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We did it guys!
Retro-Pixel Castles is now over 100% funded on Kickstarter, and Greenlit on steam! This is an amazing day. Thank you guys for all your support. we push to our FIRST STRETCH GOAL at $7,000 - 5 New tilesets and map packs!
QUEUE THE VICTORY MUSIC!
Past few days have been a bit crazy, but I'm still developing away as usual. Recently I've been working on adding children to the game, a much larger feat that it lets on. Part of adding the children is also coding the foundational support for animals and monsters in the future. So there's a ton of stuff going on behind the scenes.
But on to the kids. Your villagers start off without a mate of any kind, if their happiness is high enough they may start partnering up. Once they partner up a whole new branch of AI opens up and they begin visiting each other when they're bored or sad, they also attempt to live in the same house and if they're both in a good mode, they may even go back to their house and get frisky!
Some villagers partnering up.
.. and gettin' frisky!
Once said friskiness happens, there's a slight chance one of the two will get pregnant (Spoiler alert; the female!). Once a villager is pregnant, her production speed across the board slows down, but she can still work and function like a normal villager.
A Pregnant Villager
Eventually, the villager will give birth. Once that happens, out pops a little child. The child will gain one-forth of the combined statistics of both parents. So for example, if both parents are level 10, the child would be a level 5. (10+10) / 4 = 5. Same goes for all the other stats, like STR, DEX and INT. Additionally once the trait system is completed, the children will also inherit a few random traits from either parents and have a chance to spawn an entirely new one on occasion.
Children can't work, all they do is wander around the village bugging people, eventually I will be adding schools, orphanages and other activities they can do to gain XP on their own before they finally grow into adults.
Some kids in this shot (The ones in the lavender clothes)
After a certain amount of time, you guessed it, they grow up! Once they're fully grown they can work and function just like any other villager in town.
I have tons of long term plans for the entire process, currently though it's somewhat simple. I plan to add more elements to the game, like the risk of the mother or child dying during labor, and clinics that can lower the chance of that happening. As mentioned a little before, I'd also like to eventually add buildings child-specific that can help them when they're growing up get a slight head start, like schools they can visit to "learn" (gain XP).
I've added a few features to the game based on your guy's feedback. Now, when villagers build they will build first to last, where as formally they were mostly indiscriminate about what order they built things.
I also fixed a few AI bugs, mainly with farming. Resolved a strange bug where farmers would sometimes completely refuse to harvest their crops, and I've made the farmer's delivery AI much smarter. Now when your farmers deliver food you should see them consistently distributing the food to all the houses evenly, and not in large groups.
I've also added two new backer awards on Kickstarter!
$40 Tier - MAKE-A-MOB. This new tier allows you to put forward a monster idea I will work it into the final game! (Note: All tiers above it retroactively receive this award as well, hurrah for you guys!)
$300 Tier - "THE LIST". This is a very special new tier, because you guys are so overly fantastic and within only 5 days maxed out my top-level backer rewards I had to come up with something even more special! This award will grant you all the previous backer awards, and put you on a special list that will make sure you get always get alpha and beta invites to every single game SixtyGig Games develops in the future, and when they games are released you'll get a free digital copy of them as well!
and finally, I'd like to express how happy and grateful I am for all your support! It's amazing, we've reached a third of our Kickstarter goal in only five days!! You guys are absolutely awesome! Don't forget to hit up Greenlight, we already have 1,288 votes but we still need about 4,000 more!
Kickstarter offers many backer rewards, and a modest goal of $5,000. If you're interested you can head over to the Kickstarter Page!
The Backer Awards:
- Name in the credits - There will be a credits button on the main menu, when clicked it will start a credits roll listing all of the Kickstarter backers and how much they contributed!
- Free copy of the game - You will receive a free copy of the game, either on Steam, Desura, or any other service RPC is on.
- Free copy of the soundtrack - A DRM-Free digital copy of the entire soundtrack to load up on your various music devices!
