Hi guys. Short time ago, our Steam deck was finally delivered, and we immediately tried out how Imagine Earth runs on it. Somehow, the folks at Steam noticed it right away and promptly tested IE. Except for some text that is displayed a bit too small in the game, it was perfectly playable. One player wrote us that Valve’s powerful handheld even runs our world simulator smoothly in 3K when he connects a monitor in desktop mode. Have fun with the latest changes and enjoy playing. Jens & Martin
We have immediately enlarged the texts. So you can look forward to improved readability on PC as well. Then we have directly resubmitted Imagine Earth for compatibility testing and has just been verified.
I’m no expert, but this should mean that the Windows version of Imagine Earth is smoothly playable on Linux systems thanks to Proton. Because this is something that players keep asking for, we’d be very interested in your feedback.
Vital life in the oceans
Along the way, four new species of fish have been discovered swimming around the planets and providing more hustle on it. Next time I think we’ll discover birds, I’m optimistic about that.
Meteor shower defense
Since the Xrathul Palace exists, meteor showers can also be targeted. At the same time, we had to increase the destructive power and then again make sure that defense lasers and pulses can shoot them.
By the way, Imagine Earth is also in the Indiecade Sale right now and can be had for a hefty 50% off. Feel free to spread the word 😉
Optimizations & Fixes
Button and control layout for Steam Deck integrated
Buttons on popups enlarged so that font fits again
improved placement of mountains in editor mode
Victory Points in the faction panel are now clickable
Dialogs to controls no longer play twice
Trade menu overlap removed
Fixed gamepad menu showing options that are not available
Fixed bug that lead to crash in cannon logic
Fixed laser cannons not destroying asteroids with one shot (e.g. on Lorian)
Improved visibility of tooltip for traded items and resources
Greetings colony managers, welcome to our latest Imagine Earth update – it feels great to deliver once again! We have decided to bring you one of the new buildings and a new bonus mission to give you something while our main efforts still go into finalizing the Open Space DLC. Please have a look at the complete roadmap at the end of the post, everything we have already achieved since release and what we still want to create for version 2.0
A new Planet has been discovered in the Udoxia Galaxy and a brand new mission awaits on Omicron Persei 9. To quote the briefing “Strange building complexes have been spotted here. Apparently they can release powerful forces. This could become even more dangerous for us if they fall into the wrong hands.
This palace was built to worship the Xrathul. The built-in technology can summon their giant locust spaceships and lure them to a specific destination reckless opponents for example. The following forces are available in this giant building.
Xrathul bait – This device spreads Xrathul pheromones and is therefore an irresistible target for Xrathul and lures all ships on the planet. It also doubles the probability of new Xrathul coming to the planet.
Meteor shower – The Illumati developed the technology to tear down some meteors from their orbit around the planet and let them rain down purposefully.
Indoctrination – Indoctrination of the guards in towers and buoys allows you to take control of the building and radius.
Two New Gaming Modes
You can now choose between the following two game modes when starting endless and competition game rounds. This can be changed whenever you start a new game.
Experience all the adventures that a future colonization of space could hold in store for us and technology we can only dream of today. Use Gaian force fields or intergalactic space trade and get ready for space pirates and alien invasions.
Experience a more realistic gameplay that corresponds to the technological level of development on Earth in the 21st century. The focus is on solving the problems of economic growth and resource consumption and coping with the related environmental and climate impacts.
New Animal – Manta Ray
Another fish species has been sighted. Now the manta ray enriches the biodiversity on our planet. Once we have cultivated even more animals on our planets we will make biodiversity an important thing in the environmental climate simulation of the game.
