drag demolition.
– Windpower plant, seabased – Retromode.
– Wavepower plant, seabased – Retromode.
– Recycling centers now return small amounts of metal and sand.
– Separator building, all modes. Researchable in Retromode. Recycles trash and outputs a small amount of all base resources (metal, sand, carbon etc.).
– Goods crates now randomly spawn. If found they grant a reward. Currently missing some UI items displaying what has been found.
– Fixed issue with controls settings always saving on window closing.
– Fix for camera panning reversing when letting go of mousebutton and moving the mouse pointer.
– Fix for laboratory not registering after load.
– Close windows button (marked with x) added.
– Info button (marked with ?) added for each panel in game.
– Camera sensitivy slider reversed in options. Moving it to the right makes the camera floatier.
– Mine and sand extractor descriptions and names added for French, German, Russian and Spanish.
– Fixed some text sizes in russian.
– Fix for campign objectives UI blocking clicks.
– Property tax revenue per conglomerate added into local economy panel.
– Research in retromode fixed to include and exclude buildings specific to mode.
– Research times cut by 10-50%.
– Rich presence expanded.
So work with the game moves forward. In the current build that just launched (EA 0.12a) there are a bunch of fixes and new features:
– Alternate versions for small scale residential, commercial and industrial buildings added.
– Building type view added.
General bugs and glitches fixed
– Block destruction was broken in the tutorial – fixed!
– Destruction always displayed in red.
– Flickering of destruction hologram minimized. There can still be minor flickering.
– Ghost messages from conglomerates and board of citizens should no longer be sent.
Changes based on player feedback:
– Rebindable keys added earlier, and expanded with rebindable mouse rotate and pan actions. NOTE! This resets player preferences, so you will need to rebind keys and set graphical options.
– Controls for panning and rotation changed. Panning is now a one button action
– Performance improvement in car movement system. Changes should improve performance of car movement significantly (around 30 %).
– Reorienting camera stops when player presses pan/rotate mouse button.
– Fixed bug where researched buildings were unlocked from start.
– The tips from the campaign have now been gathered and added into the econopedia under “general tips”. More tips will be added along with additional text.
– Eye adaptation early implementation.
The small scale RCI buildings now have alternative versions:
Lower and middle class residences:
Full residential set:
All of this to add a bit more variation. In a future release, probably around the end of september, the small scale RC buildings will be getting another density. So they will be able to grow into slightly bigger buildings with more residents and workers. This will add yet more variation.
For the upcoming full 0.12 version, scheduled for next weekend, there will be a wave power plant and wind power plant placed in water added into the retro mode. Currently, there is also an issue where two buildings not available in the retromode are researchable, this will be corrected in the upcoming version. I’m also looking into more camera control fixes, expanded tutorials and more help documentation.
Well, release into EA is just around the corner and the builds are now up, waiting to be launched on tuesday.
This week I’ve done some additional polish to the campaign, and added one of the retro modes. This retro mode is a “flooded Earth” type scenario, where resources are mined from small islands (mountain peaks).
Instead of the particle filtration plant, in this mode there is instead a mine/excavator and a sand extractor:
Initially, this mode doesn’t play much differently from the rest of the game except builds are flat. What will be worked into the mode though is a greater emphasis on environmetal care and citizens will demand you treat the remainder of the environment with care.
I’ve started working on the future feature list for the game. There will some additional res/com/ind buildings of different sizes. These are being worked on currently. I’m also adding citizen representatives that will be assigned to buildings across the city and will advise you on things they need.
Moving forward, updates will mainly be biweekly so that I can focus more time on adding features and fixing issues.
A bit more than a week to go before the game releases into Early Access!
It’s been a pretty rough week due to a bunch of Unity related issues. Among them scenes corrupting requiring a lot of time to find the source of the issue and issues with colliders.
As such, some images this week will be a bit random.
One of the issues with colliders caused roads to suddenly stop working requiring a bit of rewriting of the code that checks if the road is connected to another road tile as well as the code that checks if buildings are connected to a road and what road network it is connected to. Not the kind of stuff that I like doing when I still have a few more things left to do before the game releases, but on the upside, it meant that I could also remove some ugly code and also improve load speeds a bit.
