All posts by martin

Alpha 22 “Emission Levy”

Another month is over and Alpha 22 is ready for you. In short:

  • Emission levy to balance global pollution
  • New take over rules
  • New preview images in tech menu
  • Harvesting forests and mining rocks earns goods
  • Cold temperatures reduce the harvest of your farms
  • Changed savegame directory structure
  • Porting to MonoGame prepared
  • Bugfixes and balancing …

Emission Levy

The emission levy (as shown in the image above) is a new rule introduced to add some fairness to the aspect of global pollution. Once the climate balance of the planet falls into negative, the companies with high emissions have to pay charges to the companies whose emissions are below the average. A good incentive to reduce emissions.

New Take Over Rules

The last alpha version 21 introduced to possibility to take over opponent cities by buying 50% or more of their taxes. We have collected your feedback and added our own ideas to further refine this.

2016-04-30_TakeOverTower

The value of a colony itself is now much higher to make sure freshly build colonies are worth more than 5-10% shares. Additionally we changed the rules for watchtowers (!):

  • A watchtower that has no connection to a colony center will be lost. This can happen when (A) an opponent takes over a colony or (B) a connecting watchtower is destroyed.
  • Watchtowers that have no owner and are adjacent to your colony can now be taken over by paying some money.

This makes the whole process of taking over opponent colonies a bit more interesting and challenging.

New Preview in Tech Menu

All buildings and their upgrades have received new preview images that are show when hovering them in the tech menu.

previewbildchen

Harvesting Forests & Mining Rocks

With the new version you no longer earn money when harvesting forests. Instead you receive goods every tick until you cancel the harvest process or the forest is uprooted.

2016-04-30 HarvestGoods

This is also the case for rocks. Mining them now also gives you goods that can be used by your population.

Important: Harvesting forests with the chainsaw tool and blasting rocks will give you only a part of the goods and you will need a storage to keep them, because everything is earned at once.

timber for goods

Influences of Temperature

The temperature of a planet field is shown at the bottom left of the screen in the field info panel. Farms and some forest types are affected by cold temperatures. The following screenshots shows an industrial farm that was build on a field with a temperature of -8°C. This extremely reduces the amount of food produced, as shown in the message panel.

2016-04-30 Temperature

Changes to Savegame Directory Structure

We have simplified the directory structure of savegames (left old, right new). When you start the new released version of Imagine Earth everything should be changed automatically. However, it’s always possible that something goes wrong. If savegames are missing please check the directory structure and write a support request to support@imagineearth.info.

2016-04-30 DirStructure

MonoGame Portation

Imagine Earth has been developed using Microsoft XNA – an easy game framework that is no longer in active development. Luckily members of the XNA community started to develop MonoGame which now can be used as an open source replacement. This makes it a lot easier for us to find bugs and enhance the performance of Imagine Earth (e.g. by using DirectX 11). In addition it enables us to port Imagine Earth to other platforms, though this is not something we plan to do at the moment.

Long story short: During the last weeks a lot of time went into porting Imagine Earth to MonoGame – especially sounds and music. Since a new technology might also introduce new bugs we will start a public test in the next days. Stay tuned if you are interested in helping us to make sure everything runs smooth.

Alpha 21 “Taking over!”

Here is our Easter release: Alpha 21 “Taking over!” – 10 new features – all in one basket. Please leave a comment to let us know how you like it!

Take over colonies
of other companies

You can now take over your opponent’s cities in free play and competition mode one by one. All you need is 50% of their shares. When taking over a city you give up shares with the same value as the city and you have to pay some additional money. And then… it’s all yours! A new economic way to world domination.

2016-03-24_TakeOver

Bloom & Blur

We added some up to date visual effects, namely bloom and blur to the game. See how beautiful the sunlight is now reflected on ocean water and the shiny metal roofs of your colonies, as well as bonfires, cities lights and crystals are glowing in the dark.

In addition the research, technology and stats screens received a smooth blur effect in the background.

2016-03-23_ImagineEarth01

New Info Panel

Long since there was more to be know about the ground types and fields on “Imagine Earth” than the old info panel could visualize. So here’s the new one with less bars and a fixed window position. Fertility, pollution and temperature are very important factors that now each have their own slot and are readable in a clear way.

