NovaMundi – Week 93 Update

NovaMundi is coming to Steam Early 2021, remember to Wishlist it if you like what you see. We also have a Mailing list now, so make sure to subscribe to it as well, if you want the news to reach your email directly. Now, let’s go to the news! 

The biggest change this week is the tests with new themes. There was an idea floating around the dev team for a bit, about leaning a bit more into the fantasy side as a way to address certain culturalization issues. We are doing some tests including giant insects as enemies, and so far I believe it feels pretty good gameplay-wise. We are still deciding what to do about this and the topic is far from decided, as we have reached out (yet again!) to our friends and contacts with experience in the subject to get their ideas. Expect more info about this in future updates.

There was a lot of work in preparation for the semi-public demo, the most interesting part of it was the addition of more complete dialogs for the intro characters, including a big deal of information on how to play the game, and tips for each one of the scenarios. I also disabled the scenarios which are not yet playable and streamlined the introduction tooltips.

On the character portraits side, a new “starter pack” was added for the female European characters, and we also included more variations for the Tqnda (male and female). I’m also figuring out a better way to handle the skin color variations, and for now, decided to disable the “dark” skin variants we had for the European male characters.

NovaMundi – Week 92 Update

NovaMundi is coming to Steam Early 2021, remember to Wishlist it if you like what you see. We also have a Mailing list now, so make sure to subscribe to it as well, if you want news to reach your email directly. Now, let’s go to the news! 

A Demo to be distributed between a close circle of playtesters is going to be released pretty soon. Hit me up if you are interested (so I can kick the algorithm to check if you belong to that close circle). As part of that, the “New Expedition” flow has been improved.

We also did some work in the “Tqnda” people portraits, using our previous portraits as reference, but adapting them to the new portrait style. Still a long way to go to generate enough variety but it’s a good start.

For gameplay changes, I worked on the “Sickness” aspect so your expedition members can get sick for traveling under bad weather or not camping properly. It will slowly remove their HP while they are with fever, and you can increase their odds of recovering by using medicine, either brought from Spain, foraged from the jungle, or acquired from the local population.

Added a first version of the Expedition Status screen where you can see the hit points and sickness level of all your expedition members. This needs to be integrated with the inventory screen so that using healing items is easier.

Finally, we added the “Focused Shoot” skill to the Hunter and Archer unit. It’s the first skill we add so we had to do a bit of work around the combat system; it allows the unit to launch a very strong attack at the expense of having to charge for some seconds.

NovaMundi – Week 91 Update

NovaMundi is coming to Steam Early 2021, remember to Wishlist it if you like what you see. We also have a Mailing list now, so make sure to subscribe to it as well, if you want news to reach your email directly. Now, let’s go to the news! 

Camping – The encampment setup window now only display items that can be assembled into the camp, and once selected they are “parked” in the camp, so you have to disband the camp if you want to establish a new one further inland. The idea with this is to encourage exploring around your camp instead of rushing inland, since making the camp will take some time, carrying tents around spends a lot of energy and resting without tents will increase the risks of sickness drastically, as well as reducing the rate of HP recovery.

On a related note, the Sleep and “Activities” windows have been separated again, since you will be able to perform activities (or rest for a bit) any time of the day without having to go sleep.

Exploration – I added a movement speed penalty proportional to the burden % of your expedition, so traveling with a lot of stuff will be take more time and resources. We are back to using “time compression” for both the overburden and the jungle movement, meaning traversing them should no longer be a frustrating boring hassle, while retaining the strategic impact in food consumption and fatigue increase (keep an eye on the counters and daytime speed!).

Also improved the ship “surfing” effect, adding some randomness to it and making the ship tilt to the sides as well, so it looks a bit more natural.

Added random encounter with wandering herbs merchant, which required some refactoring to be able to easily launch dialogs outside of towns. We are still in the process of creating the new portraits for the indigenous people.

