Despite the radio silence over the last month or so a lot has been going on behind the scenes. Since launching the greenlight campaign things have been very heads down and development focused with not a whole lot of time dedicated towards marketing. When working on any long term project there are only a finite amount of hours per day and at this stage every day spent on development getting closer to alpha release is time well spent.
Despite this, the feedback gathered from the community so far has exceeded expectations and having the game be examined past it’s superficial qualities is definitely encouraging. Going forward monthly updates like this will be a more regular thing and showing more screenshots/gifs/videos of gameplay on twitter and the subreddit will be prioritized.
From the beginning of the development process modding support has always been a consideration, though initially for the alpha release just an asset editor was planned. But because of various reasons (a big one being refactoring & abstracting some of the more rushed areas of the codebase), lua scripting has now been added to the engine. This means that there will be greater flexibility for modding beyond graphics from the get go.
Some time was also spent redesigning the user interface surrounding zoning. Though a fair amount of polish is still needed, it’s in a good enough shape to be able to quickly zone out reasonable sized areas of terrain. This will make it easier to quickly plan out bigger cities and grow them to larger populations. On the roadmap for next month is a fair amount of performance refactoring and testing the economic side of the simulation at a larger scale so this will definitely be helpful.
Zoning will definitely be improved in the future- as seen below the roads and plots are being drawn in a grid layout, but more layout algorithms will be added in the future, along with tools that give greater control of placement, for instance drawing a set of plots alongside a road that already exists.
As mentioned already, the greenlight campaign is ongoing. It has definitely been a positive learning experience, but the process definitely has it’s flaws, especially for games that don’t appeal to the wider gaming audience (it’s not a FPS zombie survival game to the dismay of many greenlight voters). But despite this, the ratio of yes/no votes is still encouraging- submitting early in the development process is definitely an advantage though as it will allow votes to accumulate gradually over time.
It increasingly seems like games are greenlit not by raw numbers but by the discretion of Valve and while it would be great to eventually be in the ecosystem (or even just the certainty of getting through the greenlight process), the game will be released cross-platform regardless of the greenlight status once it has reached the stage of being ready for alpha release, either directly on the website and/or on other marketplaces.
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