With the new UI out it’s a good time to take a look at what else we have been working on and where our focus is now headed.
Before we do though, we would like to mention our growing team here at Polymorph Games. As a relatively new indie studio we are always looking to expand the team and as such we have seen some new faces since the last Devlog.
We have recently been joined by a senior gameplay programmer that will help us as we move our focus to new and improved gameplay features. We also have been swelled in ranks by a new engine programmer as well as a gameplay programmer that is completing an internship with us.
Getting back to the team’s focus, the first thing of note is that in a revised change to our roadmap earlier this year, we are planning to bring you a game update in the Autumn/Fall whilst in the background we also work toward the bigger Core II update.
Let’s take a look at what the team has been working on…
The art team have been hard at work overhauling the current buildings to create a more cohesive and detailed style throughout the game.
You can see an example below of the completed bakery revamp in all its splendor.
You’ll see the majority of these as part of a larger update, most likely sometime next year, however we will be bringing 2 new buildings to the game much sooner that have been designed from the ground up with the new and improved styling already implemented.
Currently the focus is on these two buildings which will see both a Candle Workshop as well as a Common Wares Workshop added to the game in the Fall Update. Check out some concept art of the Common Wares Workshop below.
In the longer term the gameplay team is now focused on Core Update II which will see a complete overhaul of the Estate system and progression. The final design of the Estate system overhaul is now almost complete and work has begun on its implementation. The team are also working on balancing tools to make for easier balancing as we add more content to the game.
In the more immediate future however, the team has also been working on implementing a new feature for the Fall Update that will bring more immersion when building your village. This feature will see construction step bundles implemented to the game.
These bundles will create a more logical construction process, where materials will be required on construction sites in a relevant order. For example a building’s foundation/basement will be built first and require a specific portion of the overall building resources on site before construction begins. The next step might be walls that require the next bundle of resources.
Construction step bundles essentially break down the overall resource requirements into separate bundles that need to be delivered to construction sites prior to builders starting work on each construction step.
We are still working to further improve the UI with subsequent updates such as the recent UI/UX patch. We still have many more improvements to come.
To this end, the UI/UX team is working on a number of important small improvements and fixes that will come in the Fall Update. Alongside this the team is also working on UX design for the bigger core update, in support of the Estates overhaul, which will require a number of new screens and information panels.
Game Engine & Modding
As you can probably imagine the Engine team is busy working to support any processes that the whole team are working on, such as new Hurricane editor tools for feature integration.
Furthermore the team continues to collate and analyse any crash reports coming in and fixing any instability as quickly as possible. Our crash rate is at an all time low with the biggest crash issue now being graphics drivers. Note: if you are experiencing any crashing on startup please update your GPU drivers with (importantly) a clean install of the GPU drivers.
Modding is also one of the larger projects for the Engine team which has seen them continue to work on exposing more features, such as exposing the mandate system to create custom mandates. They have also been looking to support modders even further with work on Lua debugging support.
In addition to this we continue to work closely with the modding community to gather modding feedback and suggestions, as well as look at ways to improve our feedback gathering to better support the modding community.
We will bring you more news as soon as we have it and keep an eye on our social media channels for more teasers, as we get closer to the Fall Update release.
We hope that everyone has been enjoying the new user interface (UI) which, as mentioned previously, was only the 1st phase of a continuing UI/UX development.
Today we have released patch 1.7.11 which brings some further quality of life (QoL) features to the recent 1.7 UI/UX update, as well as some overall user experience (UX) and accessibility improvements.
The patch will also squash a few medieval bugs as well as address some crash fixes, as we continue to improve on the already stable 1.7 update.
Here are a few highlights of what you will find in today’s patch…
The recent new UI introduced clickable counters that would help track issues such as missing resources or workers.
Two new counters have now been added that will let you know, at-a-glance, how many buildings are under construction as well as a counter for paint zones issues. Clicking these counters will cycle through said buildings locations for easy tracking.
Manual input: trade quantities
Based on community feedback we know many of you will be happy to see this next feature added.
The trading resource quantities can now be edited manually via numerical text entry, directly into the resource table. The buttons are still there of course and don’t forget you can click and hold the buttons to increase or decrease the quantities in larger steps.