- Villager named after you - Your full name will be added to the pool of random villager names. Must be an actual real/realistic first and last name, it does not have to be your real name if you don't want it to be.
- Gifted villager named after you - Gifted villagers are special villagers with increased abilities, the same rules apply as the regular villagers reward, but instead you'll have the honor of being part of the very small pool of Gifted Villager names.
- Award Banners - On http://retropixelcastles.com you will receive an award banner on your account matching your contribution level!
- Random quote - On the main menu there is a cute little bouncing text below the logo that will say completely random quotes from all over the web. You will be allowed to add your own, and it'll have your name on it! (70 Character limit, including your name, and spaces.)
- Content Contributor - You will be allowed to make your own custom map that will be included in the final game's "Kickstarter Map Pack" with full credit given to you. There are only two requirements, the map must be playable and must not contain to obscene content.
- Map Pack creation - Submit an entire theme idea to me (Candy, Mars, Moon, etc) and I will create it, along with a collection of maps to go with it. It include it in the game retail. (Must fit in to the overall theme of the game and not a violation of copyright law.)
- A new friend! - I will add you to my Steam friends list, and you'll be able to interact with my directly. I will occasionally bounce ideas of you, and give you links to test builds and other fun stuff to play around with. You will also have on-demand game support!
For the second Mechanics Blog I will be discussing the buildings. In Retro-Pixel Castles, you place buildings in a similar fashion as you would in an RTS, as long as they're within your range map. (See the previous blog for an explanation of the Range Map system) but how they all function varies greatly, and many of them interact with each other in symbiosis.
The Village Center
When you start a game of Retro-Pixel Castles, you'll hunt down a good spot to call home. Once you find a spot you think is think is safe (hah! sucker! You're going to die anyway!) you will place your very first building, the Village Center. The Village Center is your primary building, and the only building that houses "Builder" workers that can construct other buildings. Losing this building pretty much spells doom for your village, so protect it well!
Homes are fully automated, each house can hold a certain amount of villagers, some food and in the future, some wood for heating for my future plans to add seasons to the game. When a villager gets hungry, sleepy, or simply just bored he will head to his house for some relaxation. Additionally as your villagers go through their day, they will also couple-up with other villagers. When this happens they attempt to move in together. So over time, your houses are naturally filled with pairs villagers who coincidentally will occasionally go home and "get busy". The happier your villagers are, the more often this happens, and in turn, the faster your population growth is!
Farms, are your main source of food. (Big surprise there!) There is food scattered all over the map, but none of it is replenishable. You will have to build some farms in your village and plant some of the food you find to get a stable food source going. The workers assigned to the farm will automatically harvest crops, and deliver food to the houses on the map.
Every resource in the game as a harvesting building that goes alongside it. Like a Lumber Mill for wood, and a Stone Masonry for stone. The workers assigned to these buildings will go out and gather materials on the map where ever you tell them to and bring it back to their building to store. They also play a vital role in the efficiency of your builder's building process because they can deliver resources to build sites, allowing more time for the builders assigned to your Village Center to build, and less time wasted gathering materials.
Many of the maps will have abandoned buildings scattered around, these old buildings cost roughly half as much to restore as it would cost to build a brand new one. So when placing your Village Center, it can be very helpful to locate some of these buildings and start your village near them.
Light Sources extend your build range, allowing you to place buildings further away from your Village. They play a vital role in setting up your defensive permitted out beyond the normal limits of your village. The Future
These buildings are just a small sample of what RPC will offer in the future. I have plans for guard towers, barracks, mage towers, alchemy labs, schools, orphanages, forgeries, workshops, and many other buildings. What I've shown you today (and what will be released in the upcoming Building Mechanics demo) just barely scratches the surface.
BONUS: Stay tuned! The Kickstarter, Greenlight AND the Building/AI Tech-Demo will be released soon!
As I develop this game, I have many ideas floating around in my head and on paper about how this game will be played and how the many mechanics will all come together to make this a great little game. A problem I've come to realize during my development is, while I have this vision in my head about what RPC is, it's all in my head! So I've decided I need to start explaining these features to the fans!
