Timeless Tyrants Expansion 0.11.0.19 (RELEASED)
Hello, dear friends!
The Timeless Tyrants expansion is now live! It introduces a whole new race to play in addition to a ton of other things. Let's take a look!
The Ardyn Race
The Ardyn are a completely different race from Humans in pretty much every way. The main difference being that they don't need food or water to survive. Instead, they age much faster than all the other races. For them, every hour is equivalent to one day of aging for normal entities. This means that they die of old age (Senectia - an aging disease unique to their race) much faster.
They prevent themselves from getting old through a process called retroanimation. Retroanimation takes the life-force from one entity and gives it to the Ardyn, stealing their youth to keep the Ardyn young. This requires the Ardyn to constantly need to maintain large populations of captured entities to survive. Many other races fear the Ardyn because they ruthlessly hunt and capture all living things.
The Ardyn also differ from Humans in how they reproduce. They can have companions but they don't procreate with a partner and spawn offspring. Instead, when an Ardyn dies, their bodies can be turned into Astrasomes. These organic seed-like pods are used to grow a plant called a Chronoblast. Caretakers of Chronoblasts must feed them life-force to help them grow, and when they are mature, they produce one adult Ardyn settler.
There are three new rooms for the Ardyn to use. These can only be unlocked by having an Ardyn settler.
This is the main fabrication room. It is where Ardyn workers can create items like Astralite, Astrasomes, and Nyctium. As mentioned previously, Astrasomes are used to create more Ardyn settlers, but Astralite and Nyctium are mainly used for constructing things.
Astralite is a dense material that is the biproduct of Nyctium being fused with the life-force of an Ardyn. It is extremely valuable because of its difficulty to make and is often used to make advanced containers like Astracubes.
Nyctium (and the Nyctoid plant)
Nyctium is an organic material that is heavily used in Ardyn construction. It is unique in that it can only be harvested from the Nyctoid plant (more on that later).
The Somnic Pools are where the Ardyn use retroanimation on entities to remove Senectia and make themselves younger.
The Hortichron is where Chronoblasts and Nyctoid plants are grown.
This plant is grown by Ardyn Technochrons (weavers of time) to produce the rare material, Nyctium. It requires the remains of an entity to be planted, and, over its lifetime, must be fed life-force by the Ardyn farmers.
With the Ardyn basics covered, let's talk about some improvements that have been made to the various windows and UI elements.
The production window and room edit windows have been merged into one. And the three main functions of auto-jobs, room owners, and stockpiles can all be edited from here.
One change that I think makes things much clearer is that the jobs are now immediately placed in the room, and no longer queued by default. If you manually add a job, it will be placed in the room. However, this can only happen if the requirements are met. Manually added jobs that don't have a workstation to be placed at will be queued like before, and will auto-place on the workstation when it's free.
Lots of work has been done to better communicate job requirements. There are five main areas of requirement:
- Skill - i.e., Carpentry
- Items - i.e., 2 wood logs
- Blocks - Where the job is done. i.e., Workbench
- Worker - The one doing the job. This may require a race, status, or intelligence type. i.e., Human, with Tired (Status), with Sapient Intelligence.
- Subject - The one being used for the job. i.e., The victim of retroanimation. This can have the same requirement specs as Workers. (seen above).
You can now specify the hour and season jobs get created. This could be handy if you only want people to farm certain crops in winter, while switching over to something else for spring.
I've added four new features to this window:
This lets you make stockpiles a high priority if you want items moved their first.
Item Prohibit List
This lets you specify items that you don't want in a stockpile.
This lets you choose the min amount of items you want in the stockpile at all times, as well as the max amount. The settlers will do their best to keep the item inventory count in between these values.
This lets you see who's hauling items to the room's stockpile and also gives you the ability to edit which entities are used as haulers.
Tracking, Notifications, Designations, and Control Groups
You'll notice a couple new buttons on the HUD (as if we needed more!) which are intended to clean up and organize some things. The inventory button has also been moved over there. I'm trying to group these various buttons together based on functionality. So, the buttons on the top-left are grouped together because they all open up 'tracking' windows. Whereas, top-right is utility windows, bot-right is toolbars, bot-left is overlays.
Let's take a look at the new buttons/windows:
I've added a new window for tracking stats on the top bar in the HUD. There are five types of stat to track up there:
- Items - "3 Carrots"
- Item Categories - "3 Raw Foods"
- Races - "3 Sheep"
- Statuses - "3 Hungry"
- Control Groups - " 3 Entities" (1 is the hotkey)
The top bar didn't have a localized place to manage these things, and I felt like it was time to add something to help with confusion. Also, there's no longer any limit to how many can go up there.
