To mark After The Collapse’s first anniversary, I am very happy to release the the largest update for the game to date. With close to 90 changes, improvements and bug-fixes, there’s a lot to go over. As usual, I will keep this post focused on the major things and you can refer to the full change-log is at the very end for a more complete overview.
This update should be made available on every store in the coming hours. Also note that this update will break compatibility with save-games from previous versions.
World Map and Expeditions
This is the core new gameplay feature in this update. The map and expeditions have been tied together and improved. You can refer to this article for the nitty-gritty details, but the major points are the following:
- Destinations are now proper locations on the map and there are several instances of each.
- The travel duration and difficulty depends on the world map and what’s between your base and the destination.
- Destinations can run out of resources (that will take a while, don’t worry).
- New tech tree to increase your travel speed and your reach.
- Ability to search for survivors and resources simultaneously.
- New destinations (mines, lumber mills) and tweaked existing ones.
- Special events can happen during the scavenging part of the expeditions.
The associated user interface has also been tweaked to accommodate the changes. You select the destination on the world map, which will also show travel information whenever relevant. Also, I added health and carry capacity information to your group. And, while at it, I fixed some minor rendering issues on the world map itself.
The diplomatic screen introduced in the previous version was bare-bone, to say the least. I took some time to flesh out both the menu and the factions themselves. Each faction got its own leader selected from a pool, and their own history they’ll generally be happy to tell you about.
A new faction has been added too, the Mutants. They are green, big and mean. Right now they behave like other standard factions, except that their “citizen” are green and fans of pipe weapons. You’ll meet them during the random raids (don’t worry, defending yourself won’t impact the opinion of the faction as a whole). And, yes, more will be done with the factions in the future, there’s a reason why they aren’t procedurally generated.
Again, it would take too long to list every little change here. Still, there’s a few nice features which deserve to be listed on their own:
- It is now possible to copy & paste settings from a storage zone to another.
- An optional “Research Completed!” popup has been added summarizing all the changes made by the technology.
- Many menus give way more information using better tool-tips (bio and character screen, recipe sub-menu, research menu)
As usual, the general goal is to show more useful information in less clicks. There’s still more to do here, of course, but it’s getting there. Hopefully, next stop will be to merge the combat & normal UI (with the ability to toggle that state for some survivors while keeping the rest of the UI unchanged), and multi selection for construction jobs.
Balance & Content
Pipe weapons are now a viable alternative to modern weapons. I added 2 new techs to unlock 4 new pipe weapons (smg, rifle, flamethrower, rocket launcher). As usual, they are slightly worse than their modern counter-parts, but they are much easier to produce and maintain. To make this change more effective, bandits will often use pipe-weapons themselves. Hopefully, it will make it more difficult for you to acquire mid and high tier modern weapons.
Fuel is now an item category containing our good old “charcoal” and the new and relatively rare “gasoline” resource. Gasoline is mostly used in the construction of flamer-thrower ammunition and can serve as fuel for a new Power Generator building. While i’m talking about new items, with the proper tech, you can now build metal fences, and flame-throwing turrets.
Plants & Weather Patterns
Weather can influence a lot more things than it could previously. It can change the ambient light, affect plants’ health, tweak the temperature, give traits to your survivors and so on. As such the “heat wave” is no longer a special event, but a somewhat rare weather pattern with roughly the same effects as the event itself.
Another new weather type is the “Acid Rain”. It will render anyone on the surface sick and will gradually damage the health of your plants. Of course, it’s a rare pattern that won’t trigger in the early game. To complete this feature, a plant’s health now influences how much you’ll be able to gather. It also means that “hostile” weather patterns will no longer “take the spot” of other potential events when it’s time for one to fire. It’s now perfectly possible to be raided or for a trader to visit during a heat-wave.
As you may have noticed by looking at the screenshot, graphics got an improvement pass too: survivors leave footprints on non constructed ground (grass and such) now. They will also be shown holding items whenever they are moving them around. And, granted you’ve placed small tables in front of your chairs in the dining, they’ll be placing whatever they are consuming on said table. “Hit” animations are also being played over some of the objects being “razed” (trees and big rocks).
Most of those graphical changes can be toggled on/off in the settings.
Music & Sound
It’s not a secret that After The Collapse’s sounds are lagging behind the rest of the development. While this update isn’t going to fix everything, it’s definitely a big step in the right direction. I’ve added 6 new music tracks for variety sake. More importantly, the soundscape (ambient sounds) got a bunch of new background tracks and effects. And yes, it means that the game will no longer be playing that “crow”track nearly as often.
