9/13/2021 in devlog
This week the team talks about two releases: the regular maintenance update which has been released last week and Prosperous Universe Mobile!
This week I was busy with preparing and releasing the 2021.4 maintenance release. All in all it went rather smoothly, but as usual there are a few things that need fixing and adjusting. One prime example is the dreaded HQ bug that took us way to long to fix. The solution we included in the release didn't quite fix it and instead a white screen of death just showed a loading indicator. After some helpful tips from Fabian I was finally able to figure out the root cause and a server restart later everyone could see and use the
In the release notes topic and on Discord a big discussion around the newly introduced market makers arose. We added mid- and high- tier market makers to stimulate the economy and players moving up the tiers by introducing artificial demand. The height of MM buys and sells is always difficult to master, so we haven't been to surprised to see many (and diverse) reactions once the plans became public. In the end we decided to listen to the players that pointed out that some to the mid-level MMs had way too high buy orders, effectively making it more lucrative to produce for them than to continue producing simple building prefabs. We will monitor the MM balances closely and you can see from the chart below, that the first few days have been rather quiet. Please keep in mind that these MMs are subject to change and we don't recommend building whole base setups just to farm them.
Besides, I was helping out Martin with the mobile UI again as we have an internal milestone coming up. Usually Martin is doing the implementation for this project and is being supported by a freelancer regarding design and styling, but getting APEX ready for mobile devices requires going over pretty much all of its UI. Since I have contributed quite a bit to the regular UI in the past, I can be of help in the mobile UI project.
I am happy to announce that the handbook has a brand-new FAQ section. Our community moderator Saganaki has contributed it over the course of the last days. Great work, thank you very much!
Since there were quite a few new features in last week's maintenance release, the week started with lots of testing (and subsequently the adjustments to the new MMs Michi mentioned). In terms of future things, we discussed the NPC contracts again and are getting to a point where we have the mechanics roughly figured out, but there's a lot of "framing" left to do. After all, these contracts, while they will fulfill similar roles as "quest systems" in other games, should make some amount of sense in the world of Prosperous Universe and not feel tacked on artificially.
Another topic I started diving into was one we had discussed during our in-person team meeting last weekend, inspired by the recent waves of players brought in via YouTube and other sources. We want the game to grow long-term, so we need a solution for the "limited space for new players" issue. In the past we raised the number of plots on planets or added additional starting planets, but both measures only go so far. We don't want to do away with plots in general since we believe they add meaning and character to planets and thereby the universe structure itself, so we need to look into other solutions that ideally make sense not just in terms of gameplay, but are also justifiable lore-wise.
As Michi already mentioned, we are hard at work getting ready for the release of the new mobile UI. Because this is a project for which we received public funding in Germany, everything about it works a bit differently compared to our usual mode of operations. One important difference is that we need to get an age certification, the application for which I have now wrapped up.
Technically, the project is done since the end of July. But you know how it is: In software, there's a difference between "done" and "ready to hit the public". The latter will happen before the end of October, though. So stay tuned!