I did a huge pass on notifications to make things a bit clearer. With work and attacks especially. You can hover over each notification to get more info which is great to understand why your entities might be doing more or less output when mining. I plan on adding more notifications in general to help communicate various things, so feel free to let me know if you'd like to see any added.
This is the panel you normally see when you open the jobs or rooms toolbar. I want to expand upon this window some more, but you'll notice the addition of a linking button. This lets you toggle whether the window opens when the jobs/rooms open. Helpful if you don't always want this window to open with jobs/rooms.
As you can see, I've removed the far right control group buttons and put those into their own window. You can edit and view control groups just like before from here.
Character Appearance Upgrade
Characters now show the items they have equipped on their sprite. So, if you deck out an entity in full rutile armor, you'll see a little red settler running around. If they have a pickaxe equipped, you'll see this on their back.
Skill Defaults Window
This is a new sub-window that is part of the Settlers window. Its purpose is to let you specify which skills start enabled when an entity spawns. So, for example, if you want new Void Woken summons to not have mining on, you can set that here.
Ok, I put in an absolute ton of work into this for the update. In fact, I completely changed how the game's data was handled to allow for modding. Before, everything was part of a big ol' JSON text file. Yes, this let you mod but it was really not fun. It also made it impossible to have multiple mods at once. Now, all the game data is represented by Unity's scriptable objects. I've also expanded my build pipeline to export a separate Unity Project which houses all of the scripts and data required to make these. This project can be accessed by anyone through github. It can be used to create and edit the data which can then be built and used as a mod. All the modder needs to do is put this data into the Mod folder in the game's folder, and the game will try to use this new modded data. Either overwriting old data, or adding it into the game.
One thing I still need to add to the mod pipeline is the ability to have multiple texture atlases. Right now, if players wanted to have multiple art style mods, that wouldn't really be possible unless, the art mods were all from the same modder and they created just one atlas. As soon as you have multiple different modders with their own atlases, it won't know which ones to use. But, that's definitely on my to-do list! :)
Here's a link to the mod project:
You'll notice a new room called Region in the production window. This room represents the entire map, and it houses all of the core jobs that entities need to create in order to do basic jobs to survive. For example, eating and drinking can be found here. Players won't really need to edit these jobs, but I wanted to surface all of these to players to make sure things are clearer. Before, all of these jobs were created under-the-hood, and it was tough to know what requirements were used to create them. Now, you can see all of these from Production.
It's time to re-enable this room as I am starting to feel like it has an actual purpose. That is, to improve the spirits (heh) of the masses. Right now, the Tavern has one job you can give it, and that's, "Relax With Drink." Entities will grab a drink, and go sit at a seat in the tavern, and refill their Will (happiness). I'm going to add a bunch more little jobs for this room. It won't just be this one job. But this is a start! There are even plans to have travelling bards which could come and play at your Tavern, but that's getting ahead of myself.
One thing about tuning I'll mention related to this. Alcohol no longer has the same buffs as things like water. Alcohol now provides a smaller thirst buff, a negative energy buff, BUT increases happiness for a time.
Hunting Grounds Room
Much like the Tavern, this is the early stage of this room. For now, it provides one job which is the automation of capturing entities in cages. I will soon be giving it the added job of having hunters actively hunting prey and the sort.
The Workshop is a new room which provides job automation for the most rudimentary of jobs out there. Those jobs that don't really have a specific profession or skill that can be associated with them. You know, making coal, wicker objects, and, oh, I don't know, BONE ARMOR!
Yep, you can now unlock bone armor from the War tech tree. I will be adding more bone items soon!
Prison Cell Room
You'll notice their is a new faction (much like player, neutral, hostile) called 'captured'. This faction is applied to, you guessed it, captured entities from cages. It has all the same functionality as the player faction, however, captured entities will try to stay in their designated rooms AND will only eat/drink from those room. Make sure to keep those rooms stocked with food/water so your captured entities can eat/drink.
As well, factions can be used to limit room occupants. The prison cell is one such room that uses this setting to determine occupants. You can edit this faction setting from the Room Edit Window.
