I took a vacation last week. It was really, really weird. So here is a list of things we are working on this week around the office:
Afflictions. Previously, we have a notion of “you get shot a bunch, you die.” This does not really convey the interesting damage model we were after. At the same time, we do not wish to start modelling individual colonist teeth like certain other games we know. The solution is afflictions, which I suspect has been inspired by our in-office game of Dominions 4. As units are damaged, they may receive afflictions. These afflictions may affect characters by giving them (currently) an equivalent to negative traits.
How do we fix these? Well, for now you don’t have a Physician or Doctor, so the local barber is what you’ve got. Or not so much what you’ve got, but, rather, the first stage of The Plan.
Job System. One of the mysterious issues in revision 32A is the problem that people sometimes seem to stop working. So, there are several causes for this:
- If a work crew is assigned to a workshop, they will not do work outside of the workshop. This is, in fact, a design decision, albeit one we never conveyed to the player. However, this was – shall we say? – implemented as a bug rather than as a feature. If you had a work crew assigned to a workshop, and that workshop had jobs like “bake bread”, but you couldn’t do any of the jobs due to lack of wheat, that work crew would never pick up another assignment due to a “code issue”. This bug has now been fixed. The actual idea of “a work crew assigned to a workshop never does any other work” is controversial, and we are currently knife-fighting in the pit over it.
- As a consequence of this, and the necessity to have many separate workshops to fill out a supply chain, the player did not get enough middle class colonists to run every required workshop as well as oversee workers harvesting resources or farming. Instead, you mostly got a lot of lower class workers which are intended to be used as a disposable, shufflable work force. We have changed the balance moving forward so players will receive more middle class colonists, and have added neat little buttons to the work crew screen to quickly add/remove lower class workers from work crews.
- An additional bug meant that two work crews could claim the same assignment. The first work crew to claim the assignment would be unceremoniously booted out of it, and the second work crew would take it over. The first work crew would then never work again presumably due to sullenness. This has been fixed.
So, as always, the problem was a mysterious mixture of bugs, features, and missing UI. Top people are working on it.
Something else that we have been discussing, but haven’t really figured out how to tackle yet: the problem where people queue up 300 assignments and expect the game to do them in some sort of reasonable order. At present, work crews do assignments based on their “utility” as calculated per job per colonist – which is possibly problematic if you have everybody mining surface nodes due to considerations such as “we are really close to surface nodes and have an irrational love of rocks”, and not farming due to considerations such as “those farms are really far away and I’m tired.” You can’t eat hematite, fools!* This suggests that you should have a way to prioritize assignments, and that the priority of assignments, all else being equal, should be first-in, first-out ordering, with the possibility of adjustments. I’m tinkering with this, and we’ll see what sticks.
Oh, and the X button in the jobs menu now actually cancels work assignments!
Economy. Again. In the same line of thought, we are enhancing workshops so that they can now attempt to maintain stockpiles of certain processed goods. The plan is that workshop jobs will now be either “one-off jobs” (Make 30 planks) or standing order jobs (“ensure supplies of planks never fall below 30”) and can be processed in the order they are displayed in the workshop. If you have “Maintain stores of 30 pickled black fungus” before “Make 20 pies”, for instance, people will attempt to bring the number of pickled black funguses to 30 before making 20 pies. (If they can’t, they’ll go ahead and will make the pies, until they run out of pie-making material; once this happens, they’ll start evaluating the list of workshop orders from the top again.)
The Church. In order to combat the menacing problem of Cults in our modern society, the Church is now open for business. The building itself is in and may be charmingly decorated, and we are working on Exciting Vicars.
* Unless you’re the Silicoids.