There’s also about 40 new sound effects, dispatched between different buildings and activities. The general goal was to make things less repetitive. As such, there’s now 3 different effects for eating and drinking. New effects have been added to the basic kitchens, crafting stations, water purifiers, tinkering stations and electric kitchens. Same goes for most common actions, there are new sounds being played when removing trees, rocks and bushes. In the military area, single shot rifles and melee weapons got their own specific sound effects. Same thing for most of the of the fauna (spiders, lizards, mantis, crabs).
There’s plenty more planned in that area, but that will have to wait for a more dedicated update.
A Few Words
This is, by far, my largest update to date. With it, After the Collapse is really taking shape. I took extra time to get rid of most, if not all, of the bugs, big and small, I am aware of. I’ve also played the game in multiple settings for several hours using this version. Yet, with such a change-log, it’s pretty much impossible to be certain that every potential problem has been caught. So, do not hesitate to report any (new or old) issue arising in 0.6.5, I’ll patch them out as quickly as possible.
Expect another article in a week or two, giving out details about the next updates 🙂
- AI: Survivors will generally avoid walking over farms’ ground when not actively needing to
- AI: Doctors will no longer stop in the middle of an operation because they are somewhat hungry or bored
- Balance: After 2 days, a settlement with less beds (in total) than survivors will get a mood penalty proportional to the discrepancy
- Balance: Settlers can hold less stuff in their inventory (won’t impact base building much, but will impact expeditions)
- Balance: Reduced potato & rice food production a small bit (as it was getting kinda ridiculous)
- Balance: Bandits more likely to use a mix of pipe weapons instead of pre-collapse ones exclusively
- Balance: Increased shotguns and flamethrowers’ damage output
- Balance: Less extreme infestations: capped the max amount of creatures per room
- Balance: Rooms containing hostile creatures are highlighted in dark red to “simulate” the fact that your survivors can guess something is wrong
- Content: The whole expedition logic has been overhauled, see release post for details
- Content: Expeditions are now using real map locations when selecting a destination
- Content: The world map / expeditions have new special locations (mines, lumber mill, and so on)
- Content: Expedition destinations will run out of resources (right now it won’t impact your game much, if at all, it’s in preparation for future updates)
- Content: Several new technologies to expand expeditions’ range, size and travel speed
- Content: Added the Mutant faction
- Content: Added mutant raids (those mutants are not tied to the above faction and you won’t suffer repercussions for defending yourself)
- Content: New rare weather pattern “acid rains”, damaging plants and causing a debuff to people outside while it’s running
- Content: The “heat wave” is now a (rare) weather pattern instead of being an event
- Content: Added a few sources of wood to the underground (dead bushes in caverns, more crates in sewers)
- Content: Added metal fence “wall”. Blocks pathing, but let pass bullets and light (metallurgy tech)
- Content: The less healthy the plants in farms, the less food they will produce
- Content: Added “Craft small wooden statue” to the basic crafting station (lower trade value than stone statue, but cheaper & faster to make)
- Content: New item category “fuel source”, charcoal moved to this category (making it easier to have charcoal at the ready near the demand)
- Content: New Advanced Pipe Weapons tech leading to low tech smg & hunting rifles
- Content: New “Heavy Pipe Weapons” tech leading to low tech flamer & rpg launcher
- Content: Added “Gasoline” item (fuel source category, ofc)
- Content: Added gasoline fueled Generator to advanced electronics (2x duration and +50% power generation compared to a charcoal one)
- Content: Added recipe to convert fuel into ammo for flamethrower (under the explosive ammo technology)
- Content: Flamethrower turrets (under the advanced turrets technology)
- Content: Fleshed out each faction with their own dialogs and history
- Engine: Reduced CPU cost of playing/loading animations
- Engine: Minor performance improvements
- Engine: Properly tied up all the weather stuff together (weather data can now modify temperature, ambiant light, affect plants, give traits)
- Graphics: Expedition group (and destination) shown on the world map when relevant
- Graphics: In farms, unhealthy plants are shown with a brownish color
- Graphics: Survivors eating/drinking in front of a table will “spawn” the food on said table
- Graphics: Survivors moving items around will (generally) have said items being shown in their hands (can be toggled on/off in graphical settings)
- Graphics: Survivors leave footprints on non constructed ground (can be toggled on/off in graphical settings)
- Graphics: Added “hit” animations to some objects being disassembled/mined/chopped off (trees, rocks so far)
- Graphics: Preliminary improvements to world map rendering
- Graphics: Added faction leaders’ portraits to the relevant diplomacy screens
- ProcGen: Improved mountain procedural generation
- ProcGen: Made mountains more common in the full game (more frequent in suburbs especially)
- Sound: Added more sound effects for eating & drinking actions
- Sound: Additional sounds for disassembling trees, bushes and rocks, new shovel sounds for farming
- Sound: New fire & reload sounds for hunting and sniper rifles
- Sound: New “attack” sound effects for spears, combat knife, and fists
- Sound: Giant spiders, lizards, mantis and crabs got their own sound effects
- Sound: Additional sound effects to basic kitchens, crafting stations, electric kitchens, water purifiers, tinkering stations
- Sound: Added some variety to the soundscape (more thunder, rain, wind sfx) and with 50% less crows.
