Tales of NovaMundi – Week 124 of Development

NovaMundi is available on Steam Early Access! GET IT NOW (or wishlist it) if you like what you see!

For the past two weeks, we worked on the historical aspects of the game, as well as the fauna along with some improvements in combat and UI. We produced a single version, v0.30.1.

Historical Content

Based on the research done by Manuel (our Muisca history/culture/linguistics advisor), we integrated a list of 221 historical names that would likely have been used by the historical Muisca, obtained from documental sources. We used these to replace the ones we had in place which were generated using Markov chains based on Muisca-like place names (a poor source in the first place).

The component that selects names for units was improved to reduce the number of collisions by rotating through the full list and falling back through the different categories (male/female/unqualified genre) as needed.

I also did a first approach at improving the names of the territories; we’ll eventually have a proper reflection of the hierarchy of cacicazgos the Muisca had, but for now, I’m at least assigning names of large historical Muisca territories to the “quest” towns, instead of just using random names.

Combat

We still need to work on a big iteration for the combat aspect. That was the plan for these two weeks but things went in a different direction. At least we worked some small improvements for usability, making it easier to select units by increasing the size of their click mask, and increasing the zoom overall of the combat scene since we weren’t making full use of the screen real state anyways (our battles are small skirmishes, max 15 vs 15 units and commonly stuck together real close, so we were wasting a lot of space.) Maybe we should allow the player to zoom in and out in this scene since the zoom level is untied to the exploration range (unlike in the normal overworld mode)

Mysterious New Unit

We finished the visuals (model, animations and icon) for a new upcoming unit type, which I won’t unveil until its gameplay effects are implemented (hopefully soon!).

Fauna

Andean condors are massive birds, among the largest in the world that are able to fly. Because they are so heavy (up to 33 pounds), even their enormous 10-foot wingspan needs some help to keep them aloft. For that reason, these birds prefer to live in windy areas where they can glide on air currents with little effort

National Geographic website (link)

The imponent Andean Condor is a national symbol of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuelan Andes states. It is distinctive of the Muisca territory so we were long overdue to add it!

We are also in the process of adding the Puma, and some other animals species to make the world feel more alive.

In a semi-related change, I remove “European” food from the loot you can get from enemies, considering it is too early in the time period for it to be available in these lands.

User Interface

We are experimenting with a new layout for the action buttons (in order to implement it I ended up doing a big internal refactor, organizing the way we had laid out the UI components which had grown out of control). However, I believe we are going to change this again to a more “minimalistic”, more accessible design, with the buttons placed in a row at the top right corner instead.

I also configured the new set of portrait parts to the female and elder male types.

We are also working on adding sounds to the UI so that it feels more responsive.

Community

We were interviewed (in Spanish) by Outline, a creative community from Mexico. The interview is pretty informative and includes gameplay as well, so please give it a look and share!

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