This is a new major content update for After The Collapse. I added three entirely new interlocked features, while improving the graphics, user interface, AI, balance, gameplay and fixing (most) bugs that have been reported to us. Also it seems that I have forgotten about posting last update on this very website, I’m very sorry about that. You can refer to this post on steam for a summary.
It’s going to be a long ride, so let’s get started. I’m only going over the more notable changes. There are plenty of other improvements you can find in the full, 100 item long, change-log at the bottom of this very article.
Non Lethal Combat
Combat, at least between humans, became less of a binary affair in this update. Attacks that would normally kill someone, or get very close to, have a small chance to incapacitate the target instead. Note that getting incapacitated will not prevent them from dying of their wounds if any.
If one of your survivors gets incapacitated, a doctor will try to retrieve them and bring them to your hospital for treatement. If it’s an enemy, you’ll have an option to take them prisoner (more about that later). If no one comes to take care of an incapacitated person, they will come back to their senses after a few minutes.
Additionally, some weapons have a higher chance to incapacitate a target. Low tier melee weapons like the bat, the shovel and the spears all have increased chances to succeed. I’ve also added two new weapons entirely dedicated to this task: the stun gun and a gas grenade launcher. Both have an extremely high chance to successfully stun their targets without damaging them too much, but are pretty useless in any other situation.
Note that only humans can be incapacitated at the moment. Monsters and shamblers are immune to it.
This is the core new feature in this update. You can now take prisoners, make them work for you, recruit them, or do terrible things to them.
It is done with the introduction of a new Room, aptly named “prison cell”, which needs a bed and 4 walls. Assuming you have a prison cell ready, enemies you have incapacitated have a “take prisoner” button in their (new) info panel. When clicked, they will be converted into a prisoner and one of your survivors will bring them to their cell.
Unless specified otherwise, prisoners will stay in their cell, and your survivors will occasionally feed them. So why would you want to take prisoners? Well, because they can also be put to work, don’t eat nearly as much as your survivors and do not take breaks all the time.
However, you’ll need to remember that prisoners are not willing workers. They have a “compliance” meter to replace their “entertainment” needs. A high compliance means that the prisoner won’t try to escape and can even be recruited. If the compliance goes down to zero, they will riot.
Generally speaking, being well treated (given food and a proper cell) will slowly increase this value. You can also allow your survivors to chat with the prisoner, which will generally increase it much faster, but can also backfire. Prisoners chatting together have a fairly high chance to decrease their compliance, though.
And if you’re not happy with your prisoners’ behavior, well there’s still another option…
It tastes like chicken!
So, do you want to run your settlement as a band of cannibalistic raiders, or acid rains killed all your crops and are you desperate for food? Well, I have good news for you! If you allow it in the new “Settlement” section of the faction menu, you can now butcher both human dead bodies and your prisoners for meat.
As soon as the option is enabled, bodies in your disposal zone and prisoners will have a “butcher” option like your cattle does. This action is considered an atrocity by anyone in your settlement who’s not already a cannibal or who isn’t starving to death, and will bring their morale down quickly.
On the other hand, eating human meat has a small chance to convert a survivor into a cannibal and a recipe has been added to the medical station / pharmacy combo, to make a drug that will definitely turn someone into one. So with a bit of patience and planning it’s possible to convert at least most of your settlement to their new diet.
Well, this new Faction tab is still under-developped, but it’s what is linking all those features together. This is where you’ll decide of your policies regarding incapacitated enemies (keep or kill), the ability to butcher people, and even if your survivor are allowed to consume booze or not. While the ‘human butchering’ option wasn’t technically a necessity, I think it’s best to keep the option behind a checkbox for those who’d be disgusted by it.
In the long run, i intend to add more options to this menu regarding what your settlers can and cannot do, which might influence their mood and behaviors in different ways. Eventually leading some of them into breaking rules and being punished for it. But that will be a story for another update 🙂
Preventing Animal Overpopulation
Two simple features have been added to keep your cattle/pet population in check. Firstly, a checkbox has been added to pastures to prevent any new birth as long as the pasture is full. Secondly, adopted pets can be neutered as well through their info panel.
Both options put together with various other fixes and improvements should make things much more manageable when it comes to handle large animal populations.
