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Foundation

A new era of organic city-building simulation!

Devlog #10

Hey everyone!

In the last Devlog some of the team, were packing their bags and heading off to Köln for gamescom 2019. The team are now back and working hard on the next update and we are very happy to report that gamescom was a resounding success with Foundation being nominated for Best Strategy Game in the gamescom 2019 awards!. 

We met many new fans as well as veterans of the game. The booth was full from start to end and we would like to say a big thank you to everyone that dropped by the booth during the week! Thanks also to those that braved the photobooth where it was all getting very medieval.

Whilst we were in Germany showing off Foundation, the rest of the team were still back in Quebec City so let’s find out what they have been up to whilst we were away.

To help the Gameplay Programmers Ben has been working on a behaviour tree Debugger which will show the current state of a villager in the Hurricane editor. This will make a big difference when searching for issues and bugs in the behaviour of the villagers, particularly as we add more content to the game.

Max has also been hard at work on the dev tools to improve the development process. One such improvement is allowing the Hurricane editor to be ‘moddable’, using Lua, by any of the developers. This will allow them to create their own functions/actions in the editor which are more targeted at their own individual workflow and job role.

On top of this, he has also been working on LOD generation, in order to increase optimization for low-end graphics cards.

Christopher and Loup-Gabriel have been working on Weather Systems. This will be a new environmental feature that has no direct impact on gameplay but will help to immerse the player in the world.

Each map will have Weather Systems configured individually to both add variety and ambiance to the maps.

Weather Systems are still work in progress but below you can see a couple of examples of work so far.

Additionally, Christopher has been taking an initial look at Villager life cycles including aging and eventually the death of a Villager. 

As well as the Weather Systems Loup-Gabriel has also been creating placeholders for all the upcoming buildings in the game. These are basic visuals that will help to get an idea of how everything will look in the final game and make sure everything is fitting together visually.

He has also been working on some new decorative items for the stone bridge that will be placeable on bridge nodes.

You may have seen a horse rider in need of coffee in a recent Social Media post… Well, Michaël has been working to polish the horse and rider animations including the King’s Envoy animations as well as uphill and downhill animations for the horse itself.

Here you can see the new horse reins and improved rider animations as the envoy heads into town.

We have also been keeping an eye on player feedback and working on some of the major issues currently affecting many players. Phil has been looking at a fix for the housing building loop bug where houses will continue to be built and not occupied. As well as this he has been looking to improve the collision on the granary which can be too easily create stuck villagers.

Thanks for reading and we’ll catch you all soon with more news from the team.

The Whole Polymorph Games Team

 

Devlog #09

Hey everyone!

We are taking Foundation to gamescom next week! If you are heading to Köln, you can drop by and say hello and we even have a photobooth where you can get your photo taken with some of your favourite characters from the game. We will also have 6 stations where you can try out Foundation, if you haven’t already.

As some of the team are packing their bags to head off to gamescom this is a perfect time for us to catch you all up on what the team have been up to in the last few weeks.

Environment and ambience

Claudine has been researching some visual variations to increase the ambience of the Foundation environment, including new weather effects as well as looking at options to increase the variation of vegetation.

You might also be pleased to hear that she has also started visual research for future buildings and monuments such as the Castle monument! 

Vehicles concept

As you have previously seen, Michaël has been creating a new ‘vehicle’ for use in the game which Christopher has now been working to implement for a future update. Its first use will be for the when envoy is coming to town to deliver a mission from the King.

Animations

The last update saw a number of new animations added to Foundation, for instance the farming cycles have seen a lot of love with new seeding as well as harvesting animations with the scythe.

Michaël is now hard at work on some new animations for production buildings where we will be increasing workstations in some of the buildings and adding new ones to others. For example, the bakery will see a new workstation for a second baker to be working at the oven whilst the other kneads bread.

He has also been working on new walking cycles for specific jobs as well as new animations for some tools with both single and double-handed uses.

Character visuals

Concept art for job visuals are being worked on and expanded by Vincent, which will see new outfits for jobs such as the Hunter, Forester, Miner and more. On top of this he has been working to increase the variety for character visuals, such as new haircuts for both female and male villagers.

Villager immigration improvements

Immigration is something that we are looking to improve and with this in mind, Christopher has been working on new immigration factors. These factors will see the way current immigration works changed to give you more control over the growth of your city.

With these changes, new factors will affect the quantity of villagers joining your village per immigration wave.

