First of all we proudly announce that Imagine Earth is nominated for the German Games Award (“Deutscher Computerspielpreis”) in the category Gamedesign. Quite an honor to stand right next to titles like “The Last Tinker – City of Colors” and “Lords of the Fallen”.
The awards ceremony will take place April 21st in Berlin. Let us know if you are there. But here’s what happened last week:
While working on this Jens did a redesign of the Info Panel as you can see in the bottom left. The gray bar shows the amount of fossil resource left in the field. The energy produced by fossil power plants will go down over time. This will make buildings like coal power plants much more power full, but you will have to be careful to use them the right way. Fossil resources are limited…
The stats now shows population, life quality, advance, etc. of competitors. This will visible in missions like Rounos and Bora and in the planned competition mode.
Each warehouse you build stores up to 3000 goods. The ecologic and efficiency upgrades will add storage for 3000 food and 3000 energy. Storing resources will help you to decrease the amount of resources wasted due to overproduction. And you can use the stored resources to sell them, donate them or keep them for times of resource shortage.
Volcanoes now spit burning rocks onto the surrounding fields and set your buildings on fire. This is still work in progress.
What’s up next week?
As always we are working on gameplay elements for the Bora mission. The most important part will be to build the space merchant and to integrate volcanoes into the mission script.
In addition we will have a try adding a custom population goal as a win condition to the Free Play mode so you can compete against AI players.
Yes, we had a talk about our roadmap and here are the features we plan to add with the next two alpha releases… Continue reading →
We plan to update the early access version with Alpha 9 next Friday. The glorious final campaign mission and the AI we are working on will not be part of this release. But there will be a lot of other new features that will be fun and worth a try. So let’s keep this short and go with some more screenshots.
What did we do the last 7 days?
The AI now considers the influences that buildings have on each other. This way they make much betters choices on what building to take and where to place it.
We completed the basic trading system. You can read more about it in last weeks post and see a screenshot of it in the header.
Destroyed City Centers can now always be rebuilt. This is because we realized that it really s*cks to rebuild your whole city in a new location when your City Center has been destroyed by a twister or something else (and you didn’t unlock the rebuild tool from the research).
This one is my weeks favorite! You can create a new planet and it is saved to the sandbox galaxy so you can (re)play it anytime. This is the foundation to integrate Steam Workshops for planet sharing into the game (YEAH!).
The free game mode now will give you coins and new city centers until you reach 20 mio people.
Currently the population stops to grow when you are out of resources. Thanks to the feedback of one dear follower (thanks Bora!) we realized that it’s much more interesting to let the population grow based on the space available. This means you will have to deal with the problem of supplying enough resources. The population growth is based on the level of difficulty so you can still keep it easy if you want.
The Warehouse is a new building type that will have some deeper influence on the gameplay. You can use it to store overproduced resources. If your population grows too fast or some buildings are destroyed the resources from your warehouse are used to meet the demands of your people. The screenshot shows a small bar over the goods balance representing the total amount of stored goods. In the top left you can see the absolute amount for the focused warehouse.
Crash the server: Ok, this one was really stupid. I (Martin) decided to have a short try updating some libraries on our server and ended up crashing the whole thing at 2am. Not the best way to finish your day I can tell you. Luckily it’s working again thanks to the backup made by our hosting. Thanks a lot for this feature.
What’s planned for next week?
Main focus is still on the Bora mission and maybe we will add the volcanoes that didn’t make it last week. But since the next Alpha version is due Friday 6th of March, we will focus on things that can be used within the release. For instance the natives on Rounos will start to trade their special food with you and we hope to add a first version of the sandbox editor so you can terraform your generated planets.
Nope. We have to get back to work now. There are things to be done. You know.
We learned that some of you would like to follow our work in more detail. This post is a first try to give you some insight into our weekly development.
What did we do the last 7 days?
Jens created the concept and design for a planetary trade system that looks pretty promising so far.
Next thing he did was a first draft for some new characters (see post title): The space merchant will come around when you have some valuable gems and products to offer to trade them for research tokens and more… The Electronic Employer is the ultimate planet exhauster. Major Eko is good for sub-quests regarding environmental issues. The Illuminati are the natives of Bora. Living in their pyramids they got a very strange technology to turn the planets forces against you if you turn out not being a friendly visitor.
Additionally to these new characters he made a design concept video for how the communication with these guys might look much more sci-fi style in the future. It’s on our new youtube channel and you really should set the quality to high.
Martin has been working on an artificial intelligence for computer players that will be used in the Bora mission. Right now it simply starts to grow it’s population by building districts. Resource buildings are built whenever required. Some parts are still missing though. The AI still has to learn that building a lot of fisheries next to each other doesn’t make sense. In addition it only grows it’s city to level 2 for now.
Next he started to implement the trading system that we have been discussing lately. It will allow you to buy resources from natives and to trade with friendly AI players.
In between I added the new characters and temple buildings for the Illuminati to the game.
The last thing (some minutes ago) was implementing the Warehouse that stores overproduced goods so they can be used for bad times (see the bar over the goods balance at the top center of the screenshot).
What comes next week?
Our main focus will be adding all gameplay elements necessary for the Bora mission. There might be some volcanos, additional AI routines and other stuff like that. If there is some free time available we will create a galaxy screen for your sandbox planets. This screen will allow you to “discover” new planets which means that you will be able to keep the generated planets and collect them on a screen similar to the one from the campaign. One day (or hopefully already in some weeks) we will also add the ability to terraform those planets and to add and remove all available buildings so you can create interesting scenarios like demolished cities.
The AI we are building for the computer players on Bora is only a first step. We want to make this available for the free play, too. But obviously it will take some more time to make sure the computer becomes a good player and opponent.
We hope this was somehow enlightening for you. If so please leave a short “great” in the comments.