Well, it has been quite a busy week. After The Collapse, alongside it’s first (obligatory week 1) patch got released on Steam. It fixed a lot of issues with job priorities and the balance in general while adding some nifty things like repair zones. You can take a look at the changelog here. Another patch should follow this week, fixing the remaining issues that have been reported to us while adding some requested features. After that, we’ll start working on 0.5 (while delivering smaller patches when we can afford to do so).
Plans for After The Collapse 0.5
I will only be mentioning the main arcs here, not every single small gameplay or menu tweak. It should take, in itself, about 1 to 2 months to write, not taking into account the time spent on patching the current version, which might take roughly another month on its own. The 0.5 release will also coincide with our first price increase, setting the price at $9.99/€8.99 once we’ve ironed out the bugs.
This version’s major goal is to implement the main building block we’ll need for the rest of the development, namely the ability to handle multiple maps (or scenes) simultaneously. We’ll be testing said feature by implementing an underground layer below the base (Sewer or caverns). This zone will contain new resources and hostiles, and will be made buildable as well. We’re implementing it early because we’ll be relying on this system quite a lot in the future with the addition of underground bases, the world map, and more varied threats. All of which require a working multi-map system to be put in place first.
While most of the feature is already ready in the underlying engine, I still have to implement proper multi-scene path-finding. I’ll also have to make sure it won’t break the economic system. It will also need a serious optimization pass if I want to make all of that run smoothly.
Interior vs Exterior
Right now, ATC doesn’t make a difference between interior and exterior tiles. We’ll aim to change that in this release. That way, we’ll be able to restrict some buildings to specific locations (solar panels and farms on the outside, for instance). More importantly, it will open the path for radiation, and “hostile” weather patterns. Additionally, it will allow us to “hide” some building interiors to make scavenging a bit more eventful.
Farming, once setup, is presently a “fire & forget” activity. And since 0.4.1, food is extremely easy to produce and stockpile after the first few days. From my point of view, it’s because the system is too static and farms will always produce a reliable quantity of ingredients (and seeds) at regular intervals, like the little automatons they are. While it’s not inherently a bad thing, it’s still very simplistic and gives me very little leeway when trying to adjust food production, limit stockpiling and so on. That’s why we’ll be adding water requirements, soil quality, fertilizer, and different needs for different crops as a preliminary overhaul. Those different inputs will give us multiple way to influence food production over time. It will also path the way for other planned updates.
Depending on how quickly things are going, we will also consider including other features. Namely, an early game tutorial, improved military settings and proper fire handling and spreading.
A Few Words
I am pretty happy with how things are going so far. The reception on Steam has been very positive, the code-base is quite solid and there’s nothing I can identify as a show stopper for now. Sure, the initial version was a bit flimsy, but the recent patch seems to have addressed the bulk of the issues. No crashes, no instability have been reported and full modding support is also on its way.
As usual, we’ll keep you posted about the development 🙂