The next update is progressing very well and I wanted to cover some additional details of what to expect in Alpha 0.17.
Updated Attribute System
As mentioned in a previous developer log, I’ve been working on adding equipment that can be installed/equipped to affect colonists, machines and vehicles. This has taken a bit longer then expected, but the end result will offer a wide range of upgrade possibilities. Originally, equipment was planned for vehicles, but with improvements to some core systems, I’m able to add equipment items that can also affect vehicles, colonists and objects.
Some time ago, I created an attribute system for colonists. Attributes function as a container for a data value and effects. An effect object modifies the attribute data value, such as quirks, ailments and general positive/negative effects. Attributes were later tacked on to vehicles in a less than ideal way. Objects/machinery didn’t use attributes at all.
I have now revamped this system to allow colonists, vehicles and objects to use attributes in a more consistent manner. This means that equipment can target these attributes to allow for boosts to everything, instead of just vehicles.
Many types of equipment will be made available in Alpha 0.17, with more planned for future updates. Objects, vehicles and colonists will now have equipment slots. Equipment items must be found, or crafted, and then installed. In the case of objects/machines, the equipment will be picked up and installed by a builder after it’s been assigned. Vehicle equipment will require that the vehicle is docked and, once assigned, will be installed by an engineer at the vehicle assembly station.
Equipment selection will only show available equipment for the selected target. For example, a Power Efficiency item can’t be equipped by a human colonist.
Hover vehicles are being added which allow for traversal over water. These new vehicles will need some additional research and surface materials.
Alpha 0.17 is coming along very well and I hope to release it into the Test Build branch soon. A huge thanks for all the support and feedback!
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A huge thanks for all the support and feedback. There are a lot of things on my to-do list, but I wanted to go over some of the targeted content for the next update and beyond.
The discoveries interface is undergoing a bit of a face lift. I added quite a few new discovery items in Alpha 0.15, and I plan to add quite a few more. I’m updating the interface to be a bit cleaner and more functional.
Discovery items will be listed on the left, grouped by category. Categories can be opened and closed to more easily find discovery items you’re looking for. New discoveries will be highlighted in yellow so they are also easier to find. Category headers will show the category’s completion percentage, as discovery items will no longer show until they’ve been found. The category percentage will indicate whether more discoveries are available, or if the category is completed.
Improved Craft Queue
Something that has been on my to-do list for a while is improving the craft queue system. The current system doesn’t offer much control, and its operation is confusing to some new users. The updated craft queue system will allow you to manage item orders.
Item orders can be setup to craft a certain number of items, or only to craft the item if there are fewer than a certain number of the item available. Instead of setting an item to infinite quantity, as in the previous system, you can set how many you want to keep in stock. If there are more items than the desired number you’ve set, the colonists won’t craft the item again until the inventory drops below the set number. Item orders can also be paused and resumed at any time.
The sequence that items are crafted in still uses the round-robin method. Colonists will craft one of the first item, then one of the second item, and so on, until all item orders are complete.
While working on the vehicle system for planetary exploration, I had planned to add vehicle upgrades. While that plan has not changed, the scope of it has increased to allow for a wider range of upgrade items. This new system will allow the creation and discovery of equipment items that can be installed into vehicles, colonists and machines to affect them in various ways. Machine equipment, for example, can’t be equipped by a colonist.
Vehicle equipment will offer improvements such as faster movement speed, faster mining, the ability to cross water/mountains and more. Equipment for objects will affect power consumption, decor rating, double output for craft stations and more. Colonist equipment will improve various attributes.
I’m still hammering out the details of how this system will integrate into the game. I’ve made some good progress and this will add many more items to craft and find.
Surface Map Points Of Interest
A big item on the to-do list is to add more exploration opportunities to the surface map. Points of interest, or POIs, will be locations on the map that can be further investigated. POIs will need to be scanned by a DOGE and, in various cases, will need to be further investigated by an expedition party of colonists. POI investigations will function as mini stories/events that will offer the player a choice about how to handle them. The results will be positive or negative, depending on the player’s expedition party and choices.
This is a system I’m very excited about, as it will add more story content, as well as more ways to get rare loot and discoveries.
Game events will add more flavor with positive and negative colonist and world events that are randomly triggered. This is something I’ve been wanting to add to the game for a long time, but I wanted to avoid completely random events that they player may find frustrating. Events can affect the world, such as crop disease, or affect a specific colonist, such as a stress reduction for a given time.
I’m very excited about the new content in development. Some of the features mentioned above won’t make it into Alpha 0.17, but there is some great content coming. Be sure to let me know what you think of the new content in development.
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Alpha 0.15 was a big update and, now that I’ve fixed its critical issues, I’ve hit the ground running on more content. Various additions, changes and improvements are on the way. Let’s take a look.
Thermal vents have been added to the underground map and can be tapped for power. The new Geothermal Generator can be placed on top of a thermal vent and will generate 2,000W of power without requiring fuel. There are a limited amount of thermal vents, depending on map size.
Thermal vents will be spawned in existing saved games as well.
A new research progress meter has been added to the HUD next to the power/water meters. Now you’ll see at a glance what is being researched and its progress. This new meter is also a button to open the research tree.
Various tool-tips have been updated to provide more information and clarity. The job tool-tip, for example, will show the work speed bonus provided to each job based on the job level.
Vehicle Drop Off Items Action
The beetle miner will get a new drop off items action. This allows you to drop off materials, to the adjacent facility, from the miner’s inventory without having to dock the vehicle.
I’ve taken a deep dive into the AI code to improve various behaviors and optimize how colonists determine actions. Builders will now collect and deliver items to multiple objects before performing construction. This greatly improves construction efficiency as it reduces colonists going back and forth collecting construction materials for each object.
In addition to adding new content, I’m always working to resolve existing issues. Many fixes are already in place for the next update, such as the missing wheat thorn discovery, vehicles still moving despite being out of power, vehicle camera tracking and more.
Thank you all for the awesome feedback and support!
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