0.9 – The “Better life” update
Before Steam release, we pushed one update every two weeks. It was a lot of pressure for our sole developer. We’ve decided to make only one update per month, and will be at least twice bigger! So 0.9 is the first of our big updates, we hope you will enjoy the improvements.
The biggest work in this update was to improve user interface and user experience. Let’s be more specific.
Clever harvesting and recycling
Harvesting and recycling stuff on the map is way quicker. You don’t have to select the right tab anymore! Say you are on the crafting tab and you just lack one branch to complete an axe recipe, you can simply click on a sapling to obtain a branch, and then click on the craft button.
Intuitive building selection
Before this update, selecting a building requires to close the parchment. Not intuitive at all, I know… At the time I made that, it seemed pretty logical to me, and I needed players feedback to realise it was not a good design.
Anyway, now you just have to click on a building and its description will open. From there you can repair it, recycle it, or use its special abilities like fishing.
Storage in a separate window
Storage is not in the parchment anymore, but in a separate window. Food rationing slider now shows in this window when you select the Food category.
Simple objectives for starters
In replacement of the sorry excuse for a tutorial we had before, there are now a series of objectives that should guide new players in the first turns of their first game. We’ve studied the things new players were often missing and invited them to do it in the tutorial so they cannot miss it anymore.
Later we could add long-term objectives that will be like achievements for experienced players.
- A loading screen with a progress bar, displayed when you start a new game or load a save file.
- “In construction” and “damaged building” indicators always visible on the map.
- Waiting time for actions like crafting, fishing, working on a building have been drastically reduced (for crafting we went from 2 seconds to 0.15 second). So now this is nearly immediate so you don’t have to wait, and still this tiny delay gives feedback that makes you sure that the action was made.
We asked players to vote for a feature (chosing between 3), and the winning one was a window showing information on skills evolution and unlocks.
This new building has to be placed next to an ore vein. It allows extracting large amounts of ore, which is essential when you start to produce metal tools. Using the mine is also quicker than breaking the boulders on the map.
In the same idea, the quarry is an efficient and nearly endless source of stone, but requires to clear a large area to be built. Also, as you can see in the gif, this will alter terrain.
We’ve got translators working hard for us this month! The game is now available in three more languages: Portuguese, Russian and German. The Steam store page has also been translated.
I also worked on a tool that automatically finds missing translations, because I was always missing a few with each new update.
- Woodcutting and woodworking skills have been merged, as were mining and stoneworking.
- Cooking fish is now associated with the Survival skill. Villagers should now be able to learn Survival and Stoneworking skills (where before it was really hard to practice).
- When a villager is level 1 in a skill, practicing level 0 actions will make it progress twice less than practicing level 1 actions.
- Tree stumps are now removable with a pickaxe.
- Pressing Escape when a raft is coming to the island will instantly end the movement (so you don’t have to wait)
- Some buildings were showing material lines with a required quantity of zero. Those lines are now hidden.
- Removed “difficulty level” in save file previews
I spent a few days on bugfixes. I wished I could have done more but we chose to focus on new features first. The interesting thing is that some of the UI/UX improvements fixed several bugs by just being implemented.
- Fixed bugs that occurred while loading a save (details are too technical to explain shortly)
- Bronze tools recipes now really produce bronze tools instead of rudimentary ones
- Screen resolutions higher than 1920×1200 are now selectable
- Fixed workshop requirement tooltip
- Fixed skill progress bar that was showing 100% before really reaching the next level (it happenned when the value was something like 99.7%, it was rounded to 100).
- Several minor UI adjustements
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A couple things I forgot to mention, crafting x5 and x10 options would speed up gameplay, and possibly reduce lag. Allowing these to be selected even if the worker doesn’t have enough hours to complete the task.
For example, on Xbox you could use the “X” and “Y” buttons as the X5 and X10 options.
Switching between “Agriculture”, “Craft”, and “Build” tabs could be done with Left Bumper and Right Bumper. This would make navigating the menu smoother.
Actions like chopping down a tree or mining should be able to be shared between villagers, if a single villager doesn’t have enough hours to complete the task. This, of course, should require both villagers to be wielding the proper tool before the task begins, thus making a requirement for shared tasks having two of the required tool.
Game has potential, I enjoyed playing, but I found it rather anticlimactic. I thought the whole time I was trying to get off the island in survival mode there was something bigger coming when I built a ship, but that was the end!
I was hoping for more land to build and develop, the whole thing felt rather rushed. I was hurrying to get the ship built before storms consumed all of my resources (through repairs and actually blowing them away) and then it was over…
Playing on Xbox one there is ALOT of lag. Seems odd for such a small game with very basic graphics.
Steel strapping seems to have no purpose? I scoured through crafting menus and perused multiple forums/websites to no avail, what is it for?!?
Randomly generated islands are cool, but can leave a player SOL if certain plants/resources don’t spawn in high enough quantities. I played a game where bamboo was made extinct because of a tornado, very little spawned to begin with. Also had an island run out of broom at the start (there was only a couple small broom plants) and effectively killed my villagers due to a lack of housing.
Possible solutions: crate drops could lean toward resources that are not available on the island.
Also, broom seeds. Being essential for early game it would need to grow very fast.
Harvested bamboo should be able to be broken down into shoots.
Stronger version of the warehouse would be nice!
Fishing buildings are almost pointless, you get a few fish from it then it’s useless…. having the fish roam farther would make this less annoying. Players would have to watch for them to be in range. Also displaying the fishing buildings range would be super helpful to avoid wasting work hours!