Update #58: Inside Build 11 Part 2

We continue to the hard work of making the game release ready.  Archmage is ambitious and our goal is to make something as deep and interesting as Dwarf Fortress or Crusader Kings II, yet accessible to everyone.  In this update we show the beginnings of character creation and customization, life aspirations, and the detailed NPC relationships view, and announce something weird that is happening with Nic.

It wasn't till this week I realized we are doing two things: making a world simulator AND THEN making an RPG game inside of that.  Problems in one effect the other.  Last year we spent a lot of time on the simulator, but never once on the game itself (even though Nic kept raising that exact issue).

One of the major issues is that we, the devs, know how everything works, but will a player?  Probably not.  This necessitates putting in the correct tooltips and helptext with detailed enough information that most everyone can figure what they encounter.  

We haven't done this before, but I thought I'd share the list of 28(!) Improvements made just in this week (well, the ones we bothered documenting):

  • Study of books now increases Scholarship skill
  • All skills now increase based on use, no longer beholden to rolling 20's, but 20's still increase the stat
  • Book titles now reflect content inside, no longer do you get a book with "Ice" in the title that is really fire magic
  • Books now grant spells, spell upgrades, skills, bonus damage to certain creature types, and recipes.
  • New book type, cookbook, has study length determined by difficulty of the recipe. Easier ones are shorter, harder ones are longer.  Cookbooks are easier to study than spell books which we think makes the most sense.
  • Updated all tooltips (that we could find) to show stamina and time costs with universal icons
  • Book tooltips totally redone, now show important information like rarity, study progress, 
  • Updated all displays of gold with icon and correct coloring
  • Massively updated the Spell screen, now matches artist mock up, includes all correct spell information: description, targeting, target pattern, damage/effect at full strength, flavor text, stackable upgrades, rarity gems for upgrades, added selector outline for schools when filtering the list
  • Added basic character creation, with ability to pick gender and character sheet background
  • Added 5 life aspirations and their related quest types
  • Continue to update old fuzzy Hypertext text to new crisp TextMeshPro as we find them
  • Equipped inventory items now have a green outline in inventory to show they are equipped (don't sell em!)
  • Updated NPC portraits to use correct relationship icons
  • Massively updated NPC relationship screen, added ability to left click a person to instantly see their relationships 
  • Darkened menus and tooltips to make text readable on all background art
  • Marked screens we have no hope of finishing for build 11 as "Unavailable"
  • Exploration: added detailed tooltip to tell the user what it is, what it costs, what you get, and what happens at failure
  • Exploration now reveals something at half it's difficulty so you know it is there even if you can't find it until later
  • Added spells Featherfall and Air Pocket.  Sorta working, need more work
  • Unfinished books now appear on Magic screen in Study section so you know what to finish
  • Updated world generation screen to new artwork
  • Reworked fish: now populate randomly in the world based on their species water type: salt, fresh, and swamp.  Now multiple species can inhabit the same hex.  Fish weight now correctly determined when born (all fish used to be 0.1 lb) 
  • Fish weight determined by hex food quality, this makes fishing for the same kind of fish in a more abundant hex worth finding
  • Reduced water wiggle effect, it was too wiggly
  • Added new Healer background
  • Outfitter no longer sells weapons or armor.  He now sells true adventuring equipment like ropes, torches, crafting ingredients, and soon to exist: rafts/canoes!  He also manufactures the items himself
  • Weaponsmith sells weapons directly.  New armorsmith will do the same for armor