So, to remedy the situation I've decided to start posting some news that isn't so much just about the new features I've added, but more a general blog about the game and it's many currently existing and planning features to give you guys an idea of what the full scope of RPC is all about.
For the first "Mechanics Blog", I've decided to explain the range system, what it is for and what it means to the player. When you start a typical game of Retro-Pixel Castles, you will start with a handful of villagers on a random or preset location on the map (depends on the map's configuration). From there, you have no buildings, all you have is your handful of villagers. You will be allowed to build one, and only one building to start off with: your village center.
Once you find a suitable place on the map to place your village center, your villagers will start building it. Once completed, a colored range map will pop up. From here on out, the only land you can harvest, farm, and build on will have to be within the range of your village center and it's future connected buildings.
Now, because you're restricted to building within that range is seriously limits your ability to defend yourself from the onslaught of the monsters that will spawn, and eventually engulf the map. So it's up to you to expand your range quickly so you can put up walls, towers and other defensive elements in key defensive areas.
Almost everything you build adds to this range map, some more than others. Currently planned, the two main ways to quickly expand your range is to build light sources or guard towers. Light sources are mostly non-functional, and really their only purpose is to expand your range map and provide light. But, guard towers will also house soldiers who can defend your city and offer a substantial increase to your overall range.
As you can see in the above shot, they are building right on the edge of their building range because they can not reach around and build up north. But, once the light source is built, the range expands, allowing them access to the terrain north of their village.
While this seems like a somewhat minor mechanic to talk about, this plays a very critical role in how you manage your village. When playing you'll want to attempt to bottleneck the monsters attacking you into key points where you can kill them off so they don't harm your villagers, the problem is since you can only build within your range map you can't simply just run off to each edge of the general area you've established your village and block off everything everywhere. You have to build out your range map in those directions. All the while, the monsters are trying to eat your poor little villagers!
Feel free to leave a comment about what mechanics you'd like me to cover in the next "Mechanics Blog"!
I've been mostly working on breeding and polish the past few days, while breeding isn't quite ready to show off it it's entirety (Still no children yet!) one of the new polishing elements is! I've added informational floater icons/text to the villagers, buildings, and anywhere else that seemed appropriate. I feel it brings a large amount of life to the game and helps keep the player better informed as to what is going on.
Currently, these icons pop up during various game events. For example, when two people partner up and "go home together" *wink wink*, when they deliver, remove or gather resources, any time XP is gained or they level up, any time their stats change and so on and so forth.
Since there isn't too terribly much to explain about this new feature, I decided to just GIF bomb you instead! So enjoy!
(From left to right)
1. Villagers going home to get busy.
2. Villagers building a small house.
Villagers collecting stone.
Villagers returning logs to their Lumber Mill
Villagers delivering goods to work sites for the builders to use.
I try to keep you guys posted every few days about the work in RPC, usually giving you a nice news bit at every landmark. But this landmark is a biggie, so you're getting a mid-landmark update of what I have been working on!
Over the past few days I've been working on the building mechanics and making the AI smarter. I've added quite a lot since the shadow update, mostly on the content side of the house trying to flesh out building mechanics to get this glorified map editor turned into a game. Here's a bullet breakdown! (because who doesn't like bullet breakdowns?)
- The Village Center
The Village Center is now operational, in the future you will only be able to build one. A close approximation to the village center's function is like the "Construction Yards" in classic RTS games like Command and Conquer. When you first start a new game, you'll have somewhere around a dozen villagers, and no buildings. Then you will find somewhere on the map to place your Village Center and your little guys will start putting it together. Once built, you'll be able to start building other things in-range of your center. The villagers working at the village center will automatically start building objects on the map you drop down, so make sure you always have some workers at your village center or nothing will get built!
- Global range.
Now, all the buildings contribute to your maximum building/harvesting range. Your village center is the only building allowed to be placed anywhere on the map (to get you started). But, after that you have to build within the constraints of your build range. But, every time you place a building, that range grows. In the future you'll also be able to build cheap "range extender" buildings, like Guard Towers and your global range will "level up" as your population grows.
