6/1/2020 - devlog
With the release of Populous inching ever closer, Michi details how population and workforce will be integrated while Fabian explains the effects of planetary projects on your populous. Only one more month until our new team member arrives!
With last weeks' performance issues gone I could finally focus on the Populous release again.
This week I started by integrating the stand-alone population simulation into the server code. That means that I made sure every planet will get its own population and that this population will be initialized with the planet's total workforce. The actual population simulation will happen every 7 days. The result of the simulation contains a lot of useful information, but first and foremost it tells us how much the population has grown or declined within the simulation period.
The next major step will be the distribution of the workforce. Right now every company has its own workforce that it can use to operate its production lines. This changes with Populous. After the population simulation the planetary workforce will be distributed evenly between all base owners of the planet.
Maybe you saw my message in Discord: I deployed the first code of Populous to the servers this week. For the distribution mechanism to work the population needs to know how many of each workforce type a company needs and for how many it has housing for. This information is regularly sent from the companies to the population, and we start to aggregate the data now, so it is available once the release goes live.
More on the distribution mechanism in a coming devlog!
Last week I continued my journey into the depths of our internal material tree editor tool to integrate all the new products that will be introduced with Populous, as well as all their recipes and the planetary infrastructure projects with their initial building costs. These building costs will increase for higher levels of the projects of course, so creating a first balancing draft of leveling up costs was the next item on my list.
Once you manage to build an infrastructure project though, it'll not automatically start fulfilling your population's needs. The other thing you need to keep track of is each project's upkeep. Certain materials will be consumed daily, others once a week, but all of them need to be present on the project's own upkeep storage to make it run at full efficiency. Upkeep for bigger projects that provide more fulfillment will be significantly more expensive of course, while the smaller projects have to stay manageable for planets with fewer players or ones that are just starting to grow. Also, infrastructure that's more important to higher-level workforces (such as universities) in general comes with more complex upkeep materials as well. With the rough balancing in place, I'll now go back to running some more simulations and thought experiments on how this whole thing might play out.
Oh, and I should also mention that I had a design call with Michi last week about a feature that'll be a very significant quality-of-life improvement, especially for veteran players with lots of bases and lots of buildings! ;)
I wanted to start by saying thank you to those of you who volunteered to be interviewed for my player psychology project. It really means a lot and speaks volumes about the great community we have here. I am looking forward to diving into the mindset of dedicated PrUn players and seeing what common elements I can pull together to create our "perfect adopter" framework. I also wanted to give a shoutout to GDP who welcomed me into their Discord chat for this experiment.
I also was able to almost finalize our "Release Roadmap" image for both SEO and social media purposes. I think it is turning out really well so I am excited to show it to you guys (hopefully this week). I am also organizing some behind-the-scenes footage of the team to share on social channels so players can have some faces to associate with the game development. If you are interested in seeing us, make sure you follow on Twitter and Instagram! By the way, the winner of the poll for the next artwork is Montem; thanks to everyone that voted. I will do a poll again after finishing the next image so don't fret if your favorite planet did not get chosen.
As mentioned a few weeks ago, I am busy getting as many small- to medium-sized tasks out of the way before July. Right now this includes improving our in-game analytics, so Fabian (among others) has more hard data to work with when designing new and evaluating existing features. Only five more weeks before the new guy arrives!