Tree and grass sway
Another great example of community feedback comes with this next change. Tree and grass sway animations have been normalized to run at x1 speed no matter the speed setting above pause. This should help those that suffer from motion/simulation sickness and even those that don’t.
For more severe cases we have also added the option to turn off the environmental animations entirely.
Main Menu improvements
When starting a new game, the map selector now shows a short description of the map, as well as a handy thumbnail image of the map itself. Modders are also able to add thumbnails and descriptions with their own maps, though current ones will need to be updated.
Layouts for both the loading menu and save menu have been improved, making it easier to find the save you wish to play. It’s now much easier to see information pertaining to a save file, whilst easily sorting the list via various sort options. Additionally, it is now possible to filter out autosaves and remove them from the viewable list.
Distance to workplace information returns with this patch. More specifically when assigning villagers to a workplace using the dropdown, you will now see the distance that workplace is from the villager’s home or village center if homeless. We all love an efficient village!
We are aware of some issues relating to zooming, specifically around elevated terrain, so we have made some improvements to the way that zooming is handled. More work will be done on the camera in future updates but this should help to improve the control over high terrain areas.
Text contrast and shadows have been enhanced throughout the game, which brings a cleaner look but more importantly, increased readability for everyone. Further improvements are also planned as we continue to refine the new UI.
There are many more tweaks in the 1.7.11 patch, as well as a bunch of medieval bugs vanquished and a number of crashes addressed.
As always, we would like to say a big thank you for your continued support and invaluable feedback.
add: Textfield functionality to resource trade quantity in the Book
add: Counter – missing paint zone
add: Counter – ongoing construction
add: Collapsible monument parts groups when editing (reintroduced)
add: Distance to workplace when assigning worker via dropdown
add: Full tooltips – estate unlockables
add: Military mission, panel sorting
add: New map selector integration (first iteration)
Today is the day we know many of you, including ourselves, have been looking forward to: the release of the 1.7 New User Interface (UI) update!
As you will see, everything has changed. In the actions bar, you will find all the tools you need to build, zone and delve further into your village details (with the multi-pages Book feature!). You’ll also enjoy a much more detailed informative module at the top, revamped building and villager panels, a new quest module and more streamlined notifications.
You will find a new Quest panel where you can pin quests and keep a track of available missions and an overhauled help menu that will give you some further pointers and information on the games’ systems.
Saves now have a screenshot to help you identify your save at-a-glance, and the settings menu (and game) in general, is much more easy to use and navigate.
That’s not all of course! We have made further improvements to the engine during this time, that should see your fps improve as well as further bug fixes.
In summary, anything and everything is new and we hope you enjoy the new experience the UI will bring to the game!
Behind the scenes of last year development
This last year has been very busy for our small but passionate team. As many of you know, Foundation is made with its own game engine. This gives us the liberty we need to create the game as we envision it, but it also requires more time to develop some features as we also have to develop the tools we require beforehand.
Much of the team have been focused on the programming that was required to implement a whole new UI:
Creating a complete GUI Editor from scratch
Improve massively on our GUI engine
Improve our 2D rendering pipeline
Develop a completely new font rendering system to support font variety and scaling
Refactor the whole UI code base around the new UX
Implement all the new QoL that the new UX required
Other members of the team also worked with Dan, our UI/UX developer to create the multitude of custom art that can be seen throughout the new interface.
With the UI/UX phase one complete and the major groundwork set for later phases, we can now switch our main focus and push on with more gameplay and content additions still to come, in the upcoming Core updates!
add: new HUD
add: new help menu
add: new actions bar
add: new Book feature
add: new sortable villager panel to Book
add: new sortable workplace panel to Book
add: new trade and resources panel to Book
add: new budget overview panel to Book
add: new estates panel to Book
add: new army manager panel to Book
add: new log panel to Book
add: new buildings panels
add: new building status indicators
add: new construction menu
add: search function to construction menu
add: category filters to construction menu
add: new Information panels
add: new issues counters
add: new monthly budget reports
add: new quest Module
add: new pinnable quests
add: new notifications system
add: new tooltips
add: new event pop-ups
add: new custom art – events
add: new custom art – information panels
add: new resource icons
add: new main menu
add: new load/save windows
add: new mods window
add: loading screen
add: new settings window
add: new achievements window
add: savegame – automated thumbnails + save meta info (villager count, playtime, etc)
add: new audio
add: more control remapping options
fix: tavern bridge placement
update: community localizations
improve: building overview tab with worker assignation shortcut
improve: UI Scaling, including clean font scaling
improve: language switching
add: static sized arrays support
add: support for atlas cell image assets
expose additional animations
fix: mod unload order
fix: custom type list property always using default value instead of assigned value
A preview build of the upcoming 1.7 UI update is now available via the GOG or Steam beta option tab (access instructions below).
