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.
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!
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.
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
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:
And The Brewery, which can be found in the Public Buildings panel.
Produces Beer from Hops, Wheat & Water
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:
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
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
Shift-Click keep building part and orientation selected on shift-click
Unique need concept
Separated housing (levels) and water needs in villager information window
… 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.
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
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… Cheers! -Ash (Community Manager)
We have a lot of exciting new content in the Fall Update as well as new features, changes and fixes.
You can check out the full changelist below:
The Fall update sees the addition of a new production chain starting with the Dairy Farm.
Produces Milk from Cows
The Cheesemaker is the next progression in the new production chain. Milk, produced at the Dairy Farm will be processed into Cheese by the Cheesemaker.
Cheese can then be sold at the market as a food resource to satisfy villagers’ food needs.
Produces Cheese from Milk
Added: Cheese resource
The Tavern will be a place for your villagers to relax after a hard days work, where they can purchase some wine and also get themselves a hot meal if there is one available.
The Tavern, as all other Monuments, consists of multiple Monument including a Service Counter, for storage and staff, which combined with the Public Lounge will allow you to sell wine to your citizens. The Kitchen will provide meals that will be bought (if available) when wine is purchased.
There are also many decorative items that you can place on your Tavern which will give you even more creative options to decorate and personalize your creations.
The stone bridge now includes a host of new decorative items added that you will can snap to the bridge. With gates, a portculis and bridge towers, to name but a few, you will be able to make an impressive waterside entryway to your cities.
Added: Bridge decorations
Improved Bridge Collision and pathfinding
Added: Warning of incorrect placement
Monument functions will see some changes in the new update, these changes bring a new feature to Monuments which will allow you to choose which Monument part is assigned a particular function.
Some factors of the Monument parts will have an influence on the Monument functions, for instance, the capacity of the part and the quality of the materials used.
The Fall update will also see the introduction of the Great Hall, where you will host any Envoys that visit your settlement but will also bring an added bonus of doubling the Splendor for the Monument part that it is assigned to.
For now, the Horse will only be used by the Envoy to bring you quests but there will be more functions for the Horse in future updates.
Added: the Horse
Envoy visits the Great Hall
Another new feature on its way in the Fall Update will see the introduction of multiple workstation animations which will increase the number of animations within a production building.
We have also updated and improved on some of the previous animations.
Added: Envoy animations
Added: Grindstone animation
Added: Bakery oven animation
Added: Market tender animations
Improved: Harvesting animations
Fixed: Some animation character rotation
Monuments now have 3 tabs:
General – General Information
Edit – Edit Monument
Parts – Shows parts; allows function assignation. – New delete option per part
Within the Parts tab you will be able to assign varying functions to some of the parts using the new assignable functions feature.
Some functions will require extra maintenance costs, hovering over the function will show the effects of the function being assigned.
Other changes to the UI and UX include:
Confirmation popup on part deletion
Taxes collected now show in the budget window
Major improvement to the Monument assemblage experience
– Monument parts can now be attached in 3D, so players only need to place the mouse to a node to have the part attach.
New Immigration factors
Immigration is now governed by:
Added Capacity to some building parts
Bonus to bailiff depending on building part splendor
Updated maintenance costs to include capacity
For the first time, modders will be able to import their own map in the game.
Added: Map importer – Allows for the import of heightmap data for the creation of custom maps
Here’s an example of a Quebec City imported map:
Other Modding Additions
Livestock and tool prefabs are now exposed and usable for modding
New buildings, building parts, resources and jobs assets are now available.
A resource can now have multiple resource types
The market tender behavior is now available
Building part functions are now assets, declared individually. – Core building part functions have also been exposed to the API.
