Pre-Alpha Update 6: Patch Notes (Preview)
Here's a taste of what's coming up in our late winter/early spring update to Atomic Society. Not everything in this list can be 100% guaranteed to appear in the next version, but we've got most of it up and running already, so here's what's coming your way soon.
(You can read a bit more of what was involved in making this patch on our dev blog page)
• Long and short prison sentences added. You now have the option to lock up your citizens as well as execute them.
• New building added: Prison. Required to lock up citizens. Requires food to feed its inmates.
• Difficulty settings added. You can now choose easy, medium, or hard. Difficulty settings currently affects how much loot your character starts with, and how happy citizens are at the start.
• Execution solution expanded. Choosing to execute people for certain issues now scares the entire population, reducing the chance all people who might commit that same issue will want to do so. E.g. execute murderers and all potential murderers will be more wary of killing people. In addition to that, the Execution solution now has a negative side-effect: there is a chance of innocent people being killed for crimes they did not commit! You will be told when this sad event occurs.
• New building added: Latrine. Ensure that your town has enough public toilets or have a rather smelly (and potentially fatal) health risk on your hands as citizens catch faecal diseases.
• 3 new cosmetic buildings added to pretty up your town – statue, public artwork, and flaming torch. Give your town that bit more atmosphere.
• New location added. You can now choose to build a city on a frozen island in the middle of the ocean if you’re feeling hardy.
• New atmospheric synth song added to the soundtrack – Nuclear Nights, by our composer Dawid Dahl.
• Citizens now age and have an increasing chance to die after they turn 70.
• Your Town Leader can now destroy items in his or her inventory, similar to how you can with the storehouse. Useful if you salvage a bunch of junk you don't want to take back to town.
• Improvements to salvaging as the Town Leader. The Town Leader will now salvage continuously until his or her inventory is full. (No need to keep clicking the salvage button anymore!)
• Citizens now use the best/nearest shelter to them. There’s no need to wait for them to traipse halfway across the map to go to their first home. This removes a big bottleneck in gameplay.
• New “Culture Critic” effect added. Citizens are now fussy about the morale structures you make. If you build too many of one type of morale structure, a percentage of your citizens will now disapprove and gain significantly less morale in future. Check your Town Hall stats screen to keep on top of this.
• The UI for the game has been completely rebuilt from scratch to make the whole game more stable, faster, and prettier. You should notice many improvements to every aspect of the UI when you next play and many UI-related bugs have been fixed in the process.
• The UI can now be re-scaled to suit your preference. You’ll find this in the options screen.
• Selection highlighter added. Adds a radioactive glow to anything you have currently selected.
• Mouse cursor now indicates when you have moused over something interactive.
• New pause button added to the UI (pressing P as a shortcut still works).
• We're testing out the hospital building being locked until your town is half a year old to boost the feeling that your town is evolving over time and because this building is so powerful. (The excuse for this is that it takes 6 months for your survivors to master wasteland medicine.)
• Improved auto-employ system again. You can now block off slots if you only want X number of workers at a building.
• The game now warns you when all your storehouses are full.
• Made it so you can build structures much closer to each other for more compact/realistic towns.
• Added a monitor select to the video options so players can choose what display to show the game on more easily.
• Upgraded game engine to Unity 5.5. Players may see performance increases and minor visual improvements.
• Several more Special Edition customer's names have been added to the game and credits. [/font]
Notable Bug Fixes:
• Fixed: Issue with auto-employ that stopped it hiring new migrants.
• Fixed: Moving cloud system was not appearing correctly. All maps should now have moving clouds.
• Fixed: Menu issue that made it hard to click on an item that was behind another item.
• Fixed: Menu issue that would cause a building to be placed instantly.
• Fixed: Bug with migrant spawning that meant they only ever came from one direction. They now approach from various spots on the map.
• Fixed: Typing in your town name using WASD keys no longer moves the camera.
• Fixed: Children and engineers were being counted as unemployed even though you cannot hire them.
• Fixed: Dead bodies were rotting on the ground for a different time depending on how high you had the game speed. They now disappear after 60 in-game days regardless.
• Fixed: Migrants were always arriving with 100% needs regardless. This now differs according to difficulty.
• Fixed: Menu items would sometimes appear on the screen when the game first loaded before you could even use them.
• Pathfinding Problems: There is an issue where citizens can walk through buildings. This only affects gameplay if they die while they happen to be walking through a building. Their corpse will spread the plague so you'll need to destroy the building they died under so the crematory workers can get to them. This doesn’t have very often, but it’s something to be aware of if you see crematory workers beside a building and not moving.
• Citizens do not physically change when they age up. We didn’t have time to finish this. At the moment citizens age up and die when they get old, but they don’t gain grey hair, etc (which is planned).
Click here to 2017 will probably be the most dramatic year yet for our tiny team as we prepare Atomic Society for Steam at some point later in the year. The 3 main developers (me – designer/producer, Nick – programmer, and Mariana – artist) are still fully devoted to the game and seeing it through to the end, no matter what happens.