For the past months, we have been working hard on a complete rehaul of the UI. Phase I is almost complete and we are excited to bring you a preview build, so that you can all take a first hands-on look at the new revamped Foundation interface.
We still have some outstanding improvements to make in Phase I, but now is the perfect time for us to gather your feedback. We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions in the preview feedback thread here (Steam) or GOG forums. Alternatively, join us on Discord where we have a dedicated channel for the 1.7 UI preview.
Vanilla (non-modded) save games from the current live build should, in most cases, be compatible with the preview build. However, as always with a preview build, we thoroughly recommend trying a fresh game to get the full benefit and experience from this update.
Many mods will require a migration update and will not initially work, and as such, modded saves will likely need to wait for mod updates and the full 1.7 update. We will be working closely with the modding community to help them get updated as quickly as possible during the preview stage.
Preview build saves will be compatible with the full release of the 1.7 UI update
Phase I is a huge foundation [Warning: pun overuse] for more improvements to come with subsequent phases looking to fine-tune the art style, improving usability and UX as well as looking deeper into accessibility features and then final UI polish.
We hope you enjoy the new look UI and we look forward to hearing your feedback.
If you would like to take a look or help test out the update preview you can gain access via:
Right-click Foundation in your Steam library
Click on properties
Navigate to BETAS
Choose the preview – Next Build Preview option
The game will automatically update but if it does not you may need to restart your Steam client.
Please note: The preview build is work in progress and may contain some bugs. Any Bugs you might find can be reported here on the Steam forums or you can join us on Discord where we have both feedback and bug reporting channels.
Open the Foundation game, options menu within your GOG Galaxy library
Choose Manage installation -> Configure
Within the Betas channels choose preview
The game should automatically update but if it does not you may need to restart your GOG Galaxy client.
Please note: The preview build is work in progress and may contain some bugs. Any Bugs you might find can be reported here on the GOG forums or you can join us on Discord where we have both feedback and bug reporting channels.
It’s been a little time since our last communication but this does not mean we have been resting on our laurels. We know you are all eagerly anticipating the new UI and the improvements that will come with it.
An update on the UI rehaul progress
The very first phase of the new UI implementation is nearing completion. With that said, we would like to share with you some of the work that has been involved with creating the new UI, and to let you know what has been going on in the background for the past few months.
Late last year, we teased you all with some sample images of our UI rehaul. These initial images were conceptual and only a taste of what to expect. Since that time, our UI/UX designer and a good chunk of the team have been busy implementing the full redesign in-engine.
If you have played the game and seen the old UI you will be well aware that although it was functional, it was lacking in many places, not particularly intuitive and also not very aesthetically pleasing. As such, the redesign has required major work. Every menu, icon, HUD element, feedback module… it’s a long list… needed to be updated, redesigned and in some instances built from scratch. Such is the cost of progress.
Once the new design foundation (pun intended) was laid out and agreed upon, work could begin on asset creation, whilst in the background, we ramped up work on the engine. What came out of this was a brand new Interface tool (imaginatively called the GUI editor). This tool effectively allows us to build, visualize and tweak the interface without programming (because yes, the old interface used to be generated purely by code). As we progress, we’re constantly making the editor even more powerful, to allow for new features in the game for you, the players.
On top of this we have been making further updates to the engine to allow for enhanced UI visuals including better font rendering, to improve scaling, for the large differences in resolutions throughout the player base.
Much of the new interface is now in place and we are on the final run toward testing, feedback, tweaking and subsequent release. There are still a few elements that need to be worked on, some remnants from the old UI that need to be replaced and we will need to further tweak and improve on the work so far before release.
