En bref. Depuis son arrivée sur Steam, fin 2018, en Accès anticipé, les choses évoluent cahin-caha pour ce city-builder postapo, comme souvent dans le chaos d’un jeu en pleine phase bêta. Néanmoins, bonne nouvelle, après divers soucis, les développeurs ont pu finaliser cette semaine une huitième importante mise à jour. Tant mieux, car l’un des intérêts de ce jeu, hormis le fait qu’il privilégie une inspiration puisée dans Fallout, est qu’il met l’accent sur des choix éthiques, moraux, sur des lois à établir pour rebâtir une société dans les ruines d’un monde dévasté.

Voyez les nombreux détails ajustés dans le changelog suivant, en résumé nombreuses optimisations, ou encore ajout d’un système de famille pour son chef, sachant que plus de contenu est prévu par la suite, comme évoqué dans la nouvelle feuille de route, elle aussi ci-dessous.

Pour plus d’informations sur Atomic Society, dont la sortie et actuellement repoussée à on ne sait quand, voyez cette page sur Steam ou le site du studio.

 

Communiqués

Update 8 Now Out On Main Branch

Following a successful week on the beta branch, Update 8 is now available on the main branch for all players to enjoy. As mentioned, this update bring the new Leader’s family system, for you to take on the challenge of having a spouse and heir, many vital bug fixes, and a lot of smaller improvements.

Patch notes are repeated below. Thanks to everybody who took the time to try the game during the beta.

We’re hopeful we’ve caught all the serious bugs, but we’ll continue to monitor bug reports and forum feedback of course.

New Development Roadmap

Our old feature roadmap was a bit out of date and I’ve now updated it to show what our core focus is for finishing Atomic Society:

You can read it here, on the discussion forum.

Comments, ideas and suggestions are welcome as always. We’re really trying to shape the core of Atomic Society around what players do and don’t enjoy (as best we can with our tiny team and day jobs) so the more we get the better! Thanks for helping to make the game better.

Coming Next

Work has already started on Update 9 with new little improvements already being added. The main goal of this update is polish and stability before we carry on adding major new content to make sure everything is working as intended. The good news is this means it shouldn’t take so long to get out (by our standards) as there isn’t any scary epic new feature for us to tear our (remaining) hair out over!

I promise to keep in touch with dev blogs even if the blog is just me basically saying “everything is on fire” as one thing I learnt from my last blog is that players just want to know what’s going on, even if things aren’t going well, that’s part of the Early Access journey. However we’ve really changed a lot about how we work this summer, so I’m hoping we can get better updates out faster. That’s the plan.

Update 8 – Family – Patch Notes (Final)

New Content and Improvements:

New Feature – Leader’s Mansion & Family After your town has survived 3 years, your people will award you the Leader’s Mansion structure. Building this impressive new structure lets you tackle a new goal – to have a life partner and pass on your unique genetic code to an heir. After choosing who to be with, you can see your spouse (you have up to 3 if that suits you) getting up to mischief in town as you play, and worry about whether or not your children will survive (or be murderers – family members can commit the same traits as ordinary citizens). You can choose to make your family immune from arrest, or let them be locked up like regular criminals but this makes people harder to convert. Laws you set will impact who you can be with in the first place.

The Scavenger’s Hut now passively harvests lumber from any nearby trees at a slow rate. This change makes the placement of the Scavenger’s Hut a lot more strategic. You must now consider how close it is to ruins while trying to get the most from any nearby trees. This change also means forest maps play differently to desert and snow maps.

In response to player feedback, the bonus Raider Story Event can now be enabled or disabled whenever you start a new game for those who just want to build in peace (though you still need guard towers to make people feel safe). However, because the Raiders are now optional, their impact has been scaled up (it varies by difficulty) making the Story Event a lot more damaging if you do switch it on. We have also changed the wording around the Raiders to make it clear they’re simply a text-based story event.

The Town Leader will now automatically keep salvaging after finding a bag upgrade, until that new bag is full.

A new guitar-based song (“Safe”) has been added to the soundtrack. This song will play after all the in-game goals have been completed.

The Canteen building is now upgradeable with electricity, allowing more people to visit it simultaneously.

Added a new “ultra” graphical preset that has increased shadow distance and resolution. You can switch to it in video options.