With this interface change made we also decided to let the fertility of a field influence the food production. This means the bonus on a fertile field now depends on the exact fertility and the handicap on a desert field depends on how much desert-like the field really is. As a result it’s now much easier to find an acceptable field for a farm – and it feels less like a puzzle game.

info

Multiple Fossils & Ore

With the new Info Panel there are now up to three different fossil resources in one field. We therefor removed the general fossil type because it was confusing. Now every fossil production building (e.g. coal power plant) will only be influenced by it’s corresponding fossil resources (e.g. coal).

Ore is a new fossil type that boost the productivity of mines.

ore

Ideon Bomb & Item menu

The second items in the merchants shop are ideon bombs. As powerful as they are expensive, but finally a way to blast the small mountains out of your way that are hindering the expansion of your colony.

ideon

New Research: Blast

You can now research the blasting of rocks. This helps you to get rid of them much faster. It’s more cost intensive but time is money, isn’t it?

Earn Research Budget
with Science Points

science points

Leveled city districts have a new very important function in the free play and competition game modes. They add to your amount of science points. This amount will unlock new research budget which allows you to unlock the blessings of latest technology achievements for your colonies. In addition you can also get some research budget at the merchant – for a lot of money.

Victory Point Notification

In the competition mode you will now be notified whenever you or a concurrent company earns a victory point.

2016-03-24 VictoryPointNotification

Changed Victory Point Rules

To make sure the “highest …” victory points don’t jump around between the players we added a small change of rules to the victory points for quality of life, productivity and ground pollution:
When a player has received the victory point you need to exceed that player by 5% in order to take the victory point away.

New Communication Interface Graphics

Still needs some fine tuning… but much better than when these guys where just hanging behind the text boxes. If you ask me.

comm

That’s all for today, thanks for reading! Remember: Please leave a comment to let us know how you like it!

Alpha 20 “Victory is Yours”

Hi! Our focus for Alpha 20 was to improve the Free Play and Competition game modes. Here is everything in detail:

New Free Play & Competition Menu

This had to be done once and for all. Here’s the brand new game setup screen that brings all the features for “Free play” and “Competition” together in a consistent and intuitive interface. This setup has everything there is in the game so far and it lets you customize it in your own way. Ready for new content and features…

New Game 4

New Game 2

New Game 3

Victory Point System

So, here’s the first version of a victory point system that shell make competitive game play much more interesting. Why don’t you give it a try and tell us you’re ideas about what might be fun to compete for against Ai opponents…

  • One victory point per 500,000 people.
    Used to be per 250,000 people
  • One victory point for most city centers level 4.
    In case of a tie, all get a point.
  • One victory point for the highest quality of life.
    Counts only from 1 million inhabitants.
  • One victory point for the largest colony of at least 100 fields.
  • One victory point for the best productivity of at least 80%.
    Starts counting from round 500.
  • One victory point for the lowest soil pollution.
    Starts counting from round 1000.
  • One victory point for the owner of most stocks over 100%.
  • Victory points that were purchased from the merchant.

2016-02-26_Rating

Seagrass

Seagrass is a new underwater plant that grows near the coast. It compensates greenhouse emissions without claiming landmass and provides a habitat for fish, increasing the catch of nearby fisheries.

Seagrass also helped us to balance the Rounos mission and make sure it’s a bit easier and less disastrous to deal with Joe’s expansion.

2016-02-26_Seagrass

Streets & Buildings

The streets textures have been updated so finally form a grid that’s really connects the buildings to each other. Almost every construct has now modernized models and textures. Latest renovations are mine, mall, green house, and recycling factory.

newbuildings

Fossil Resources

We changed how fossil power plants are simulated. Their productivity now significantly drop when the fossil resources at their location are depleted and the depletion itself happens faster. How strong this factor is depends on the level of difficulty you choose. When the productivity of a buildings falls under 50% a warning is displayed above it.

fossiles

Wildfire & Tornado Logic Reworked

The balancing of wildfires and tornadoes needed some rework. With global warming rising they became very omnipresent and made it nearly impossible to deal with the situation. Without global warming they didn’t occur at all.

Now we have a new logic: Both wildfires and twisters are now based on multiple factors. In general they will occur approximately every 1000 rounds. This regularity is influenced by the intensity you choose in free play and competition modes, the size of the planet and the state of global warming. Tornadoes mostly start in high temperature regions and near the coast. Wildfires are at risk in high temperature areas with environmental pollution.

