For this Devlog we will be taking a closer look at what the team has been working on for the upcoming patch…
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
– The Polymorph Games Team
Welcome to Devlog #11, where I will be giving you some insight into what the team has been working on since the last update.
I don’t often do this but let’s kick off by talking about me! Well… not so much me but at least what I have been up to.
In the last update we introduced a way for players to create their own custom maps that can be uploaded to mod.io for everyone to play. With this in mind, I have been learning some basic modding and creating a custom map that is available now in-game. I have then gone on to use this map as a template for a custom map tutorial video which can be found on our YouTube channel.
Check it out if you fancy making your own map.
For any queries and help with map modding we have a very knowledgeable modding community over on our Discord server that will be more than happy to help.
For those that would prefer to wait for a map generator, it will come before the full release, in fact, over the last couple of weeks, Ben has started work on an early prototype for a procedural map generator.
Moving on to Vincent, who also hasn’t been mentioned in a recent devlog, but for good reason, as he has been hard at work on job outfits for villagers. This has been no small task with multiple job roles for both female and male villagers.
You can see a few examples below of the new outfits:
More recently Christopher has also been working with Vincent on villager outfits, though for Christopher he has been looking at the villagers themselves and allowing for the integration of all the new outfits as well as hair styling. Alongside this, he has been working on some performance optimizations for villagers which should hopefully see some fps improvements in the future.
I know this one will make you happy… one further thing that Christopher has started initial work on is the possibility to force villagers to move home!
Having done some great work on the new workplace animations in the last update, Michaël has also been working on the villager job outfits, in his case he has been looking at skinning the new outfits on the 3D villager models.
Needless to say, the villager outfits are coming together well.
Claudine has begun work on some visual research for new environment biomes, creating mock-ups and sample textures for visual reference. Here you can see a couple of mock-ups of how things might look:
She has also been looking at a ways to improve and polish some of the current in-game assets and textures, such as improvements to trees, water and ground textures.
Some time ago we teased the Brewery and now we have a Tavern but no beer. Never fear though, Loup-Gabriel has been working to complete the brewery as well as working on the hop farm.
Loup has also been working on a new production chain but there will more info on that in a future news update, however he has also been working on some new decorative items that will work with the new production chain, so I’ll leave that one to your imagination for now.
Maxime has been continuing work on improving performance for low-end systems, as well as general optimizations, when generating models, and improving LOD generation.
He has also been working on ways to provide pathing feedback to players when placing buildings and creating the dev tools required to configure this in our Hurricane engine.
Nicolas has, as always, been thoroughly testing improvements and gathering information from the community regarding any bugs and feedback.
As well as this he has been working with the engine programmers investigating possible performance optimizations, one of which was released in a hotfix patch last week to improve performance for larger cities.
Talking of large cities and performance, Phil has been looking at ways to improve villager needs efficiency. This, tied in with villagers moving home will see some major improvements to your overall village/city efficiency in future updates.
Finally Léo has been looking at many aspects of the Hurricane engine, working with and helping the team.
In no particular order he has been looking at
- Improvements to our shader system
- Improvements for our skinning system (new villager outfits)
- Investigating RAM usage with an eye to improve memory allocation tracking
- Undertaking performance analysis between updates
- Prototyping terrain improvements that support more ground types and vegetation (Biomes)
- Improving the dev tools including the in-house Hurricane editor. For example we now have a new Asset Preview allowing the team to easily explore game assets.
I hope you enjoyed the read! We have a lot of improvements coming and work is well underway for the next update but there is still much to do.
Until next time…
-Ash (Community Manager)
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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!
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…
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