Other Notable Changes
The first thing you’ll notice is that the Build menu is larger, has more categories and that items are sorted alphabetically, making it much easier to navigate, especially with mods. Note that some items have moved categories. Namely, stairs are in the utility section now, and everything power production and storage related is in the new “Energy” category. The only downside, beside ruining your muscle memory (sorry about that), is that the menu looks quite empty in the very early game.
The top panel used previously for neutral and hostile agents has been replaced by a top left menu similar to the survivor info panel for consistency sake. It also delivers more information than the previous panel.
Graphically, the giant mantis has been replaced by a different, but way better looking and fully animated critter. About 20 items got new icons; wood, especially, got a way more legible one. Techs, mainly in the main ‘tree’ got new, better icons as well.
Raiders are also much less CPU hungry and while this is more a bug fix than a feature, they will no longer come close to freezing the game when encountering a player base that is completely walled-off (with no door).
The mod editor is now able to add items of any kind (thanks to Alex), several issues with mods altering vanilla crafting stations’ recipe lists have been fixed. Data wise, several fields have been added to weapons, to handle incapacitation and new tile graphical effects for AoE weapons. You can refer to the new “stungun” and “chemicallauncher” weapons for examples. Additionally, factories and farms can technically create agents now (you’d proceed the same way you’d do elsewhere, with an ItemAgent).
CattleAI is not deprecated, occurences should be replaced by PetAI. Determining if animals are adoptable or not is done through their racedata file (“Adoptable” field true/false) now.
This version should be compatible with saves dating back from 0.7.2 and over. Of course, the more recent the savegame the better, but generally speaking, it should work without too many problems.
Here are the caveats:
- Creatures already present on the map won’t be updated graphically
- Mods adding or altering animals need to be updated for this version or they won’t behave properly
- Factions’ settings might be wrong (zombies incapacitating your people instead of eating them)
- Your world map won’t benefit from the new special locations and terrains
As you can see, it’s quite a large update, but I’m not yet done with the prisoner stuff. Next update will add more interactivity with prisoners, with the ability to buy, sell and ransom them. I also intend to improve the pretty bare-bone “riot” they do when compliance reaches zero, making it a tad more threatening and less predictable. Also I’ll be adding a few tips
I am aware of three, very minor but quite hard to pin-point, bugs which have already been reported on discord and the forums and which I couldn’t fix for this release. If you’re interested, the reported remaining issues are:
- Very rarely, a wall section building order would get lost.
- A settler could erroneously change layer. I’ve been unable to reproduce it so far.
- When crossing the corner of a building, an agent can (rarely) move to the wrong side of the wall
I’m still working on fixing them, but I can’t justify delaying this release further when it contains dozens of more critical fixes and improvements. No worries, I don’t doubt we’ll have a few hot-patches to get them fixed.
In any case, I hope you’ll enjoy this update!
- AI: If multiple hospitals are available for a wounded or sick person to go to, they will pick the closest one instead of a random one
- AI: Added prisoner specific AI package
- AI: Cattle/Pets are a bit more responsive to detect when they have been assigned to a new pasture
- AI: General minor improvements to survivors’ behaviors
- AI: Survivors have more varied diet (no longer picking the first food item in the container)
- Balance: To discourage people from building small boxes when they shouldn’t, they cost 1x wood now (but are slightly faster to build)
- Balance: Less frequent low level raids (replaced by larger ones) against large, long running bases
- Balance: Rifle ammo price slightly increased by one, energy cells cost heavily decreased (from 200 to 40), and grenade round price slightly decreased
- Balance: Removed flamethrower’s ability to score critical hit (to balance how OP it can be against enemies who take fire damage)
- Balance: Misc recipe and pricing tweaks
- Content: People can get incapacitated during combat. Depending on who’s who, the attacker might not finish off their target.
- Content: Some weapons are better at incapacitating people than others. The bat, shovel and spears especially (making them somewhat useful past the first few minutes of a game).
- Content: Incapacitated people might become active again or die from their wounds (if left to their own devices)
- Content: Medics will try to save incapacitated people of their own faction
- Content: Added prison cells to the the zone menu. Used to “store” incapacitated enemies and make them prisoners (1 prisoner/cell)
- Content: Prisoners can be used as a workforce
- Content: Prisoners have a compliance meter, high compliance prisoners can be recruited, low compliance prisoners might cause a riot
- Content: Prisoners’ compliance varies over time and depending on different factors (chats, food, isolation, work, traits)
- Content: Added setting to the Faction panel to tell your soldiers if they should kill on sight or (try to) ignore incapacitated enemies
- Content: Added setting to the Faction panel to tell your faction if it should be allowed to cook prisoners and dead bodies
- Content: Added settings to the Faction panel to allow/prevent your settlers from consuming alcohol, and cannibalistic food.
