source: https://theuniversim.com/november-update/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;Greetings citizens!
The Crytivo team has been working hard since the successful completion of our Kickstarter campaign back in May and would now like to take this opportunity to address you, the community, with an update on The Universim. Firstly, we would like to thank all of you for your continued support and the fantastic posts on our forums and social media outlets. It’s just amazing to read everything you have to say. If you’re interested in reaching out to us, you can find us on:
PROMETHEUS ENGINE – WHAT CAN IT DO?
As you know, The Universim is a game about building up a civilization, exploring the boundaries of space, and surviving on the many planets you discover throughout the universe. To do this, we require an engine, which we’ve dubbed Prometheus, to handle the algorithms for generating planets and their composition. Preparing and designing Prometheus has been our main focus recently, seeing as it is a crucial milestone that will allow us to create resources, biomes, weather, and much more with ease and then combine all of that into generating new and unique planets for your civilization to discover. In other words, dynamic planets are awesome and we’re implementing them ASAP.
Currently, Prometheus is able to generate basic unique planets by forming a random planet mesh (hills, water, etc.) and layering it with biomes, which determines how world objects are distributed based on their own rules; for example, a palm tree would be found in a desert biome and not the forest. Right now we base all our biomes and objects off Earth-like environments, but this system will essentially allow us to create whatever we want. Feel free to share some suggestions with us!
Weather is another major aspect of any planet that is under construction by a dedicated developer. Right now, Prometheus can handle basic weather such as wind, clouds, and rain. We plan on making this system dynamic to allow us to create different types of weather (acid rain, anyone?) that spawn based on conditions such as temperature and biome composition. This means that you might find a few surprises when you first step onto the surface of a new planet … you better be prepared! I know we keep saying that, but darnit virtual people’s lives are at stake here!
Prometheus is also responsible for controlling character objects in real time pathfinding, such as allowing workers to navigate the landscape in search for resources or animals, as well as aliens (and other beasties) to stalk those workers as prey. HERE’S WHAT 200 LUMBERJACKS LOOK LIKE.
PROMETHEUS ENGINE – WHAT’S NEXT?
Although there is still much more to be done, Prometheus is in a solid enough state now to allow us to refocus our efforts on implementing gameplay mechanics. We will, however, continue to polish Prometheus and currently have some developers working on finalizing the weather system.
After releasing the prototype to the community, we essentially had to rework the foundations of the game since the prototype was a focus on visuals and atmosphere rather than gameplay. Since then, we have been working on implementing mechanics that will be available with the alpha at a later date. We do this by designing the first gameplay experience that we want players to go through, which involves starting a new civilization in the Stone Age.
To sum up what mechanics are currently implemented:
Starting the game, we generate a new planet called Mother Planet. This is a default planet type that will be used at the start of the game in order to familiarize the player with the mechanics and is comparable to Earth.
You can choose where to place an epicenter for your starting civilization, and doing so will spawn two workers.
Workers are assigned jobs through the epicenter, which are prioritized by default but can be tweaked by the player. We have completed a large chunk behind the job logic, and currently they focus on gathering resources and maintaining worker’s health.
We also have a basic model editor implemented which we will use to allow players to customize and paint models.
Right now, our developers are completing their current milestone that will polish the first gameplay elements, which include the job system and worker AI. This will pave the way for us to begin adding new content, unique buildings, and behavior.
GAMEPLAY – NEXT MILESTONE
Our design team has planned the next milestone, which will focus on the population fluctuation of an epicenter, and can be summarized as:
Months will be used to track temperature change and create seasons on the planet. They will also be important time points where epicenters will trigger things like changes in population growth.
Population growth will be based on a variety of factors, but for this milestone we will focus simply on food consumption; if there is not enough food to feed the population at the end of each month, people will begin to die.
As population increases, houses will be constructed. Construction will allow workers to gather resources from local warehouses and will allow us to create the foundations for adding all building types.
