As you may have noticed, I have been relatively quiet in the past few months. It’s no secret I have been coding in the meantime on a second game. It’s now in a shape allowing me to start talking about it in more details and resume writing devlogs. This game, which has yet to be named, is a colony management game. I will detail my goals, progress and distribution plans in this first devlog. No screenshot or video yet, sorry. 🙂
Your goal will be to build and maintain a colony in a hostile post-apocalyptic setting. It is inspired by RimWorld, Dwarf Fortress and STALKER. It will be released on Windows platforms. A Linux build is possible, but I cannot make any promise at this time.
The game will ask you to select a procedurally generated area to build your base and to select a varying amount of settlers. From that point onward you give those settlers orders from a top down 2D interface similar to Prison Architect’s one. They’ll have to scavenge and mine for resources in order to build fortifications, living accommodations, and factories. Furthermore, your colony will occasionally be attacked by a variety of hostile groups.
While it may be a bit early to estimate accurately, colonies should handle a decent number of settlers (30 to 80?). The framework I made can also handle multiple locations simultaneously, as such the game will likely feature mining/exploration of an underground plane, and missions outside of the colony itself.
Those are the minimal features, I plan to progressively add much more than that.
- Build a large colony in a hostile environment
- Large amount of unique colonists to take care of
- Underground area to explore and exploit
- Build walls, turrets, weapons and armors to repel invaders
- Diplomacy and trading with other computer generated factions
- Resource collection with a focus on scavenging instead of mining
- Modding Support
Right now, the basics are working. I can generate a random terrain with housing and resources, settlers will use the houses to sleep and eat, I can order them to build new walls and furniture, they can equip and use weapons and armors. A system to convert items/resources into others is in place. The game also handles light sources and a day/night cycle.
At the interactive objects and furniture level, I’m using a customizable system of individual components (lighting source, storage, resource converter, turret, …) which can be mixed together to make more complex objects: for instance a TV can provide entertainment and a small light when being used. I have factories to convert basic resources into something more useful, and i’m in the process of implementing storage zones.
Settlers know how to respond to build commands and will fetch the resources appropriately. When left at their own devices, behaviors are still crude, they will satisfy their needs of sleep, recreation and food, granted a solution is available. They will also defend themselves when under attack. This is not an area that has been worked on much yet. Interactions, moods and character traits are planned, of course.
Armors, damage types and customizable weapons are implemented too.
Graphically, it’s a 2D top down view using a simple style. Settlers can be animated, and visible body parts (hands, head, body) can moved individually. Equipped items and armors are visible on the body. The user interface has not been working on much yet. It is handling customizable key bindings, video and sound settings alongside the ability to build and raze objects.
On a more technical level, the game is made in C# using the MonoGame framework for the rendering and audio parts. It should work on the vast majority of computers properly. The data (everything from animations to settler definition files) is stored into json text files consequently making the game easy to mod.
With the changes to the Steam reviews system where 3rd party customers’ reviews are no longer counting toward the score, it’s hard to justify posting the game on smaller stores like itch.io first to test the water. It caused a significant dip in Unending Galaxy‘s average review score and that’s something i’d like to avoid this time.
As such the early access version will likely be made available on Steam and itch.io simultaneously, with other stores possibly following suite.
Also, asking price will be lower during EA, and gradually increase toward a $12-20 ball park for the official 1.0 release.
Follow the development
I am going to resume the posting of design documentation and progress updates on a semi regular basis. Not all those devlogs will be advertised on Unending Galaxy’s steam community pages. So, if you’re coming from there and wish to follow the development, you can be notified by Email or using a RSS reader as explained at the bottom of this page.