Hunting – Added the distinction between combat and “hunting” mode, and made the units use “stealth” movement animations while hunting (if available), also now checking you are near deer before being able to try to hunt them.

Bartering – The barter screen has been fixed so that tooltips with the items info are displayed, and the food days and burden % are now also updated correctly based on the projected trade results, making barter much more useable.

NovaMundi – Week 90 Update

NovaMundi is coming to Steam Early 2021, remember to Wishlist it if you like what you see. We also have a Mailing list now, so make sure to subscribe to it as well, if you want news to reach your email directly. Now, let’s go to the news! 

We participated in Tokyo Game Show 2020 Online. As part of it there are 4 livestream videos including a first detailed gameplay, another gameplay featuring Camilo Ramirez, a project history and announcements and a “deep dive” gameplay. With our participation we collected a lot of feedback and already started working on it to make the game better.

As for the announcement, the most important thing is we now plan to release on Steam Early Access in January 2021. I feel this will help the project a lot, allowing us to get feedback from the players as to what features feel more fun and what we should focus on to improve.

As usual, this dev update focuses on the new cool stuff, but we also did lots of fixes, UX tweaks and content additions. I won’t go into detail on that to prevent spamming and spoiling, just mentioning it’s something we are always doing.

The way the expedition is displayed in the overworld was extended so you can now see a lot more of your people, horses and mules (that is, if you have a big expedition). They are now shown in a long line behind your leader unit, with horses and mules interspersed between them.

I decided to completely remove the food consumption in the oceanic voyage since I felt it didn’t make a lot of sense and was more of a nuisance than a strategic option. This went along with removing buying food in your hometown, which had been something we had from day one but it’s never too late.

Also, as a way to streamline the exploration, we are placing a town near the landing point, and making its location known in advance in the map. This prevent frustrating wandering around randomly, since you can set that town as your initial destination, interact with the native population and ask for directions from there.

There was also some work done in the interaction with the native population, limiting the number of directions they give to nearby discoveries, and making it feel like there is some kind of language barrier (so you are trying to interpret what they say, and only talk using key words and gestures). You can now also add the directions they give you to your journal, for future reference.

Deer are now spawned around “habitats”, from where they may run out if you hunt them down a lot; this also means the people in the towns will reference them when you ask about nearby animals. They also flee now once injured, and as evidenced in the gameplay stream there already a somewhat fun activity to do.

On the technical side, we worked again in the performance of the forest, trying different shader options. We still don’t have a solution here.

Portraits are now shown again in the inventory and transfer windows, we are going to be adding a new window to see the details of the units including their skills and traits.

Finally, we made it so that multiple tracks play while you are exploring, instead of having a single track looping. There are also moments of silence between music tracks now, where you can only hear the sound of nature.

NovaMundi – Week 89 Update

NovaMundi is coming to Steam Early 2021, remember to Wishlist it if you like what you see. We also have a Mailing list now, so make sure to subscribe to it as well, if you want news to reach your email directly. Now, let’s go to the news! 

First off some core gameplay / balancing changes; you now need 30 days worth of supplies for each oceanic voyage so players will have to plan more carefully when they want to sail the sea. Units are also much more expensive now, so party size will be around 10, and you now start with a mule and a horse, as well as a medium tent, which will be very useful for your adventure.

On the hunting facet, added simple AI for deer to run away once they detect nearby units, with some unit types, like the hunter, having a higher stealth stat and thus less likely to be noticed. Also added animations for the deer death, and for the special “tip toe” movement and attack while hunting. Finally, now you get some raw deer meat if you manage to hunt it.

For Camping, you can now select where you want to build your camp, instead of it being just placed at your current position. The items you select in the setup encampment window (tents, campfire) are now used and placed in the map too, and you can acquire them in the supplies store.