We aim to create two key buildings: farms and eateries. Key buildings are special, functional buildings that the player will be able to place on behalf of the epicenter. Eventually, we will allow epicenters to be influenced to do certain tasks, such as construction, and they may or may not listen!
Farms will allow workers to grow crops and store them at nearby warehouses.
Eateries will allow workers to satisfy their hunger needs.
Worker statistics will be polished and include their hunger, stamina, and health. As they complete jobs assigned by the epicenter, they will be required to rest and eat or risk losing health and eventually dying. Players will be able to view the ID card of any worker to see how they’re doing.
As certain population milestones are reached, workers will find a mate and … well, you know what happens next. But most importantly, player’s will be able to expand their workforce!
The idea of creating procedural environments with many objects on a sphere proved to be a challenge from the technical side of art. Simply put, it does not allow us to use conventional approaches for many things, thus special optimization features and shaders are specifically created for Prometheus. Our 3D models continue to evolve as we iterate on our visual style to find the perfect balance between visual fidelity and performance.
To help understand our visual style, as well as assist in visualizing the design of features, we create concept art for nearly everything. Here are some of our latest concepts with a little explanation of their purpose:
Our animal models have undergone an overhaul, adding more polygons and shaping them to be a bit more lifelike than before.
Epicenters are marked with some monumental object and this is a concept of what a starting epicenter might look like in the Stone Age. Whenever an epicenter is placed, it will come with a mini warehouse, called a stockpile. This is where your workers will temporarily store gathered resources and where they will also have to retrieve resources to be used in construction or supplying other key buildings. Eventually, warehouses can be built and placed closer to heavy resource areas.
Towers are key buildings that epicenters can use to defend their borders from danger. These will require a guard type worker to operate and be responsible for spotting any distant workers in trouble.
Farms are another important key building that will allow epicenters to grow their own food. Like nearly all key buildings, they will be upgradable to increase certain aspects about them.
Workers can take on any job that the epicenter requires of them, and each job will change the look of that worker. Over time, workers will also become hungry and be required to eat. The best option is to seek out an available eatery, a key building that will satisfy a worker’s hunger for much longer than if that worker had to resort to scavenge for food.
We know the question a lot of people are asking is, “When will the alpha be available?”
Firstly, we would like to continue being an independent team of passionate developers who can take the time to develop the game that we all will love without having to put limits on our creativity due to time. Because of this, and despite receiving quite a few offers from private investors and big publishers, we have declined more than 2.5 million dollars of investments due to unappealing contracts.
Overall, our development process has been moving slower than we had expected, mainly because we’re implementing the features the way we envisioned and in a way we hope you will enjoy. However, the process has been very strong and healthy as we continue to pour our love and effort into The Universim and continue to bring on more members to the team; recently we have welcomed two more 3D artists! We also hope to be attending various game conventions in the new year so perhaps we will even get to meet some of you in person!
We know you can’t wait to get your hands on the Alpha build and we will to do our best to deliver it to you as soon as we can. But since this is our first game as a team, we want make sure we will deliver best quality experience to you guys, so please allow us take time to build the best planet management game ever. In order to make the waiting process a little less stressful, we have decided to share some of our game design documents with you! Our game designers are currently organising a few, and we will share the links with you pretty soon. We want you to be a part of the development process, so please leave comments and suggestions for new features that you want to see implemented.
Thank you again for your awesome support! We will continue to work on the game every day, or for some of us, every night, and hope that you will enjoy this crazy ride with us. So far The Universim community has been very supportive and kind, which has motivated us tremendously!
Please follow us on our social channels for smaller day-to-day updates and join discussions on the forums! We hope to give you the opportunity to try what we’ve been working on soon via the alpha version of the game, so stay tuned for more updates!
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source: https://theuniversim.com/december-update/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;MILESTONE 2
We have faced a great challenge of dealing with the time scale of The Universim, and are still reading and analysing your suggestions on our latest Community Lab. If you haven’t already, head over to the forums to participate in the discussion!