Wind Lense Upgrade

The wind park got a new technology upgrade. The wind lens is increasing energy output by creating a low pressure zone behind the turbine blades.

2016-02-26_WindLense

More

  • Ai climate concerns – Ai builds and plants trees at a certain point of climate change.
  • Warning for buildings with under 50% productivity
  • Icon positions over buildings fixed
  • Mountains and other huge structures adjust themselves to the planet shape
  • Menu odds and ends
  • Fixed problems in planet screenshot light settings
  • Warehouse upgrades no longer need to be researched
  • Fixed mixed up audio channels
  • Fixed too small start locations on planet Magni

Alpha 19 – Rules of the Game

Our latest release is focusing on making the free play and competition mode more interesting by pumping many additional options into their setup.

Planet Generator Options

You can now predefine many more things for a new planet you are creating. Especially interesting is the amount of polar ice on your planet and the general height of your terrain. So far the planet generation for the free play was a relatively restricted thing. Now you’ve got all the options from the editor to define what your planet and the starting conditions should be like and what kind of special structures (e.g. volcanoes and temples) you want to find on it. The different themes do now have individual models for small and big mountainss.

sandbox options

Rules of the Game

We also made some game rules customizable for you when starting a new round of free play or competition. With share trading for example comes the possibility to take over your opponents. Define your tech licenses and start budget and there is definitely more to come…

Free Play

Savegames

We reworked the savegame system and added an auto-mode. It will save the game before you build a new colony because this is one of the most important strategic decisions in gameplay. Additionally you are also asked to name your city. Use the option “Auto-chosse colony name” if you don’t want to be asked again.

name your colony

Warehouse Storage

We put an end to irritations about our new storage system for resources. The warehouse is now available from the beginning of the campaign and you don’t have to pay a tech license for it. In addition we reduced it’s storage to a maximum of 1000 for each resource category and the City Center no longer comes with any storage. With the help of the warehouse you will no longer waste overproduced goods or food – instead you can use it for trading. Theses changes should also make the interaction with natives and Xrathul better understandable.

Graphics

solar

As you can see the solar farm has received new graphics. We plan to let these panels adjust themselves to the position of the sun to be more efficient.

Additional Changes

  • Like to the laser radius we added in 18.1 we now also visualize the radius of upgrade like repair station and the shield.
  • New resource field textures
  • Fixed daylight bug
  • Fixed global warming balancing problems
  • Enhanced texts and clarity for missions Tuto, Joma, Lorian and Rounos

Alpha 18.1 – Statistics and New Demo

Here comes a small update to the last alpha release with the following changes:

  • Enhanced resource statistics with more details on produced resources: Production costs, market price, supply and more
  • The radius of lasers is displayed when you hover the building
  • Buying colony shares of AI players will give you a share on their profits, too
  • A lot of small bugfixes – especially for the trade ring

In addition we have updated the demo to reflect all changes of the last alpha releases – especially the new colony shares feature and the new Tuto planet.

Play demo

Resource Statistics

2016-01-08 DetailStats

Ok, this is a part of the interface we have been changing again and again. The new version adds market price, production costs and supply for all your resources.

  • The market price is currently only influenced by buying and selling stuff – this will be changed in a future version to better reflect the different production costs.
  • Production costs are calculated based on the money  your buildings need during production. For food and goods building the consumed energy is also taken into account.
  • Supply is a simple measure of how much of your cities consumption is covered by your production

In addition there is now a bar for every resource that reflects the available storage capacity and stock. If your storage space is bigger than 1000 – which is the default package size for trading – the bar will be separated into chunks.

Note: A city center comes with storage for 500 energy, food and goods each.

Laser Radius

2016-01-07 LaserRadius

A small enhancement that was really necessary – especially for the Lorian mission. When you have a research district with a laser upgrade you will see a radius that shows which fields are covered by the laser. This should make it easier for you to make sure all your buildings are covered.

Colony Shares Profit

2016-01-08 ColonyShares

Alpha 18 introduced the ability to buy shares of other colonies. These shares will now give you a part of the AI players profits.

Thanks for following us and have fun with the new version!

Alpha 18 – Lift Off

Welcome to a new year and to the first brand new Imagine Earth release of 2016 as well. Here are the features that Alpha Release 18 adds to the game.

Liftoff

Building rockets at the Spaceport

The spaceport is a new unit that gives you the ability to construct a spaceship. With this you can  sell 5 packages of resources to intergalactic traders at any time (1000 resource units each package).  This will give you better price conditions than trades with the merchant, but you will have to build a new ship every time which takes time and money.

