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Category: Atmocity

Coming up in 0.16

Coming up in 0.16

Hello,

Missed yesterday’s planned devlog because I was on the road. Upcoming devlogs should be posted on sundays as usual.

Work on systems continues, so like before, images this week are a bit random.

For the update due live on sunday, the game will have been moved to the latest version of Unity to allow an upgrade of SSAA and atmospheric scattering. This means there are some performance benefits in the upcoming version.

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I’ve also worked on some other optimizations, among them when vehicles get the position of the next road node. There’s still more work required to get this up and running fully, but it’s getting closer to being finished. I’ve also attempted to fix an issue with buildings checking their connections when the city is loaded. Doing so when the city is large bogs down the game quite a lot but briefly. I’m trying out a fix for this, but the drawback is that it takes longer for connections to get set up. Hopefully I will find a good balance for this for the update.

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I’ve also worked on the connectivity and calculation threads. I discovered that the calculation thread specifically was getting very slow on my current large scale build. A city of 150k citizens was clocking in at 300 ms, which gets too close to the calculation cycle time when the game is running at 8x speed. Luckily I have found fixes for these issues and now the same calculation cycle runs in 20 ms. I’ve also improved how the results of the connectivity and calculation threads are handled. There has been an issue where values have flickered at times, this was due to some values being modified in a thread, while also being used outside. This has now been properly adressed, and there should not be issues with this anymore.

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I’ve continued work on inflation, and for starters only two simulation modes will be added. One is the default “no monetary policy” setting that the city will run with if there is no national bank. When a national bank is built, this will switch to inflation targeting. I’m still working on the ability to auto set rates to compensate for inflation and to keep inflation stable. This will be important because inflation now properly affects wages negatively, which means you get lower tax revenue from citizens. There’s still work left to do, but it should be ready for the update and then tweaked in versions afterwards.

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I’ve also gotten water blocks going. Unfortunatly it’s not certain I can get these finished for the update, since they are proving a bit more difficult than first expected. There’s also a performance issue in the water shader I had intended to use, so I will have to write a new one or modify the one I have, which will take time. It should all be finished fairly soon though – fingers crossed.

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Road to 0.16

Road to 0.16

Hello!

Devlog is a day late because I ran out of time to write up the log yesterday. Anyhow..

The past week was pretty code heavy, so images in the post are random shots from the test build I have going currently. It’s a city of 150k citizens. I use this city to test performance at larger scale.

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There are a few issues that I have found, and managed to incorporate into the update posted on saturday. One such issue is that buildings, when a city grows, would sometimes spam new vehicles and not removing them correctly when buildings grew. This would cause massive amounts of cars with poorer performance as a result. Another performance issues found and that will be fixed for the upcoming 0.16 version, is that buildings registering road connections gets rather slow when a city is of this size. I’ve managed to improve performance a bit in the saturday update by removing unnecessary connections being made at times. More work is required though.

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I’ve also managed to find some obscure issues, among them the calculation for the financial transactions tax being based on services available AFTER consumption rather than before. This tax was also not generating enough revenue.

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Progress in adding new features last week was unfortunatly quite slow. The main new feature I’m working on is the addition of water blocks to allow for building water ways and adding lakes. Currently, there is nothing to show here as only the code has been written and I’m still at the boxing stage. But hopefully this will be available in the 0.16 release, if not, it will be in the version after.

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In the saturday update I did manage to get a new challenge added. This one is a bit easier than the previous ones, but still does require quite a bit of planning.
As for the 0.16 version, it will be available sunday the 17th of november!

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0.15 is live!

0.15 is live!

Hello!

Version 0.15 is live and in it, fall has finally arrived to the floating cities of Atmocity!

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Aside from the fall theme, this version fixes a bunch of performance issues and bugs, but also adds the final set of buildings planned for the initial stage of the Early access period. On the subject of plans, I am slightly behind on the road map, primarily due to adding QoL-improvements from requests, but also due to certain aspects of planned system additions being slightly trickier than expected. I expect to make up for the delays in december, when the overall work load is lower. All in all, the roadmap for 2019 should be completed along with a bunch of unplanned feature additions.

So what is new and fixed in 0.15?