We’ve currently set that aside for now and have moved onto implementing some core features into the game. From our last chat, we had just about finished creating a wind map that will indicate wind direction on the planet. Seeing as clouds and such move along these currents, we wanted to give players some visual cues in the hope that it may offer an early warning of danger.
Since then, the wind map has been integrated quite well with the new cloud system. Here’s what it looks like:
To help gauge the temperature of the biomes, we’ve also created a new heatmap. This will be vital when exploring new planets with undiscovered biomes to avoid any…incidents. Of course, this will not be available immediately, and research will be required to unlock and use this feature in the final game. Here’s a sneak peek:
We are really excited to say that epicenters have begun to expand! We have recently added a new worker job type, builders. These workers will be responsible for constructing buildings and expanding the epicenter with houses. Depending on the priorities set for population growth, builders will continue to expand the epicenter as resources allow, first dropping the resources at the site before constructing the house and increasing the population by a set amount.
Here is a rough look at it in motion. However, we want to stress that this is still a work in progress and we will continue to polish and add proper animations as we go along:
With epicenters now expanding, we have started working on worker reproduction. One of the main methods of obtaining new workers is by reaching population milestones; whenever the epicenter reaches a certain population, it will trigger two workers to seek each other out and create a baby.
The baby will stay with the mother until it grows old enough to join the workforce and become a new available asset. Worker aging is a goal we aim to incorporate in the game, as well as the concept of families, though we will tackle that further down the road.
Also remaining in this milestone is the introduction of our first key buildings, farms and eateries. The first step will be to allow the player the option to have the epicenter construct these buildings by marking the location; this feature will also mean we will start introducing a proper UI to the game, something that we’ve been lacking for quite a while.
In our next update, we hope to have a few animations to showcase regarding this, which brings us to the end of milestone 2!
Our artists remain hard at work, and we would like to share some of the things they’ve been working on. One of our technical artists has created a clutter system that will allow us to populate the ground with things such as grass, rubble, and other debris based on camera position and distance:
Our models have been undergoing a scaling overhaul to make sure they look proportional to one another and the workers. This should offer a glimpse of some of those models and how the artists have been modifying them:
Lastly, here is a small look at some new concept pieces for upcoming models and features, including a preview of some new alien plant life!
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source: https://theuniversim.com/febupdate/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;Lastly, we were recently approached by DECK 13 INTERACTIVE and had a great chat with them. They are interested in helping out indie developers on projects and we talked about the possibility of getting their experience in The Universim. Nothing has been decided yet, and we’re discussing internally, but we will let you know if anything major happens.
In this update, we will be focusing on the worker behaviors that we’re both working on and have planned down the pipe. Please note that this is all work in progress and features may change later on.
As you know by now, workers will be the workforce of your civilization and accomplish tasks based on the epicenter needs. Workers are assigned to specific roles, each with their part to play:
Workers can be selected and will come with a handy ID card that gives a brief summary:
Health is the workers lifeline. If this reaches zero, the worker will die!
Hunger will drain over time and will affect the worker’s overall mood and productivity. It’s important that workers feed themselves at the epicenter to maintain their health.
Stamina will deplete as the worker completes tasks – more so if the task is tough. This stat will affect the worker’s movement and combat speed and workers will need to rest to maintain their energy.
The combat system hasn’t yet been finalized, so these stats are currently in conceptual design. While our goal is to not make The Universim into a combat, real time strategy game, combat will still play an important role.
When a worker is created and in their adulthood, they will generate some base combat stats. These stats will change, however, based on modifiers from their current job role. For example, a Guard will have more courage than a mere Farmer.
Workers, and any creature, will have a persistent field of perception that will allow them to “see” others around them. This will allow workers to spot threats and decide whether to engage or flee.
The willingness to engage in combat is based on the courage of both parties. This can be combined with nearby friendly units to raise the collective courage enough to take on even the scariest of foes.
Simply put, will determine the amount of damage the worker does.
Opposite of strength, will help reduce the amount of damage taken.
Determines both how often the unit will attack, and how likely they will avoid incoming damage. The worker’s stamina will effect this stat.