2015-12-19_SpacePort

New city graphics

Jens did a rework of the city graphics. The new cities now match the futuristic style you would expect from a civilization that colonizes space.

2015-12-04_Districts

Separate resources can be stored and sold

So far our resource system knew only money and the three resources energy, food and goods. Adding more depth to this aspect of the game is something we have been discussing for months and now the time has come. The simulation of Imagine Earth now distinguishes between the following types of food: Grain, vegetables, salad, water, fish and meat. The same goes for energy and goods.2015-12-11_FoodTypes

Global resource storage

As the storage of resources now differentiates between the different resource types you can buy every type of food – even those you aren’t producing – and meet the needs of your people this way. As the screenshot shows you can also prioritize the storing of a specific resource. This might for example be a resource you want to make sure is available when the demand of your people rises.

2015-12-11_ResourceStorage

Trading goods and resources

The new trading mechanisms for diversified resources are introduced in the space merchant’s shop and the new unit spaceport.  You can store overproduced resource types separately and sell the overproduction for profit. For each resource a market price is calculated based on the amount that was bought and sold during the game. In the future we want to enable you to trade this way with natives and other colonists, too. In addition you can still buy special items like research budgets and landing permits (right part of the screenshot).

2015-12-19_MerchantTrade

New animation system for buildings

We are now able to give the buildings more complex animations and have already started to use this for some buildings, for example the stone quarry. Some buildings like the gas turbine power plant have also been redesigned  by Jens.

Buying colony shares of AI colonies

Last release we gave you the ability to sell your colony shares to refinance your company. Now we expanded that feature of equity trading to your opponent colonies and you can do a hostile takeover if you buy all their shares. This is especially useful to deal with AI players that pose a threat against the climate on your planet. However this feature is still in development and will require some balancing and the addition of things like receiving a profit share from bought colonies.

shares

New planets for Tuto and Joma

These two planets now have twice as many fields and nicer textures. In addition the stone quarry now already becomes available on Tuto and warehouse and merchant are introduced on Joma (instead of Lorian).

BigPlanet

More Changes

  • Restart is now also working for free play and competition on generated planets
  • Polished research menu graphics
  • Changed vegetation of first start planet (Thera)
  • Updated old dialog graphics
  • City center now comes with a storage for 1000 food and goods
  • Balanced neighbor field influences for forestry and quarry
  • Sacrificing at a temple now takes some time
  • Volcano can new be examined again
  • Deleting profiles is working again
  • Fixed diverse Bugs

Now have fun with the latest release and please let us know about any problem your run into… Thx a lot for your attention and have a great year 2016!

FReport #31 – Space port and Trading

Hi! This weekly report explains the new trading mechanisms of the Merchant and the new unit Space port.

Merchant Trading

As introduced in last week’s Friday Report, the resource system now distinguishes between up to 8 resource types for every of the 3 resource categories energy, food and goods.

In addition to special items like research budget and landing permits (right part of the screenshot) all resource types will be available for trading. For each  resource a market price is calculated based on the amount that was bought and sold during the game.

2015-12-19_MerchantTrade

When the merchant arrives at your planet he will have a set of  resources available that are in demand. The bar on the left side of the trade ring shows the storage of the merchant which is limited. This means that you can sell only a few resource packages if you don’t buy anything from the merchant.

We plan to give the AI trading abilities,  too – so the merchant becomes a shared resource. First come, first served!

Space port

The space port is a new building that gives you the ability to construct a rocket. With this rocket you can  sell up to 5 packages to a distant world (1000 resources each).  This will offer a much better price than the merchant, but you will have to build a new rocket or every 5 packages you sell.

2015-12-19_SpacePort

Thanks for following us! We wish you and your families the absolute best for the new year ahead.

Jens & Martin

 

FReport #30 – Resources

Welcome to our 30th Friday Report!
This week we have been working on:

  • a diversified resource system
  • population resource demands
  • global resource storage

All the things described in this post will be released with alpha 18 in a few weeks.

Resource system

So far our resource system knew only money and the three resources energy, food and goods. Adding more depth to this aspect of the game is something we have been dicussing for months and now the time has come.

The simulation of Imagine Earth now distinguishes between the following types of food: Grain, vegetables, salad, water, fish and meat. The same goes for energy and goods.