New major features:
– Second density for medium scale commercial zones added.
– New challenge level added – new challenges will be added in more frequently moving forward.
– Additional tutorial added – basic production.
– Additional policy added – Financial stability. Includes universal basic income, fraud monitoring among others.
– Wealth and financial transactions taxes added.
– Planar movement mode added. This keeps the forward/backwards movement aligned to the height the camera is currently on. This is on by default, so if you are used to the relative movement scheme, this can be changed in the controls options.
– Offers/demands/bribes are now monitored for a while so that a tax or policy can’t be changed directly after accepting them. If tax is raised after accepting a demand to lower it, you will incur a happinesspenalty.

New small features:

– Production buildings can now be turned off.
– Added vizualisation mode to find unconnected, unpowered, unwatered or disabled buildings.
– Number of available trade slots increased.
– Accepting bribes and getting caught now affects citizen happiness (which causes people to move etc.).
– Pollution generated at 100% efficiency now listed under output in info panel for buildings.
– Icons in building and cost info panels sorted.
– Added loading icon in save/load UI.
– Avenues can now be built to directly replace ordinary roads.

Adjustments:
– Removed high skilled labour requirement for electronics factory.
– Health otput from clinic and hospital increased.
– Service production of medium scale commercial buildings lowered.
– Residential tax revenue adjusted.
– Effect of labour policy lowered.
– Changed road building to always be allowed on blocks, earlier building roads near the edge of the city could be prevented incorrectly.
– Music ducking removed.
– Adjusted the time it takes for industry to adjust production after a resource is missing or after the economyto takes a hit.
– Removed clamping to allow zero production if all inputs are missing.
– Demand curves for individual resources tweaked.
– Unemployment and labour shortage effect on wages tweaked.

Major bug fixes:
– Flickery values and connection issues should now be almost completely resolved.
– Fix for camera jerkiness during fps-dips.
– Building type view fixed.
– Fix for production sometimes being displayed incorrectly in building info panel.
– Fix for certain production buildings working although there is no labour.

Minor bug fixes:
– Fixed Saving text blocking construction.
– Fix for cars stalling.
– Fix for cars “randomly” throwing null refs.
– Changed consumption priority order for absorbent and lots to prevent deadlocking when water or electricity production is low.
– Fixed hide HUD icon being hidden when enabling HUD with escape button.
– Sell/purchase buttons now locked when reached the max amount of trade contracts.
– Fixed notice on hover text getting stuck halfway.
– Size of colliders for medium scale residential lots adjusted.
– Size of colliders for full scale residential lots adjusted.
– Collider position of density 2 of medium scale residences fixed.
– Collider issue for parks and plaza fixed preventing overlapping placement.
– Fixed issue where rotating buildings would sometimes cause a slight clip in building footprint.
– Fix null ref error occuring when destroying Correctional center.
– Fix for missing texture on medium scale high tech industry building.
– Fix for roads not compiling properly on loading city with only roads.
– Global happiness, happiness penalties and conglomerate embargos are now saved properly.
– Fix for tax revenue “sticking” even if production seizes in goods industry.
– Employment numbers clamped to -100% to 100%.
– Unemployment insurance welfare system can no longer generate income (of course!).

Known issues:
Vehicles sometimes taking shortcuts and spam spawning. Visual glitch only, this will be fixed in the next update along with a bigger traffic optimization.

As can be seen, there’s a heavy focus on addressing issues. Some of the issues fixed arose after optimizing the connection system. There have also been some calculation errors and issues with displaying the correct amount of production under certain circumstances. These should hopefully be a thing of the past now.

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Of the new features, the medium scale, second density commercial buildings are one. Another is the addition of new taxes and policies and a bunch of tweaks to tax revenue and policy costs.
Most notably, residential tax revenue has been tweaked a bit (down) to accomodate changes made in how wage levels are calculated (should generally be higher now, meaning more tax revenue). The newly added wealth and financial transactions taxes can also be used to gain additional revenue when finances are tight.

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In line with requests, I’ve also added another movement mode refered to as “planar movement”. This moves the camera forward/backward along the horizontal axis, instead of moving it relative to camera rotation. There’s now also a basic production tutorial and a new challenge level.

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Production and commercial buildings have now been changed to require labour input. Before, some production of goods and services would still occur even if there was no labour available, but now these buildings must have at least some labour to function properly. Logic being that you wouldn’t get your hair cut with no barber or taxes done with no accountant.

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Among the smaller QoL additions in this version, there’s the ability to turn certain production buildings off. There’s also a building status view to check for unconnected, unpowered, unwatered or disabled buildings.
There’s also been quite a few optimizations done to avoid stuttery framerates (which sometimes was an issue when building stuff or when buildings grew).

