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Foundation

A new era of organic city-building simulation!

Devlog #13

Hey everyone and welcome to Devlog #13!

The Mineral & Craftsmanship update added some big content and systems to the game and the team have been working to fix any remaining bugs but also to polish the content that was added.

Consequently, we are now working on a content patch that will add some further improvements to the recent update. This patch will not only improve on some of the visuals but will also expand the masterpiece parts.

1.6 Content Patch

More specifically the 1.6 Content Patch will include:

  • Visual improvements to the quarry depots
  • Visual improvements to the mineral deposits including improved textures
  • Improved mineral distribution
  • Visual tweaks to Masterpieces
  • New parts for the Gate Masterpiece
  • New sounds for mining and workplaces
  • New animations including workshop and building animations

We are sure you will be excited to hear that the 1.6 content patch will also include the following QoL improvements:

  • Promotion window sorting
  • Many more villager names and the option to rename villagers (planned)

With that, let’s take a closer look at what the team are currently working on…

Buildings & Masterpiece Polish

Claudine and Loup-Gabriel have been enhancing some of the building visuals, polishing current buildings with improved basements and grounded doors as well as working on the new Masterpieces.

The Gate Masterpiece, in particular, will see a new wall part as well as even more parts for you to build that perfect entrance to your city.

More Visual Polish

Enhanced textures are being worked on for the Mineral Deposits with Claudine currently working on a more refined Gold texture. You can expect to see more improvements to the deposits and quarry depots for the upcoming content patch.

Quality of Life Improvements

Christopher has been busy on a number of improvements including, updating the notification panel to remember your severity choice and refining the action button and warnings. These changes can be seen live right now in last week’s hotfix which also included Christoper’s work to allow multiple Masterpieces on the same monument.

On top of these changes, he is currently working on the villager promotion window to show more information in addition to some added control in the form of a sortable promotion list!

Building & Workshop Animations

Something we have been wanting to add for some time is more interaction between workers and the buildings, for example, the gold smelter pouring liquid gold from the cauldron when smelting.

Up until recently it hasn’t been possible… but now it is! With this newly created ability, Michaël has been working on new interactions between buildings and workers that includes moving parts on the buildings themselves.

Winepress now in action
Is the sheep checking in on the weaver?
Modding

In the past few weeks, we have been gathering feedback from the modding community to see what new features and content they would like to see unlocked. Armed with this feedback Max has been busy opening up new options for modders to create extra content.

For example, last week’s patches saw a new behavior tree for custom guard behavior. This will allow modders to create custom locators for guards so that they can patrol your villages.

Additionally, the recent patches have exposed a whole host of assets for modders to play with, such as building functions for the new quarries and workshops, masterpiece parts, villager jobs and much more. Full modding changelogs can all be found on the modding wiki pages.

Alongside this, Max has been working to add in some quality of life improvements and bug fixes for both modders and players alike. Modding logs have been augmented to catch errors in created mods and a useful QoL update has seen a new prompt when a player loads a save that might be missing mods. This will allow you to download the missing mods directly when starting a save game.

Both Max and Leo continue to work on performance optimizations improving the game for players and modders alike.

And Finally…

Vincent has been working on a top-secret project for a future update. Unfortunately, we can’t bring you more news on this just yet but it will bring some extra life to your villages.

To wrap up this Devlog we have some particularly exciting news that we know you will all be very happy to see. Dan has been working on the UI redesign whilst also improving the user experience wherever possible. The design phase is progressing very well and thanks to the UI tool that is being created by Ben, integration will start soon.

Once that big chunk of work is done, we will iterate both on the UX and the style of the menus, so expect changes along the way.

We are excited to reveal to you an exclusive sneak peek of the work so far:

You can see more samples of the work in progress UI in the recent article from Rock Paper Shotgun.

We would love to get your feedback, so don’t forget you can join us on our Discord server and let us know your thoughts.

– The whole Polymorph Games team

 

Minerals & Craftmanship 1.6 Update is now live!

Lords and Ladies, we are excited to present to you the Minerals & Craftmanship 1.6 Update, now live on Steam & GOG!

Savegame compatibility warning: 1.5 saves will be compatible but some of your buildings may be removed if they were placed on one of the new mineral deposit sites.
Also, note that your builders will now require a Builders’ Workshop.

It’s a big one, so let’s take a look at some highlights of what you can expect in the new update and let you get quickly into discovering the new minerals and crafting up some masterpieces!

 

WHAT’S NEW

 
Discover and Extract New Minerals!

New Mineral deposits can be found scattered throughout the maps, containing nice shiny new minerals, from gold-rich veins to glittering quartz nodes. These deposits can be prospected by your Bailiff in order to identify the ore they contain.

Inside the Mineral deposits your Bailiff will find both rare minerals as well as more common ones such as Iron. Once discovered the minerals can be extracted by clicking the deposit and building a quarry.

 
Extend your Buildings and Build Masterpieces

Buildings can now be extended with new parts. The first building extensions will take the form of crafting workstations that can be added to the Builders’ Workshop. These crafting workstations will allow your builders to craft various objects such as sculptures and stained glass.

Note that Builders’ Workshops are now mandatory for the building of any construction.

Masterpieces are sets of specific parts that can be added into a monument or be built as a standalone building. They are unique creations that will give your village unique perks once built. In total, there are 9 Masterpieces to discover and build.

Each masterpiece will unlock when specific conditions have been met. For example, this could be when your soldiers emerge victorious from a faraway mission.

