Moar buildings, moar capacities!

31 Jul , 2017 Particle Nations

Moar buildings, moar capacities!

Before we unveil the most polished UI we’ve drafted so far, I wanted to talk about the progress done to date on the development. It’s not fancy, there are no pictures to show, but it is at the core of the simulation, and that’s why we are all here.

More of everything

Initially I was aiming for a game that was super simple on each layer, but have multiple layers. Reality hit me like brick thrown by a catapult thrown by a bigger catapult to my face: adding content takes way less time than adding a new simulation & gameplay layer. And budget is scarce.

And so, the plan shifted to making the current mechanics way more robust, with plenty more diversity. That meant rebalancing the whole thing.

New content

So now we have more things to worry about. Basically we have more demands to supply, and we must do so by requesting the construction of more buildings or pieces of infrastructure that can deliver that. Remember, you are not actually laying down pipes and building roads, this is a national scope game after all. The click of a button and time will do it all.

I won’t list everything, but here are a few examples:

  1. Sewage and Garbage. In both cases we must deal with both the collection and the disposal. You could simply collect sewage and dump it everywhere, yes, but you can also be thoughtful and use a sewage outflow to at least contaminate the water, not everything including water as well. Or if you are feeling fancy, and wealthy, you may consider other options which involve water treatment or recycling. You are not drinking your own pee if you can’t taste it.
  2. Power and Water production were there since the beginning, but now you must also deal with the distribution of each. If you can’t reach the whole nation, you should invest in expanding your power grid or your water pipes. Again, with a press of a button, and time.
  3. Private buildings for Recreation, such as Bars, can now flourish to supply Recreation which is a new demand by the population.

Together come new Capacities (which are supply/demand categories) in line with these new facilities, such as Sewage collection, Sewage disposal, Recreation, Prison cells, and many others. Also Education has now been split into Elementary education and Higher education. Fortunately we have individual population generations so we now exactly how many students of each it is required.

A few new mechanics

In order to incorporate the consequences of pollution, a Capacity (supply/demand category) does not fit the bill. So now, buildings can also affect Attributes, such as the new Air quality, Environment and Fresh water national attributes. Unlike capacities, attributes normally go from 0 to 100 and are affected gradually as opposed to being updated on every simulation tick. They allow to have long term, slowly changing values in the game.

And soon, a UI overhaul

We’re currently implementing a new UI into the game. On the next update we will focus exclusively on the new UI drafts, the decisions behind it and, not too long after, an actual video showing the game which is starting to look like a game now!

That said, on the last post I talked about sliders, and boy that post is old already. There are a few design tweaks going on for them, both in the context they will be used and styling. Therefore, in order to bring that post up to date, here is a sneak peek into the next developer log:

It’s more difficult to write an engaging post when all progress is made on the simulation, with nothing pretty to show. That, however, is about to change on the following entries.

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