The Xrathul Palace and the Great Pyramid are now destructible giant buildings
Entering the bonus galaxy will now always provide two planets, to give you a choice
Meteor shower and Xrathul bait have become more powerful
City building is now cancel-able until the capsule lands
Supply capsules now come more often and are shown in the bookmark panel
Items are now cancel-able until the drone is on site and has activated them
You can now get up to 50 new city permits through population growth
We gave the main character Alia an eye surgery because some people felt she gave them an uncomfortable look
Only resource deposits of relevant size are now displayed
Gaia constructs: Active conversion is also shown in the waiting bar
New speech of Eko at the invitation to the world congress
New cursor when closing the ring
8 great interface improvements that are way too hard to describe
Country specific subtitles in the main menu
Popup renamed: “Mission successful” instead of “Campaign successful”
Added a notification for game beginners to try the tutorial first
Fixed buildings not showing up immediately when jumping between cities
Fixed galaxy screen layout for 4:3 resolutions
Fixed planet being briefly lit differently on exit
Joma: Fixed completion logic of “use power” goal before
No longer show Whales in navigation view
Fixed sandbox planets not working
Don’t show trade options for natives that are not close to your territory
Move tool-tips closer to ring
Colony value chart limit for quality of life
Decrease audio range of ocean animals
Fixed bookmark buttons not correctly opening tool ring for units
Fixed ruins collapsing every time a generated planet is restarted.
In the first half of June 2022 we participated in the Green Gam Jam organized by the UN initiative Playing 4 the Planet. Together with 42 partly big international game studios we tried to do our bit for reforestation and sustaining the world’s forests and raise players awareness for this issue. This is about all we achieved even though we did end up with slightly different solutions for the activation than originally planned.
Our first participation in this game jam among big studios was very exciting and accordingly let us come up with a very ambitious plan. One of four items we had in our activation plan was releasing a new free spin-off version of Imagine Earth on Steam. Unfortunately, the release of a whole new product on Steam turned out to be not so quickly feasible in terms of scheduling and might not even have been most effective activation strategy.
I still like the idea but as a 2 man studio have to concentrate first on finishing DLC and Playstation version. So we decided to alter the free version we already had on Steam – The demo of Imagine Earth which also offers a fully playable planet and since the Green Game Jam has an end screen where you can now choose to buy the soundtrack or the green planet bundle to plant trees with the proceeds. These donation options are now in the game to stay.
Activation Campaign Achievements
We integrated a new Steam achievement – Players who plant twenty forests on one planet in the game from now on plant one tree in the real world.
We organized a custom Steam Sale Event during the campaign time to raise awareness for game and demo with a discount and offered to plant ten trees for every copy sold.
You can buy the official soundtrack and all proceeds will also donated to Eden Reforestation.
On top of this we parallel participated in the Ocean Day Steam Sale in June 5-8 and donated another 10% of net income to Whales and Dolphins Conservation.
All this enabled us to plant 14,920 trees between 6/3-17 with our partner Eden Reforestation Project. A result that wasn’t possible without your help. As we started to sell the soundtrack for charity shortly after the release in May last year we could already plant a total of 48,940 trees. We’re actually really proud.
Welcome to update 1.8, we have pushed some necessary optimizations in between.
At the very bottom, at the end of this update we have again mapped the current position on the complete roadmap, which should still lead us to the big 2.0 Open Space DLC later this year.
Whale Watching Whales are the giants of the seas and from now on you will also find them on the worlds in Imagine Earth. This is in line with our desire to bring more life to the worlds of Imagine Earth. However, the population is decreasing due to water pollution, oil spills and fishing. Animals resp. biodiversity are of great importance to the biosphere. In the future this will also be the case in our environmental simulation and more species will follow to populate the seas.
Best Expert Game at the German Game AwardsGeoff Keighley himself presented us with the German Computer Game Award.
It was with great pleasure that we received the official award for “The Best Expert Game” of Germany 2022 a month ago. This award was presented by none other than Geoff Keighley, the internationally known host and producer “The Game Awards” And the “Opening Night Live” show of Gamescom.
New rule for space traders Space traders can now be turned off in competitive and endless games. This change is to allow games that have a more realistic scenario. Without Gaia forces and Space Invaders, we have a constellation that largely dispenses with science fiction elements and is technologically comparable to the post-industrial age on Earth. This makes the plot framework and the confrontation with climate change more plausible and authentic. At least as an option, we felt it was important to offer this gameplay experience to focus on Imagine Earth’s core theme.