Several new sound effects added for various actions.

Countless UI tweaks implemented. To list a few: buildings with an radius effect (AoE) now display icons on the ground to help players understand what the effect does. The Town Hall stats screen has been made a lot more readable. The Courthouse and Trader UI has been improved. A quick way to access the menu button has been added to the top left. Extra shortcut buttons have been added to the main panel. Almost every menu has had a little touch-up.

Several new alert messages added. These will explain what certain features do, or alert you to problems in the town that players were previously overlooking.

Several text improvements and adjustments. For example, the opening story now implies the (super-speedy) Town Leader may not necessarily be an ordinary human being but created to rebuild society for the humans – which is interesting when it comes to raising an heir. New game tips have also been added to cover new features and hazards players often fall into. The tutorial has been streamlined and refined. Building descriptions have been made clearer, etc.

Bug Fixes:

This version comes with many important bug fixes…

Fixed: A bug that could cause saving to freeze permanently on certain maps with certain ruins. Thanks to our players for finding this and sending us the vital game info to solve it! We are monitoring this one on the beta branch to make sure it’s fixed for everyone, but hopefully we’ve found the cause.

Fixed: A bug that let the player try and save while saving, or delete a save while saving thus causing the save process to break.

Fixed: A bug where guard tower workers would stop collecting weapons if one of them lost their job while coming back with weapons.

Fixed: A bug that meant upgraded guard towers were not protecting structures in the extra radius.

Fixed: A bug that could sometimes cause your Town Leader or engineers to teleport across the map if you were following them with the camera as a building was converted.

Fixed: The Research Center can no longer be destroyed by raiders or collapse due to lack of repairs in order to prevent a rare and unrepeatable bug where researching could get stuck (you can still manually blow it up).

Fixed: A very rare memory leak that could cause the game to crash when loading a saved game under specific circumstances.

Fixed: A bug that was letting citizen builders leave work whenever they wanted, thus making them frustratingly ineffective even if they were even slightly unhappy.

Fixed: A bug that could sometimes cause the repair building icon to get stuck on the screen if the building collapsed.

Fixed: Fixed a bug that caused several sound effects to be unaffected by the volume slider.

Fixed: A bug where Enforcers could get confused if Raiders changed a law while they were working on it. Also improved the Enforcer code in general to make them more reliable.

Fixed: A bug that caused the food and drink statistics on the Town Hall stats menu to be linked, showing identical numbers. They now show accurate numbers.

Fixed: A bug where the leader could get stuck behind the fence after helping to build the Research Center and only moved out by using mouse clicks.

Fixed: We’ve reduced the size of the output_log file the game creates while you’re playing to save on hard drive space (and make it easier to email to us if needed).

Fixed: A cosmetic bug where construction areas were rotated at a different angle to the way the player had put the building down.

Fixed: A few alert messages were spamming the player too frequently (like a Courthouse Lacks Workers, etc). These will appear less often.

Balance Changes:

Here are the latest balance changes in response to player feedback…

The beginning of the game has been re-balanced to make the initial citizens survive longer, letting new players get their bearings before people drop dead. This change does not affect hard mode.

The canteen has been made a little less thirsty for lumber to encourage players to use it.

Guard towers now only need 2 workers so players have more staff to spare.

Wind turbines have been re-balanced so that you can only build 1 per 100 citizens, to avoid people exploiting them batteries for trade.

The Luxury Tower now takes longer to research, meaning the other houses are suddenly more useful.

Citizens are twice as likely to belong to your belief system passively (without needing conversion) so you can spend less time torturing or educating in the Info Station. This should result seeing more convictions in the early game.

Tundra is now shrouded in fog of a nuclear winter, making it harder to scavenge as you can’t see as far ahead.

As mentioned, if this story event is enabled, the “Raiders have arrived” alert now appears when you hit 200 citizens, not 250. Their chances to kill, destroy, or damage buildings have been slightly increased. The Raiders can still be completely neutralised by upgraded guard towers.

 

Early Access Roadmap (2020 Version)

Here’s a look at what’s next for Atomic Society during its Early Access journey.

Things can change, that’s one of the joys of Early Access, so please do let us know what you like and dislike about the game. It’s very useful finding out what players think when you’re making a game at home.

