Ver 0.7 – Deutsche – Construction Queue – New Assets – Simple MOD

Version 0.7 is here! – J!

Hi all!

A lot of work is being done to the game.
The hood of the game was opened and changed to the core.
Now the loading time
from initial click to gameplay was cut in a half.
Wow! I’m happy about it!

I showed the game in my local city game dev meetup and
I had a really good time and got many different insides and ideas to improve
the game! I did so and I wish you love it.

Please play the game and help by dropping
a sentence letting me know how to improve it
a bit more!

New Features:

-Current Quest Tab
One of the most asked features. The player will be
aware all the time of the current quest

-Construction queue
The most asked feature buy the community.
Now you can arrange the priority of constructions

-Simple MOD
Small experimental mod file

-German Language Beta
The game now is available on 3 languages! Woohoo

-Carry Box size and speed fixed
-3d new Assets: Sugarmill, School
-AddOrderWindow and BuildingWindow added to Languages
-GUI tabs selection
-Gridless building placement

Finally, the Sugarmill asset is here,
and a brand new school was added too!

Thanks all for the continued support through all tides.
I really wanna say thank you to for hold on to
this ship for so long!

Keep this SugarMill going! Is about to open!

Developer
Love and Peace to the World!

v0.6! Release date: Sep 5th, 2019

Hi Pals!

Excited sharing with you a new milestone in the game yet.
Today after a while I decided to keep walking towards them
final release day.

I have been focusing on the User Experience a lot, making
the game intuitive and understandable for everyone is
my biggest goal right now.

In this version, you will find subtle changes all related
to a better GUI, more intuitive system and in-game extra
help to accomplish the task and be able to enjoy the game.

I did address one bug in the work system in where workers
were sometimes fired by mistake. That was more noticeable
with the Dockers but that is being fixed. I did make
the laying down of any maritime building more intuitive
as a set warnings were added giving feedback to the user
with the positioning of the building.

Windows buttons are standard and share a common behavior.
The tutorial was slightly improved to make more obvious specific
sections of it.

In general, I have to say I’m really happy with the state
of the game. The game feels solid and has long gameplay.

The game is going to be fully released on Sept 5th, 2019!!!. That is
the final date. I will announce and bug hut bounty next year and a User Focus Group.

I have been working on adding an extremely simple MOD file
to the game. The system is working and loading the parameters
I didn’t include it in the release but should be able to share it with you guys next!

Thanks for all the amazing support from all of you is being an extremely long journey! It feels good. And now I finally start seeing the finish line! J!

Make peace.

Millions of thanks for all your long
standing and awesome support!

The Sugarmill is going and steady!

Version 0.5 is here!

Hi

Once again, with a huge joy, I’m announcing that SugarMill v0.5 is here! Also celebrating one year into Early Access now!. This time over 150 new items have been fixed, adjusted or added to the game.
The game has come a long way and finally, I’m thinking of a release date. Really happy.

The game is featuring a brand new GUI and new decorative items, so your Sugarmilling is more pleasant!

Looking forward to hearing your feedback and suggestions.

Thanks for all your help and support!

SugarMill’s Dev Team
Cheers!

Most prominent things added, fixed or improved since ver 0.4:

-Brand New GUI
-Decorative Items added
-Mountain Mine will issue order when has over 500KG on inventory now
-Input orders fixed
-Inventories now are alphabetically ordered
-Left top corner resume inventory, plus explanation added on help
-Able now to mute some specifics sounds
-Night cycle is lighters
-Explanation when Sea to Path is clicked
-When construction is loaded, shows sign
-People not getting fire fixed
-Not demolishing buildings fixed
-Transition to night cycle improved
-Quest window improved, text and order of quests
-Final inventory added to Report
-Too much wood in inventories issue fixed
-Citizens not dying bug fixed
-Foresters will produce and carry 20% more of wood
-Wood price was decreased by 50%
-Fuel formulas adjusted (consume half of wood now)
-Lamps no decorations
-Added Xmas placeholders
-People not dying bug fixed
-Lazy indicator bug fixed
-New clay asset added
-Settings improved
-Icons and banners updated
-Quest text improved
-Time in between quest changed
-Halloween theme added
-SugarShop building added
-People will reroute if being on route over 30 days
-New 3d Assets: Dock, BlackSmith, Carpentry, Lumbermill, SugarShop
-Added Wool, Shoe, Candy, Rubber and Cigarbox product and icon
-GUI texts improved
-Achievements added
-Arrows aid added in tutorial
-Workers will notice empty warehouse now. Full warehouse bug fixed
-Check Port reputation bug fixed
-Lighthouse workers will increment Port reputation now
-Improved profession names
-Add order window and Building window texts improved
-Quest order adjusted
-Dockers import orders bug fixed
-People will hide now if nearby a building
-GUI bug fixed
-Our inventories not updating scroll size (Add Order Window) Fixed
-Final order (small report) added to the (Add Order Window)
-Trees LOD adjusted
-Camera max height, adjusted
-34th Achievement added
-Stuck, Foresters and Dockers fixed
-Lighthouse change description changed
-When a person dies state profession if had one
-Notification window adjusted
-Left top corner inventory resume fixed
-Production Tab details improved
-Double import orders issue
-Wheelbarrows picking orders improved
-Left top GUI now updates
-School years function expanded
-Citizens getting stuck. Fixed
-14 New quests added
-Fixed issue when a worker was hired or fired and then saved and loaded
-The roadmap was posted
-Citizens getting stuck improved (may still happen, if so please send me the save file)
-Small storage in between Big storage and Dock issue solved
-Dockers improved
-Mine construction fixed
-Road place glitch fixed
-Ships not picking old orders in inventory. Fixed
-Typo fixed: now reads: “dock has been fully built”
-Teacher profession adjusted
-Heavy building maximum amount of workers now are 5