The Forester Achievement There is a new achievement in Imagine Earth on Steam that you unlock when you plant more than 20 forests on a planet. We track how many players earn this achievement and plant a tree for each one. This activation is part of an initiative called Green Game Jam, which seeks to have an impact on the world through actions in games.
The strategic view.
The victory points panel in competitive mode revealed a lot of interesting information about the status of the other corporations and especially about your own. This view is now available without victory points in endless play.
Bookmarks The display of which merchants just landed in which of your cities is back, some of you have sorely missed it. In addition to this the functionality to define your own bookmarks by keeping a number key pressed is back.
Improvements & fixes
The system voice now also warns you when there is a low supply of food, goods or energy.
Intact asteroids are not automatically harvested.
Cannons and shield upgrades are not available if you have disabled asteroids and comets
Trade panel no longer closes accidentally
Biome brush – You can also delete biomes when pressing Ctrl.
We made the light around the cursor brighter so you can see more on the downside of the planet.
In the tutorial, we are now making sure you don’t miss control instructions
Improved mouse control in the resource panel, you can no longer accidentally hover over the panel to click on the planet.
Dear planet managers, we really struggled a bit to be able to offer you this hyper-speed optimization of the global management system! The interface is the most annoying part of the game production. Let’s hope that the latest interface optimizations will leave nothing to be desired!
Fast and universal switching between temples, workshops, cities, factions and merchants is finally possible and revolutionizes the navigation in our game.
You can now trade and do diplomacy with all sorts of partners through the interface without having to jump to you with the camera. This way, you are not always pulled out of the local action on the planet because of crafting or item acquisition, and you always keep track of what’s going on.
Takeover through stock trading
A separate stock panel right at the frasction panel, where you can see all the information about a company’s cities and directly buy shares and take over cities. A big button that flashes visibly and visualizes the takeover process.
We built a large popup that solemnly announces that you have successfully taken over a city. And also indicates if you have captured equipment in the process, which means you have taken certain items from the enemy.
We also restructured the stock trading panel so that the player always automatically starts at himself and can more quickly throw some shares on the market to get new capital.
The difficulty button has been redesigned to look the same in the setup for new rounds of competitive and endless play as the other options or tabs in the setup menu. The start button has been enlarged.
Also, you can now turn off Gaia Forces and Asteroids in the game for a more realistic gameplay experience that is mainly about global warming and environmental issues rather than futuristic sci-fi elements.
Fossil power plants can now drill and exploit deposits in adjacent fields. This keeps them productive longer and means they need to be moved less often.
In exchange, fossil production buildings have again received a malus. It no longer looks in the game as if there would be no problem at all if a certain resource is not available.
This is especially important in the context of the core message of the game. Fossil buildings that just keep on working, that too is unrealistic.
The new taskbar
The taskbar has been made narrower. Options like Research and Technology, which are already positioned in the top left of the interface, are no longer duplicated there.
We didn’t spare ourselves and once again tweaked the configuration of the controls. There is a new control pad ring menu with which you can control many things in the game even faster than with a mouse.
In all ring menus, the D-pad or directional pad can now be used to navigate particularly quickly and directly, select a build option or item.
Jumping to an event or an alarm. Has not worked for a while. Is now, however, on the left stick.
Had literally disappeared from the game. On medium setting, such a vehicle now lands again every 5-10 minutes.
We cleaned up the navigation so that too many enemy cities are no longer displayed around the globe at once.
In the field ring, the updates of houses, are now displayed on the right and thus it is no longer too long on the left, so that information sometimes hangs pointlessly out of the screen.
The buttons for diplomacy no longer show all the time, all the details that play a role there. This makes the user interface much narrower.
Auto-harvesting now also works for temple ruins from which artifacts are harvested.
When a building ring has a panel open on the left, the building info is displayed on the right.
In the colony rating screen you can now select the different factions.
Citys Panel – Merchants, Workshops and Temples now only displayed at cities when hovering.
