Greetings Lords & Ladies!
We have some important news to share with you about Foundation’s next steps. The team is pleased to unveil an updated roadmap! 📅
But first, a 2022 Retrospective
2022 was a big year for Polymorph Games, but also one of transition.
First and foremost, we have worked on our biggest update so far, Foundation 1.9, that has added the remaining systems and bound all of them to shape the core experience we intended for Foundation. We also have included and expanded the monastery gameplay, with a revamped visual, representing our work on the final Art Direction (see: GameDeveloper.com).
Another major feature that we were happy to deliver was the first iteration of the map generator, allowing you to have more maps to play with.
The second important change that happened last year was the expansion of our team, with the addition of team members filling important roles, such as an Art Director, a Lead 3D Artist, an Engine Programmer and a Narrative Designer. This is allowing us to work on multiple aspects of the game at the same time: improving our visuals, the game content, as well as the procedurally generated content like the map generator.
In the last couple of months, we’ve made the delicate and thorough exercise of reviewing and completing our game design. Every idea and planned feature has been discussed and questioned, and we aimed to leave no stones unturned. This process had us recenter on Foundation’s strengths, and the result is a better defined feature list.
Today we are pleased to share our updated roadmap – a glimpse of both our major and minor updates left to be released.
Upcoming Major Releases
We are planning five major releases until Foundation’s end of Early Access.
1 – Residential Density and Safety Concept
The next Major Update we are working on is about adding Safety, a tool players can use to control the density of housing in specific zones. Safety is also something that will be used and extended by the Castle in the Kingdom progression path. This will also integrate the walls into the construction flow. We will provide more details soon.
2 – The Castle (Kingdom Progression Path)
We know you are eager to get your hands on this one, and we are already working on it. In addition to the new Castle monument, expect more gameplay options from overhauled military missions (including squads!), and more interaction with the new safety concept.
3 – Labor Progression Path
This update will round off the final Estate gameplay and visual overhaul of the three estates. It will focus on giving the tools to improve happiness and taxation capabilities.
4 – Environment Rehaul
As you may know, we are working to revamp our building and environment visuals: environment biomes, skyboxes, lighting, map edges.
5 – End of Early Access Release
This one will have all the completed game content, with the improved residential zoning, and tier 3 housing.
Along the way toward Foundation’s full release, the team will continue to add minor features, to include new quality of life (QOL) changes as well as game content.
Some Planned Minor Releases (not in release order)
- Continuous Monument Experience Improvements
- Continuous Map Generator Improvements
- Continuous Quality of Life Improvements
- Continuous Accessibility Improvements
- Continuous Modding Improvements
- Continuous Balancing Improvements
- New Productions Buildings and Production Building extensions
- Scalable Quests
- New Mandates
- New Information Layers
- Job XP Implementation
- Paved Roads
Some shelved or on hold features
As mentioned earlier, the process of reviewing and completing our game design had us focus on Foundation’s strengths. But that also means that unfortunately, some features we have added to the roadmap during the Early Access won’t make it to the full release, as we realized that they will not add any significant fun to the game and will create more micromanagement than we wish to push on the player. We are thus shelving housing decay, aging and families, and graveyards from the roadmap. The disease feature and vehicles are also postponed, meaning they might become part of the game at some point, but not before the end of the early access. Steam Workshop Integration has also been dropped as we continue to focus on mod.io and its cross-platform modding capabilities.
We know some of you will be disappointed about this news, especially the aging and family, but the average village size in Foundation has a higher population count than first anticipated, and having a feature like this would have brought us on the path of survival, micromanagement and overcomplexity.
We have reasserted our inspirations – Pharaoh, The Settlers and Anno – all games that don’t feature aging and death, but are still unique in their own ways and most importantly, great city-building experiences. With that in mind, we are confident that we are on the right path with Foundation’s design plans.
Putting an end to the Trello and to Mantis Public Bug reporter
As many of you may have realized, the Trello board was not being updated often. It has shown to be a lot of work to maintain, and it also creates a divergence with our internal planning tool. Hence why we are closing the Trello, and will instead share updates and progress on the roadmap on posts such as this one.
We are also closing our Mantis Public Bug reporter. We realized that the most efficient way to track bugs and get feedback is through Discord or right here on the Steam forums. It is also a better way to filter what is a bug and what is not, because the community usually provides help as well. So don’t hesitate to join our Discord Server to share your bugs and feedback!
In 2023 we also want to give you access to experimental builds. Their goal will be to test new features and progression changes before they’re applied to the live version of Foundation. This is a way for us to get important feedback from you, that will help us deliver polished updates. The first experimental build will be the next minor update that changes a lot of the early/mid game balancing.
When are the next updates planned?
As of now, we are currently working on multiple updates:
- 1.9.2 is about an improved budget breakdown and multiple Quality of Life improvements, like the ESC and right-click handling (Estimated Release Date: February 2023)
- Minor Update: We are preparing an experimental build that changes early progression in the game (In Progress, Experimental in March 2023)
- Taxation will be moved to the Labor progression path
- Tavern will become a need for the commoners
- The early and mid game progression will be reviewed
- Trade revenue will be more generous
- Minor Update: Plains terrain type (flatter) will be introduced in procedurally generated maps (In Progress, Estimated Release Date, March 2023)
- Major Update: Residential Core + Safety (Being prototyped, No ETA yet)
- Major Update: Castle (Kingdom Progression Path) (In Progress, No ETA yet)
Note that this planning is subject to change along the way.
In 2023, we are full speed ahead to deliver consistent and substantial updates that will keep improving the overall quality of the game.
We thank you for your continued support, we are lucky to have such a loving and dedicated community.
—The Polymorph Games team