The weekly hog news 17

These past weeks i’ve been working on solving lots of different kinds of technical issues.
I’ve now completed a basic registration of Ymir on steamworks and started learning how it all works, uploading my first test build on steam.

I’ve also , at last, merged all the old server code into the client, so everything is now combined into a single program.
I’m now busy repairing and updating all the networking functions and starting to actually get this new server runnning and communicating with the client again.
Its a long process as, since the prototype, not only did i decide to update to a quite different version of the engine i’m using but i also to got rid of as much of the 3rd party extensions i was using as possible.
I did this because even if these were adding tempting new content to the engine, in the end they’re a liability and a source of problems.
Its a bit like having a game with lots of big mods. Each mod sounds nice on paper, adding new features. But in the end you start adding these and when your game crashes you can’t do much about it. First its a problem as everytime the game has an update, you have to wait for all the modders to also update their mods , then reinstall these, and its time consuming. And usually by the time they’re done, there a new game patch.
Then there’s moders who eventually abandon their mods after they get bored, and as they did all that for free they dont own you anything after all. So when the game has a new patch, you’re left with incompatible or unfinished mods and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Well its a bit the same with the engine and its 3rd party extensions. So i’d rather be dependent on as few things as possible and i’m trying to eliminate all the extensions i was using in the alpha1 prototype. Which includes the networking library itself. So all that + the new engine version update is basically why i have to repair/inspect each mecanism of the program one by one.

The weekly hog news 16

 

GREENLIT!

As most of you hog followers on facebook already know, Ymir was greenlit last week after 11 days. I’m really happy that it went pretty smoothly and gratefull for all the support , votes and sharing you guys did for the game!
Also thanks to Elissa Park for doing this new voice over in the updated video presentation for the Greenlight.
This had kept me busy for the last weeks and now back to regular development.

Also a special thanks for my good friend Alexandre Chaudret who made well… i beleive it to be the first fanart of Ymir , for the celebration of this Greenlight. Behold Lucius Porcatus! ( Also clic on that hog to check out his awesome other works! )

STARTING REGIONS
Now besides that what’s new…
I’ve finished the basic functionalities of the editor.

I added the support for “primitive spawns”.
Primitive spawns are regions that can potentially host a primitive tribe when the game starts. Basically a player spawn, as when a player joins the game he takes control of one available primitive tribe.
Unlike the alpha 1 prototype where things were more random causing problems at game start, these regions ensure the presence of at least :
– One meat source ( wild animals )
– One alternative food source ( generally a cultivable food source like wheat )
– A small fresh water source
– A small clay deposit
When a map is generated, it randomly sets some regions as a “primitive spawn” ( generally regions with a natural source of fresh water like lakes and rivers ), but this flag can be set manually in the editor when creating custom worlds. For exemple this way you can create a world with continents where no player can initially spawn on.
These starting resources will probably change as the game gets balanced, but the tech to allow specific resources for starting regions is here.

A small fresh water source will spawn in regions flagged as “primitive spawns” when they lack any natural source ( like rivers or lakes ).

GAME START SETUP

Also i now started working on the game creation setup and the “New game” menu.

WORLD SETTINGS
You can choose between procedural and custom maps.
A custom map is a map manually created in the editor.
A procedural map is generated automatically with different settings. You can set these settings yourself or use presets like “Terra” that generates standard Earth-like maps.

GAME SETTINGS
Game settings have 2 different modes : Official labelled games and custom.
In an official game, you cannot customize settings and -if ever one day- mods will not be allowed . Official games offer standardized game-balance and speed presets for a reliable game experience so players won’t have to struggle looking for real “vanilla” games.
Theres is for now 2 types : persistent and real-time. Persistent is the official preset made for games meant to be run 24/7 in a more “MMO” experience, with higher player number and where players are not supposed to be ingame all along. In this mode things like resource production , population growth or units movement on the worldmap are slow and balanced for a server running permanently.
Real-time is meant for smaller games, such as a private game played with a small group of friends and where all the players are supposed to be ingame at all times. This is a game meant to be played, stopped and reloaded for the next session, and where things like resource production will be fast enough to keep players busy in real-time. Think Anno in multiplayer.
But you can also create a custom game. While it won’t be labelled “Official”, you’ll however be able to set your own balance by tweaking the game parameters like construction speed, resource production multiplier and cycle duration, unit speed etc…