Please keep in mind we’re a tiny, low budget indie team (also working day jobs to pay the bills) making our first ever game… We can’t do miracles, but we’ll do everything possible to create a game worth playing!

These are the things at the top of our priority list for the coming year. Obviously the details of these might change a bit as we develop them, but they’ll give you some idea.

Changes Being Worked On

More strategic building placement / map differences

Following the Scavenger Hut using trees in Update 8, which made forest maps easier in a good way, we’re working on more advanced building placement, for example wind turbines benefitting from being on hills and things like that. Just applying this kind of feature to a few common buildings in the game should make each map play very differently – hills and valleys become tactical. Lakes and rivers will also have a use. This will make choosing your starting location much more important so we’ll let players choose their starting location more easily.

More impact for setting laws

We’re looking into giving the player new factors to consider when setting laws, not just picking whatever suits you at the time. Citizens might be unhappy if you ignore or delay a “hot topic” issue versus what needs sorting the most, etc. They’ll be more to weigh up and more to lose.

Mining and Self-Sustainability

Over time we’ve made some quite big changes to the resource gathering side of the game. We’re going to continue to move away from making scavenging absolutely essential and let players slowly get their town to the point where it can gather resources from the land in a sustainable manner. For example, by mining and processing ore. This should again increase the map differences and let you focus on town building and even city building.

Migration Popularity / Reputation

This is probably one of the most important improvements in the works, even if it doesn’t sound like the most dramatic. At the moment the beginning of the game feels quite urgent and desperate as you’re overwhelmed with mouths to feed, but once you’ve built a foothold, survival can become a little one-note for some players. We’re investigating something like a reputation system that will ramp up the migration pressure if you’re doing really well, or that slows it down if things fall apart. This should make controlling the flow of migrants necessary and make you feel like you’re walking on a tight-rope if you expand aggressively. It should also get rid of the downtime where you’re just waiting for folks to show up. This change, combined with mining, means the best players will be able to handle a huge number of incoming people and suddenly the idea of turning that vast map into one giant town becomes a thought (assuming your PC and our code can handle it…)

Other Smaller Features We’re Looking Into…

These things are a further down our list, but they’re definitely things we’d like to do something about when/if possible…

Translations. We haven’t forgotten this and definitely want to translate the game into as many languages as possible at the end of the Early Access process.

More specifically post apocalyptic themed laws and issues. At the moment we have a lot of real world issues in the game but some grittier, survival based laws are also some we’d like to add.

A death pit building / ability to dispose of corpses manually

Clothing / clothing production. This would also make icy maps more difficult and desert maps easier.

A school to educate the children of the apocalypse.

Possible improvements to the religion system, making it more than cosmetic.

A way (nothing too fancy) to make contact with others off the map, sending out search parties, etc. Something simple but fun.

What’s Changed Already in Atomic Society Already?

If you haven’t played the game for a while, here’s some of the bigger changes and improvements that have been added to the game since we launched on Steam in late 2018…

Endless mode (no population cap)
Respawning ruins (no more running out of loot)
Trader to sell and buy goods from instead of just scavenging
Worker overview menu which lets you set job priorities and see how much staff you have easily.
Research building and system, unlocking buildings
Wind turbine, electricity and building upgrade system
Day/night cycle on all maps (and buildings lighting up at night)
Scavenging involving trees / initial map differences
Prostitution social issue
Patriotism social issue
Ability to start and stop migration
New and extended goals to complete
Deeper building placement (aura effects)
Many difficulty and balance tweaks based on feedback and a lot of play testing
Raider story event now optional for those who just want to build
Canteen to cook and boil food/drink
Courthouse building
Gateway building
Leader’s Mansion and family system.
Flogging punishment
Overhauled camera and AI pathfinding system to eliminate bugs
A new way to control the leader without the camera changing
Faster saving
Rebindable controls
Extra story elements to flesh out the world
Many bug fixes, UI improvements and quality of life changes.

We have gone down a few dead ends with a few other features which cost us a lot of time, but not every experiment works out. Making your first game is definitely a learning experience!

I’ll update this as and when things get added and post dev blogs that cover turning this road map into reality. All feedback is welcome, that’s why we’re on Early Access. :)

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