 
New Productions

All of the new minerals can be used in production buildings as well as in the new Masterpieces. Further, new production buildings have been introduced to refine these minerals to be ready for use, such as the new Gold Smelter that turns Gold ore into Gold bars, the Glassworks that will work quartz into glass as well as a Jeweler who will make good use of any gold and gems you might find.

 
Bailiff Mandates

The Bailiff’s role has been expanded and can now undertake Mandates. These mandates will range from prospecting the new resource deposits to gaining influence with an Estate or researching blueprints. Yes, the scholar was unhappy and has now left!

 
Pathing Inside Buildings

Villagers can now path through monuments! This means that Monks can now get to those inner courtyards and soldiers can protect the pass. Pathing inside buildings will allow particular villagers to enter and exit through separate monument doors. Pathing will have conditions so that only those that should be allowed through can get through.

 
Visits

Word of your settlement is growing stronger. Not only will there be visits from envoys but there will be new visitors arriving at your village. Pilgrims might visit your shrine masterpiece and one of your monuments, that is perfect for taking in guests, might also receive a visitor under certain conditions.

 
Even More New Features

As you may know, we are working on a full UI overhaul. In the meantime, you will notice a new notification panel that will help to see warnings of potential issues in your village as well as a log of your missions and quests including currently active quests.

Bridges can now be raised in height as well as length. Yes m’lord, you can now raise your bridges up high, the sky is the limit!

 
The List Goes On…

The Minerals & Craftmanship update will also include:

  • New animations
  • New modding functions and capabilities
  • New sounds
  • New improved grass and cliff visuals
  • 9 new achievements
  • Plus many fixes and improvements

You can check out the full changelog below:

 

1.6 Changelog

 
Gameplay

New features

  • New: Minerals sources that can be prospected and extracted
  • New: Production chains related to minerals
  • New: Masterpieces
  • New: Productions chains
  • New: Buildings can now have multiple placeable parts
  • New: Builder now has his workshop
  • New: Builder’s workshop can be extended with crafting extensions
  • New: New unlockable builder’s workshop parts
  • New crafting feature: craft sculpture and stained glass
  • New: Bailiff can have mandates assigned like prospecting minerals and influencing estates
  • New: New notification panel
  • New: Pathing can now go through buildings that have multiple entrances

Improvements

  • Add: Completed monument parts activate its function, (no need for an entire monument to be built before it becomes usable)
  • Add: Gold has been separated in two new resources: Gold Coins and Gold Bars
  • Add: Improved performance when editing a monument
  • Add: Transporters will now carry materials to construction sites
  • Add: New uniformized build flow between buildings and monuments
  • Add: “getting started” section to help menu
  • Add: Davenport now sells gems
  • Add: Allow multiple transporters to carry materials to construction sites
  • Add: localization
Art

Buildings

  • New Builder’s workshop and crafting extensions: sculpture, stained glass, jewelry
  • New mineral sources and quarries installations
  • New Glass Smelter
  • New Gold Smelter
  • New customizable fountain, stained glass

Characters and animations

  • New miner’s job outfit and animations
  • New Glass Smelter & Gold Smelter animations

Environment

  • New grass texture
  • New cliff texture
Bug fixes
  • fix: soldier/monks could get stuck on bridges
  • fix: Wooden Keep Door B
  • fix: tavern bridge bug
  • fix: transporters and builders flow (pause & builder allocation)
  • fix: missing tavern chimney texture
  • fix: path finding issues when house upgrading
  • fix: crash when the same game file is empty
  • fix: crash when closing the game due to unsupported OpenGL version
  • fix: rare crash with promotion
  • fix: clear preview on bridge
  • fix: freeze on clear preview
  • fix: wooden bridge entrance PATH & slope locator position
  • fix: showing bulldozer button on destructible building when under construction
  • fix: mod list disappearing when scrollbar is added/removed
  • fix: crash when destroying building too close to map edges
  • fix: rare crash during tax collector collection
  • fix: drop-down scroll bar behavior
  • fix: wooden keep stair colliders
  • fix: a crash in mod list menu
  • fix: rare crash in workplace list window
  • fix: building parts are not child of the core part anymore
  • fix: crash with public lounge function activationfix: crash with
  • notification window
Modding
  • Add: mods hot-reload with Ctrl+Shift+R
  • Add: creation of new asset and data types, and extending existing asset, component and data types
  • Add: creation of behavior trees and custom behavior tree nodes
  • Add: access to events
  • Update: example 02 mod bridge
  • Update: Remove Mover from Building Part Asset
  • Update: Batch all Modding logs in a single file to avoid opening too many files
  • Update: Foundation log file and mod log file are now readable during execution
  • fix: asset retrieval by scripting ID was not allowed in some cases
  • fix: VS Code snippets
  • fix: restore some missing textures

The full modding changelog can be found on the modding wiki.

Let us know what you think or discuss the game with our awesome Foundation community on our official Discord server.

– The whole Polymorph Games team

 

Minerals & Craftmanship 1.6 Update: Release Date News

Exciting news!

The Minerals & Craftmanship Update will be released on Tuesday, July 14

The 1.6 preview build has now been thoroughly tested and the additional content is coming together. All this means we can today announce the release date for the upcoming Early Access 1.6 update.

Announcing a New Addition: The Masterpieces

In addition to the content previously announced we have also been working on a new feature coming in the 1.6 update… Masterpieces!

Masterpieces are unique sets of parts that will become available via inspirational events that will occur during gameplay. Once obtained the masterpiece parts set will be available to incorporate into any monument, transforming it into a unique monument.

Each Masterpiece can only be built once and will make full use of the new minerals and crafting stations now available.