WHAT ABOUT STEAM
Now that the game is greenlit, there is actually a set of administrative things to do in order to complete its registration before i can fully acces Steamworks , including getting a US Tax identification number which can apparently take a while… :(
After that, i can start discovering and learning how this all works and test/continue the development in steam, which will take a while ( that’s why i needed this greenlight this ‘early’ ).

 

Ymir now on Greenlight

 

This is it gentlepigs, today we signed up Ymir on Steam greenlight.
This is the first major milestone for the project, and now more than ever we need your help to support Ymir and share this news.

Why the greenlight now even though the game isn’t finished ? Greenlight is critical to gain access to steam so we can test and develop the game within its final aimed environment as a final product ( exemple for accounts, server management and listings etc ) but also to be able to easily organise alpha and beta testing as the development goes.

It is of the highest importance that you vote for us on greenlight and share this to everyone you can! And i mean EVERYONE!

 

 

The weekly hog news 15

Last week we got all the animals actually in the game and fixed some issues ( like tiles not beeing animated properly ), to be ready to make a new showcase video about the different biomes. We added support for water and flying NPCs ( for fishes and ambiant birds ).

We added cliffs at last, to avoid the black hole beneath terrain tiles when there was too much height difference.

Also made my first basic shader. A really basic brightness and color balancing shader to change the tint and light depending on climates. Its now part of a really basic “post process” with a vignette effect and a “sun halo” to add atmosphere when zooming out. It mainly makes a difference in sunny climates ( arid and desert ) , that are now brighter and tinted in yellow.

 

 

The weekly hog news 14

We’re going to start preparing for the greenlight now, and will also be preparing a new video to show off the world and region regenerator with all the reworked biomes.
Also we’ve been redesigning the choices of basic ressources available for each climate to make things more climate-specific in order to improve trading possibilities.
Vegetables are splitted in 3 ressources and we’re adding a few new ones like dates for arid climates. Some ressources wont be naturally present but you’ll be able to introduce them in the region.

Basically it will go like this :

Main food sources

  • Nordic : Potatoes, apples
  • Oceanic : Wheat, carrots, apples
  • Continental : Wheat, carrots, apples
  • Mediterranean : Wheat, figs, tomatoes
  • Arid : Wheat, chickpeas, lettuce
  • Desert : Dates, lettuce
  • Tropical : Corn, rice, beans, bananas

Main alcohol resources

  • Nordic : cider  (apples)
  • Oceanic : cider  (apples)
  • Continental : cider  (apples)
  • Mediterranean : wine  (raisins)
  • Arid :  beer  (barley)
  • Desert : beer  (barley)
  • Tropical : rhum  (sugarcane)

Main cloth resource

  • Nordic : wool ( sheep)
  • Oceanic : wool (sheep)
  • Continental : cotton
  • Mediterranean : linen ( flax)
  • Arid :  linen ( flax)
  • Desert : linen ( flax)
  • Tropical : wool ( llamas)

Basic animals
Many will be available to introduction in foreign climates, like chicken. Also some animals are specific to relief regions ( like llamas, sheep ) or regions with direct water access.

  • Nordic : rabbits,  sheep; mammoth, fish
  • Oceanic :  rabbit, cow, sheep, horses, fish
  • Continental :  cow, dog, llamas, horses, fish
  • Mediterranean :  dog, cow, goats, horses, fish
  • Arid :  ostriches, buffalo, goats, camels, elephants, fish
  • Desert :  ostriches, buffalo, goats, camels, fish
  • Tropical : capybaras, buffalo, chickens, llamas, elephants, fish

 

Date palm, Chickpeas, Crow, Whitebird, Parrot.