Assignable Building Functions

Phil has been working on some changes to the way monument functions are implemented. In an upcoming update we will see some of the current monument parts become generic.

Some building parts will have a “capacity” which can be assigned as a villager capacity for that building or if players choose that part to be a treasury, for example, then the “capacity” will be combined with a treasury multiplier to create an overall treasury capacity.

This will free up some of the existing parts to allow them to be used more creatively whilst giving you more control over what parts will have particular functions.

The Great Hall

Speaking of assignable building functions, one such function we are currently developing is the Great Hall, which can only be set to 1 building part in all the city. This function will allow you, the Lord, to determine where you will receive requests from envoys. This functionality will also expand in the future.

Hurricane improvements

We are always working hard in the background to improve the game engine to allow the team to improve both the way we create assets, transitions and new features.

Ben has been working on a timeline feature as mentioned in a previous devlog, this is being improved to allow for better handling of the AI and behaviour tree. These improvements will help for game optimization as well as debugging for future updates and improvements.

We have also been testing and working on improvements for GPU compatibility, specifically Léo has been testing AMD graphics cards for better compatibility as well as investigating crash reports to smooth out the player experience.

Max has been hard at work on Improvements to graphical optimization as well as modding compatibility across game versions to prevent crashes when mods are removed from existing savegames.

Stay tuned for announcements as we will be bringing you more news during gamescom.

The Whole Polymorph Games Team

 

Devlog #08

Hey everyone! Welcome to Devlog #08

When Crops Go Bad

As mentioned in the recent July Content Update News we will be introducing a new weather system. Bad weather is going to affect the yield of your crops. To start with this will be limited to wheat fields but will be expanded on in the future.

It would be easy to just have those crops disappear or just less production but we want to heighten immersion. With this in mind, Claudine our Senior Artist has been working on rotten crops. Nice!

Below you can see the contrast between a healthy crop and a rotting wheat field during bad weather.

Fish Schools

How on earth do those fishermen and woman find those fish that they bring back? It’s a good question and more importantly how do you, as a player, know the best place to position a fishing hut? This is something that Loup-Gabriel (FX Artist) has been recently working on. In the future you will be able to identify fishing spots by the schools of fish and plan your production around them.

Resource Analytics

The upcoming update will bring with it a number of balancing changes. To help with this, Christopher (Game Programmer) has been working on a Resource analytics tool which will allow us to track the overall cost and revenue of every resource in-game.

We have had a lot of feedback from the community and this tool will prove invaluable to help get the balance right and fine tune the game. 

Balancing

With the aid of Christopher’s new Resource Analytics tool, we will be able to balance production costs and trading values much more easily and efficiently. Phil (Creative Director) and Nicolas (QA Manager) have begun to work on the balancing of the estate progression costs as well as looking at balancing for the new weather system. 

Timeline Tool

Ben, our new Engine Programmer has been working on improving some internal processes with the aid of a timeline tool. This tool will allow the artists to easily transition and blend between animations/FX. Previously this would have required a Game Programmer to write any changes into the code. 

With this tool, there will be much less requirement for the Game Programmers involvement in the animation/FX process which will help to streamline workflow.

As an example, the new weather system will require a transition between sunny and rain effects. The timeline tool will allow a more automated process which can be changed on-the-fly to see the changes and effects of any animation or FX.

Military Animation

A future update will be looking at the military quest system and we are also looking at some more visual improvements for the soldiers. Michaël (Animator) has been working on some new soldier training animations.

Soldiers will not always be training though, you will also find them patrolling your cities

Improving Particle System Performance & Functionalities

To better support the new Weather System Léo (Technical Director) has been improving and optimizing the Hurricane particle system. 

The Weather system has required the addition of new particles, with these additions he has also been working on optimization to reduce the load on your PC from the particle system. These optimizations will help to offset the new additions so you can all get to see the gloomy ambiance when the bad weather hits.


There will be more news soon on the July Content Update ETA so keep an eye out for announcements.

The Whole Polymorph Games Team

 

July Content Update News!

Hey everyone!

We are happy to present to you what you can expect in our next content update!

For this update, we are focusing on improving the core game experience as well as adding new features and buildings. Expect major changes in the gameplay meta!

Bad Weather

A weather system will be added in the next update, starting with the introduction of rain. Not only will this add to player immersion with suitably gloomy clouds, lighting and of course rain effects but the weather is also going to bring with it additional challenges.

Rain will indeed impact your crop yields, but will improve fish yield! You will need to be careful to produce enough food to sustain your population needs during this period.