For the caverns, we did more tweaks in lighting, scaling the ranges of point lights to replicate the original vision of the artist. We also starting adding more content, with an abandoned camp (Who knows what fate fell upon the adventurer who uses to rest here). Also did some infrastructure work for placing the entrance to the caves in the overworld, but pending doing the actual placement in the procgen routine.

We added another layer of variations to the portraits, slowly building more variety. More of these are coming up, including the much needed pack for the women and the indigenous people. Also added some logic to match hair colors, and split the beard and mustache groups to allow full beards.

We also fixed issues in the river animations, but rivers are still disabled since we are pending the changes required for smooth riverbank geometry.

That’s it for Week 89, see you next week!

NovaMundi will be at Tokyo Game Show Online 2020

Thanks to Procolombia, NovaMundi is going to be present at Tokyo Game Show Online 2020!

As part of our program, we are going to be streaming the latest developments of NovaMundi in our Twitch Channel, and listening to your comments and suggestions! Following is the Streaming Schedule:

Japan TimePacific TimeColombia Time
Sept. 24, 10 AMSept. 23, 6 PMSept. 23, 8 PM
Sept. 25, 10 AMSept. 24, 6 PMSept. 24, 8 PM
Sept. 26, 10 AMSept. 25, 6 PMSept. 25, 8 PM
Sept. 27, 10 AMSept. 26, 6 PMSept. 26, 8 PM

See you there!

NovaMundi – Week 88 update

Reminders! NovaMundi is coming to Steam Early 2021, remember to Wishlist it if you like what you see. We also have a Mailing list now, so make sure to subscribe to it as well, if you want news to reach your email directly. Now, let’s go to the news! 🙂

We are doing tests for a new style of the character portraits, with our first concern being the proportions of the characters and the shading and line style. It’s been a lot of debate inside the dev team as we have been seeing the old ones for too long, so we may be biased for the novelty. But I believe we are heading in the right direction. We are going to be introducing more variety on skin colors and anatomy the upcoming weeks.

Some big work in the camping facet as we introduced two new flows. The first one is the “Setup Encampment” flow, for the player to decide what elements his camp will have (as setting up tents and fireplaces takes some time). This is coupled with two additional changes, the removal of the “Camp” command so you’ll always have to set one up or camp on an existing one if you want to rest well, and the re-introduction of “fainting” so your party will crash at 1AM if you don’t camp adequately, meaning they won’t recover their energies for next day.

The second flow is the “Camp activities”, that is, things your party can do while on the camp and before going to sleep. These will include cooking, adding map sketches into the definitive map, drawing illustrations for discoveries, playing and chatting with other expedition members, healing other members, etc. You cannot do any of these if you don’t camp properly. (All these things are pending being implemented of course)

The “Barter” window got a long-needed update/redesign, now using the new window assets and with it’s entire layout remade. Functionally it remains the same. Note that we are still using the previous portrait style here.

The cave fragments were also updated to make them feel more “rugged” as well as being populated with crystals, mushrooms, stalactites and stalagmites. We also tweaked the range of the point lights to make sure lighting was fine and didn’t conflict between fragments.

We also tweaked the walk animation for units to both sync them when there are multiple models in a unit (for example the mounted units), as well as changing the playback speed to match the movement speed, and using blend trees for smoother transitions.

Some other misc changes included:

  • Duplicating the length of the day, so you have more play time before going to camp.
  • Allowing resting while sailing, which is a slightly different flow than camping in land
  • Update unit displayed in the overworld when expedition members die because of starvation or exploration events.

That’s it for Week 88, see you next week!

NovaMundi – Week 87 update

Another week of awesome progress. Remember to wishlist the game on Steam, if you haven’t done it already!

Pack Mules (new model) and unmounted horses are now shown as part of the Expedition in the overworld and follow you around.

More work in hunting, click on deer to transition to a hunting scene. This came along with the addition of two new Units: Archer and Hunter. Both have ranged bow attacks, but the Hunter specializes in stealthy taking down prey, while the archer is more of a military unit (weaker attack than arquebusiers, but longer range and more sturdy). The hunting game will be elaborated in next weeks.