Fix: Infinite loading on low-end computers
Fix: Bridges (pathfinding / collision)
Fix: Do not remove bridge pathfinding connections when placing an obstacle under it
Fix: Removed housing lvl 2 door at the wrong location
Fix: Adjust housing collider sizes
Fix: Warehouse & granary resource visuals
Fix: Granary Collision
Fix: Forester planting multiple trees standing at the same spot
Fix: Fishing spot heights (all maps)
Fix: Rustic Church Basement
Fix: Beekeeping entrance
Fix: Avoid crashes when mods are disabled or changed
We are excited to bring you news on the plans for the upcoming content update!
This update will bring a plethora of new content to the game, so without further ado let’s take a look at what is to come in the next update.
New Monument: The Tavern
If you have seen the recent teaser you may have already guessed it but the next update will see the introduction of a new Monument, The Tavern!
As the Tavern is a monument it will consist of multiple parts. These parts will include a Public Bar room, Kitchen, Sleeping Room, Stables and many decorative items.
The Tavern monument will have limited functionality in this update but more functions will be added in future updates.
New Production Chain
A new production line will be introduced in the next update which will see the addition of the Dairy Farm and Cheese Maker.
These new production buildings will add both Milk and Cheese resources into the game, as well as new buildings and of course Cows!
Assigning Monument Functions
One exciting new feature, coming soon, will be the ability to assign functions to monument building parts.
With this new feature, the player will have the ability to assign some generic parts a function that is relevant to that monument type, allowing players much more control over their monument building functions and overall creativity with building parts.
The Lord Manor monument set, for example, currently includes a treasury building and a Bailiff office. These building parts will become generic and the players will be able to assign the treasury and Bailiff functionality to the generic parts.
The new update will also see the addition of the Great Hall to the Manor monument functions. The Great Hall is where you will host any Envoys that visit your settlement. Assigning the Great Hall function to a building part will have the added bonus of doubling the splendour for that building part.
Some factors will have an influence on the Monument functions, for instance, the capacity of the part and the quality of the materials used.
Further Monument functions are planned to be added in later updates.
New Immigration Factors
Currently, new villagers join a players village in pairs, with the time between immigration waves being governed by overall villager happiness. The new update will bring some major new changes to immigration, we will be introducing new factors to govern the size of the immigration wave giving you more control over the growth of your city.
In a change to the current system, ‘Happiness’ will affect the immigration count rather than the time between waves. A happier populace will increase the number of new villagers joining a settlement.
In addition to this, ‘Employment’ will also factor in to the quantity of new villagers arriving in a settlement. Having more unemployed villagers in a settlement will reduce the amount of new arrivals in the next immigration wave.
A third factor being introduced will see a players homeless villagers having an impact on new arrivals. The ‘Residency’ factor will require villagers to be housed and if they aren’t, each homeless villager will be factored in to the next immigration wave, reducing the number of new settlers joining a village.
More Workstation Animations
We will be adding even more animations in the next update alongside a workstation animation feature.
The new feature will bring multiple animation to workstations which will increase the number of animations within a production building. For example, the bakery will see a new workstation where one villager will be working the bread whilst a second villager is working the oven.
In a similar vein, the blacksmith will see a new grindstone workstation animation added that will have a second villager grinding tools whilst the first works with a hammer on the anvil.
With the new update we plan to add some weather variation to the standard gaming environment.
The new weather effects won’t have the same impact on the challenge to the game as the bad weather event but will increase the level of immersion with variations in the weather environment between sunny, cloudy and rain effects.
Bridges will be getting more detailed with the addition of bridge decorations! There will be a whole host of additional options to improve the look of your bridges, from simple banners to more ornate gates and towers.
Additionally we are looking into improving pathfinding and collision for bridges to ensure they are usable once built and placed correctly.
A Horse of course!
That’s right, we will be introducing the horse into the game, starting off as a vehicle for the Envoy.
We will be adding in the possibility to import heightmap data! Initially this will allow modders to include custom maps with their mods or even create a mod that is just a map.
We will be including more villager outfits and applying many bug fixes and improvements, including fixes to improve blocked pathing issues.
We plan to have the update ready for release within the next few weeks so keep an eye out for further announcements.
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.
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.