Dear Civilization Manager Guild,
finally we have the update announced for February in the box. Due to the long waiting time, the blog post has become quite a few pages long, stuffed with optimizations of game mechanics and interfaces, plus a performance turbo of up to 100%, which we had to bring forward for the implementation of the game on consoles. That’s why this time there are only a few small goodies that make Imagine Earth more interesting from a gameplay point of view. Please keep in mind that there are still only two of us working on our complex world simulator, but rest assured that we won’t give up until it is complete in our eyes.
There is still a big add-on on the horizon that will be accompanied by some great new features for the main game, so stay tuned.
Fusion Power Plants
Power plants of this class no longer consume lithium constantly. Only a certain amount is now needed to build them. Thus, we have ended the absurd special status of this building. It was the only one ever that required a rare resource in operation. In exchange, we reduced the overall power of this unit a bit and gave it a special bonus when placed next to lithium deposits. Looking forward to see how you think this power plant is used best.
Forests are Back in the Build Menu
For a game that is not least about climate change, we have to note that the function for planting forests and reforestation was surprisingly difficult to find. Although we had built a very convenient control option that automatically plants the best fitting forests, this was unfortunately hidden in the sub menu Tools. Quite occasionally the feedback came “why this function is so strangely difficult to use”. All forests are pretty crucial buildings in the game and we have now combined the forest menu with the automatic forestation tool so that you can automatically see which appropriate forest is placed and what individual values the tree species has.
Upgrade for Thermo-Generator
The thermal generator plays a central role in colonizing and terraforming inhospitable planets. Therefore, this has now received a range upgrade that you can unlock via research.
Sounds and Ambience
We’ve worked through an age-old feature list and added 14 new sounds to the game to make the game world more vibrant and atmospheric, such as when you’re upgrading towers, having incidents, or clicking on a ship and a foghorn sounds. When there are riots in your districts, you will now hear an angry protesting crowd and when the probe comes to pacify the riot, a siren.
We always wanted to show you a beautiful sunrise on the start screen of the game, but this meant that the whole planet was in front of the shadows at first. Now the game starts with a beautiful day and shadows are allowed behind the mountains.
If any of you were wondering why the latest update took so long, it’s partly because of how labor-intensive the game’s performance optimization has been specifically for the Switch console. It was worth it though – resulting optimization of processes and graphics provides a big performance increase on older systems without dedicated graphics card it can be to 100%. On current systems it feels a lot more smooth now.
This improvement is accompanied by a few new graphic options that allow you to adjust the quality of shadows, lights, clouds, meshes and the planet shader.
- We have decided to significantly lower the requirements for the competitive achievements down to 50, 100 and 200 victory points achieved in competitions and the weekly challenge. As a result, you may simply have already completed certain objectives the next time you restart the game.
- The “multitalent” achievement is working again.
Research Filters and Bonus
We have included an additional visualization for meta-research. To highlight the overarching benefits of having a fully completed research lane.
With an improved filter in the research area, you can now see even better which researchable upgrades have certain positive effects.
Shop and Trade
- Merchants that are in the approach are now directly cancelable outside the ring. Especially useful if you didn’t call them at all or just misclicked.
- Merchants now always bring 20 items instead of just 12 when they come over.
- To adapt to systems with smaller resolutions, we have made the icons of items in the trade panel more concise and recognizable.
- Traders now have more storage space to buy your goods.
- Resource usage info is now on the side outside the panel instead of underneath where they liked to overlay the controls.
- Merchants now have a spaceship preview graphic that makes it a bit easier to distinguish them.
- Auto Crafting is now possible with gamepad and you can see by default which items are available for selection.
- In the Victory Panel we also cleaned up a bit – line breaks when describing the essential victory points are reduced to the minimum.
- Crafting Panel no longer remembers which build category was previously selected, so you always see all options when you open it.
Working with AI is a challenge in itself, it’s a lot about balancing and finetuning there. Feel free to let us know how you perceive their behavior and how it could be made more plausible and authentic. We’ve felt for some time that your competitors go broke too quickly and could pay a little more attention to money earning and spending to make for more interesting competitions.
- Also, the regularity and frankness with which they carelessly squandered their entire share packages seemed to us uneconomically unwise.
- AI factions have so far been too fixated on capturing large temples, neglecting other goals and duty to do so.
- In one of the last updates, we introduced whales as living creatures into the ecosystems. The AI considered them threatening and, as it does against pirates or insects, built noisy towers when they swam by.
- The AI corporations are now exploiting the ruins of temples to get the valuable artifacts.
Serious vs Sci-Fi Mode
- Sci-Fi Game Mode, which includes all game features, is always default from now on.
- Whether Serious Mode is enabled, which restricts the game to city building and climate change, is displayed in the top right corner of each game from now on.
- If you change the difficulty level in the game, you no longer have to reselect the game mode as well.
- In addition, in the campaign, instead of the serious mode, it will be displayed whether you have activated the additional help dialogs.
- Display and alignment factions in game setup has become fancier.
- When looting temples now you also get a warning if the warehouse is full or not, namely why looting artifacts was sometimes prevented in an unexplained way.
- On-screen keyboard optimized for PC with gamepad.
- Optimized tutorial and story on Planet Tuto.
- Delete mode for game and save states made nicer.
- Laser and pulse animations optimized.
- How to store goods was not explained so comprehensibly in the 1st mission and was completely unclear with the gamepad.
- Space Pirates, Natives, Illumati, Xrathul, Midras Burrowers, and Assimilators now have one thing in common. They will talk to you again in endless and competitive games. We’ve written them an extensive set of greetings, some of which respond to diplomatic mood and your actions.
[In the World Congress, the factions now vote in a jumbled fashion with sound, making it much livelier.
[Extraterrestrial threats no longer work when the planetary shield is activated. Because then you would just waste asteroids and pirates.
- We have reduced the basic ground pollution of nuclear power plants.
- The NPC tribes on Rounos can now be relocated after mission completion.
- Leen flies away on Rounos and Bora as soon as the planetary shield disappears.
- On Omicron Persei in the Bonus Galaxy, there were mission objectives that could fail due to other circumstances. These now don’t count towards the overall score, so no one gets annoyed because they have to replay the mission.
Glitch of the month
- In the building list, you clicked through to the planet behind it.
- The radius of the energy shield of cities was displayed too large.
- The shield helps against tornado again, basically it reduces the destruction by disasters, sabotages and invaders to 5%.
- Fixed incorrect voice output when explaining research in the tutorial.
- After completing Mission or Weekly Challenges, opponents will rave about their successes again.
- Sometimes mission objectives hung out of the bottom right of the screen.
- Editor crashed when removing all buildings on a planet.
- Display of effects on buildings made whole again.
- Licensing button with gamepad is above the other buttons again.
- On-screen keyboard display with gamepad in PC version is no longer buggy.
Players of the month
Our very special thanks in this update go to our ultimate players of the month Matts and Phoenix Flag for their enthusiastic and merciless bug hunting, which enabled us to find and weed out the most bizarre detail bugs. Also, feel free to come to our Discord to learn and discuss the latest developments first.
Thanks for your interest & support!
Jens & Martin