- Sound: Added 6 new music tracks
- Sound: Some audio feedback to the UI (button clicks, more will come over time)
- UI: Improved expedition menu (health info, carry capacity, and other additional stats)
- UI: Added raw skill values to the survivor job/skill menu. Tooltips for each job is much more informative (showing which trait impacts each job)
- UI: Redesign of the survivor character menu. Tooltips for each stats is much more informative (showing which trait impacts each stats)
- UI: Added option to copy/paste settings from a storage menu to another (like we already have for factories)
- UI: Pressing the Cancel Order shortcut (C by default) when the “building in progress” menu is open will directly cancel the construction
- UI: Added map keyboard shortcut (M by default)
- UI: Pressing ESC on map screen brings you back to previous screen (incidentally fixing a bug causing the controls to disappear)
- UI: Added specific tips for electricity and expeditions
- UI: If multiple keyboard shortcuts are using the same key, it will be highlighted in red in the settings
- UI: In the Room menu, clicking on the owner (if assigned) will center the camera on them, and open their associated panel
- UI: Full trait information directly in the tooltip, no longer need to click a trait to get its full effect
- UI: Factories’ “add a recipe” menu redesign, using graphics, longer list and tooltips for recipe content
- UI: Recruitment menu will automatically update the bio/skill sub menu when switching selected recruit, making comparisons easier
- UI: Added optional “Research completed” popup when a research is.. completed. Can be toggled on/off in game settings
- UI: Research info panels show to which crafting station belong newly unlocked recipes
- UI: Research info panels show tech requirement needs in a tooltip for unlockable techs
- UI: In the “new game” map, added the ability to highlight locations with a bunker (making it easier to find potentially underground starting locations)
- UI: Better looking and more interactive diplomatic screen
- UI: Made tutorial windows draggable to prevent issues for people playing on lower than recommended resolution
- UI: Other minor tweaks
- Fixed: The camera will no longer slow down when changing direction with the WASD keys
- Fixed: Problem with event driven raids which might cause the event to never finish, preventing further random events
- Fixed: World map’s coloring was influenced by day-night cycle
- Fixed: Minor memory, performance and behavior degradation over time during long play sessions
- Fixed: Some issues with world map generation and rendering
- Fixed: Bug in the game-tips system preventing tips from being hidden “forever” if you don’t click on the checkbox (my apologies for the confusion it might have caused)
- Fixed: Some of the survivors’ “activities” (in the settler info panel) couldn’t be translated, resulting in missing/weird sentences in the french version
- Fixed: Smoke animation over a destroyed object not always proportional in size to said object
- Fixed: Top Left info about date and funds are now properly shown as UI elements and no longer subject to day night cycle
- Fixed: Hit and explosion SFX played at the shooter’s location instead of the bullet’s location
- Fixed: Large walls would “connect” to wood palissades (or metal fences) in a jarring way
- Fixed: A case where raiders (and probably NPC) would go derp in (0,0) after their target is killed/removed
- Fixed: Survivors could very occasionally “forget” to grab items from the ground
- Fixed: People would sleep “upside down” in standard and medical beds
- Fixed: People wouldn’t get properly treated for injuries in medical zones even if the proper tool is available (regression bug from 0.6)
- Fixed: Fixed extremely rare corruption of some graphic assets on game loading (this fix will make the main menu laggy for a couple seconds, though)
- Fixed: Power generator would show up twice as an unlock for the metallurgy tech
- Fixed: The last few missing items in the french translation should be completed now