9/14/2020 in devlog
The next maintenance release is underway, details on how ship building blueprints will translate into a ship building project, and Asteroid Day T-shirts are finally on the way. Plus, your repair button dreams have come true!
It has become a tradition that we do a "maintenance" release in between two larger releases. These maintenance releases usually contain bugfixes for the currently released update, and they also contain a lot of smaller issues that didn't really fit into the larger release or just haven't had top priority.
I started to work on such a maintenance release this week and will continue to do so next week. We set the time limit to two weeks this time because we want to start with the next major release as soon as possible. I started a release notes topic in the forums but it is still unlisted since we will add a few more things this week.
Here are the most notable changes and fixes:
We added a "repair" button to the
BBL command that allows to repair a building without demolishing and rebuilding it. It is not necessary to remove any items from the production queue to do so. This was one of the most wished for quality-of-life improvement in recent time.
Another change I made is that the first term in a newly built Administration Centers will now only last three days. That allows to use it rather quickly instead of having to wait a full term's length until the first governor take office. I also added a new notification that is being sent when an election starts.
First things first, OMG I can't wait for that repair button, Michi! :D
No less exciting but a little further in the future, my main topic of last week was defining the details of the ship-building process. As I mentioned before, you will create your own ship blueprints using a set of drop-down menus for the different parts. Our current plan is to support 12 selectable parts (some of which come with multiple variants, while others are even entirely optional): STL engine, FTL reactor, STL fuel tank, FTL fuel tank, cargo bay, hull plates, heat shielding, Whipple shields, radiation shields, gravity control, self-repair drone hub and high-g seats.
Depending on what you chose for your blueprint, other secondary requirements will be calculated automatically. Depending on your ship's total size, you'll need a certain amount of structural components. You'll also need a command bridge, crew quarters and, if you're creating an FTL-ready ship, an FTL field controller including a sufficient set of field emitters to span the ship's volume. To sum everything up, we'll display the total materials needed and an overview of the ship's performance right in the blueprint window.
When you're happy with your blueprint, you can save it and use it to start a ship-building project at a planetary shipyard. This project will then basically work like a restricted storage that will only take exactly the materials you need to build the ship. Once everything is there, you can start the construction and not long after that you'll be able to command your brand-new ship!
I'm happy to report that our Facebook desktop ads performed a lot better than last week. I decided to run an A/B test on two different audiences with the same content. One ad was targeted to gamers that are interested in economics and the other ad was targeted at gamers that are interested in space exploration/hard science fiction. While neither group was better or worse that the other, both ads performed well and shows us that both audiences are important. I will work on optimizing the content for the next ad test to see if we can really get some devoted new players!
Apart from ads, I wanted to thank those of you that are helping me out with the Economics HVCO, I really appreciate it! If you have any examples of recession, inflation, or stagflation as it relates to PrUn, then please send me a message on Discord or add comments to the document. I also had a few journalist reply to my press release about Populous, which is definitely great news on the PR front. Fingers crossed that they decide to publish something about us :)
My week was all over the place: With Populous out the door, the focus of the whole team switched to the upcoming maintenance patch and the next and likely final major feature release of 2020 (how on Earth is time passing so fast?!). So quite a bit of time went into "project management" in the broadest sense, setting up tickets, dev roadmaps etc.
I also took care of sending out a batch of freshly printed PrUn t-shirts to the winners of our (not so) recent give-away on Twitter/Facebook. I got scolded by people that shall remain unnamed that I should not waste my precious time on tasks like this, but since it was only a handfull of packages this time around and I wanted to get a feel for how this kind of thing works for when we start fulfilling our First Access perks, I felt like it made more sense if I took care of it myself for now. The sheer incompetence of a certain German logistics company made the job a frustrating one, but I prevailed, the shipments are on their way and Nick should have sent an message to everyone who'll hopefully have a package in their mail soon!
Last but not least, I was involved in the early design iterations of our new website. Manoj is working on a refresh of PrUn's general design language, including not only the desktop and upcoming mobile version of the game itself, but also all the things around it like the website and account management systems. The website is he "low-hanging" fruit, so it's likely going to be the piece that I'll start implementing first.