Road to 0.15

Road to 0.15

Hello!

This week has seen a mix of optimizations, bug fixes and additional features.

First off, the second density for medium scaled commercial zones is now finished complete:

W42a.png

I’ve continued work on inflation, currency and wages, finishing up on the UI implementation and additional functionality. There’s still some ways to go, but it should be ready for next week’s update to version 0.15.

W42b.png

I’ve also put more work into the demand functions of individual resources to add more variation between resources within the same group.

W42c.png

With the complete implementation of wages, currency and wages, there will now be a few extra policies added. Among them universal basic income and fraud monitoring. I have also added two new taxes – wealth tax and financial transfers tax. Since these two taxes will add additional routes for the player to add to the city revenues, residential tax revenue will be adjusted down a bit, specifically for middle and upper class residents.

W42d.png

I’ve continued working on camera movement, and have now added a planar movement option. This means that pushing forward/backward will move the camera over the current plane instead of relative to the camera rotation. This means that the camera remains stable in height. To lower and raise the camera, the player can either pan using the mouse or use keyboard inputs. Overall I find this new movement mode works very well.

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Lastly, there have been a bunch of building connection fixes and bugs squished. There full extent of these fixes will be posted next weekend, as the new update is up!

Bug and performance patch!

Bug and performance patch!

Hello!

The new build will be up soon! Like the previous two weeks, I have focused most of the time this week on fixing recurring issues with performance and also bugs, but I have also managed to get the second density of mid scale residentials in:

w41a.png

This is the maximum density for the mid scale residential zones. They generally demand less utilities and aren’t as demanding when it comes to nearby buildings like parks, schools and clinics, so they can be a good way to fill out narrow arreas with little room for anything else.

w41b.png

The above image shows the low, lower mid and mid tiers mixed in with some full scale buildings.

On the performance side of things, I’ve finally managed to resolve the bug that caused major slowdown when buildings grow and in particular when many buildings are destroyed at once. One of the issues was checking for nearby buildings. Way back, all buildings were on the same layer, so buildings were fetched and then the type was tested. If a residential building was next to an industrial building, it would get an efficiency penalty (fewer residents). Over time, buildings have been separated to several layers, but all layers have still been checked. However, residential and commercial buildings (for example), never need to check for other residential or commercial buildings. So depending on the type of building performing the vicinity check, layers are adapted so only relevant buildings are checked. This speeds things up dramatically, as fewer colliders need to be checked.
Also, this is all now performed with NonAlloc, to speed things up further.

w41c.png

Another improvement using NonAlloc, is when buildings have either been placed, or grown. When checking for a nearby road tile to “attach” to, buildings now use NonAlloc, preventing FPS-hickups further.
There’s also been a recurring issue with buildings registering a nearby “bad” building, despite there not being one. This should now have been fixed completely.

w41d.png

I’ve also tweaked economy and found a few areas of optimization. In doing so I also found an issue where, specifically industry, could get efficiency levels that were too low and also too high (in the range of 6 to 300%). This has now been fixed and industry will rarely go below 60% unless an input (water, power or labour) is missing. Further tweaks to economy will be done in the upcoming version.

I’ve also fixed a bug where loading cities was bugged out on Mac, and while doing so also found a null ref that was fixed on Mac as well.

w41e.png

As for overall progress, I am slightly behind on inflation, currency and wages, due to a heavy focus on bug hunting and optimization. I do think, however, that I will be all but caught up come next update!

Performance and bug fix patch

Performance and bug fix patch

Hello!

This week marks one year of posting (near) weekly devlogs in this kind of five image + text format! So lots of progress has been made I feel. By this time last year I was working my way towards getting a stable enough build for Dreamhack Winter. I had just cut the block size and started adding roads, the carbon pressurization plant and police station buildings had made it into the game and I was also working on merging blocks to create a shadow casting volume to keep down the amount of shadow casters.
Although there’s still a lot to be done in the game, it’s nice to see that it has come as far as it has.
The devlog can be seen here for those interested in a blast from the past: https://www.indiedb.com/games/atmocity/news/progress-update-5-atmocity

To update on current matters though. This week has been almost solely focused on squashing bugs and optimizing the game. With the amount of new things added over the past few months, it’s been high time to take a step back on feature additions and trying to fix some old and annoying bugs.

Change log:

– City hall building added.
– Halloween prop added. More time specific props will be added over time.
– New vactrack icons.

