10/5/2020 in devlog
Michi fixes the dreaded drag and drop bug, Fabian balances out materials and recipes, Nick explores more ad strategies, and Manoj gets closer to a finalized mobile UI interface.
I am still working on internal tools, just like last week, so there is not much to tell about that... yet.
Besides that I've been looking into a few bug reports and fixed some minor issues. The most serious one was probably a drag and drop bug that prevented players that just joined from moving inventory from their ships to the newly founded bases. Luckily that bug could be worked around by refreshing the site, but still, it was annoying and whenever a newbie asked what's going on in the general channel the players helped out! Thanks!
Using the necessary restart I also switched back the calculation of the populations' average happiness to its indented weight values. During the explorer's grace phase we set the average's weights so that the current report accounted for ~90% of the happiness to boost population growth. Now that this phase is over the average happiness is being calculated from the last five reports with the more recent ones having a higher weight.
Currently, we see a couple of different strategies on how governors and company owners handle the challenges of the planetary populations. We have been asked to raise the production fee limitations for faction planets and systems in order to support tax-heavy strategies properly. We thought it was a good idea and production taxes can now be set between 10-90 (before: 10-30) for faction worlds and 5-120 (before: 5-40) for faction systems.
Last week I put together a list of material tree changes and collected some feedback from the team. Besides a number of general balancing and consistency tweaks, the focus will be giving underused materials (e.g. NA, AMM, CA, TA) more applications, balancing out the production buildings more (by splitting "overloaded" buildings into multiple ones or shifting recipes to underused buildings).
I'm also planning to streamline software commodities by introducing multiple categories of complexity that build on one another (sort of like electronics already do it) and by spreading it a bit more over the workforce tiers (probably starting with Technicians).
Last week was a short one for me since I took Thursday and Friday off to move apartments. Now that I am all moved in I can concentrate on all the different marketing projects in a much more conducive setting. Michi had a pretty fantastic idea about a new 15 second cut of the "Free to Play" trailer that will be used for YouTube Ads. It's a pretty cool idea and I'm hoping to get it done soon with the help of the freelancer we used last time. If all goes well we could probably start YouTube ads in November. Facebook ads continue to be a bit frustrating since we keep getting flagged for "dating" ad content. I have repeatedly sent the ads for a re-review, and they eventually end up getting approved but it does interfere with the tests we are trying to run. So far for this experiment, "space explorers" using the cinematic Early Access trailer is performing better than "economists" using the Free to Play trailer. I will continue to optimize both ad groups moving forward.
Discord had an update where we can now broadcast certain posts to players that are not currently members of the PrUn server. I made some changes to our server so that we can now take advantage of this new update and also listed our server on some of the Discord lists out there. One of my goals for October is to look into different marketing strategies for Discord since we have a great community there already.
I'm working on bringing design consistency to the entire ecosystem of Prosperous Universe. After the critical feedback on the mobile interface, I struggled a bit to bring some of the sci-fi design elements into the limited real estate of the 6 inch mobile UI, while also trying to balance the visual simplicity and futuristic feel for the game. I hope to bring this to fruition next week.