A new building: The Granary

The bad weather and reduced yields are going to require you to plan ahead as poor preparations will see your people starve and leave. To aid in this we will be introducing a new building: The Granary!

This new building will allow you to store a reserve of food resources. It will prove useful when undergoing bad weather. In addition, the Warehouse has been modified to only stock non-food resources. Don’t worry about food trading, the traders will visit your granaries as well.

Major changes to balancing

Balancing will be a large focus for the next update. As we add more content to the game, the economics and flow of balance is evolving as well.

One of the things you can expect is having a limit to berry bushes and schools of fish yields. They will replenish over a time cycle. As such, fulfilling your population with berries will be more challenging.

Further balancing changes will focus on a building’s desirability. There are a number of buildings that we have introduced to the game during the alpha phase, that are missing their desirability influence.

Desirability has an effect on housing upgrades, whether negatively or positively, and as such will have an influence on where you choose to zone housing for your villagers. Not only that but desirability gives you some control over housing upgrades by making an area more (or less) desirable to live.

With that in mind, we will be adding desirability influence to those missing buildings, such as the Rustic Church & Lord Manor buildings as well as those that negatively influence desirability.

We’ve also improved the desirability visual representation.

Building Construction

In order to make them more immersive, we’ve been improving the visual of building construction steps. We will be integrating a couple of those in the next update.

Warehouse resource visual

Currently, many of the resources stored in the warehouse are stored in boxes. This makes it somewhat difficult to identify, visually, which resources are being kept in each warehouse.

It has always been our intention to allow easy identification of warehouse storage and the next update will bring a couple of new visuals to help you see ‘at a glance’ what a warehouse is stocking.

Modding

We will be adding support for modding dependencies. While downloading a mod, you’ll be able to download all dependencies from that mod in a single click.

Release schedule

The update release date will be announced soon, so keep your eye out for more news on the ETA.

All the best
-The Whole Polymorph Games Team

 

Devlog #07

Hey everyone! Welcome to Devlog #07!

What We Are Working On

With the introduction of the recent content update, we will next be focusing on improving the core experience. Here are a few of the things that we have been working on.

How Is The Weather Today?

Eagle-eyed players might have noticed weather effects in the Early Access trailer… These weren’t just for show and we are currently working on the introduction of the first weather system to Foundation. Of course, we like to tease a little, so you might be interested to know that weather won’t be purely aesthetic!

Attention!

We have previously mentioned that we are working on an updated mission system for the Kingdom Estate. We will be looking at this for a future update but we have started work on the concept art for soldier levels. 

Balancing

As we add more production chains through development we will need to constantly update balancing in the game. There is still much more balancing to do and it will need continuous tweaking during development. For this end, we are working on an internal tracking tool for the cost per resource, which will help us for future balancing of the game.

It’s All In The Detail

The level of detail in Foundation (call us biased if you like) is already quite incredible but we are striving to always increase the level of immersion. We are currently working to improve and increase this with more detailed and varied construction steps.

Bug Fixes and Patch

New updates do, of course, inevitably bring with them new bugs. The community have been feeding back to us any issues created by the last content update and we are currently in the process of preparing a new patch for release in the next few days. We will announce more details and changelog once the patch is ready for distribution.

Final Words

Part of the recent update introduced many new modding features, including the possibility for modders to create their own monuments. The modding community have risen to the occasion and have themselves been working hard on new mods since the update. Check out this creation from Paddy Fitzgerald using the new ‘Stone Gate Set’ mod by vjraymon

If you have created a mod for Foundation in a previous version please don’t forget to update your mod and change it’s status to ‘public’ for the newly released update.

We hope everyone is enjoying the new Wine update! Feedback has been very good and the community have been sharing their creations on Discord. These screenshots from Milinia and SLy particularly caught our eye!

Thanks for checking out this weeks’ devlog and we shall see you soon for more news on development.

The Whole Polymorph Games Team

 

Devlog #06

Hi everyone and welcome to Devlog #06!

Let’s dive straight in to the news…

QoL Poll Results

As you may have seen, last week we submitted 10 community Quality of Life suggestions for you to vote on. The results came in and work is already under way to implement your chosen suggestions:

  • Button to pause production in production buildings

A great suggestion and one that will make managing resources easier. To add to this suggestion paused buildings will have their maintenance cost reduced by half.

  • Add ‘unemployed only’ filter to worker assignation drop down
  • Villager Pane displays the Workplace/Home Distance

Managing your villagers work/home distances and optimising travel distances will be much improved with these suggestions. Great choices!