We know you are eager to see more teasers of what’s to come and of course we wish to oblige…
In other news
The UI has not been the only focus of recent development work. Some of the team have also been working in the background on more long-term goals such as overall art direction and preparation for future content updates.
Some of you may have noticed the changes to the market tents in a social media post some time ago, this was only the start of a broader improvement in the overall art direction. Further work has since been carried out on buildings such as the bakery and in time we will revamp and enhance the majority of the art and assets within the game.
The art team has also been working to design and create tools that will allow for a better way to render environmental aspects and transitions within the game, such as those between grass, sand and rocks. Similarly, they have been looking at ways in which to improve the look and variation of environmental factors such as vegetation, lighting and overall ambiance.
These changes and improvements to the art style will not be part of the upcoming UI but you will be seeing more of them in the future.
We will update you all with an ETA for the release of the UI update in the coming weeks.
Happy New Year everyone! We hope you all had a wonderfully festive holiday!
We are thrilled to present to you today, an updated roadmap that contains information on many of the new features and content coming to Foundation this year.
Updated Roadmap & Release Schedule
Our objective is to release 3 major updates over the course of 2021. The first of which will be the much anticipated new UI.
This will be followed by 2 Core Updates that will bring an array of new features and additionally continue to improve on the UI and UX.
We have set out below further information on what you can expect to see in these updates.
Update 1 will bring a major improvement to the game in the form of the UI rehaul. You can expect to see a new HUD, building menus, villager menu, information panels and of course much, much more.
The main HUD will see a plethora of improvements that will contain easily identifiable information on resources, events & quests as well as more information panels for quick overviews of your current village.
Many of the information and management panels will all be tied together in an easily navigable and streamlined “Book” (name subject to change). The Book will include tabs and shortcuts that will link directly to facets including: Villager information, Workplaces, Estates, Budget, Resources and your Army. Each tab will include improved ways to sort and search for information that you need, all at your fingertips.
A new main menu will include more detail when looking through saves, a new options menu, help menu, mod menu,… in fact every aspect of the UI will be new and improved and as such will also bring a host of UX improvements.
We will continue to build upon the UI/UX Update with further updates and improvements after its initial release.
Core Update II will focus on improving the Estate mechanic. Your influence with an estate will vary over time, creating a choice of which estate(s) to invest in. Increasing your influence with one estate will have an effect on other estates and as such will affect the path you choose when building your village.
A new feature will be introduced with Core Update II in the form of Building Decay. Every placeable building will require maintenance and if not maintained the building will decay over time.
In order to maintain buildings within your village, you will need to place and staff a maintenance workshop. Each workshop will prioritize and maintain buildings that require repairs and pull resources that are needed to repair those buildings.
As buildings decay, productivity and desirability will be affected and if allowed to decay too far, buildings will become unusable and will need to be dismantled.
Houses occupied by villagers of lower status than the house, or left uninhabited for too long will begin to decay and may require repair.
Further UI/UX Improvements
Core Update II will also continue to improve upon the UI and UX with more accessibility options and menu improvements, taking into account player feedback as we further build on the previous UI/UX update.
Core Update III will add a number of new features that will change the way in which your village population can vary as well as bring new and improved detail to maps.
Families & Aging
A family mechanic will allow for the birth of children who will age, work, create their own families and eventually pass away, bringing a full cycle to village life.
Varying factors will increase the chance of villager disease that will come with consequences to your workforce if left unchecked.
As your villagers now walk through the valley of death they will need a place to be laid to rest.
Map Visual Edges
Map edges will be visually improved.
Varying biomes will add to the variety of map environments.
Land fertility will differ, depending on environmental factors allowing for crop-specific fertility.
A much requested feature will see the introduction of cobblestone roads that will increase efficiency in your villages.
The updated roadmap can be found over on Trello where you can keep up-to-date with all the progress.
Up to Full Release
More features will be implemented up to the full release, including:
A major expansion and overhaul of the narrative elements & events
Vehicles – where appropriate, villagers will be able to own and use horses
A third level of housing status and density
A Safety need will see more use for soldiers and defense structures
Information map – a zoomed out map showing an overview of available resource nodes and layers
Pastures – allowing for zoning of livestock areas
The full release will not be the end of development and we will continue to work on features not yet implemented such as a map editor, creative mode and a photo tool as well as work on further DLCs that were planned as part of our original Kickstarter campaign.