SugarMill v0.4

Hi, community!

The version is now at 0.4! I’m really excited seeing how the game has rolled out and how players are connecting with the game. I have corrected, adjusted or added over 200 different things in this new version. Also now the game has 28 different quests to complete.

Sales!

Well! Let me say that last Saturday, Sep 9 was the best day in sales for the game.  After 9 months in Early Access. We doubled the best sale ever.

I want to say that in the beginning, it was not like that and at times I felt really discouraged. One day thinking about my skills I realized I was completely naive in the Marketing field and then decided to familiarize myself with it. I ended up reading 5 books and marketing they all are key elements of the success of the game. Which are slowly starting to show up.

By no means, do I want to portrait the game as perfect or done. The game still has its known and unknown issues.

Sneak peak to coming art:

Dock

Blacksmith

Lumbermill WIP

Books!

Here I’m sharing the books I’m giving credit to for the bit of knowledge I got about marketing.

The Tipping Point

Growth Hacker Marketing

All Marketers All Liars

The Lean Startup

Also, I read an ebook on game marketing that was good too (Sorry can’t find the link anymore) The title is: VideoGame Marketing and PR

From my perspective I feel that my lack of knowledge in marketing was brought up to a new standard, I fell well versed on how to develop a product that consumers will actually consume. In today’s society, everyone is bombarding us with different products to spend time on, starting with social media all the way to the news channels. Certainly, that is one of the end goals of any product, get users to spend the biggest amount of time on your product and that my friend is a huge challenge, I took on a few months ago.

In the beginning, I was seeing majority of users playing the game for 1, 5, 10 minutes and closing the game and it was heartbreaking. I started to slowly improve this by making countless modifications in the user experience and now I see half of the players playing more, some have played 9, 14, and even 15 hours in one single day! So I’m really happy to see over 700 games published last August on Steam and the over 4000 games published so far this year players are finding SugarMill spending some time in it!

In my Marketing learning process, I also learnt that a user will make a lens for a product in less than 3 seconds. Basically, any person has a set of established rules and expectations for every product in the market and based on that,  in less than 3 seconds you will make a quick and definite judgment on any given product. That initial judgment will be the lens on how you will perceive the rest of the product. Therefore your product has to make a good impression right away in the user’s eyes regardless what that means.

Source: Steam Spy

The average gamer has over 30 years and is being gaming for over 15 years so if you are creating a game. Be sure that standards have to be met due to the crazy amount of games out there. Your product has to be good for real.

Community!

The game community has grown a lot and is getting active slowly. I’m really pleased how users have helped me fix bugs and suggestions to change the game!

SugarMill’s Roadmap

-Path priorities(4) road type, dirt, gravel, stone, bricks (diff speed bonus boost)

-Decorative items(3)

-Allow/forbid products into Storage(2)

-Livestock(2)

-A well or way to collect water from river(2)

-On shift + bulldoze = demolish roads only(2)

-Immigrants(2) (set in dock amount of them) max of 5% of locals, coming in every 7-15 years

-Spacebar pause

-Job prioritize button (so workers do jobs you need to get done first)

-Auto trade or recurring orders (every year, every 2 years, 5 years)