- Content: Added “Bloodthirsty” tag to traits, someone with that tag will kill incapacitated enemies, independently of settings
- Content: Added “Cannibal” tag to traits, someone with that tag will not mind if you decide to start cooking your own prisoners
- Content: Human dead bodies are generally butcherable
- Content: Butchering sentient beings, even already dead, will give a big mood penalty to everyone who’s not a cannibal or who’s not starving
- Content: Added human meat cooking recipe. Human meat is disgusting to non cannibals, but has a chance to convert someone into a cannibal
- Content: An option has been added to pastures to prevent animals from reproducing if the pasture is full
- Content: Added option to neuter claimed pets
- Content: Added clay deposits to mountains/cave, clay can be used to make low grade ceramic at forges (after masonry)
- Content: Replaced Mines on the city map by “Iron Mines”, “Coal Mines” and “Quarry”, each with a different mix of production
- Content: Added a few new traits to take advantage of the new features
- Content: New items and recipes to take advantage of the new features
- Content: The pharmacy can be used on prisoners and animals now (note that it’s only really useful with mods adding specific animal friendly consumables)
- Content: Added stun gun to loot tables, it’s not using ammo, but has a very very slow reloading time. It has a high chance to incapacitate any target it’s shooting at
- Content: Added custom recipe to make chemical grenades and launcher (explosive ammo technology) which is a low damage, area of effect weapon with a very high chance to incapacitate targets
- ProcGen: Added lakes terrain type with bodies of water to custom games and world map (only outskirts of the city)
- ProcGen: Added riverlands terrain type with (generally) large rivers to custom games and world map (only outskirts of the city)
- ProcGen: Added more settings to the surface map generator in custom games
- Engine: Code consistency pass (less code, doing more things, hopefully better)
- Engine: Running the game in Safe mode will both disable the mods and the modding engine instead of just disabling the mods (by Alex)
- Engine: Massively increased performances when a raid is occurring against a fully walled-off player base
- Engine: Generally speaking, raiders are consuming a lot less CPU
- Graphics: Added “heart” emote when 2 animals reproduce successfully
- Graphics: Minor tweaks to city map locations
- Graphics: Added some color variations to settlers’ hair and bodies while removing minor graphical artifacts
- Graphics: People (alive or not) being moved by other settlers are now displayed properly instead of being made invisible
- Graphics: Added blood splatter effect on butchering station when something is getting butchered
- Graphics: Shamblers walk like proper zombies, and get a few more graphical variations
- Graphics: Replaced the icons of over 20 items and techs by better looking and more distinct versions
- Graphics: Replaced the old and ugly “giant mantis” mob by a fully animated giant grasshopper
- Modding: Added ability to set in which category of the build menu you want your clutter to end up in (BuildMenuLocation field, use editor to see values or ask on Discord)
- Modding: Added ButcherTo field to npc files (see most human npc) and “CanButcher” which can be set to false to prevent a specific agent from being butcherable
- Modding: Factories and farms can technically create agents now
- Modding: CattleAI is now deprecated, PetAI should always be favored. Mods adding/modifying animals must be updated accordingly
- Modding: LUA mods adding recipes, modifying lists, or anything in the Database really, should be using the new Event “DBLoaded” instead of the “Game” event from now on (to prevent a bunch of bugs)
- Modding: RaceData files got the Adoptable (true/false) field to set if an animal can be adopted or not
- Modding: RaceData file’s ReproductionType field can be set to “None” to disable reproduction while keeping other advantages of having a species
- Modding: Added item creation/editing to the Mod Editor (armors, weapons, artifacts, consumables, materials…) (by Alex)
- Modding: Misc LUA fixes (by Alex)
- Modding: Added “VeryRare” tag to items: They have a 95% chance from being removed from loot/trade tables. Rare have a 66% chance.