2015-12-11_FoodTypes

So what does this really change about the way you play Imagine Earth?

Population resource demands

The demand for resource variety depends on the level of your city districts. The people living in a level 1 district are satisfied with any type of food and goods. A level 2 district will need at least 2 types of food and 2 types of goods to be really happy. A level 3 district will need 3 types (see screenshot below) and so on.

2015-12-11_CityDemand

In detail each type must have at least a 20% share of the districts consumption. So a greenhouse could produce enough salad to meet this criteria for up to 5 level 2 districts.

Global resource storage

The storage of resources now differentiates between the different resource types, too. You can buy every type of food – even those you aren’t producing – and thisway meet the needs of your people. As the screenshot shows you can also prioritize the storage of a specific resource. This might for example be a resource you want to make sure is available when the demand of your people rises.

2015-12-11_ResourceStorageDetail

Trading

Trading resource will become more important and complex with the new resource system. More details on this next week.

FReport #29 – City District Graphics

Behind the scenes we are currently working on a big change for the resource system and the needs of your people. This is still work in progress – so there is nothing to show yet.

Meanwhile Jens redesigned the Research district, Park district and Financial district. They new use the same base element and nicely integrate into your cities, but have received a more recognizable special element. You can see all of them in the above picture.

 

Alpha 17 – Colony Shares

It’s release time again and this one really brings a lot of changes. For example we have added new city and shadow graphics, it’s now possible to sell colony shares and the growth of forests depends on local temperature and fertility. Since most gameplay changes aren’t very obvious in the game you can read all the details here.

Colony Shares

This one is a very important change to the gameplay. Until now there is nothing you can do when your colony is out of money, except harvesting some forests. The money balancing was kind of bad, because we had to make sure a small colony generates enough taxes  to fund it’s further expansion. Scaled to a big colony you always had more taxes than you could ever spend.

2015-11-12_ColonyShares

With the new release you are now able to sell colony shares. This is a great way to make some money whenever you need it. The worth of each share depends on the size of your colony. The disadvantage of this is that you will have to pay more money when you repurchase it at a later point of time. As the screenshot shows your buyers also demand and dividend so you have to distribute a fraction of your profit (when all shares are sold its 25% of your profit on normal difficulty).

New City Graphics

Jens did a rework of the city graphics. The new cities match the the futuristic style you would expect from a civilization that colonizes space.

Neue Häuser und Städte

In addition they have been pimped with specular reflections on all the window faces. This gives your colony a complete new look, especially with the night lights that now are colorized in each player’s color.

Shadows

2015-10-23_Shadows

The shadows really needed a filtering to make them less pixellated. For the technically interested: We are now using percentage closer filtering with 6 or 12 Poisson distributed and randomly rotated samples.

Production Statistics

We have added more details to the production statistics.

2015-11-12_ProductionStats

When you hover a specific building type in the resource stats you can easily find out how much productivity is lost by things like pollution or negative influences by neighboring buildings. The example screenshot shows the stats for all fisheries. The last row is the amount of money the production of 100 fish costs.

Fertility and Temperature

Fertility and temperature are two very important values for the local climate of a field.

2015-11-12_Fertility

As the screenshot shows these values can be visualized for the whole planet in the navigation view. Note the two red lines of unfertile area close to the equator. This happens on earth-like planets because most air with high humidity is being pulled towards the equator by the rising of hot air there.

Forests

Based on fertility and temperature each type of forest now has areas where it grows best.

2015-10-31_Forests

In addition all forests will become more dense when surrounded by other forests. The only exception to this are cacti. All other individual differences are explained in FReport #27.

New Sandbox Feature

2015-10-23_FieldEditor

The sandbox editor  now comes with add and remove buttons for every ground, deco and building type. As shown in the screenshot below you can select the wanted ground type and use the plus button to assign it to another random field. This makes it very easy to distribute fossils, gold, forests and other stuff.

Multi-Build

Last but not lease you can now drag a building from the build ring to attach it to the mouse cursor and place it multiple times. Alternatively you can keep the shift key pressed. Both features also work for tools and allow for mass repair or remediation.

2015-11-12_MultiBuild

Summed up we are very happy with the new release and now it’s time to take a break for some days. We hope you like the new features, too and would really like to hear your feedback. Some of the new features (like multi-build) go back to feedback from other players, so you can be sure we will read what you have to say.