-Research tree

-House upgrades

-Crown quest for export wood

-People (adults) list to select them by click

-Heavy load and Wheelbarrow prioritize orders

-Show a list of workers in buildings

-Walk around the village in 1st person camera

-People if over fertility age should not move out of their parents

-While placing road should show red if not placeable

-Shipyard will need hardwood to build ships

-Slavery

-Inland defense(combat)

 

Patches

I have done at least 33 different patches since Dec 16th, 2016. And I’m saying at least because I have updated the game a few times and haven’t had time to post a patch about it. That’s 273 days divided by 33, I have updated the game in average every 8.3 days. Just realized that and wanted it to share it!

v0.4 Hotfix 1

http://steamcommunity.com/games/538990/announcements/detail/1449452797320917755

v0.4 Hotfix 2

http://steamcommunity.com/games/538990/announcements/detail/1449452797326067912

Sep 15th patch!

http://steamcommunity.com/games/538990/announcements/detail/2532569135594617954

Conclusions

I want to make clear that the game is still a work in progress and still has a journey to finish, but overall I’m really happy with the path its taking.

If you lack any knowledge, now matter how boring the topic may sound, I would go on Amazon and research the best books on it. Then buy it and read it every night a few pages at a time. I also take notes of what I read every night it is like a reminder for your own mind just writing it out again!

Also, follow your guts and keep working hard. To develop any kind of product and be profitable is an uphill walk with many obstacles in the way; however, if you persist you will reach the top!

SugarMill’s version 0.5 is coming Dec 15th!

Thanks for your time guys!

 

SugarMill Version 0.3

Hi pals

SugarMill Version 0.3 is here and I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Feeling that the game is slowly ramping up, it has become a more stable version of itself. I’m still taking into consideration everything users suggest but at the moment I’m focusing on polishing and finishing this huge project.

– SugarMill Ver 0.3 (Improvements highlights since Ver 0.2)

The main graphical improvement was in the quality of the image. It was mainly achieved adding and/or tweaking post effects. SSAO was added differently in the game and a really small amount of bloom. Pursuing a more realistic and appealing image.

Version 0.3 highlights:

  • Image quality enhanced
  • Trading Cards were added
  • New pathfinding system
  • Buildings get built 10x faster
  • Dockers improved
  • New assets added
  • More than 100 things were added, fixed or adjusted

 

 

– Trading Cards

5 Trading cards were added to the game as suggested by Valve. Is nice seeing a few of them drop in my inventory.

– New pathfinding system

I’m using the NavMesh system from Unity that uses the A-Star algorithm. The reason why I started using it in this version was that now I can set things in real time. Although the Unity system has some small bugs I see the potential in it. I had previously built two differents Pathfinding algorithms.

-Community feedback and suggestions

One of the most important components of the game is the community interaction and value added trough useful and constructive feedback. I want to thank all and each member of SugarMill’s community for the feedback provided through the past 6 months. Also, I want to take this opportunity to encourage old and new members to participate and use the in-game features to drop feedback or post your ideas, or suggestion in the forums. Gathering community feedback and reactions are certainly been quite the journey and a truly rewarding experience overall.

-Steam Early Access

The game is still in early access but its days are counted. I’m looking into releasing options already. I can surely say that SugarMill should see its final iterations in Early Access sooner than later.

-SugarMill’s Progression

Mar29 2015

Oct14 2015 (Concept)

Mar10 2016 (Greenlight – Greenlit in 12 days)

Version 0.2

Version 0.3

-Added

We are slowly replacing all assets that don’t fit with the game style. Below are the last 2 assets added to the game. These models have around 10K polygons and were modeled in Maya and textured in 3dsMax.

Shack

WoodHouse

Also, new crops were added for the farms.

-Steam Summer Sale is here. SugarMill is 45% discounted!

-Conclusions

In saying all this, any project could be enlarged, perfected and polished forever there is a moment in where the tipping point has to be reached and decide when is time for concluding the work. Being the developer and director of a project like this one is a really challenging task. And as an individual, you get attached and see the potential growth of your game. But some day, you need to touch land and realize that it needs to be finished.

Thanks for reading!

Cheers!

 

 

SugarMill v0.2 Available Now

SugarMill v0.2 is here. In this article, I explain and lay out the improvements and additions to this new version of the game.

 

Hi, mates!

Excited to announce that SugarMill ver 0.2 is here. The game has being improved a lot ever since launched, 16 weeks ago. Many things have been added or fixed in the game. Mainly based on players input and always leaning toward its final destination.