Today we are announcing the release of Alpha 188.8.131.521!
If you have been reading the recent Devlogs and News you will have seen that we have been working on a content patch for the recent 1.6 Mineral & Craftsmanship update.
This patch will provide some polish to the 1.6 update and bring with it some highly requested quality of life improvements as well as additional features. You can check out the summary of the patch contents below, which includes a full changelog.
We have received many requests for an improved promotion window more specifically the ability to sort promotions.
This content patch will now allow you to sort the population by various parameters whilst also being able to easily focus on a villager’s workplace, their house, and the villager themselves, making it much easier to identify those you wish to promote.
Another request that has been high on the agenda has been for more names. You will now find 1000 new names added to the game, so you should not be seeing Female #44 or Male #808 for some time. Note: More work on names will come with a planned family feature in a future update.
Additionally, we have added the ability for you to rename villagers. You can now have all your family, friends or community members living in your villages.
Masterpieces were introduced in the recent 1.6 Content Update and this patch aims to polish up the Masterpiece systems as well as some visuals and an added bonus feature.
Masterpieces are sets of specific parts that can be added into a monument or be built as a standalone building. They are unique creations that include a bonus once built to meet certain conditions. The conditions for the bonuses have been tweaked with this patch to better suit the Masterpiece it relates to.
The Giant Gate Masterpiece has seen a little polish and now comes with additional parts for you to build the perfect entryway to your city. There is also the addition of a new wall for the Gate that will for now, be available via the walls menu once unlocked.
A new melody composer can now be found in the Automated Fountain Masterpiece which will allow you to flex your musical talents and create beautiful music.
Additionally, you can now customize your church bells, controlling when the bells toll as well the tone of the bells.
Quarry Depots and Visuals
Quarries will now require a large crane be built which will act as a resource depot for the extracted resources of that quarry. Miners will store resources at these depots where they can then be used or transported to warehouses closer to your production buildings.
The stored resources within these depots will also come with improved visuals making it easier to identify the resources at-a-glance.
Villagers have got cleverer… bigger smarts… more intelligent, yes!
Builders will now prioritize a building site’s proximity to their builder’s workshop when looking for work. This will keep them from traveling unnecessary long distances and consequently, it also gives you a better opportunity to optimize the positioning of your builder’s workshops.
Needs fulfillment has also been improved with new AI behavior that will see villagers searching out close-by needs based on the fulfillment of their previous need. This should improve the overall behavior flow and efficiency of villagers in their free time.
The team is always looking at ways to improve the Hurricane engine and one such improvement has enabled us to integrate animations into moving workstation parts. This new tool will allow us to bring a whole new level of immersion into your villages.
You will find a number of new animations with this patch including a couple of both new and improved, thanks to community feedback.
Help Menu Additions and Tooltips
The help menu has been tweaked overall and now includes a new section on Masterpieces. We have also added new tooltips for Masterpieces and warehouses to help explain their functions and relevant conditions.
Additionally, you will find a prompt when quitting to the menu or exiting the game. No more unintentional loss of game-time!
Bug Fixes and More
Alongside the changes above, this patch will come with a number of bug fixes and other improvements, including:
New sounds for mining and other workplaces
More UI tweaks, such as an improved resource list order
Changes to the mineral distribution system when prospecting mineral nodes. For example, Iron will be much easier to find earlier in your searches.
Multiple pathfinding fixes
And more… a full changelog can be found below
Modding documentation and changes can be found over on the modding wiki.
Thank you to everyone that has provided feedback, crash and bug reports. All of your reports have allowed us to fix a number of issues as well as make improvements as we continue to develop Foundation.
We can’t wait to hear your melodies! Join us on our official Discord server and join in the conversation.
Add: Allow villager renaming
Add: Church tower bells control
Add: Fountain sound
Add: Giant wall – unlock wall when unlocking the masterpiece
Add: Masterpieces topic to Help Menu
Add: Menus – Add a “Data will be lost, are you sure?” before Exiting the game or returning to the main menu.