First of all, in case you missed it: We are looking to expand out team with a PR & Community manager. So if that sounds like something you might be interested in or you know of someone who could be, check out the ad! With that out of the way, back to the development log!
Unfortunately, I spent the majority of the week traveling on business and working on a customer project. While this means I got almost no time to spend on Prosperous Universe, it brings in some much needed cash to keep the project going. So that’s good, I guess.
Still, I had some time on Friday to work on the project and used most of it to spread our new job ad - it’s surprising how much time and effort it requires to spread it as far as possible with the means we have available - and to continue implementing more payment methods for our overhauled payment system. On that front it looks like I might not be able to reach my self-set goal of finishing and rolling out the new system before the end of the year but I haven’t given up on it just yet. I guess you’ll find out about how it went in next week’s log :-)
Thursday last week I sent a questionnaire concerning the current test round to all alpha players to gather feedback. Although I said on the forums that we will keep the server alive for a little longer, it deserted pretty quickly. Seems to me that sending out questionnaires instantly ends an official test round :). All joking aside, in the days after Thursday at least two players reached their goal of creating a core module (a module necessary to colonize a planet). That is fantastic for several reasons. First: the players put a lot of effort into this endeavor and in at least one case worked together as a team. This means we as game designers reached one of our design goals because we want players to actively cooperate to achieve difficult goals. Secondly that means that the dependencies between all materials, resources and buildings have worked out and it was possible to create a core module.
After this (and the other) test rounds we received a lot of feedback and we want to thank all the players for participating in the questionnaires. I will eventually summarize your feedback and post it in the forums, so we can discuss it.
As we mentioned last week the Material Tree is our main focus right now and I have been focusing on related tasks the whole week. One outcome of the tests so far is that the role of the constructor is too powerful at the moment. A constructor starts with a Prefab Plant which is used to create building modules (like mines, chemical plants, habitation modules). In the early stages of the economy the demand for modules is very high and constructors can set prices for the modules very high, but even more: they can basically choose who should get what module by arranging deals with other players. This makes the constructors very powerful and new players who don’t know any constructor have a hard time buying modules. For the next test we want to try something new: We scrap the idea of having modules to build a building and let players build buildings directly and themselves. What sounds like a quick change to our world editor was indeed a bit more complicated and I spent a lot of time rewriting the dependency logic in it. The next step is to adapt the materials to the change and then we are ready to start a new test.
Last but not least: Thanks to your votes we got into IndieDB’s Top 100 list! The voting is now in the second (and final) round and it is open for a few more hours! Please help us out and cast your vote for Prosperous Universe!