Afflictions, Jobs, Religion

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:

(This is what happens when Nicholas takes a vacation.)

This is what happens when Nicholas takes a vacation.

This is not part of the list, but it's cool.

This is not part of the list, but isn’t it cool?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
A typical Gaslamp Games design meeting.

A typical Gaslamp Games design meeting.

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!

Incomprehensible UI mockups from David? Check.

Incomprehensible UI mockups from David? Check.

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.

chapel

Are you an upstanding Mechanist or are you one of those Scoffcogs causing trouble with your counter-revolving theories?

* Unless you’re the Silicoids.

17 Comments

17 Responses to “Afflictions, Jobs, Religion”

  1. maurizio says:

    I continue to have problems with the cemetery, is the 32nd patches, pretty much when I load a saved game the settlers who had died under the lapithus appear above ground, provide, Hello.

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  2. Roo says:

    Now waiting anxiously for a Master of Orion/Clockwork Empires crossover.

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  3. Alistaire says:

    But, will there be church decoration dedicated to Quag’goroth?

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  4. JumbocactuarX27 says:

    Will we be able to drag and drop to shuffle around workshop order priority? e.g. if I wanted to prioritize pie making over pickled black fungus for a while, could I easily shuffle things around or would I have to cancel jobs and re-issue orders in the proper sequence?

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  5. Taliabear says:

    I think that since you can limit a crew to workshop-only jobs in the UI if you want to, also doing it in the code is somewhat redundant? If player opinion affects your knife-fights any. 🙂

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    • Really the filters are just sort of the wrong paradigm for workshop work. All of the other filters mean “will or won’t pick up any available jobs from that category”.

      But, since no other work crews can do the jobs for one workshop, and because you don’t want to ever be able to disable workshop jobs for a workshop workcrew (because they’d still be assigned to that workshop) the workshop job button is currently a button that should only ever be available to work crews that have been assigned to workshops, shouldn’t ever be disabled, and means “will always pick up any available job for my specific workshop and do them before all other jobs”, and then isn’t really even a button anymore because players can’t toggle it.

      …Hence the Totally Safe Design Discussions 😀

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  6. Headjack says:

    But what does the watermelon do?

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  7. chainlinc3 says:

    I do hope the churches can be… re-purposed by cultists. Particularly if your Excitable Vicar turns out to be a Heretical Vicar. I would be amused by alien geometries taking root a church and slowly driving every parishioner to madness.

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  8. Euel says:

    Yes, Our Colonists did need a church, if only to fight off the effects of Cultic Activity. On every Gear-day, one can hear the lilting strains of that old hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is our Cog.”

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  9. Wouter says:

    Any news on the linux version? 🙂

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  10. Mr147 says:

    Im having a problem with whenever i load up my saved game I can’t put any modules to the buildings. Hopefully that’s gonna be fixed.

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  11. Kaidelong says:

    On work crews, why not take some inspiration from Tropico and have lower class workers fill open slots in work crews, with the player being the one able to determine just how many open slots there are on a crew, with colonists tending to work on crews where their friends are? Or where they get the best salary, if any kind of money is eventually implemented.

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  12. Bropocalypse says:

    I’m disappointed that “Exciting Vicars” wasn’t a tag. Maybe once they’re actually implemented.

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  13. maurizio says:

    Hi guys, I have encountered an error on farms, when I upload a saved game is coming off a error window where I advised that the farms were not more and it was so, I recreated another worked but the next day it was locked again, practically had no more food production, are in 32b version, Hello.

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