There will be a total of 9 Masterpieces for you to discover and build in the 1.6 update release. All 9 Masterpieces will come with their own exclusive effects such as the work in progress, Shrine Masterpiece pictured below.

Pilgrims visiting the Shrine

The Shrine will be unlocked via a miracle event and once built will become a place of pilgrimage for people far and wide and will come with the added effect of increasing immigration to your settlement.

New Achievements

To complement the new Masterpieces, each one will unlock a related Steam achievement. This will take the take number of achievements available in the game to 21.

New Animations

As well as all the new content coming in the new update we have also been working to increase the immersion. The 1.6 update will additionally come with new workstation animations to bring the new buildings and content to life.

The Jeweller checking the quality of her work
A builder scrutinizing new plans
A new statue takes shape
Finally…

If you hadn’t already seen the previously news, here is a brief summary of what you can expect in the Minerals & Craftmanship Update, coming on July 14!

  • New feature: Masterpieces
  • New discoverable mineral resources
  • Bailiff Mandates (Including prospecting for minerals)
  • New buildings capabilities
  • Artisan workshops
  • New production chains
  • Pathing inside buildings
  • New modding features

– The Polymorph Games Team

 

Minerals and Craftmanship Preview Update 1.6.0.0522 is now Live!

Happy Friday everyone!

Just in time for the weekend, the Minerals and Craftmanship Preview Update 1.6.0.0522 is now Live!

We are looking to gather focused information and feedback on the new content. Therefore, for testing purposes, only the Valley map is available to play in the preview build. To get the full experience of the preview build we have also limited the save files on the preview build so you will need to start a new game that you will then be able to save and load as normal in the Preview.

Note: Custom maps are still available however these will not currently contain the resource nodes that are part of the update.

Mods will also require updating by the mod creators and modding community and will not be immediately playable.

Let us know what you think…

We hope you enjoy the Preview and we would love to hear what you think.

If you would like to send in your feedback you can do so via this feedback form.

You are, of course, also welcome to discuss the game and report bugs as usual on the Steam discussions forums or join us on our Discord server.

Thank you in advance and we look forward to hearing from you and reading your feedback!

Changelog

We have a bunch of new features and content included in this preview build of the upcoming update. You can find a changelog below and more detailed information on some of the new content can be found in our previous announcement here.

Gameplay

New features

  • New minerals sources that can be prospected and extracted
  • New production chains related to minerals
  • Buildings can now have multiple placeable parts
  • Builder now has his workshop
  • Builder’s workshop can be extended with crafting extensions
  • New unlockable builder’s workshop parts
  • New crafting feature: craft sculpture, stainedglass and jewels (not all available yet)
  • Bailiff can have mandates assigned like prospecting minerals and influencing estates
  • New notification panel
  • Pathing can now go through buildings that have multiple entrances
  • New customizable fountain

Improvements

  • Parts that are built instantaneously activate its function, thus, no need for an entire monument to be built before it becomes usable
  • Church capacity is now considering multiple cores
  • Gold has been separated in two new resources: Gold Coins and Gold Bars
  • Improved performance when editing a monument
  • Transporters will now carry materials to construction sites
  • New uniformized build flow between buildings and monuments

Art

Buildings

  • Builder’s workshop and artisan extensions: sculpture, stainedglass, jewelry (not all available yet)
  • New mineral sources and quarries installations
  • New Glass Smelter
  • New Gold Smelter
  • New customizable fountain, stainedglass

Characters and animations

  • New miner’s job outfit and animations
  • New Glass Smelter & Gold Smelter animations

Environment

  • New grass texture
  • New cliff texture

Modding

  • Add mods hot-reload with Ctrl+Shift+R
  • Add creation of new asset and data types, and extending existing asset, component and data types
  • Add creation of behavior trees and custom behavior tree nodes
  • Add access to events
  • More details can be found on the wiki

 

Preview build access instructions (Steam)

If you would like to take a look at the Minerals and Craftmanship Preview build you can switch over to it via the Steam Betas in your Foundation properties.
 
  1. Choose Foundation (Steam Library)
  2. Click Manage (Cog)
  3. Click Properties
  4. Click Betas (tab)
  5. In the “Select the beta” dropdown choose Preview

(If you don’t see the preview option restart Steam)

Preview build access instructions (GOG)

If you want to take a look at the Minerals and Craftmanship Preview build you can switch over to it via the GOG Betas in your Foundation configuration details.

  1. Choose Foundation (GOG library)
  2. Click settings
  3. Click Manage installation
  4. Click Configure
  5. In the “Beta channels” dropdown choose Preview
 

Update and Preview build News

Hey Everyone!

We are excited to announce that we will soon be bringing you a new update, that we have named, the Minerals and Craftmanship Update!

The update is nearly ready and the full release will come in a few weeks but in the meantime, those of you eager to take an early look will be able to test some of the new features, in an upcoming Preview build!

More news on the preview build and how to gain access will be coming in the next few days.

Please note: Though custom maps are still available, we are looking to gather focused information and feedback on the new content. Therefore, for testing purposes, the preview build is focused on the Valley map.

If you would like to help out and share your feedback with us, then firstly, thank you! All feedback is very important and useful to us and in the development of the game.

Please let us know what you think of the preview build via this feedback form.

Minerals and Craftmanship Update:
preview build 1.6.0

We are bringing a multitude of changes and improvements in this update and you can check out some of the highlights that will be playable in the Preview Build, below.

Discoverable resources

One of the biggest and most exciting new features coming with the update are discoverable resources that will need to be prospected to know what kind of mineral they contain. Once prospected, you will be able to build a quarry over the mineral source to extract it. Some of these resources will be common and found in multiple nodes however some will contain more rare minerals.

