The final stretch before testing

Last month is probably a new productivity record: 87 of scheduled tasks completed with a delay of only a couple of hours.

Most of the work was aimed at preparing for closed testing, in particular, creating an interface and adding all the low tier buildings. So now there are facilities associated with the production of clothing and footwear: tannery, slaughterhouse, weaver’s, tailor’s and shoemaker’s workshops. Raw materials for them are cow hides, hemp and lime (later this list will be broadened). The models for them so far look too simple, but the main focus now is core gameplay, so that’s ok.

Another big shift has taken pace in trading. Now in order to make a trade agreement with other town you’ll need to send there a messenger. You can watch how he moves on the map

When arrived, he can make deals for 30 days:

I decided to complicate everything again and separated cows, bulls and oxen, all of which can be bought from outside. So there’s no more same-sex breeding, sorry.

For local trade we have now separate market stands that have 4 slots. You can set them to sell whatever you want (providing you have it in your warehouse or granary):

Citizens will buy here whatever they need.

Agriculture became even more complex. Now each piece of land has three indicators of nutrients, that absorbed by different plants in different proportions:

Only thoughtful crop interchanging will prevent land from exhaustion. If there’s a manager on the farm, you can set up an automatic crop rotation. Leaving field fallow or, even better, using as a pasture helps restoring land fertility.

This is by far not all that was added in the last month. Substantial changes and optimizations were made on construction, transportation of resources, personnel management. The game now is much more complicated than what I imagined it will be three years earlier. But I believe this will make it stand out among other city-building games.

Further plan is to prepare the game for testing. I need to finish the saving/loading system, add some hints and fix some most irritating problems. Hope this won’t take more than a week. I want to remind you that this build will have only placeholder models of buildings, some missing animations, and many more symptoms of an unfinished game. The main goal is to test core mechanics and get relevant feedback.

Recently, when I read the fellow city-building developers blog, I came across information that their project earns the minimum wage by selling alpha on their own site. And I suddenly thought that the minimal wage in UK is not so bad for Ukraine:) I mean monthly minimal in UK is what I pay for house rent for like 13 months. Of course the game is not yet ready for Steam Early Access, but this kind of soft start among a limited circle of fans, I think it’s worth a try. If lucky, I could quit my job and even have a couple of weekends in a month 🙂 And in the meantime, continue to add features.

Anyway, first of all – closed testing. This way I should see the weakest spots in my game without an unnecessary risk.

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