Most of the time, worker’s will be focused on their assigned roles in the epicenter. To help control where the focus of the workforce is placed, players will be able to open up an epicenter’s priority panel:
Using a system of sliders, players can assign basic workers to high level roles to keep the epicenter in motion. However, more important and unique roles will be assigned through other means which we will talk about in a later update.
What’s important to note is the workers productivity portion. Here, the epicenter can be told how hard the workers should work. Will workers be forced to work longer before resting and eating or will they be able to relax more often?
But what is a workforce without more workers?
As epicenters grow in population, workers will come together and … well, mate.
In the future, we would like to implement a family system, where workers will share last names, have spouses and where children will inherit the statistics of their parents.
Eventually, if workers survive long enough,, they will die from old age. We aim to allow players to create the key building cemetery which will allow workers (and families) to bury the deceased and mourn for them. Bodies left to rot might carry diseases so it will be important to have a few cemeteries around.
Thank you for joining us in this latest update. We have recently completeled our second milestone and had a successful build review of where we’re at. In the near future, we plan to share a milestone update with the community so you can see what we have planned next!
In the current development stage of The Universim, we have begun placing huge emphasis on the survival aspect found in the earlier ages. In fact, various survival elements echo throughout the game, but many can be overcome through the development of new research and technology as you progress. In the Stone Age, for instance, the biggest threats to your civilization will be the dynamic weather system, wild animals, hunger, and natural disasters. All of these factors link together in some way, and will force you to plan well in advance if you want your population to survive these harsh and unforgiving conditions.
In this update, we will be discussing one of the many key buildings that will assist in the survival of your civilization. This will give you a good idea of how much depth goes into every feature, no matter how small. We’d also like to take this opportunity to talk about farming in The Universim. Time to slap on them overalls, everyone! You’ve probably seen the current farm model in previous updates, but the time has finally come to give it some spotlight. One day, we took a look at our drawing board, erased a few rather inappropriate additions, and began shaping this feature into something that would work flawlessly with the rest of the game’s systems. There were a lot of different ideas kicking around; some funny and interesting, a few strange but exciting ones, and a couple ranging from just being too darn cute and simple, to something so deeply immersive and complex that players could probably forget about the rest of the planet altogether and just have a ton of fun managing their farms. We took all of it into consideration, and were left with one simple question: Are we putting too much thought into this? So the Farming Chapter began…
In the Stone Age, hunger and extreme temperatures will be the main enemies of your civilization. You know, besides all of the other crazy threats out there that have nothing to do with farming and are thus being ignored right now. It’s extremely important to research and build farms on the planet as quickly as possible, so as to combat these factors. Farms provide a sufficient quantity of food to keep your population stocked up on the energy and nutrients they need to survive, even during winter (depending on the crops). Without farms, your people will try to live off the land as best they can, but winters will make food scarce and difficult to find when the time comes. Farms will cost you resources to build and maintain, and will also require workers to operate them at all times. If so much as one of these requirements are not met, farms will stop generating food. Every new farm comes with a single plot on which you will be able to plant any crops you desire, and can be upgraded to create additional plots.
There will be a good variety of different crops to choose from. Each will have its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, one kind can produce a lot of food when harvested, but will be very sensitive to a change in temperature. If you do not pay attention to the weather prediction system, and you plant a particular kind of crop in the wrong time of year, your harvest will die and your population will be at risk of starvation. On the flip side, a different crop can be unaffected by the weather/temperature and still manage to produce a good amount of food, but it will take much longer to grow.
Our goal is to give you as much choice as possible, but at the same time, we want to develop systems that will challenge you and make you plan your next steps carefully. Farms will have a number of unique unlocks and upgrades that will help you to protect your harvest from negative conditions. In every era, there will be many unique upgrades that will not only change the way you play the game, but will also change the actual appearance of your buildings and civilization. Our concept designers and 3D modelers are hard at work every day implementing these features into the design of our evolving buildings.
source: https://theuniversim.com/676/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;