The Prison Cell is pretty much the equivalent of the Animal Enclosure, but for Sapient entities. Pretty soon I'm going to add some deeper mechanics to how captured entities react to their situation. And how they are housed in cells will play a big part into whether they choose to join you or try to escape or get sick, etc.
Integrating Captured Entities
There's a new job, "Integrate As Citizen," which lets you convert captured sentient entities into full citizens. This coincides with a slight naming change for the research skill. This skill is now called writing. I made this change because I feel writing can be more broadly used than research. For example, the aforementioned integrate job requires someone with the writing skill to draft up the documents to make the captured prisoner a citizen. Captured, sentient entities are given permission (lol) to have relationships, change profession, and unlock their technology in the Saga window. But, keep in mind, they need to also be happy! So, make sure they have a bed to sleep on and, hey, maybe let them go to the Tavern for a drink every once in a while?
Apothecary Room (And Bonus Alchemy Skill!)
You can now unlock the Alchemist profession, and the Apothecary room in the Saga, cooking tree. This is very, very early days for alchemy. I have so much planned for this profession. I will be introducing strange and unique diseases to the game soon and the alchemist will be a big part of fighting those afflictions. As well, and this is far down the road, I want players (perhaps the more sinister ones) to be able to infect other kingdoms with diseases using their alchemists and merchants.
For now, I've added two items to make here. Health Potions, and Sablixian Tar. Also, you'll notice the new item category, Potions. Health potions can be used to heal wounded entities, while Sablixian Tar is a rare refined material that is created with Sable Chunks. It is used by the resurrection process, but will also be used by maaaany other dark magic focused things in the future.
I want to also add the ability for entities to hold types of items for quick use. For example, in uniforms, you would be able to tell certain entities to hold, say, potions. That way, in combat, they could quickly consume a potion instead of having to go to the alchemist for healing. I'd also set this up for food and drink items to be quickly consumed.
You'll notice the Arcana research tech tree is a bit sparse. I've moved a lot of stuff over to the Ancient tech tree, to round out some of their uniqueness. Magic isn't intended to be this easily obtained thing. It's supposed to be difficult to achieve. Unless, of course, you're the Ancients and have thousands of years of mastery to work from. Don't worry, I'm adding much more stuff to the Arcana tree.
The first of these additions, as you'll see, is the Dark Magic I node. This introduces a new job (done at the Arcane Study) which lets summoners resurrect entities. This required the addition of some new code to assign more unique information to items. Later on, I want players to be able to edit this information and make their own unique items, but, for now, it is being used by entity remains to connect an entity to an item. For example, a Human remains item having the information for the Human that created it. These remains can then be used to resurrect that past entity.
Resurrected entities have all the same stats as their previous selves, with the exceptions of a few things. They don't get hungry, thirsty, or lose energy, but they also don't naturally heal, or procreate. Now, they will still die from old age, but I'm a bit on the fence as to whether this is good or bad. The intention is to keep Ardyn players from cheesing this ability to have an infinite supply of resurrected bodies to retroanimate. But, who knows, maybe I'll change this down the road based on feedback.
Lastly, coffins and tombs will keep remains from decaying. I think I'm going to add some sort of graveyard/tomb room soon to make it easier to organize and stockpile the dead into coffins and such. For now, you can use a regular old stockpile with just remains enabled to have them carry the remains into those props. They are a great way to preserve the dead for later resurrection. >:)
Matt Creamer, our wonderful composer, has created five new tracks for the game. They are amazing and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
This is a new status that can be applied to Ancients. It makes them extremely powerful, but it does make them less effective in void crafting and summoning. It's essentially a rage-mode for Ancients. Keep in mind it cannot be reversed!
I added quite a few things to the various material types. I didn't get to add all of the ones I wanted, but you'll notice a few new things. Check them out in the Saga window the next time you play. :)
I'm going to spend a small amount of time responding to any fixes which arise from the beta going live, but I have many fun things to work on going forward. My main goal will be to add the Gwdir race. They are going to be fun to play and I'm excited for you to see them in action. Additionally, I want to add a bunch of new entities to the game, including some bugs (The animal. We have enough of the other thanks!). The Apiary room is definitely on my list. Lastly, I want to update the overworld map to have some kingdoms and additional options for players to interact with them. As you can see, big plate of work for me. But I'm stoked! Hope you are too.
I'd like to take a sec to thank everyone that has supported the game with reviews, left feedback on the various forums, and helped report bugs in the beta. I really cannot stress how important you all are to this game. So, thank you very much. I appreciate you all.