New buildings capabilities

Prior to this update, there were two building types: single buildings and monuments. In this update, they now all have the same capabilities. This means a single building could have parts added to extend its functionalities. The first single building to exploit this new feature is a new one: The Builder’s Workshop.

At last, builders now have their own workplace! This building will be extendable to add new artisan workshops with crafting capabilities, like the scultpure or stainedglass workshop.

Artisan workshops

Parts that need more detailed, artistic work, like stained glass and sculptures will need to be first crafted in artisan workshops from the extended Builder’s Workshop. These artisan workshops will take advantage of the new resources that will be available to you in the discoverable resource nodes and the workshops themselves will allow you to create all new unique parts and Masterpieces for your village.

Masterpieces

Masterpieces are outstanding pieces of art that need to be crafted by artisans and that will provide a lot of splendor. More details on this soon…

New production chains

The workshops are going to require processed materials that will form part of new production chains. One such discoverable resource you will be able to find is gold ore which will require smelting into gold bars via a Goldsmelter before being used in your artisan workshop

An improved role for the Bailiff: The Bailiff Mandates

The bailiff will be introduced earlier into the game than previously and, for a cost, will be able to accomplish mandates for his lord. Among other things, he will be able to prospect for minerals and study blueprints.

Path inside buildings

One feature we have wanted to push for a while is the capabilities for villagers to use doors that communicate with one another. As such, villagers are now able to path through buildings by entering a door and going out from another. For example, Monks will be able to path through enclosed Cloisters, or villagers will be able to access enclosed courtyards via an inner courtyard entrance/exit but only through buildings that they are allowed to based on certain rules.

Multiple gameplay and feedback improvements

The Minerals and Craftmanship Update is a good time to consolidate on the work so far in the game and as such you will find many Quality of Life improvements some of which you will be able to see in the preview build.

There is now a new notification panel that will make it easier to track quests and keep an eye on issues in your village.

As noted above there are new building capabilities. To keep things consistent, all buildings will be placed and built in similar building workflow fashion to monuments. i.e. Placing a building will require that you also choose to start construction. You can still use shift + click to place multiple buildings which will bypass the requirement to click “start construction”.

We have also introduced another new change to the way you create monuments. You will first need to place a building marker before placing any parts to a monument. This building marker can then be moved and in doing so will allow you to move your whole blueprint before final placement and construction.

Grass has seen improvements in this update with a greater variety to shades and depth giving a more realistic look to grasslands.

Other improvements include cleaning up placeholder text, {img1} as well as new sounds and new animations.

New modding features

The new update will bring some huge features for the modding community which will allow modders much more freedom to create new assets, behaviours and also make changes and extend vanilla components and functions.

The preview build will include the ability to create custom behaviour trees and nodes. This will enable modders to use both our existing nodes as well as define their own nodes when creating new behaviours for villagers.

Custom assets, as well as custom structures, will now be available for use by modders. This means that modders will no longer be confined to using our asset types and can now define their own. Complex data related to these assets and components can then be stored in custom structures.

All of these additions and changes will allow much more flexibility for modding. As an added bonus we will also be opening up our own core components to allow some engine and game structures to be extended. This will allow, for example, new bridge building functions or workplace building functions to be assigned to core components.

Can you imagine the potential horrors, such as an “Antenna farm” mod?!

You will be able to see all the new modding changes in the release notes and changelog here, on release of the preview build.

More to come

Although the preview build is already jam-packed full of new content and improvements we will continue to add more as we work toward the full update release.

In the meantime, stay tuned for more information on the Preview build release coming soon.

-The Polymorph Games Team

 

Devlog #12

Hey everyone, welcome to Devlog #12!

With the Winter update and bonus Anniversary update now out and running smoothly, you are probably wondering what is next for development. The next update will be a good chance for us to consolidate on the work we have already undertaken and with this in mind we are looking at many Quality of Life improvements and minor bug fixes. There will be more content to come, of course, and we will be bringing more news on the next update in the coming weeks.

So, on to the devlog! Let’s find out what the team has been working on for the last few weeks.

Update planning

Phil, our Creative Director, (and CEO) has been busy planning and designing the content for the next update as well as refactoring the event system, a long due task, to make it more user-friendly. He has also been working on ‘some boring admin stuff’.

Statues and new production lines

Loup-Gabriel has been working on new production lines, that center around quarries and new extractable resources. Those quarries will be a major part of the next content update. Stay tuned for more details soon!

A WIP Quarry

You may have noticed the new statues in the recent anniversary update, these statues not only add aesthetics to your villages but also increase the desirability of an area. More statues are still to come and Loup-Gabriel has been at work on a whole selection of new statues covering the 3 different estates.

QoL improvements

As mentioned above, we are looking at QoL improvements and Christopher has already made great progress on improving and fixing many of the in-game notifications.

These improvements will, for example, allow the player to easily focus on and cycle through villagers that are lacking housing or cycle through workplaces that have no workable zone, more easily identifying workplaces that require the player’s attention.

The immigration notification has also been adjusted to pop-up when new villagers reach the village centre rather than when entering the map. The Global Happiness tooltip has also been improved to show every factor affecting happiness.

Chris has also been working on expanding the Bailiff’s functionality to give it more depth. This is still very much at concept stage and there will be more news on this in a future communication.

Animations

We are always looking to improve on the (not so) little details that bring your villages/cities to life. A big part of this immersion comes from the animations and Michaël has been busy on new animations for workplaces and more finer details.