We have 5 bugs that have been sent to us via Discord.
Factions often built too many towers next to each other and also liked to place City Centers in clusters or in a pile.
The controls in the build menu were a bit disjointed.
The build menu can now stay open with the gamepad, so you can always see your list of strategic items.
In the Weekly Challenge, the gamepad cursor disappeared until you pressed something.
“Show Influences” in the Technology panel was not selectable with gamepad.
Laudator Geoff Keighley , producer and host of The Game Awards , digitally handed over the award to Martin and me. Thanks so much to the jury for these ususpected honors. The adress by the well known personality was the cherry on top of the unsuspected honors for our 14+ years lasting strategy game project about the climate crisis.
Live on stage Uke Bosse was hosting theevent in a quite charming and relaxed way and as he handed over the mic we used the occasion on stage to thank over 43.000 supporters who backed the project and made the development independent for over seven years in Early Access on Steam.
But more over we have to direct our thanks to a few folks in person. Imagine Earth wouldn’t be released yet without the amazing work by Rico Posienka and Alexander Leps for gamedesign and coding, Tilo Alpermann and Zevik Perry for soundtrack composition and Marko Fiedler for the new character illustrations.
Greetings, world builders! Recently I had a particularly nice task on the table, but it also made me a little nervous. To finally give you a complete vision of what we want to accomplish next in the evolution of Imagine Earth. You can see the product here, a visually appealing roadmap to the Open Space DLC, which we will finalize by the middle of this year. Many of the game elements, scripts and objects are already created, we often just have to carefully put all the pieces together.
The picture above shows the approximate set of features that the following updates and DLC will contain. We will go into more detail when the time comes.
Here’s what’s happening right now. We are very euphoric about how much better navigating the planet and building your global colonies will work with this fine tuning.
Here I have summarized what we have achieved since the release last year. This graphical reappraisal of the events somehow did me good.
All the achievements we made last year before the big final release would not have been possible without the funding we received at that time and your years of support in Early Access. However, we also learned a lot and were not able to realize some things, which will now be rounded out with the DLC, just as we always wanted to complete the game.
Look forward to when I finish the project story soon. In this entertaining style, it will offer incredible insights into the past and how this project started 14 years ago as a concept of some students.
Thank you for your interest, please share your ideas and thoughts. What have you always wished for Imagine Earth? Best regards, Jens & Martin
While we are already working on the next big thing for Imagine Earth we have worked on a lot of usability, balancing and performance improvements and decided that this is worth being released in a dedicated update.
Deferred Rendering & Motion Blur
Switching to Deferred Rendering has made our Imagine Earth 10% faster right off the bat while at the same time allowing us to show more individual light sources on the planet.
Motion Blur makes the planet’s rotation look smoother, especially when running a system with fewer frames.
Items & Crafting
We have built a new crafting panel, that automatically buys the needed resources as soon as not all components to create items are available. While working on this we have also balanced which resources are needed for crafting and reduced what is needed for most of the items. Honey Pots, which can be used to attract Xrathul, have been optimized in their operation, especially in the probability with which they lead to Xrathul spaceships arriving on your planet.
Planet Generator Balancing
To get better and play worthy planets we had to diligently tweak the generator. In making adjustments, we tried to achieve as even a distribution of field types and rare resources as possible, while also providing local hotspots that make good starting places for your colony. Also we increased the number of mountains and rocks on the planets and placed more Gaian ruins so that there are more artifacts in the game. Under these circumstances it also made sense to regenerate the Weekly Challenge planets. They are still based on the same planet, but the distribution of resources is a bit different now.
Bugs & Fixes
Dropped Dynamic Resolution
Removed graphics setting for anti aliasing, because only marginal differences can be seen here based on the rendering techniques of the Unity engine we are using
Fixed configuration display of polar ice
Fixed blurred intro
Workshop Planets File System Windows 7 bug
Fixed the description of the frontier station
Navigation: Show only one city of each other faction
World congress is no longer happening during game over
When productivity is low because of plague, show the corresponding plague icon
We hope you started the new year safe and sound and are fit for the challenges it brings, because it will definitely not be boring. The Corona virus keeps the world in suspense and mankind has its trouble to organize itself sensibly against it. After that, the even more colossal challenge of climate change is just waiting to be targeted again. But also in the virtual world, in Imagine Earth, new challenges await you in the new year.