I’ve started doing some last minute fine tuning to tax yields, upping yields from industry and commerce and lowering it a bit for residence. I’m hoping this evens out the yields a bit and incentivizes more planning.
The campaign is now finished and tested. There are a few things that might need to be added into it post EA-release, but mostly regarding instructions etc. There are a few things that can perhaps be explained a bit better. Should there be time in the upcoming week, there will be some more polish added to it as well.
Atmo fleets are now implemented. There’s some minor work still needed for path finding, so that they don’t fly through things. But they function as expected now. I will be adding some more bling to them to make them a bit more interesting.
The land mode is coming along nicely. I’ve made the necessary changes to the UI and started adding items to the mode. The buildings will be made this upcoming week. There will be a set of excavators to replace the atmospheric particle filtration plant, a sand collector and I’m also adding a wave power plant. The mode itself will be more fleshed out over time and it will eventually diverge a bit from the main modes of the game.
There’s been a tonne of work put into optimizing things and speeding things up in game as well as fixing music and texture imports. I’m hoping that the game will run well enough on target machines.
Next week will be the last pre EA devlog, so stay tuned for that. Here’s a shot from an early campaign level:
This week I’ve finally gotten around to fixing up the traffic system. Before I had set the amount to 2 times the amount of buildings in the city with a max limit of 100. This usually looks ok when a city is small, but once the amount of roads increases, the streets would start looking quite empty. I’ve now changed this to assign 1-3 cars per building depending on the type of building. Running this amount of cars is quite taxing on the city though. So I went the Truman show route halting cars and returning them to their home position as soon as they are out of view. Once they can be seen again, they start moving. This gives an impression of city streets with plenty of traffic.
I’ve continued work on the campaign mode. All UI elements have now been implemented. There will be some further polish in the upcoming week and another round of overall UI polish later on.
I’ve done more work on trains, ensuring that they can only travel between stations, and making sure they update their position sets once a change is made in to the vactrain system.
Atmo fleets are still not quite finished, but they are getting there. The movement is currently a bit strict looking, but I should get this to look better in the upcoming week. I hope to have a well fuctioning system up and running next week so that I can have some images and gifs.
I’ve now also implemented bridges. Currently only a plain bridge has been implemented, I intend to add more later on (after EA-release).
Bridges allow players to tuck vactrain system away a bit. My intention is to add more functions like this as I keep developing the game.
The last remaining feature, the retro/”land” mode is currently also underway. Once the campaign is completely finished, I will round it up too. This mode will require a few extra buildings, so I will need to put in a lot of effort this upcoming week to finish the remaining items on my todo list. But the game will release fairly soon, which is exciting.
This week’s update will be a brief one, as there’s been another one of those “under the hood” kind of dev weeks. (as such some images are more random than usual this week)
First of all, the work on the atmo fleets that are to land at the atmo port has taken a bit longer than expected, so no update on that this week.
I’ve overhauled part of the template loader to allow for the campaign, retro mode and free roam mode to all use the same foundation. The template loader checks if there are objectives for the “level” loaded, and where to place preplaced objects such as blocks in the free roam templates etc.
Work on the campaign has progressed well. Essentially, the campaign stuff being finished marks the last bit of code that goes into the main menu (retro mode has been finished too).
When loading a campaign level, a small additional UI is loaded into the scene. This can be hidden using the arrow button. Things are still WIP, especially there’s a level tutorial and objectives description window missing. This will be made in the upcoming week.
I’ve also overhauled the message system. So instead of messages appearing in lower middle of the screen, messages now appear in the shape of icons to the right of the screen. When hovering over them, the actual message can be seen. Clicking icons will open up a relevant window (like the budget window if your economy is poor) or transfer the camera to a building.
Overall, things are progressing fairly well. I’ve had a few ideas for additional buildings that will be available only in the retro mode. These will be made in the upcoming week along with finishing up the campaign, retro mode and fleets. If I can manage those things, the game is essentially the Early Access version I had intended with the addition of a few extra buildings.