Our first goal is of course finishing version 0.0.6, which we’re working on right now but it still has quite a way to go. New features get added each week. I’d like to have this version out to our customers around March, but I’m an indie developer giving release dates, so take that with a huge chunk of salt. However, they’ll be monthly dev blogs between now and then keeping you informed on how the version is coming along and explaining what’s going into it. You won’t be kept in the dark.
After 0.0.6 is out, we’ll probably tackle another 1-2 big versions over the Spring before we’re ready for Early Access in the late summer or early autumn (depending on how smoothly things go.) At that point all existing customers will get their Steam versions of the game as well, and the game will considered in “alpha” state. The foundations for going alpha are there already, but we need to put in a lot more social outcomes (prison, encouraging acts, etc) and citizen behaviours (racism, drug use, prostitution, etc) before Atomic Society begins to reach this status truly.
What about after Early Access? The second half of 2017 will be business as usual, except you’ll have an easier way to get updates through Steam. We’ll keep working on the game as we have been for years now, with big updates every 2-3 months (or sooner in the unlikely case we can afford to hire more staff). It will be nice if we can get far enough along to start polishing elements and getting to secondary gameplay aspects (e.g. optional invasions) that some people want.
Work will carry on right up to Christmas 2017 and then onwards into next year. The only thing that could stop us is serious illness or death on the team and that’s what we have zombie virus syringes on standby for. By the end of 2017, we won’t be anywhere near “done” with Atomic Society. It won’t be until late 2018 that I imagine AS will be near complete, so we’ve got a long way to go. However, 2017 should be when the game really starts to deliver on its potential and possibly finds a wider audience out there in Steam land.
As always we're looking forward to sharing the journey with all who take an interest in the game. New dev blog will be out at the end of the month and of course, we check the forums regularly if there are any questions or comments.
Happy post-apocalyptic settlement building over 2017!
I'm pleased to announce that version 0.0.5 is now available for all new and existing customers.
This is probably our biggest update so far and brings the vital saving and loading feature. Your towns will no longer be blasted back to dust whenever you quit.
If you haven't yet ventured into the pre-alpha of Atomic Society and would like to try it now, you can support development by buying an early copy here.
If you own it already and want a challenge, try to beat my high score for a town!
Work has already started on the next version. Now saving and loading is in we can really start to focus on content again, more laws and more citizen behaviours.
Hope you enjoy trying the game this Christmas. (If you already own it, instructions on how to download the new version can be found here)
Update 5 Patch Notes (Final):
I should have a new dev blog and some video footage of the game to share later next week.
Atomic Society continues to evolve.
The finishing touches are now being applied to the next update, version 0.0.5. You can read about the new features being added here. It will be released as soon as we've ironed out the remaining bugs and glitches but the good news is that saving and loading is finally working. We survived putting that in before our sanity cracked.
And in the meantime October's dev blog is now available if you fancy a deeper a look at what's going on behind the scenes.
Looking forward to releasing the new update in the near future!
15 Minutes of Fame
This week we posted a few pictures of the game on Imgur, a place that can be quite hostile to self-promotion. I didn't expect the pics to do well at all, but decided "what the hell" and did it as I was quite proud of the latest screenshots.
To my bewildered delight, the pictures went viral. In 24 hours they received over 140k views and almost 6000 likes, putting them among the most viral images in the world that day. Our game was up there with a bunch of memes and funny cat pics.
This was absolutely astonishing to me. We sold more copies of the pre-alpha that day than we had over the past 4 months combined! Huge thanks to everybody has joined us recently. It's really encouraging.
New Dev Blog Posted
If anybody missed it, this month's edition of our dev blog is now out. It details what's in the latest version, and the usual development headaches and progress.
0.0.5 In Progress
Work has already started (it never stopped) on the next version. Things may be quiet around here for a little while until we have more to share about it. In the meantime there's a bunch of new users on our forum if you'd like to say hello.
Update 0.0.4 for Atomic Society is out now and available to download. Click on the link you received when you bought the game to be taken straight to the download page.
Unfortunately we weren't quite able to iron out the last bugs with save games before posting it but there's a ton of improvements to the game overall that we thought it best to get it out now. You can read the full patch notes here.
0.0.5 with save game support won't be too far away and a new dev blog will be coming later this week.
Any questions or queries about it, just let me know on the forum or by emailing us at email@example.com.
Thanks for playing!
The last few months have been a taxing but productive time for Atomic Society, as anybody who has read our latest dev blog and is waiting for the next version to arrive will know.
Our big goal for Atomic Society at the moment is to put in saving and loading, something the game urgently needs, but one that has been a huge headache for us. We have at last figured out what the problems were and 0.0.4 should be here in the near future (fingers crossed).
In the meantime, here are the patch notes for the upcoming version so you can see all the new content that will be coming as soon as 0.0.4 is released. These notes may change over time, depending how things go.
Atomic Society Pre-Alpha 0.0.4 Patch Notes
That's it for now. As you can see, it's quite a healthy content update. I'll let you know as soon as we have a clearer release date for the next version.