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Atmocity progress report July 2018

Atmocity progress report July 2018

Hello,

Seeing as I’ve got time of from work, there has been a lot of progress on Atmocity lately. Most of it has been directed towards the upcoming demo and early QA test build, but there’s been a lot of overall progress.

I’ve finally gotten around to start working on sounds properly. There is now a selection of ambient sounds coming from buildings when you hover the camera nearby. There will also be an addition of sounds played when buildings are clicked, but this will be added later on. I’ve yet to get work started on music. I’ve only made a few concepts, but nothing that has really hit me as a perfect fit for the game. The work is ongoing though, and I expect to find the right fit soon.

The demo features about half of all the launch day buildings. Two residential and commercial tiers, the low industrial tier, all parks, all plazas, most production buildings etc. This means that I’ve been able to put a lot of work into the underlying building code and I now consider it pretty much done. It’s stable and efficient and as far as I’ve been able to tell, bug free. Adding additional buildings will therefore, mostly be a matter of modelling, texturing and rigging them in Unity. That means that building production should pick up pace significantly and I hope to finish this process completely by the end of September.

The demo also features a barebones version of the resource trading interface. You will be able to buy and sell resources, and prices will adapt to the under/over supply of resources. What’s missing now is a “price pull” feature that means a lower price on one food resource will also affect the price on the other three. Same goes for building materials. This feature will be implemented later on, as it will also depend a bit on the global economy and how prices of goods are determines in general.

As I’ve worked and tested the game more, one thing that has become apparent is the need to quickly review your city to find areas that are not performing well. To make this possible for players, I’ve implemented an efficiency visualization tool. This fetches the efficiency of each building and color codes buildings from red to green. This way poorly functioning neighborhoods will be seen quite easily and the player can start working towards fixing issues.

Probably greatest progress visually (aside from there now being more buildings) has been on the user interface side of things. I’ve managed to more or less finalize UI design. A lot of information to the player will be conveyed via icons rather than text. The hope is that icons will be self explanatory enough and that the player will be able to link for example the icon of a missing consumable to the same icon in the building menu to quickly find their way around the interface. There is now also a main menu and a loading screen. Currently it is rather barebones, but it allows for further additions as they are needed.

There should be a pretty comprehensive update for the month of august as well! Stay tuned.

/ Dispersing Minds

City
Visualization tool in action
Night time
Evening
City
Atmocity progress report

Atmocity progress report

Greetings!

First off, the development of Atmocity is progressing quite well. I’m done with slightly more than 1/3 of all buildings. I’ve focused a bit extra on visual consistence within the different tiers of residential and commercial zones. Although I will return to working on all buildings further down the line, I think they are looking quite good already:

Aside from tiered buildings, I’ve also finished a hospital building. The texture of which I will change slightly in the upcoming week. Aside from that it too is finished for now:

 

This week, however, I have mostly focused on code. This week and last I’ve changed the entire building placement sequence to better fit the upcoming changes in the UI. Before, placing buildings required first selecting a location, then selecting the building to place. With the ever growing list of buildings, the UI has become too cramped to fit all the different types of buildings. So in order to fit all buildings into the UI, I will need to have a beefier UI with scrolling. So I’ve changed the sequence to selecting building first, then placing it. To display what side of a cube is currently selected, a hologram of the selected building is displayed. With these changed I’ve also made it possible to speed place buildings. This feature is especially intended for placement of zones and will make placement less tedious.

The majority of code work has been spent on full implementation of the resource management system. Prior to this weeks work, buildings would check their surroundings for buildings they like and dislike. If there’s a “bad” building nearby, a building will incur a penalty. For example, residents don’t like living next to factories, so a residential zone placed next to an industrial zone will not house as many residents. This would also affect how much tax a building generates. The existence of power or water, for example, was not of any concern though.

Now, buildings are not only producers of tax, or citizens, but also consumers. This means that the resource management system comes full circle. Not only do buildings need to be placed intelligently in your city as to not incur penalties, they also need to be given the necessary resources to produce. This means that residential zones that have no power or water, or lack food resources, will not grow and will pay less tax. Farms that have no water cannot produce food. Simply put, without input, no output.

This also means that the development of the games is moving into a more obscure phase. Not as much will be shown, because I will mostly be concerned with improving the game and gameplay, along with interfaces, rather than adding visible content. An interesting phase nonetheless. 🙂