The sawmill will see new hewing and saw animations. The Charcoal hut now has workplace animations for both shoveling and process monitoring with a 3rd animation in the works.

Monks will now take care of their bees and hives in the Apiaries.

He has also been working on those finer details such as animated cloaks for the envoys as well as animations for an upcoming feature which we have already hinted at in the Audinity Q&A feature recently.

Villager life cycle

Those of you that have checked out our updated Roadmap may have spotted the entry for Villager Lifecycle and Aging. Though still in its infancy (pun intended), Vincent has been working on both the older generation of villagers and has now moved on to the younger generation. With new facial aging and hairstyles, your villagers will become more diverse and varied. As mentioned this feature is still in the early stages of development and will be for a later update.

New UI

Work is continuing on a large project that will bring a fresh new look to Foundation. The new UI is coming along well and Ben has been working on improvements to the Hurricane engine to facilitate the creation of the new UI design, as well as allowing for quick styling changes and future improvements.

Claudine has also been working on preparing the new UI, testing new concepts, color variants and cleaning visual elements as well as other work on improving in-game textures and other concept art and feedback on new assets.

Modding improvements

Modders will be happy to hear that more modding improvements are coming. Maxime has been working almost exclusively on exposing more features and improving modding capabilities.

We have previously introduced the ability for modders to create custom components and now we are looking to expand upon this by allowing modders to create more custom features such as custom workplaces. In order to do this, Max has been working on creating custom modding classes as well as exposing more classes and features for modders.

Hurricane engine improvements

And finally our technical director, Léo, has been working under the hood, improving the engine. Improving performance as well as adding to the aesthetics of the game. Improvements to grass are underway and Léo has been experimenting to improve the near/far blending and handling of more grass diversity for an improved landscape.

New vs old grass

– The Polymorph Games Team

 

Insights: The music of Foundation

If you have played Foundation you have most likely noticed the immersive soundtrack that compliments the game and evolves as you play. Just as the game is in development, so too is the soundtrack that paints a musical background picture as you build your village.

Today, we are updating the Foundation Soundtrack. An additional 8 tracks will be added, plus a bonus, solo piano arrangement, exclusive to the OST, taking the soundtrack to a total of 21 tracks.

The Foundation soundtrack is available now on Steam and GOG!

As your village grows and your villagers gain status, the music also grows alongside it, from the early game, single instrument compositions to later, level 2, ensembles.

To create the epic musical background for Foundation we looked to Audinity, veterans of the medieval/historical video game genre. Their portfolio includes games from Paradox (Crusader Kings 2, Europa Universalis IV), THQNordic (Knights Of Honor 2: Sovereign, The Guild series) alongside smaller indie developers like ourselves.

Ash, our Community Manager, had the pleasure of chatting with Yannick and Robin, founders of Audinity, to get a deeper insight into who they are and their work on Foundation.

—————

Ash: Can you start off by telling us a little about yourselves? How you got into music composition and more particularly video game soundtracks?

Robin: My name is Robin Birner, I am a German composer from Bamberg, that’s in the northern part of Bavaria, and together with my partner in crime Yannick I have been writing music for video games ever since I was 16 years old. I have always been fascinated with video game soundtracks from an early age and got deeper into music when I started playing the piano as a child. Later on, because I got bored by the piano, I started playing the church organ and finally got my hands on modding my favourite video games. That’s also when I met Yannick and the rest, as they say, is history.

Yannick: I am Yannick Süß (sorry to all non-German-speaking people who don’t know how to pronounce that weird-looking surname in German, it actually means “sweet”!), I am a video game composer from Munich, Germany and just like Robin, one half of Audinity. Since last year, I also develop and realise video game music concerts together with orchestras, ensembles and event organisers.
Music has always been an important part of my life – I originally wanted to become a pianist, but then I realised that I lacked the skills and that it also was much more fun to just play and rearrange my favourite video game and film music tunes on the piano, instead of just practising scales, which ultimately led to me starting composing music myself. Several years later, writing video game music is what I now do for a living, together with Robin. 

Ash: You have worked on some big games already with Paradox and THQNordic. Can you tell us more about Audinity and how you came together?

Yannick: We first met when both of us were still going to school! When I was 16, I was writing music for The Guild 2 – Renaissance by JoWood Entertainment (which later became THQ Nordic) and realised that I would need some help with it. At the same time I was part of the team of a modding project for a German video game, and they told me that I would work together with another composer which turned out to be Robin – who was even living very close to me! We met for a pint of beer in my favourite Irish Pub, and that beer basically started Audinity! We worked together on The Guild 2 – Renaissance as our first joint project, founded our company Audinity soon after and, most importantly, have developed a great friendship (although we sometimes appear like an old married couple as we have been told several times already…)

Robin: It has been 10 years already, so I think we are allowed to sometimes behave a little like an old married couple.

“We decided that we simply HAVE to work on this game”

Ash: You have been involved with Foundation for some time now, when did you become aware of the game and how did you get involved with Polymorph Games on Foundation?

Robin: There is a saying that “Sometimes the best things in life happen by accident.” That was for sure the case with Polymorph Games. In late August 2017, I stumbled upon the only existing YouTube video of Foundation, consisting of an interview with Phil and Leo at gamescom in Cologne. They talked about the concept of Foundation and showed a rough prototype of the game, which was already very impressive.

During the interview it became clear that Foundation was more than yet another city builder. It pushes the boundaries of the genre by introducing gridless city building as well as many features from some of our favourite video games. After a brief conversation with Yannick, we decided that we simply HAVE to work on this game and to reach out to the developers. In the end you could say it all happened thanks to the YouTube algorithm.