Compete now in Weekly Challenges, Quarterly Seasons and Annual Rankings. Effective immediately, we have unlocked the official 2022 league. In addition, we would like to celebrate the official top 10 annual winners of the 2021 league. We sincerely congratulate all the participants for enrolling in the Imagine Earth’s internal leaderboards forever.
The Greatest Terraformers of 2021
1st place – Franci0 – 1,457,784 2nd place – KiBou – 1,400,492 3rd place – Wingyl – 1,393,397 4th place – craig.akitt – 933,881 5th place – Critical Floof – 913,485 6th place – Artiss – 863,621 7th place – Roderick – 663,128 8th place – RainbowDesign – 532,542 9th place – missladykayura – 473,274 10th place – martin – 457,000
So in 2022, you’ll be competing with other planet managers not only for overall victory in weekly high scores, but also for the lead in quarterly seasons and the overall year-round victory. By the way, we’ll be playing the weekly missions ourselves for testing purposes, so you’ll have the pleasure of competing against the developers themselves, look for Martin and Jooki in the highscore. If that’s not a special challenge.
Rating optimization We have also adjusted the rating of the game rounds. It remains exciting, you still can’t save and load, but you don’t have to reach the first place in the competition anymore and the achieved colony rating will be entered into the highscore, so it’s worth the work in any case. Of course you can repeat the challenge the whole week to optimize your score by ceiling, have fun!
We have given the calculation of the value of your global space colony a new balancing. If you sell all your shares, you will no longer end up with a high score of zero, the impact has been reduced to 50%. The quality of life in your colony plays a bigger role, its impact has been increased from 12.5 to 20%.
Asteroids, moons and lens flare
Graphically, Imagine Earth has also stepped up its game again in this release. There are a lot of visual effects to admire. Moons and meteors orbit your worlds and cast gigantic shadows, in broad daylight they darken the landscape. When you zoom in very close to the planet, the perspective rotates so you’re not always looking at the action from above. Also, the atmosphere on the horizon becomes dense and blurry.
You can now set exactly a target frame rate to better define how much gameplay will hit you on the graphics card.
Automated mining processes
The harvesting drones of the warehouses now start mining valuable resources fully automatically. You now have to disable this instead of activating it individually as before. Simply convenient, we think. This way the warehouses fill up by themselves with valuable resources, which are urgently needed for the production of important equipment.
Landing zone locked
In the future, you won’t be able to accidentally park your landing capsule right next to another civilization, creating a non-competitive launch position for both parties.
Fishing grounds and oil wells So far, procedurally generated planets, have almost no fishing grounds and oil wells. Sea grass has a higher positive impact on fishing and it has also become more productive in principle. Thus, in the future, the sea will be of higher strategic importance as a place of expansion and a source of food.
UI and control improvements
Fields where the temperatures are just too hot to grow food well are no longer shown as particularly fertile.
The display of your cities, top right, is no longer packed with loud icons for bad moods. That was just confusing.
Tooltips and info in the sales and manufacturing panel no longer overlay the menus, but are displayed outside.
We reduced the planetary view in menus and overview also reduced the superfluously large distance to which the planet is zoomed out.
When opening panels like the one for planetary overview or research, the planet in the background is no longer zoomed out.
Font size on various buttons in the game optimized.
Tower is upgraded again when you level it up.
Nitro pumpkin seeds are now also offered by the trader.
Game pauses in menus decently again – For example, you could just wait in the win dialog until you lost again.
Intro skipping can be defined in the config file again.
UI-Flickr glitch in hyperspace between galaxies is fixed.
The nice melting of the snow when you turn on the thermo-generator is back.