  • Return resources for buildings that have building work cancelled

We have taken this suggestion and plan to expand upon it. When destroying buildings you will get 50% of the resources back that were used in the initial construction.
Additionally placing a building accidently will no longer be a drain on your gold reserves. Cancelling a construction that has not yet started will return the gold outlay for that building.

  • Farms have separate fields defined

Another great suggestion which will allow you more control over the placement and segregation of your fields. We are also reworking and optimising the production cycle of fields and we will hopefully add this to the QoL update depending on testing.

Modding Preview

We continue to work on modding functionality. We are changing when mods are loaded so rather than being loaded as Foundation starts they will be loaded at the same time as a save game, additionally we have been working on more changes to allow mods to be loaded mid game as apposed to the current situation where once a game has started no more mods can be added.
There are also still a few optimisations being worked on to ensure mod dependencies are handled correctly as well as a few bugs that needed to be fixed.

If you would like to try your hand at modding you will need to use the Lua programming language to create any mods in Foundation. Documentation for the Modding Preview (1.2.0) can be found here.

You can also join in the modding chat on our Discord server.

Wine Production Chain

As you saw in Devlog #05 we have been working on some new farms and fields. The two crops that you saw in the last devlog were grapes and hops. Well done to those that guessed correctly!

Further work has been done on the wine production chain, including the Vineyard building which is currently being worked on

Here is a first look at the Winery! It’s soooo cute!!

Of course wine needs a suitable storage vessel. We are not talking wine bottles here, we are talking bigger scale storage! Below you can see work in progress on the Cooperage.

Thanks to everyone that got involved in the voting last week and if you have suggestions that you would like to share you can add them to our tracker here.

The Whole Polymorph Games Team

 

Devlog #05

Welcome all to an all new Devlog!

Firstly we would like to start with word on a new Quality of Life Update!

Since the Early Access launch, we have received a bunch of great QoL improvement suggestions from the community. We’d like to know which ones are most important to you. 

We have submitted 10 suggestions for you to vote on and we will prioritize the top 5 for a QoL update!!

Voting is now open!!

If you have any suggestions that you would love to see implemented, you can add yours for review on our tracker here.

Back from voting? Let’s tell you what we have been working on!

Modding Preview

In the last Devlog we announced the release of the modding preview. Thanks to the modding community testing has gone well with only a few small bugs that were quickly fixed. 

We still have some more work and testing to do on the modding update but we hope to release it on the main branch within the next couple of weeks. Though this will depend on further testing and fixes.

Farms and Crops

We have already hinted that we will be introducing some new crops into the game. With these new crops will also come new farm buildings! Here is a little visual hint to those crops the team have been working on. Can you guess what they are?

New Military Quest System

In the last couple of days we have begun initial testing of the new military quest system that will be the focus of the Kingdom Estate progression. 

We will start out by testing the basic mechanics of the system with a single multi-level mission. Once we are happy that the quests are acting as they should we can begin to add more missions and depth.

One new aspect of these missions is the probability of success and failure. To increase the chances of a successful mission you will need to train your soldiers or they could end up like this…

or worse!

Of course, the soldiers will need weapons and those weapons won’t make themselves

… And there’s more

As you can see, we continue to work on the animations that will make the game even more immersive. 

For all the equestrians out there, here’s a little peak of a beautiful moment between man and horse

There has also been some great work done on a new monument! That’s just a teaser though as there is still more work to do. We’ll let you know more in a future devlog.

We will bring you more news in the next couple of weeks, all that’s left to do, if you haven’t already, is go and vote on the QoL update! Voting closes on Monday so don’t delay to have your say… did we just rhyme that?!

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

The Whole Polymorph Games Team

 

Devlog #04

Friday is upon us once again and it’s time for another Devlog!

This week we are going to focus in on modding… Everyone loves a good mod, including us!

What have we been up to this week?

Whilst work continues hard on the Major Content Update we have also been working on opening up the modding capabilities. Over the past weeks, some of the team have been working on the modding tools, code and API to give modders a plethora of new tools and options.

As we write this the team are hard at work on a preview build that includes some major modding features that will allow the modding community to take their mods to a whole new level.

This preview build (1.2.0) will be available on a public preview branch in Steam (Betas) whilst we work with the modding community to stress test the new features.

If you are a modder and would like to test the new update, you can provide feedback and chat with other modders on our Discord Server where we have a dedicated channel for feedback of the preview build.