Ash: We are very lucky to have you working on Foundation! Can you tell us more about how you collaborate to create beautiful music? Do you have a studio you jam together in or do you try to keep as much distance between each other as possible?


Yannick: Well, let me say it cost us blood, sweat and tears when we once tried to compose a song together in the same room, that might be a story for another time… no, in all seriousness: we have separate studios, but yes, we work very closely together on all of our music, with lots of constructive discussions, brainstorming and extensive feedback sessions before we send out music to a client. Working together for about 10 years now, we have kind of musically grown towards each other, so we have learned to compose our video game music so that it sounds as if it came from one person only. This is very important if two people are working on the same soundtrack, you want a homogeneous style and sound.

“Foundation looks different than other games and thus has to sound different, too”

Ash: Whilst we are on the topic of style and sound, Foundation is a medieval city-builder and as such is going to require some knowledge of medieval instruments. Do you get to play any instruments to create the soundtrack?

Yannick: Over the years, we have developed our own expertise of writing music for historical and in particular medieval video games, so we have grown some special knowledge about medieval instruments and music. But when it comes to playing medieval instruments, we prefer to leave that to the experts. In the Foundation Main Theme for example, you can hear some beautiful live recordings of a medieval viol and a saz. We also use virtual instruments for the in-game music though, you can make them sound ultra realistic nowadays.

Ash: Have you used any particularly unusual objects to create a sound you were looking for in the past or on Foundation? 


Robin: Yes, indeed – we used Yannick’s vocal talent for the main theme, but later agreed on removing it from the track. It doesn’t get more unusual than that, right? All jokes aside – there are a lot of manipulated instruments in the soundtrack: From stretched church bell sounds to pitched down Cisters. We always try to bring in some unique elements to our music to make it stand out.

Ash: Your main focus and experience seems to revolve around the medieval period do you have a particular interest in historical games and is it something you felt was the right fit for Audinity or has the medieval focus evolved naturally?

Yannick: Both Robin and I have always loved to play medieval strategy games and still play a match of good old Age of Empires 2 against each other now and then. I personally have always been very fond of authentic medieval and renaissance music and have studied it extensively. So being able to write the style of music that you love for the kind of games that you love is actually something we both couldn’t be happier about. We have worked on many historical and medieval video games over the years and we love it.

“One of the most important requirements a sandbox game like Foundation has, is non-fatiguing music”

Ash: How did you go about researching the music style for Foundation? It must be particularly hard with very little to go on to create an authentic medieval sound, where there any particular influences you took when creating the soundtrack?


Yannick: First of all we tried to create a unique sound for Foundation, something that hasn’t been heard in other medieval or citybuilder games before. Many games in that genre have orchestral music that is sweetened with some medieval phrases or instruments. Foundation looks different than other games and thus has to sound different, too. So we had the idea to not use orchestral instruments in the in-game soundtrack at all and only use authentic medieval instruments. For the musical style itself, we tried to be very authentic in order to create a medieval mood, but since the visual style of the game itself is not aimed towards ultra realistic we tried to incorporate that style into the music as well.

Ash: We have only mentioned the Foundation Main Theme so far but there are already a great number of tracks you have created for Foundation. Can you tell us a bit about the requirement for different pieces within the game? 


Robin: One of the most important requirements a sandbox game like Foundation has, is non-fatiguing music. A game you can play for a thousand hours needs music which doesn’t get on your nerves if you hear it countless times. Right now, we achieve that by having three levels of tracks in the game. 

Once you start a new game you will notice that there is no music at all until you have placed your town centre. From there the music gradually evolves based on the size of your medieval city. As soon as a town centre exists, you hear what we call “level 1” music, which consists of short melodic snippets played by one single instrument. 

Those snippets are approximately one minute in length and written in such a way that they organically blend with the game’s ambience. For those of you who don’t own the game yet, you can listen to the “Terroir” track on the soundtrack to get an impression of how it works.

Then we have “level 2” music, which completely replaces the “level 1” tracks once your village has reached a certain size.

Now the music, consisting of small medieval ensembles playing “village dances” and fully fleshed-out arrangements, becomes more prominent.

Also, the main theme is featured in “level 1” as well as “level 2” in suitable arrangements, so it blends nicely with the rest of the music.

This means the main theme does not merely appear secludedly in the main menu but is also part of all stages of gameplay. For us, that is really important to give the player a sense of following a continuous pathway on his or her journey throughout the game and to interconnect all levels. 

Ash: How did you go about creating the contrasts between the level changes? What musically signifies a change between a serf and a commoner for example?

Yannick: We wanted the music to reflect the development of the village. At the beginning of the game, the village is still small and not much populated. So at that stage in the game we just use some medieval instruments that play solo phrases and then fade away again to just sound effects for a while. The music for the commoners is much more lively and we use an ensemble of medieval instruments that play together, because the village itself is bigger, more populated and more is going on now. The music tracks are now longer, more consistent and not as fragile as in the early stages of the game.

Ash: Whilst playing the game and during the game development has your work changed? Have you played the game and thought ‘that’s not right!’?

Robin: Thankfully, that has not been the case on this project. It was very important for everyone involved to add music to the game as soon as possible to prevent that from happening.

Ash: That also shows that you understand the game and the musical requirements for it, I know that you do enjoy playing Foundation when you can Robin! Germany is well known for it’s love of strategy games, is the Citybuilder/Strategy game a passion of yours?

Robin: I think it’s safe to say that Yannick and I are both passionate players when it comes to Citybuilder and Strategy games. It’s true that I play Foundation whenever I can, but. (un)fortunately, music kept me pretty busy over the last couple of months. One of the many great aspects of Foundation is the amount of time you can spend just watching your city come to life. I enjoyed that a lot before the Early Access launch.

