Deficis Alpha 1.1.3 – Release Notes

Version 1.1.3 has been released to the Beta branch!

This month was actually quite productive, including a number of bug fixes, the addition of the first piece of music, lots of internal changes that feed into the big forecasted change – Stellar Generation and Scripted levels are the focus for the next release.

Before I talk about the future though, for those interested in the past, jump down to the end of the page for the change log.

Where to from here

This month, testing uncovered some important issues that the original implementation of the universe generation algorithm failed to address and ultimately the whole concept was broken. As such it had to go.

This change though, means that the core functionality that was driving the game has to be fixed and its a pretty major amount of code that needed to be refactored, not to mention removed. The core set of gameplay that made Deficis interesting is currently disassembled and sitting in my IDE like a bunch of legos from my mindstorm kit when I realized that it wasn’t exactly working the way I wanted.

But it also gave me an opportunity to address the question of where this game is going. I have received a number of inquisitive emails and probing Q&A sessions on IRC on the topic of where Deficis is going. The current game is interesting but it isn’t exactly as fun as anyone would like, the generation was neat but not exactly creating the environment that I want and the gameplay is exceptionally simple. This is because it is currently a tech demo – so let’s get into the meat and potatoes and share some of the design vision…

The generation algorithm is changing to be focused on star systems. You inhabit a solar system with 5-12 planetary bodies each providing goods that you will need to transport; each providing environments you need to terraform; each providing environments that need to be farmed; and each possibly inhabited.

Your people have a decade to leave your planet and move to your new home to resume the process of consuming resources.

Instead of having a lump sum of resources, consumed in abstract lumps, there are a handful of types of resources:

  • Air Quality
  • Temperature
  • Construction Goods (such as iron and stone)
  • Transportation Goods (such as alcohol and oil)
  • Food

These feed into the consumption algorithms and influence each other

  • More Food requires more transportation
  • More transportation causes temperature to rise and air quality to fall
  • Higher temperature & Lower air quality make the population growth stagnate
  • Higher construction goods improve the speed of building ships to leave the planet.

This feeds into the need for a player to be given more control over their populations, since leaving all of this to some set of internal black boxed algorithms is not exceptionally kind. Players now have a tech tree to manage, researching advancements in terraforming allows for switching to sustainable energy sources and opens the game up further with different ship types, increased control over the planet’s systems and ultimately addresses end game concerns that people have expressed.

This release is the first step down this road, showing the scale of the solar system for a currently scripted level highlighting a Sol like system that you can move around in. You can also check out some of the tweaks that have been implemented to improve the menu system and settings configurations.

As always, you can follow the broad brush strokes of development on the blog, post questions and share comments on the Steam Community, and/or purchase the game on Steam. For those of you running into issues please consult the issue tracker before letting me know, as the issue you run into may already have a quick fix.

Here are the publicly relevant changes to the game:

1.1.3

Added

  • New cheat code – KillAll kills everyone.
  • Prepped for Steamworks
  • Sound effects on UI
  • Started work on new Stellar system generation algorithm
  • New Star graphics

Changed

  • Population is now calculated better to avoid negative populations from ever occurring
  • General Code Cleanup
  • Font for UI to be more readable

Fixed

  • Video Settings not being cached correctly
  • Video Settings not being reset correctly
  • UI Scaling weird
  • Apply button visible after applying Video Settings
  • Previously confirmed Resolution not being selected when canceling a change of resolution
  • End Game not being triggered for some

Known Issues

  • Current Build has removed end game detection and interaction to focus on stellar system generation algorithm

Review Copies…

There have been a number of inquiries about review copies of the game, from basically everywhere under the sun. First and foremost, thank you for your interest in the game. It is great to have your attention!

I anticipated the need and for those of you interested in review copies of the game, please hop over to Steam and download the demo. There are only a select few options disabled entirely revolving around the maturity of those features and how much I expect them to change. As the game grows these features will likely changed, but as of this date – this is the best option for now.