To gain access to the preview build on Steam:
-> Right click Foundation in your game library
-> Click Betas tab
-> In the drop down choose modding_preview

To gain access to the preview build on GOG:
On The Foundation game page…
-> Click More
-> Settings
-> In the Beta Channel dropdown click ‘On’
-> In the Channel drop down click Modding Preview

What can the modders do with this update?

Some of the new features include:

  • Create workplaces
  • Create monuments and bridges
  • Create walls
  • Create particle effects

We have also included a new mod example that will show the possibilities of new modding features.

And there’s more! You can check out the full list of new features as well as check out the modding documentation on the modding wiki here.

How can players help?

Good question! Any mods created for the preview build will not be available in the main branch of the game but both the preview build and test channel on Discord are open to all players so you can keep an eye on progress and if you would like to test the mods and the build you are welcome to join us.

Once the preview has been thoroughly tested (and fixed if needed) we will move it to the main branch and modders will then be able to add their new mods to mod.io for integration into the game.

Time for a teaser

Here is a first look at one of the new buildings you will find in the upcoming Content Update.

It’s thirsty work out in the fields but a good local beer can help quench that thirst…


Testing can be fun!

Our QA Manager has been testing Foundation to its limits this week and sometimes the question ‘What will happen if?’ can get out of hand!

Renaître de ses cendres

A couple of weeks ago we commented on the devastating fire in Paris and the community’s reaction. This week we would like to follow up on that with this outstanding reproduction by MajesticIX.

We hope you enjoyed this weeks Devlog and have a great weekend everyone!

The Whole Polymorph Games Team

 

Devlog #03

We bid thee all welcome to Devlog #03!

Another week has flown by and another minor update has been released to clear a few more bugs as we continue to work on the Content Update.

As you may have seen we have been cleaning and improving the live build recently, we hope you have enjoyed the minor changes.

So what else has been happening?

Bug Reporting

We have been working to improve the bug reporting system and player feedback loop via the tracker. This has helped greatly with both pre-testing and release of the recent updates. Going forward this will help to ensure we can release future major updates as clear of issues as possible.

2019 Quebec NUMIX Awards

We recently found out that Foundation has made it to the finals in 2 categories at the 2019 NUMIX Awards!!

– III Independant Games (TRIPLE I)
– Production with the highest International profile

Winners will be announced on May 9th! Less than 2 weeks!!

But what about the Content Update?!

We hear your calls for more… even everyone at the back. 

It is coming but there is still much work to be done. We are keeping things under wraps for a little bit longer but we can tell you there has been good progress. We will begin preliminary testing on one new feature next week. Hopefully more news on that in next weeks’ devlog if all goes well.

A few weeks ago a little easter egg was spotted in the photo of Michael. If you missed it then here is a bigger hint:

More Improvements

Along with the new content that is being created we have also been working on improving what is already in the game. We saw a quality of life update a couple of weeks ago and we will continue to improve the current content as we integrate the new.

As you can see job assignation has been getting a medieval makeover:

That’s all we have for you this week Lords and Ladies, but we will leave you with one of our favorite community created screenshots of the week. 

Fare thee well,
The Whole Polymorph Games Team

 

Devlog #02

Hi everyone!

Welcome to a new issue of the Foundation devlog!

As you may have noticed Alpha v1.1.8.0418 was released yesterday!!

The new update brought with it some bug fixes and balancing tweaks as well as a few quality of life changes. Amongst other changes, you can now adjust the game resolution and change from fullscreen to windowed mode.

We have improved the budget window to give more information particularly on traded goods.

There have also been some optimisation fixes so you should find you have a few extra fps, particularly on larger villages/towns.

You can see the announcement and full change log here.

As mentioned in the last Devlog we have a tracker for reporting bugs. Please feel free to discuss bugs here on the Forums or Discord but the best place to report bugs is via the tracker which is being monitored by our QA Manager.

A week in focus

This week with the sad and shocking fire in Paris some of the Discord Community decided to try and recreate Notre Dame in Foundation. One of our Moderators, Helron, created this beautiful reproduction:

What we have been working on

This week has seen a focus on the minor QoL update though work continued on the upcoming Major content update. With the release of the 1.1.8.0418 update it is full steam ahead on the next content update.

We will be bringing you more news of the update in the coming weeks.

As always a big thank you to everyone providing bug reports, suggestions and feedback.

That’s it for this week… We hope you enjoy the new QoL update! Let us know if you find any issues and stay tuned for more news.

All the best
The Whole Polymorph Games Team

 

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