After The Collapse 0.7.4: Rule of Law

Here is a new update for our 0.7 branch!

It’s introducing the ability to pass various laws for your settlement, ranging from rationing to healthcare. It’s also adding the new Pharmacy building and associated technology allowing you to use experimental mutagens and drugs on your survivors. As usual, I’ll only be mentioning the major new features and improvements in this article. For a full list, please refer to the change-log at the bottom.

Before we get started

I will be increasing the game’s price by $1 (to $11.99) between the end of this month and August (after a few more minor/hot-patches). It was scheduled to happen a bit later, but given that the game is currently very stable and knowing the legal requirements (no discount for a whole month), it’s best to get that out of the way before the next large autumn sale and more experimental updates.

Rule of Law

A new “Law” tech tree has been added to the game. Each technology in that tree unlocks a few laws and slots for them in the Faction menu (where you already conduct diplomacy, and assign jobs).

Laws influence your settlement’s productivity and your survivors’ happiness and needs. For instance, one of the early laws is about Rationing, which has 4 options ranging from people eating and drinking 40% more (and receiving a happiness and stats boost) to people needing 40% less but which will cause them to be grumpy and slow.

Another law, the “Emergency Shift”, will dramatically increase your survivors efficiency for a day, they will even ignore the needs to sleep, drink or eat, but it will give them a massive debuff the next day.

There’s a total of 9 laws included in this release, more will be gradually added in future updates.


This new tech/building combo unlocks various “mutagens” and drug recipes and allows you to tell survivors to consume specific items using this new building.

It serves a dual purpose:

1) If you don’t trust your medics to save someone ill or wounded in time, you can tell the wounded to go use the item themselves.

2) It gives you (the modders and me) a way to ‘feed’ survivors with items they wouldn’t normally use, like the 3 new drugs and mutagens included in this release.

It also opens the doors for addictive substances in future updates. As usual, more content related to this new feature will be added in future updates.

Turrets, Turrets Everywhere

This is the first part of a 2 parts update on the turrets. They look much nicer now, with a fixed body and a rotating gun and new more detailed sprites. Trading vehicles have visible and working mounted turrets now. Attack a trader if you dare 🙂

Next turret update will overhaul our current turrets, from low level ones that will require ammo, to larger gun platforms with several cannons on the same item.

Also as an experiment, a rare Gauss Cannon schematic (this is for all intent and purpose a tech) can be found while exploring military bases. This is a rare drop, however, so you might have to try quite a few times before getting it. This is something (unlocking tech through exploration) that will become more common in future updates.

Optimization Pass

The initial loading time has been very heavily reduced. Beforehand it would take up to 20 seconds on my machine to get to the main menu (without mods), it’s now taking about 5 seconds (first launch excluded, because windows does its thing each time an executable change). Similarly the impact of mods on loading time has been reduced.

Additionally, I fixed a fairly annoying memory leak (tied to the menus) which was causing the memory usage to go beyond 4GB over time. The game now keeps a fairly steady memory usage over much longer periods (roughly 2GB on a medium sized map). This should also improve performances on older machines.

Misc Improvements

By request, pastures can now be set to contain a list of species instead of the former one/all approach. That should make it easier to separate meat production from utility animals.

Many of you will be happy to know that survivors will no longer do a bunch of back and forth fetching different items when constructing a structure requiring multiple resources. Instead they will grab everything they need (assuming they have the inventory space) and bring it to the construction site in one go. It speeds up the construction of walls and many other structures by quite a lot.

However, they will still have the old behavior when feeding stations/forges and so on. I do intend to make that work for those too, but it requires many changes to how stations operate as well. So it will have to wait. Don’t worry, it’ll happen soon barring any problem 🙂

And of course, there’s a bunch of fixes, modding and graphical improvements, balance and UI tweaks which you’ll find in the change-log 🙂

Save Compatibility

This should be compatible with any save-game from 0.7.2 or 0.7.3 with a few caveats.

  • If you have already placed turrets, those won’t be updated graphically and might be buggy
  • Faction menu settings (population and animal settings) will be reset
  • Pasture settings are reset to accept all species

General Notes

We’ll likely have another medium sized update like this one (to make mining more interesting and to add a bunch of laws and drugs/mutagens while finishing the work on turrets) before the “next big update” as in non lethal combat, prisoner and force labor management.

In any case, I hope you’ll enjoy this update!