 

-New features 

-Graphics (new 3d assets and textures are being added or replaced on game. The image itself of the game camera it’s being enhanced too)

-Night and day cycle (Now the game features a night and day cycle. The citizens will do their normal activities but after sunset, they won’t go out anymore)

-Quest system: The game has a quest system that guides you thru it. It helps you and teach you to master the game and also prizes you with money at the end of each quest

-Products specs: Now on the bulletin window you are able to see how to produce each product, the inputs needed and where to produced. Also, you can see the price on them.

-Budget: You are able to see each year’s budget. The budget is broken down in expenses and income.

-Exports: A breakdown of what each export was about. Including date, building, product, amount and transaction value.

-Roads: Now you can build roads. They were just introduced in the latest patch so I’m looking forward to hearing the community reactions on it.

-GUI: The game is showing a brand new GUI. This time is more compact and pushed towards the corners of the screen so the user can see more in the middle of the screen.

 

– Video

A nine minutes gameplay video. Right in the beginning, I will start with the creation of a small square.

 

-Roads

I have been working to get the roads done for a while. There are always being there but I never liked what I did. This week I end up doing piece by piece manually in 3d. Then I randomize them manually too. This was all done pretty much one by one. I picked different colors for the UV mapping and scaled some of them too. I end up with 7 different variations for inside roads cells and 3 differents for each side. The corner cell is always the same but rotated.

Above are all the differents parts that are used to create a Road in the game. In game, I found which one I will use based on the tiles surrounding one.

 

-Unity implementation of the Night and Day cycle 

The cycle is quite simple I have a directional light(sun) moving thru six points and always facing the middle sphere.

So the cube on the lower right represents the dawn and the one in the lower left the sunset. The ones in the top will be noon. It works like a charm and was quite simple to put together. I also change the environmental color and sunlight color at night, sunset and down.

The cycle works with 3 scripts. I called them DayCycleManager.cs, ColorManager.cs, and StageManager.cs.

Also, I have another 2 directional lights. One from West to East, and another one from East to West. While the day cycle is happening I change the intensity of this 2 lights.

The implementation of it was easy and maybe I completed on an afternoon but was mainly because I had all the idea conceived and more importantly I sat down and sketched the system for 5 min and also wrote some pseudo code to help me. I have come to realized and learn the more you do sketching and pseudo code the quicker and more effective you get done a specific task.

Conclusion

A lot of things have being added and improved on the game. Still more things to come to SugarMill. Keep the tune pal!

Cheers

SugarMill : Dec 15th : Early Access

Hi folks.

This Thursday Dec 15th, I will be releasing the game on Steam (Early Access). Mark in your calendar

Below I layout the main features on this initial version.

Main Features:

Products expiration: Just like in real life, in this game every product expires. Some food items expire sooner than others.

Thirst: People need to drink water to survive. One of the challenges of the game is to keep their thirst quenched. (In real life we can only survive 3 days without water)

Measurements: No more 10 units of wood and 5 of iron to build a building. Be ready to gather 300KG of wood, and 10KG of nails to build a shack. Can you guess how much is needed for a brick house?

Horse Carriages: As the game has real measurements people can carry only so much. That’s when horse drawn carriages come into place. They carry a lot more, as a result your economy gets boosted. A person in their best years might carry around 15KG, a wheelbarrower closer to 60KG, but the smaller cart can carry 240KG.

Usage of goods: Crates, barrels, wheelbarrows, carts, tools, cloth, crockery, furniture and utensils are all needed to do the traditional activities of a town. As these goods get used, they diminish, as a result a person won’t carry anything if there are no crates. Keep an eye on that 😉

Happiness: People’s happiness is influenced by various factors. How much money they have, food variety, religion satisfaction, access to leisure, house comfort and education level. Also if a person has utensils, crockery and cloth will influence their happiness.

Port reputation: You can perform traditional trade activities such as importing and exporting any product. This indicator identifies how often ships come to your port.

Pirate threat: Pirates were still around. This indicator identifies the risks of suffering a pirate attack. If that happens your game is over. You can decrease this by constructing military buildings.

Views/Camera: The game has the traditional city building camera and also allows you to go to ground level and get a closer look at your people.

Buildings: Over 50 different buildings to construct. House model’s randomly select their textures.

Products: Over 80 different products.

Line production: To make a simple nail you need to mine ore, in the foundry melt the iron, and finally in the blacksmith make the nail. Or you can cheat if you got enough money, you can always buy the nail directly from a ship.

Resources requirement:

This is a complete detailed analysis of how much material is needed for a simple shack: 4960KG of wood and 2.4KG of nails. (This same analysis will be done for each building on the game)

To conclude I want to thank everyone that has supported me on this awesome journey that has just reached a new milestone. Sugarmill will be on Early Access this Thursday.

Thanks all!