In the Biron faction, some of the dialogs in the voice output are no longer mixed up. It makes more sense to talk to them now ;D
Thanks for reading all this and staying excited about the developments of Imagine Earth! Jens & Martin
It’s been a few weeks since we last updated anything. Time for a sign of life from the Imagine Earth Universe.
Weekly Challenge – New Game Mode
In this brand new mode, you will receive a new mission every Monday. This colonization mission has the highest priority and must be completed by Sunday. The objective is to obtain the sole management license for a planet in a competitive process. It is advisable to familiarize yourself with the planet’s conditions and opponents beforehand by checking the info panel. Loading or saving is not possible in the global competition. Measure yourself against other colonists in weekly high scores and quarterly or yearly seasons.
Beat the developers 2021
Quarterly or annual seasons officially start at the turn of the year. But you can still win the title for 2021 by successfully completing the last 5 missions, and Martin and I will also play the weekly challenge. Let’s see who comes out on top in the leaderboard! Of course we have more ideas, soon the weekly missions will get five objectives to gain additional victory points and we want to generate certain events that will make the gameplay more varied and fun. We also rely on your experience and feedback to figure out what could make this competition more exciting for everyone.
New storage system
It’s only a small button, but it’s strategically important! Now, in the warehouse panel, with another click on the “Automatically purchase” button, you can not only have the quantity purchased for which warehouse space has been reserved. With automatically fill, resources are purchased until all storage space is full. This makes scenarios possible where the supply of the population with a resource is completely controlled by the purchase. This is a possible strategy to save the construction of a lot of infrastructure.
New mountains the world needs
We have added a new set of big and small mountains that will be used on planets with the Frozen, Swamp and Barren themes to provide even more visual variety in our universe. I don’t really need any further words, just have a look.
Ambient Sound System Worldwide
Our world sounds system is finally finished. Now you can hear the birds chirping in the forest or the traffic in cities when you run your camera over them. Enjoy the chirping of crickets in the desert and the whistling of the wind in mountains or the gentle roar of the sea. It’s not entirely new but there were about half the ambient sounds in the game and the volume control, now lets the sound come in smoothly and overlap well.
AI factions more sensitive to climate change
Balancing – AI behavior in case of Global Warming is adjusted, factions are now also more sensitive to climate change. AI also now mines rocks only when there are no valuable resources left.
You can now prioritize resource mining even when the reservoir is full and redirect your drone to it.
The number of available items is now displayed in the inventory in a decidedly snappier way.
Steam Awards nomination
Hey, why don’t you nominate Image Earth for the Labor of Love Award? After seven years in Early Access, you’d think it would do our little two man team some good 😉
Editor – Planets that are opened in the editor will now start with the correct amount of tech licenses.
Editor – Forests that get under water when terraforming, i.e. lowering terrain, finally die completely and disappear. Previously, tree stumps were still visible, and removing them from entire continents is simply annoying.
Editor – The saved but not loaded settings for selected factions and more.
UI – The exchange of upgrades is no longer done via the building list, this functionally clashed with the option to activate all upgrades at once.
UI – New subtitles in all menu screens, so you always know which game mode you are in. [UI – The order of the factions in the score panel in the bottom right corner of the screen changes on the fly during the game.
Sound – Too many repeated warnings when attacked by Xrathul and pirates, for example. [UI – The highscore screen has been extensively reworked.
Graphics – The normal textures of the fossil fields is corrected, never looked nicer.
Graphics – The main menu now fades in from black when flying towards the planet at the beginning.
Graphic – In the meantime all planets had rings like Saturn.
Graphics – In cutscenes the camera perspective is no longer distorted.
UI – The slider for how much fossil resources are distributed on a planet is functional again.
UI – The buttons in the game error dialog now work reliably again.
UI – Game over message and completion screen still made it possible to interact with some ingame menus even though the game was over and lost.
Bugs – So far there was a phenomenon of unordered factions appearing on the planet, more than you defined at the beginning of the game round.
UI – 4 display bugs fixed.
UI – The population counter in the planet info panel works again.