Pine Monthly Recap April - From Village to Village

04-05-2018 Posted in Development Blogs

Another monthly update! We have been more silent than ever this month, but only because we were working hard on so many things and didn’t find the time during the month. But we’re excited to tell you all about what happened now!
The main focus of this month was a milestone deadline – the simulation alpha. Our goals were to:

  • Get the simulation running on the whole island, both in simulation space (under the hood) and real space (which is in front of the player)

  • Run that with seamless streaming of assets and organisms

  • Finalize the infrastructure of the island, with all villages, roads and species’ navigation made possible

  • Structure the first version of the economy on the island with different resources and foods in different regions, and with villages gathering and trading those

Overall, we succeeded. The simulation is complex but clean system of villages, village goals, groups, roles and organisms. It takes a lot of time to test and analyze, but it’s cool to see it come to life.

Villages have a bank and their leaders need to fill that bank

To supply for their inhabitants, village chiefs send out groups to gather food and resources, or trading/scout/raid groups to get to that goal. That alone brings many concepts: leaders, groups, goals, banks and more. All of this has to be visualized and implemented, but we’re glad to have improved our village system and village commander systems a lot to make it happen. Most of these assets are obviously temporary!

Chiefs send out gatherer groups:

Or a trader!

Sometimes trades go wrong…

The bigger villages send guards with the traders, and they’ll usually come back with some good value:

The village banks are created per species – here’s another look at them:

Worked on village structure and design

Each village has an alarm bell, fences, tiers set up and more. This is all part of a vast system of nodes that get enabled when a village exists in a certain way.

More blockout work on the island, revamping the Arid Canyon

In the attempt to connect the island better, we also revamped several areas to be better suited for the gameplay and make more sense naturally. One of such areas is the Arid Canyon, which is now one of our favorite areas! We redid all the materials, tweaked vegetation and more.

Tools, and a new intern: Pavel!

Pavel is helping the programming team and immediately started making himself useful by working on much-requested tools for the art and design team. One of such is a ‘fencing’ system with which we can more easily place connected meshes, such as fences:

Also, a cool new water system allows us to make a procedural river mesh throughout wherever we need it, which is more flexible than before.

The build that resulted for the milestone is giving us a lot of information – we’ve been making plans, testing and tweaking away ever since. The economy on such a scale is something very delicate and we’re making sure the experience is smooth and logical in all areas.

Next, we're prototyping some last player mechanics and we'll be solidifying the simulation and the island's design. Exciting!

As always, all feedback, questions and comments are welcome. Feel free to reach out through pine[at], on IndieDB, on Reddit, on our Discord server, Facebook or Twitter.