– Fixed bug where sometimes loading a city from the main menu would stall.
– Fix for bug where roadtiles on bridges would not connect to road network on loaded cities.
– Fix for bug where destructed bridges would leave surrounding road tiles unaffected.
– Fix for bug where buildings would sometimes not connect to roads when loading cities. This might still occur in rare situations.
– Bug where notices would not move out smoothly fixed.
– Fix for building props not being removed correctly when demolishing.
– Further optimization when demolishing several buildings at the same time.
– Minor slowdown from sound stopping when demolishing a building playing an ambient sound fixed.
– Performance when deregistering cars when owner building has been demolished improved.
Known issues: Traffic is being optimized and a few bugs are being ironed out, so there’s unexpected behaviour at times.

One issue has been with bridges not registering road tiles properly and messing up buildings registering to a road network. There’s still an issue that sometimes buildings will still not connect to a proper road network, but it should be all but fixed now.

Here’s an image of my test build, fittingly featuring lots of bridges:

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The city hall building has been added. Currently it doesn’t do anything except swallow some mid skilled workers, but it will be given a proper function fairly soon. As can be seen in the following images, I’ve also added a bit of a halloween theme (temporary of course):

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Another bug that has been fairly tricky to find a solution to was that sometimes cities would not load, instead the game would freeze on the loading screen. This has finally been fixed. I’ve also found some sources of performance issues, among them fading out sounds when buildings are demolished and deregistering cars that belong to demolished buildings. These issues are now fully fixed, which cuts down lag when destroying buildings, especially when destroying many at a time. I’ve also managed to fix the multi destruct bug that was particularly noticable when destroying many mini zones.

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Traffic still shows off some odd behaviour, which will be given some time next week. Hopefully I can improve performance further too, although it is pretty performant as is. Next week I will also go back to working on inflation, currency and wages, getting a proper implementation in. This will be a stepping stone towards adding some new policy options and adding more economic management options. Until next time!

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Small update

Small update

Hello!

This week’s update will be rather brief, as there’s not been a whole lot of visible progress. I’m working towards improving performance in some of the newer features as well as fixing some existing bugs.

Among the few new things added are the mini-size commercial zones. So now you can fill in those left over areas with commercial zones. As they won’t grow into bigger buildings, they don’t provide that many workplaces for your citizens, but they also don’t have many demands.

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The mini-size industrial buildings have also been added:

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The bonds and currency panel is in development still. I’ve started adding in the option to set interest rates, which affects inflation. Currently, the whole system is still in the works, so it is currently not generally necessary to make adjustments.

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With the ongoing development on currency, trading prices are now affected by the value of currency. This means that when the currency value is low, it is expensive to import goods, but beneficial to export. When the currency has a high value, imports will be relatively cheaper, but exports will suffer.

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As mentioned, focus this week has been on optimization and bug fixes. A bug that has been around quite some time is that buildings would sometimes not display the correct amount of production. This should now be fixed, and the entire system calculating production and consumption has been optimized and simplified a bit.
Another long lived bug is that buildings would sometimes incorrectly receive a penalty for a nearby bad building when loading cities. This has finally been fixed.

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Atmocity version 0.14 is live!

Atmocity version 0.14 is live!

Hello!

Version 0.14 is now live.

Changelog:

Features:
– Trade overhauled. If you had active trades in your save file, then these will disappear. There have been quite a few changes made to the underlying systems (demand, pricing etc.) so there may be glitches!
– Resource demand. Global demand for goods now affect pricing. Global demands are divided into four groups, raw materials, building materials, foods and consumer goods. Demand for each resource follows the group demand, but with a random offset.
– Goods tickets are in. These are bigger orders for resources that give rewards like resources or modifiers.
– Small family homes/businesses/industry implemented.
– Local economy factor added. Ensure that conglomerates are kept happy (don’t demolish their buildings, deliver goods via goods tickets and keep taxes on a fair level) to ensure that production of consumer goods and services are kept high.
– First iteration of inflation and currency value added. There will be more additions to this in the upcoming few weeks. Initially it won’t affect gameplay much, instead values are fixed. National bank building required to unlock bonds. The UI will see several changes in the upcoming few weeks.
– Corkscrew pieces for vactrack added. Icons will be updated in the next version.
– Because issuing bonds now requires a National bank building (which is available at 10k population) when you reach minuscredits you are allowed one emergency loan to get things going.

