Tales of NovaMundi – Week 126 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 produced two versions, v0.31 and v0.32.

Wandering mobs

At long last, I started tackling one big thing that is going to change the player experience greatly: groups of people (or animals) moving around on the map and interacting with the player. We are going to add this to make the world feel more alive as well as to add a factor of seeking / evading targets on the map replacing the current random encounters. See below for the first type of mob to be included.

Fauna

These cats employ a blend of stealth and power, stalking their prey until an opportunity arrives to pounce, then going for the back of the neck with a fatal bite. They will hide large carcasses and feed on them for several days.

National Geographic website (link)

The puma now roam the land! they will wander around until you get close to them, then they may flee or assault the expedition.

The puma is spawned around forests and will disappear after a while if you lose sight of it. The White-Tailed Deer were also added back, and will.

You can also now ask for directions to the habitats of animals in the towns.

Combat

I zoomed back in the camera into combat so that it’s easier to select the units, and also because we were not really making good use of the entire space for combat (which normally happens in 1 to 3 clusters, with short-range units, and under 30 units). We still need to implement the combat areas by biome, procedural, and with relevant obstacle and height bonuses.

Audio

We put some big effort into the audio, including continued tweaks on UI sounds and in general audio responsiveness to in-game events (for example combat start/end), as well as tweaks and fixes for some animal sounds (parrots and condors).

We made some initial work on balancing the volume of the effects, but are still pending completing a mix for all the audio in the project. One big change is we are now properly using an Audio Mixer object to control the volume for the different tracks (music/ambient/sound effects) instead of manually tracking the volume of the Audio Clips. This will facilitate the process in the future to continue building a high-quality audio experience; there’s also a slider bar for the ambient sounds (separate from music)

User Interface

I implemented another relayout in the HUD, moving the command buttons to the upper-right corner, making the compass bar smaller, and making the status area more compact including a background for readability.

Procedural Generation

I did a lot of tweaks, lowering the generation time by about two-thirds (!), some routines to place vegetation still relied on my slow Cellular Automata implementation and were replaced by the much quicker one based on queues. Some ultra-heavy things, like the routine to remove trees from the river paths, were no longer needed for our new water-bodies-based generator, and the process to create clearings in the forest for towns was also changed to prevent placing trees there in the first place.

I also disabled the caves, until we can invest a good deal of work on them to make them more interesting.

Dialogs

We are in the process of remaking and fixing the dialogs for the characters you find in the town, to make them feel more alive and integrated into the environment; in the process, we also included the means to display words in Muyscubun (Muisca language), along with their Spanish or English translation, visible when hovering the native word.

For now, we have a single character implementing the new dialogs and translations (and only in Spanish), but we’ll have a bigger coverage in the next weeks.

Media

Two big hits this week, the first one is a ~30 mins playthrough by Nookrium, always a great way for people to get to know about the game (as well as for us to find some spots to focus on). I’m happy to see the game is enjoyable already, and we’ll continue working for it to be more fun and interesting. (Click below to watch the gameplay)

I was also interviewed for Revista Semana (in Spanish), one of the biggest publications in Colombia. I talked about the history of the project, some of the challenges we have met, and our goals with it. (Click below to read the interview)

The NovaMundi Series

We participated in virtual GDC 2021, pitching the next game in the NovaMundi series of open-world exploration roguelikes. This one will not be set in a historical context like Spear of Chaquén. More info to come soon!

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