- Modding: Added “CannibalDiet” tag to items: Consumables with this tag will make people angry when they eat it, unless they are cannibals
- Modding: Added “ComplianceModifier” field to consumables: change the compliance of a prisoner by this amount whenever consumed
- Modding: Added “Stats.IncapacitateChance” (0-100) and “Stats.IncapacitateIgnoreHP” (true/false) to weapon files. Determining the chance of a weapon to incapacitate a target (see stungun weapon)
- Modding: Explosive / AOE weapons can spawn animations on all the impacted tiles (see chemicallauncher weapon)
- UI: Resized outpost manager list to take advantage of menu screen estate
- UI: Hostile and neutral critters/people got their own info panel (similar to settler/animal info panel) instead of relying on the small top menu
- UI: Enemies, prisoners and neutrals have a (smaller version of the) settler info menu like your settlers.
- UI: In combat mode, selecting a single settler/enemy will show it’s usual settler info panel. Removed “top middle” panel as a result.
- UI: The build menu is larger, so you don’t have to scroll as much (especially in modded games) and items are sorted alphabetically now. Sorry for your muscle memory.
- UI: Added a new Energy section to the build menu (power generators/batteries/relays/charging pads) also moved stairs to the utility section.
- UI: Clicking on a dead body will open a small settler info menu (allowing you to butcher them if it’s within your faction’s ethics)
- UI: Replaced the farm’s close button by a red delete button (so it’s on par with other room/zone menus)
- UI: Added butcher/cancel-all-in-list buttons to butcher menu
- UI: Updated consumable info panel to show more complete information (especially on weird modded items)
- UI: Hovering the “Stats” title in the survivor’s character panel will show a summary of all the traits merged together
- UI: Many more small usability, tips and cosmetic improvements
- Fixed: Orders to build tiles will no longer try to build tiles under walls
- Fixed: Right clicking an animated object in the build menu (windmill in modded game) would cause an error and the correct texture wouldn’t show in the info panel
- Fixed: Exiting the trading menu would resume the game even it was paused before opening the menu
- Fixed: Text overflow in the pharmacy screen (and probably others), the text is now cropped
- Fixed: The terrain would always be of a mixed type when playing the full game (when starting by selecting a point on the city map)
- Fixed: Settlers would still try to execute an order to remove a tile even if it’s not accessible
- Fixed: Bunker door not attributed to the player when starting a game underground
- Fixed: An exploit was allowing to buy items for free in the trade menu (thanks to Kamiloo for spotting that one)
- Fixed: When loading a savegame, 2 butchers could “fight” for the same target
- Fixed: Robots and settlers would “equip” weapons and armors they just crafted (instead of storing it)
- Fixed: When loading a save, settlers who are moving weaponry around might equip it instead of their assigned equipment
- Fixed: Minor issue with build job attribution
- Fixed: Pets and Robots would show up as “unemployed” in the multi selection menu
- Fixed: Lasso selecting a single agent wouldn’t open their associated menu
- Fixed: Using the mouse wheel in the trade menu to change the amount of things you want to buy/sell would cause the main list to scroll
- Fixed: Issues when setting and restoring patrol locations (wouldn’t work for settlers in the scene you’re not looking at)
- Fixed: The game could incorrectly be stuck in french when the user system’s locales (which ain’t the same thing as the system language) are set to french.
- Fixed: It was possible to build a floor over a tile which has the same floor already
- Fixed: Population count in pastures wasn’t always reliable
- Fixed: In graphical settings, you could “change resolution” while in borderless mode while it should be locked to your desktop resolution (causing scaling issues)
- Fixed: It was possible to build farms over impassible terrain, causing issues with the AI. You’ll need to clear the location from trees and rocks before designing a farm now.
- Fixed: Farms will no longer try to remove the top level tiles if the lower level terrain is considered impassible (fixing a problem in the sewers)
- Fixed: When 2 or more settlers are overlapping, they would “fight” for whoever is drawn first, causing annoying flickering
- Fixed: Last Stand (15 days) and Last Stand (30 days) scenarios wouldn’t work properly after loading a save (regression bug from 0.7.5, thanks to ZakTheFallen for spotting this one)
- Fixed: Raiders would stay stuck in place if the player’s base is completely walled-off (with actual walls)
- Fixed: The lighting/shadow system wouldn’t update properly when switching from the underground to the surface until the mouse is moved