UI:
– UI performance increased.
– Open objective panel on start of campaign level.
– Fixed tutorial text panel being offscreen on certain resolutions.
– UI can now be hidden.
– Fix for hint texts for windows being cut off.
– Updated hint texts for trade to accomodate new trade and bonds options.
– Food production tier added to econopedia input/output info.

Minor bugs/glitches/fixes/changes:
– Long term trade bug where resources would not be sold or purchased fixed.
– Fixed missing texture for medium sized industrial building (mid density).
– Spawn conditions changed for crates. Crates only spawn once the city has grown to a specific size.
– Fixed issue with challenge achievement being granted if five campaign levels had been completed (due to loading the wrong data).
– Mid tier industry bug fixed. Lack of firedepartment penalty counted twice.
– Performance when demolishing several buildings at a time improved. More work on this is required.
– Carbon power plant carbon consumption lowered (8 -> 4).

Localisation:
– Brushed up on german achievement localisation.
– Adjusted a few achievement names slightly.

Controls:
– Possible fix for camera moving long distances when there’s an FPS hickup. More work will be done on this.
– Reset to default controls option added in optionsmenu (bottom button that says “Allow tilt”, reference to the wrong text element, will be fixed for the next update).
– Fix for camera jerkiness and spinning out of control when looking straight up or down when tilt i disabled (which it is by default).

Tutorials:
– Updated movement tutorial.
– Added basic production into the humble beginnings tutorial.

Other:
– Reverted to TAA from SMAA.
– Goods requirements for schools dropped.
– Base trade prices increased. Resources will cost more, but also allow for greater profits when trading.
– Achievement “Dopey” renamed.
– Added field of view option in options menu.
– Added some atmofleet bling.

The central change of this version is an overhaul of trade. This was initially scheduled for mid october, but it seemed vital to get this implemented earlier to make sense of other upcoming changes (currency, inflation etc.).
Goods tickets are also finally in. Completing these will grant resources and modifiers and also make conglomerates happy, which boosts production for a while. Tweaks in the reward structure will be made over the upcoming few updates.

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On the subject of currency and inflation, a first, very early iteration has now been implemented. Currently these additions do not affect gameplay much as the values input are fairly consistent. As such, there shouldn’t be any major surprises with stuff like sudden onset of hyper inflation.

:p

Since currency and inflation is tied in with bonds, the national bank building is required to unlock bonds. This means it’s not possible to loan money in cities with less than 10k population (this is the prereq. for the national bank building). As an extra precaution, an emergency loan is granted to the player once, if credits go below 0.

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I’ve continued working on tutorials and controls. The changes to the controls are mostly to ensure that what is there functions well and behaves the way one might expect. There’s been a rotation issue when the camera faces straight up or down that has now been fixed. This should prevent sudden jerkiness and unexpected behaviour.
The tutorials have been expanded to include some more information. The controls tutorial has been cleaned up a bit more and the combination of spinning and panning has been added as a hint. This is a movement option I find is one of the most efficient ways of getting around in the game along with just panning and using WASD.
The Humble beginning tutorial has been given a small building materials tutorial. In one of the upcoming updates in october, I will be adding a more intermediate tutorial that delves deeper into production and other resource and trade related topics.

There are some QoL improvements in this version too, FOV slider, the ability to hide the HUD, being able to reset controls to default (although the I missed the button text element on this one… d’oh!).
I’ve taken time to also make some minor brush ups here and there. The atmofleets now have some additional bling with trails and particle effects when landing and taking off.

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The vactrack system now also has a slightly inclined turn piece that can be used to make cork screw like tracks.
Make sure to take motion sickness pills before getting on this commute.

;)


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As can be seen, there are a few items that were initially planned for this version that didn’t make it in. The mini commercial and industrial buildings among others. This was a tradeoff for getting the trade overhaul in earlier.
Moving forward, the next few updates will be posted weekly, starting the 29th of september, then october 6th and october 13th. These updates will be smaller, and focused a bit more on consolidating feature additions made up until now. So they will be less feature heavy and more geared towards fixing issues and improving newer features.

One week until 0.14

One week until 0.14

Hello!

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.

w37a.png

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

:p

). 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.

w37b.png

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.

:)
w37c.png

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.

w37d.png

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.

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Road to 0.14

Road to 0.14

Hello!

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.

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W36b.png

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.

W36c.png

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.

W36d.png

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.

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