Full Changelog

  • AI: If you kill a trader from a faction, they will declare war on you (in an official capacity)
  • AI: Once a doctor has diagnosed someone, neither them or their patient will get distracted by needs until treatment is over
  • AI: Reduced the amount of back & forth survivors will do (moving supply around) when building new structures
  • Balance: Added option in the new game menu to start with better settlers (enabled by default): no medical conditions, need less food, work harder
  • Balance: Traits modifying needs (eating, drinking…) have been overhauled
  • Content: Pastures can contain a combination of species instead of a switch between a single one and all of them.
  • Content: You can now “pause” your production centers (from world map) so they stop sending resources without having to abandon the location
  • Content: Pharmacy tech, unlocks the pharmacy building and add recipes to produce “mutagens” with various effects to the medical station
  • Content: New pharmacy building, allows the player to force-feed settlers with consumables (mutagens mentioned above, but technically any consumable)
  • Content: Three mutagen/drug recipes (more to come)
  • Content: Once pharmacy is researched, tribals and shamblers have a chance to drop infected tissues which can be sold or used to make mutagens
  • Content: A few more Steam Achievements (steam version only)
  • Content: Traders’ weapon (the .50cal machine gun) is a visible turret on top of the vehicle now
  • Content: Rare turret schematics (technically a technology) can be found exploring military bases
  • Content: New “Law” tab in the Faction menu, allowing you to pass/revoke various laws for your settlement
  • Content: New tech tree unlocking laws for the settlement
  • Law: Rationing – trade off between food consumption, happiness, and stats
  • Law: Leisure – trade off between need for recreation and happiness
  • Law: Workload – trade off between more productive settlers and sleep requirements
  • Law: Production Focus – choice between different options of factory production speed
  • Law: Research Grants – Increases research speed, decreases build/raze time
  • Law: Emergency Shift – Makes your settlers way more productive (and not consume anything) for 36h, but will cause immense fatigue the next day
  • Law: Rousing Speech – 36h boost to military stats, but will cause immense fatigue the next day
  • Law: Building Permits – Increases building and razing speed by 33%
  • Law: Health Care – Provide a small passive sickness removal and healing, decreases medical job speed
  • Engine: Heavily reduced “game launch to main menu” time
  • Engine: Decreased impact of mods on loading times
  • Graphics: Replaced gun, rifle, rocket and shotgun ammo (and charcoal) textures by better ones
  • Graphics: Replaced turrets by much more detailed models with a fixed core + rotating gun
  • Graphics: Added variants to trading and supply cars/pickups
  • Graphics: Slightly smoother rotation of agents (and scaling with game speed)
  • Modding: Traits got a new NeedMultipliers field to modify settlers’ needs using a ratio instead of the raw values of NeedMods (see law_ration_* files or the updated _example.txt file)
  • Modding: Traits got a new NegateNeeds field which allow to completely disregard a (list of) need(s) for the associated settler (see law_emergency_active or the updated _example.txt file)
  • Modding: Traits got a new ReplaceUnarmed field, if set, it will replace the unharmed weapon (fists) by the weapon specified here (this weapon must not use ammo)
  • Modding: Laws can be added / modded (see data/laws/* files)
  • Modding: New turret format (backward compatible with previous one so i don’t break older mods)
  • Modding: Expedition loot tables can contain technologies, the game will manage that properly and unlock the tech when ppl come back
  • Modding: Wall files got the RazeTo, RazeToFaction, RazeToChance fields which work the same as with clutter
  • Modding: Added MorphTo field to consumable allowing to morph the consumer into another agent. Look at the new data/items/consumable/_example.txt file for a full rundown
  • UI: Tweaked the tooltip and panel for traits
  • UI: In the game log, when displaying a “X got new trait: Y” message, the mouse-over tooltip will show full details about the trait instead of just its description.
  • UI: Doors can be upgraded from wood to stone to metal through their associated menu
  • UI: Added log feedback to doctors (tells when they remove a wound or heal someone)
  • UI: Declarations of war from other factions come in a proper “diplomatic” panel instead of a generic popup.
  • Fixed: After loading a save, the game would stay on the main menu song which was not the intended effect
  • Fixed: Issues with some of the “Kill X amount of stuff” achievements
  • Fixed: Closing the pasture screen while the rename sub panel is open wouldn’t close the panel
  • Fixed: Upgraded factories and depots would keep the name of the un-upgraded version
  • Fixed: More cases where closing a menu would cause the menu for the item below to appear
  • Fixed: Suppliers from production center turning hostile if you kill a civilian trader
  • Fixed: Survivors sent to take over a production center would keep their bedrooms and pets (they now get unassigned as soon as the location is claimed)
  • Fixed: Fairly large memory leak tied to the menu system (especially visible in trading screen)
  • Fixed: In combat mode and during an Acid Rain, soldiers would path trying to stay under roofs, which was not the intended behavior
  • Fixed: The character screen would look funky if the associated character has a very long list of traits
  • Fixed: Some minor logic and pathing issues (build job duplication, occasional pathing failure…)