Ash: I have already lost count of the number of hours sat mesmerised by my growing cities! I’m very privileged to be part of the team and seeing things grow in the background too. How have you found working with the team at Polymorph Games?


Yannick: We love working with you guys! Seriously, it’s a fantastic experience – we enjoy being in close contact with you and the developers, Philippe and Léo give very professional and constructive feedback to our music that is easy to work with! A particularly fantastic experience was when you guys invited us to join you in Boston for PAX East this year! Spending time with you there, we again realised more than ever before that you are not just skilled video game developers but also a bunch of really great people that we are happy to know.

“We had the idea to use Gregorian chants for the Main Theme, when we sent it to the team, they were just asking what this weird vocal stuff is supposed to be?!”

Ash: I guess we owe you a beer for that compliment! But it can’t all be sweetness and light. Have you had any disagreements on the Music composition for Foundation?


Robin: While collaborating in a highly subjective creative field like music often results in disagreements, I can proudly say that so far Foundation is the project with the least disagreements we have worked on. There are various reasons for that, the most influential one being that we decided to set ourselves strict limitations to work with – such as to only use certain instruments or keys for the music. Once everyone agrees on what not to do, you automatically will have less disagreements. That being said, you should probably ask us again after release because there is still some music to write…

Ash: There is a life-lesson right there! Has there been anything that you tried that didn’t work?


Yannick: I was hoping to keep this secret but…  we had the idea to use Gregorian chants for the Main Theme. I put myself before a microphone, sang my heart out and recorded myself several times to imitate a Gregorian monk choir, even with super deep latin lyrics! When we sent the first draft to the team, they were just asking what this weird vocal stuff is supposed to be and that we better leave this out. Retrospectively this was probably a good decision though…

Ash: Ahaha! Maybe you should record a personal chant album, I hear there is a market for it!
Is your work now complete on Foundation? Or is there still more to come that the community will get to hear in the future?


Robin: There is way more to come. We have recently finished another batch of music, which was added to the game in the Fall Update and doubled the amount of “level 2” music. In addition to that our plan at the moment is to have another musical evolution for the later stages of the game, so stay tuned for a lot of new tracks for the Official Soundtrack Release as well.

Ash: One last question. For anyone thinking about getting into video game music composition do you have any tips or advice?

Yannick: There is no golden path to follow. Just be yourself, show your passion for video games and be very patient. 

Robin: Don’t try to follow the path from someone else. Rather create your own path. Take music seriously but not yourself. Collaborate. Because in the end it’s all about collaboration.

Ash: Thanks for taking the time out to give us some deeper insights into Audinity and your work on Foundation. It is as always an honour and a pleasure and we look forward to hearing more of your work in-game!

 

Celebrating one year of Early Access!

To our dearest Foundation fans!

February 1st is a very important day for us:

It is the 1 year Anniversary of Foundation hitting Early Access on Steam and GOG!

To celebrate this important moment with you, we are releasing an Anniversary Update containing a special surprise!

After updating the game you can find the surprise under the Decoration building menu.

The update also contains some fixes and improvements to the recent Winter Content Update and you can see the changelog below.

That’s not all! We are also giving away multiple game keys on Social Media. Like and comment on our Anniversary post on Facebook or Retweet us on Twitter for a chance to win a Steam key!

Finally, you can get 20% off the game in our special Anniversary Sale starting today on both GOG and Steam!

If you would like to play and help shape the final stretch of development then it’s a perfect time to jump in.

A Year in Review

Both the team and the game have come a long way in the past year. The team has risen in number, recruiting some fantastic talent that is showing through in the gameplay, assets, and technical expertise.

The Hurricane engine is constantly evolving and improving with new in-house tools and optimizations to allow everyone to get the best playing experience. Gameplay and in-game assets have also been worked on heavily, with new and updated monuments, game mechanics and systems being introduced such as the recently expanded military missions.

We are extremely impressed by the display of love we are receiving from the community and this is fueling us to continue the work on further development on the road to the Full release.

Updated Roadmap

Hitting the 1-year Anniversary is also a great time to look at the future and what is in store for the further development of Foundation. You can take a look at our updated roadmap on Trello

Road to Full Launch

Just as Foundation is organic, so too is Foundation’s development. As the game evolves, we are continually brainstorming and developing exciting new ideas that we are bringing to the game.


Ultimately, we want Foundation to be as we envision it, and with this in mind, we have decided to extend the Early Access development so that we can complete the roadmap and vision for Foundation.

We would like to thank everyone that has backed the Pre-Alpha and subsequent Early Access Alpha and for those who just bought the game, welcome!

Anniversary Update Changelog

  • Add: desirability tooltip display
  • Add: Expose additional content to modders
  • Fix: Crashes in various rare instances
  • Fix: UI scale bugs
  • Fix: Comonners now stay in level 1 house but get a satisfaction modifier
  • Update: remove distance from village center in villager view
  • Update: Housing Desirability Adjustments
  • Update: Desirability Added to Roman + Legacy church
  • Update: Desirability Tweaks on trees.


– The Polymorph Games Team

 

Winter Update is LIVE!

Hi everyone! 

We are excited to announce that the Winter Content Update is now LIVE!

The Winter Content Update brings many new changes, content and improvements! You can check out the full changelog at the end of this announcement but let’s dive into a few of the highlights.

Villagers will now automatically move home!