- Abandoned Buildings.
I've added abandoned buildings that can be placed in the map editor, these buildings are pre-placed on maps and the player has the option to rebuild these for a fraction of the original build costs and start using them. The current plan is every single building in the game will have a "abandoned" counterpart. So map makers could make little "abandoned villages" other players could use on their map.
- Smarter AI.
I've done a lot of tweaks to the AI over the past few days. One example is I had originally I had planned that the gathering workers at the Stone Masonry, Lumber Mill, and other gathering or storage buildings would deliver their resources to the Village Center itself and then the builders would fetch the resources from the Village Center and take it to build sites to start working. But instead, the Village Center now no longer carries any resources what so ever, and the gatherers just take goods directly to new building locations automatically, making the process a lot more fluid and natural! You can see some of this action in the screenshots below, where the villagers in red (Lumberjacks/Stone Masons) are taking materials to the build sites being worked on by the villagers in brown/green (Builders).
I've changed gears a bit and decided it was time to overhaul the shadow engine. The game is reaching a point I can start adding several new buildings, terrains, topography and resources, so I decided before I started in on that I should get my new shadow engine concept working since it involves hand drawing shadows for everything in the game. It just makes sense to do it before I have dozens of building and sub-building types in the game.
So, here it is! The new shadows. The new hard shadows really give the buildings, walls and terrain a bit more pop. It's a lot easier to see the depth ques (Very important for a true top down game!) and personally, I think it gives the game a nice clean and crisp look to it. Enjoy!
In-Game shot, featuring the walls and some of the buildings at various stages while the Lumberjacks and Farmers do their work.
Inside the map editor, a small mock up of some walls, rocks and trees.
A tiny village at the edge of the map.
A lot has been added over the past few days, mostly I've been working on the villagers themselves, developing their AI to be much more intelligent and adding leveling up and statistics. Now villagers know to look for food when they're hungry, go home and sleep when they're tired, and when there's no work to be done at their assigned building they just head home.
Nearly everything your villagers do will gain experience, including gathering material, managing the city, killing monsters, building structures and reproducing. As they gain experience and level up they automatically distribute 5 points into strength, dexterity and intelligence. As they level up and gain STR/DEX/INT it has a trickle-down effect adjusting all their other statistics, including; gathering speed, building speed, waking/running speed, attack damage, hit points, and energy decay rates for example. So higher level villagers usually live longer and are much more productive overall.
Another large part of the villager's statistics system is some future plans for villager traits in the the upcoming trait system. Villager will have a random chance of being born with up to 5 random traits, these traits can have minor to drastic effects on the villager's AI or his statistics growth. Just a few of the traits planned are:
- Strong/Quick/Intelligent: A villager with one of these traits will get a chance at additional stat points in their inclination area. For example, a villager that is "Naturally Strong" will have a 50% chance every level up to gain an additional strength point.
- Weak/Clumsy/Dumb: Same as above, but instead you have a chance of not gaining a point where you normally would have.
- Fast/Slow: A small walking speed bonus/penalty.
- Hyper: AI clock ticks faster, resulting in them bouncing around more often and not holding still. They may get more done when they're awake, but their energy levels drop faster.
- Homosexual: Doesn't reproduce, but is generally happier.
- Lazy: Doesn't want to work as often, and attempts to sleep or eat more frequently.
- Rabbit: Breeds more often.
- Scared: Runs from monsters more often.
- Fearless: Attacks monsters, regardless if they have drastically higher statistics than the villager instead of running.
Also planned, when your villagers reproduce, the offspring will gain a 20% bonus to their stats, based on their parents based stats. Meaning higher level parents will produce higher level offspring. They will also have a 25% change (per trait) to inherit one of their parent's traits. So it's in your benefit to keep your villagers alive as long as possible, if your constantly losing your villagers, you'll have a much harder time keeping everyone at high levels.
A little shot of the current WIP "statistics pane".