Just like that it’s December and the new year is approaching quickly. While Michi continues adding depth to the base building feature, Martin is hard at work to make sure our new payment systems are ready before January.
My top priority this week remained to finish the new payment system before the end of the year. After I completed the general interface and payment process - as described in last week’s log - I continued with implementing the binding to the first actual payment provider. This took somewhat longer than I plan to spend on the following providers, but it essentially was the “reference implementation” and therefore I spent a lot of time on documentation and various “firsts” that will be reused over the coming weeks when I integrate various other payment methods.
I then went on to adjust our existing payment systems over at AirlineSim to the new flow. As said before, the idea is to unify all payment- and accounting-related in a single application so both our games can use them with minimal knowledge of the details. While it won’t be before 2018 that we actually have to process payments for Prosperous Universe, for AirlineSim I want to get it done this year so my “books are clean” starting the first of January :-)
It has been a I-did-kind-of-everything type of week for me.
Of course I supervised the currently running third iteration of our alpha tests. Just as last week it runs smoothly from a technical perspective, although the players tell me that there is a shortage of construction materials resulting from the scarceness of a mineral resource. This slows down the test a bit, but I am not going to do anything about it. There will always be some items or resources scarce in Prosperous Universe and the players have to adapt to that. Occasionally new players arrive at the forums and ask to be part of the test which I grant :). We now have around 30 players who created a company in this test.
On the development side of things I have been fixing issues that came up during the test and also added a few smaller things that have been requested by the players. At the same time I started to work on new things that will not be added to the current test but the next one.
One of the largest features being that the cost to build a base or a section on a existing base now depend on the environmental conditions of the planet. We incorporate two factors at the moment: temperature and surface. On well-tempered planet nothing changes, but if the temperature is too high or low additional building materials are required: thermal shielding and InsuFoam, a kind of insulation material. This makes colonization of planets other than the lush homeworlds a bit more exiting and expensive :). The second environmental condition is the surface of planets. We distinguish rocky and gaseous planets and up until now it was possible to build a base on a gas giant just as easily as on a rocky planet. Bases and buildings on these gas giant now need aerostat foundations, a new building material, which essentially creates floating outposts. This concept is not new, but very interesting. Even the wikipedia has an article on aerostats.
As always, we’d love to hear what you think: join us on the forums!