If a villager lives too far from their workplace they will become unsatisfied with their housing and will look to fill any empty housing slots closer to their workplace. If none are available they will look to swap with another villager or even evict lower status houses so that they can move and upgrade, if the house is in a desirable enough location.

If a villager cannot find a house that will satisfy them then you will be notified via the warnings panel so that you can rectify the issue.

The Lord Manor has seen some love for this update including all-new monument parts as well as a new assignable function, the Study Room.

The Study Room, once assigned and staffed, will allow a Scholar to study blueprints that you might be rewarded. Without giving too much away, these blueprints won’t be easily acquired, in fact, some villagers may not survive!

The Wooden Keep has also been improved with new parts including a barracks building to house your soldiers, as well as multiple decorative items to set up your military camps.

We have made some major changes to the Military system and quests for the Winter Content Update. You will now need to raise your chances of a successful campaign by both training and equipping your soldiers with weapons.

Once trained you will be able to send your soldiers on an extended campaign where you decide the right time to bring them home. Each mission will vary in difficulty but the higher difficulty missions will bring greater rewards.

To facilitate these changes you will now find a new Military manager panel. Here you can check on your soldier’s stats, equip weapons as well as keep track on available and ongoing missions.

Beer! The Winter Update sees the, much teased, introduction of the beer production chain. Similar to wine, beer is sold in the Tavern as a luxury item and brings with it 2 new production buildings, namely the:

Hop Farm

  • Produces Hops
  • Added: Hops

And The Brewery, which can be found in the Public Buildings panel.

  • Produces Beer from Hops, Wheat & Water
  • Added: Beer

With the introduction of the Military Manager panel, we have tidied up a few elements of the UI and also introduced a new Estate Manager panel. You will now find the estate unlockables and the military manager have their own buttons in the top-right menu cluster.

As well as that we have added a new part preview to the build menus. Hovering over public buildings will show you a preview of the building and each monument menu will also give you a useful visual guide to the part you are picking.

The Winter Content Update will now give you more control over the status of your villagers. It will be up to you to decide which villagers are allowed to rise in their societal rank.

This will come at a rising cost dependant on the status upgrade but you will also need a Lord Manor with Great Hall function to be able to hold court and decide on status matters.

Once your lord manor has built you will have the opportunity to upgrade your villagers at the end of each month but only if their needs for the current status have been filled.

Housing already plays a large part in villagers’ happiness, with the new system you will find that commoners will now require a level 2 (stone) house. You will need to improve the housing desirability of an area to ensure that your commoners and citizens get the house they deserve

The above highlights are just a few of the changes and improvements. Check out the full changelog below:

Additions:

  • Villager move home
  • New status promotion system
  • New military system
  • New parts in the Keep monument
  • New beer production chain
  • Visual building and building part preview
  • New onboarding quests
  • A new weather effect
  • New achievements

  • Jewels (reward)
  • Blueprints (reward)
  • Lord Manor weathercock animations
  • Woodcutter walking animation
  • Hunter animation + bow weapon to hunters
  • Envoy idle (reading scroll) animations
  • Weaver cloth animation – wind effect
  • Allow different tool in separate hands
  • Individual job outfits

Improvements

  • Shift-Click keep building part and orientation selected on shift-click
  • Unique need concept
  • Separated housing (levels) and water needs in villager information window
  • Help icon on promote window
  • Set barracks as dorms for soldiers
  • Wooden bridge cost
  • Bakery – change bread in oven for an unbaked one
  • Lord Manor Balancing and New part costs
  • Updated Help menu
  • Restore event window on load game
  • Female face
  • Updated localizations
  • Multiple Hurricane Engine improvements & optimizations

Fixes

  • Non-valid bridges with no positioning warning
  • Material – Multiple materials display as plain grey.
  • Update upkeep cost when editing a monument
  • Wrong calculation when removing resource of warehouse
  • Inn Gateway building zone
  • Upkeep total when game speed is high
  • Entrance/exits being too close to the sides

Modding:

  • Custom Component: Write your own component with custom data and update function, allowing you to control object transform. This will allow way more interaction with the game in the near future.
  • Military system: missions, rewards
  • Update Modding documentation
  • Fix: Custom maps – Remove resources that aren’t over their preferred terrain
  • Fix: Prevent incorrect mods from loading
 

December Update News!

Hey everyone!

We have some news on the next content update!

… but first we would like to take this opportunity to thank every single one of you!

We have recently surpassed 200,000 sales of Foundation and thanks to all of your support and feedback we are able to realize the game of our dreams, and hopefully yours too.

From the whole team… Thank you!

The December Update

As you can probably tell from the title we are planning to release the next update before the end of the year. We will bring you more news and more details on the update once we are closer to release but in the meantime here are some of the things that will be making it into the next content update:

  • Villagers will move house when too far from their workplace. The lord will also have the authority to force them to move.
  • Jobs will be directly linked with villager status where you as the Lord will have more control over status promotion.
  • Improved military system with stats, levels, and equipment.
  • New production chain with two new buildings; The Hop farm & the Brewery.
  • New buildings parts and function for the Wooden Keep.
  • New Character visuals including new job outfits.
  • New weather visuals.
  • New sounds including workplace animation SFX as well as UI SFX.
  • New modding capabilities: Custom components and behavior trees .

The changes to job roles and villager status will be major and due to this, we are planning to release a preview build in order to test and gather player feedback on the new feature. Keep an eye out for further announcements on the preview build release.

We have even more planned for the December Content update and we will bring you more information soon.

And finally…

We are excited to announce our attendance at MEGA & MIGS 2019 this coming weekend!

If you are in and around Montreal this weekend then you can check out more here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

-The Polymorph Games Team

 

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