Connecting with the previous work in “zoomed locations”, we are working on adding caves you can explore. We put a system in place to assemble them from different pre-made fragments, and worked on the visual aspect they will have (it’s still WIP)

We are in the process of updating the entire UI to make it a bit simpler, cooler, and with a unified style. We experimented with this in the layout for the “Event” popup. We are also working on extending the in-game events and added simple “Shared story” events increasing friendship between expedition members. We are adding more of these kinds of events, as well as simulating the lifetime of the expedition members since your relationship with them will be a big part of the expedition experience, as you embark on a journey to discover the secrets they treasure deep inside their hearts.

The player character is also now “Anonymous”; its portrait is no longer displayed in conversations nor barter, and you can no longer enter their name, so it’s up to you what to make of it (Maybe it’s you? It can be anything you want!). Related to this, characters you are speaking to now look into the screen (again). Also, completing quests now prompts conversations in hometown.

Some other relevant stuff:

  • Gold veins are disabled as the “mining” facet is being phased out of the initial scenarios.
  • You can now sacrifice livestock for raw meat if you want.
  • You can now return to the Tqnda hometown to restock or complete missions (for the Tqnda sponsor scenarios).

That’s it for Week 87, see you next week!

NovaMundi – Week 86 Update

We created new models for horses and are in the process of integrating them, for now we have done a basic integration with the explorer unit, but we are planning to integrate the variations in color as well as the animation of “mounting” the horse (right now it just changes immediately), as well as having a smarter way to display the different units as mounted when they change movement mode (and also having them drag the horses when not mounting them).

Supplies are now organized in lots with “expiry days”, and get closer to expiring every day. This also affects the supplies consumption and forecast, to use the lots closer to expiring in order to maximize the available inventory.

We are also now displaying a tool-tip with info about the items when hovering them in the inventory or the many other places where items show up. The “camp” window was also simplified and the option to rename them was removed since they are meant to be temporary things (the Emerald Jungle doesn’t welcome you as a settler).

Talking about items, you can now apply bandages and healing items to the different units; their effect is not immediate, instead they boost the normal recovery process that happens especially when units are resting (so you can wrap a bandage around a wounded unit and go to sleep, and he’ll be much better next day).

More work in the “Zoomed Exploration”, actually linking it to the overworld objects, as well as finishing a first phase of the “Capture Evil Person” type of mission, you can now complete it by finding the hideout and engaging in battle with the hostile party.

Finally, I also did some work in the Tqnda scenarios to actually allow getting supplies for the expedition, using Emeralds instead of Gold.

NovaMundi – Week 85 Update

On the “wildlife” front, we added deer into the world. They pop up, move around, idle and graze, and then fade out. We are working in the interactions with them (first one will be being able to hunt them). We also added more variety of parrots (red and green).

Responding to feedback from tired explorers, the European encampments are now equipped with bigger, more comfortable tents for the members of the expedition.

We are gradually adding procedural lakes into the world; we are now creating the surface of the lake and placing small ones (which look more like pools) in the world. I toyed around with the idea of simulating rainfall to define their shape and placement but quickly found out it won’t work for us unless we implement an erosion model. Instead, I’m going with the idea of merging heightmaps so we have better control of their placement and appearance.

We are now using particle effects for rainy weather so that the field of view reduction makes more sense to the player. Still need some tweaks to differentiate them from the normal “mist” caused by cold weather in high altitudes.

A big chunk of work was put on the “zoomed” exploration, you can now walk around our test temple ruins, grab stuff and return to the overworld. We are going to add more of these locations (mainly caverns), where you will be able to find remnants from other expeditions.

We are adding usable items including medicine, bandages, and medicinal plants (which you can now find and pick from the world). Next version we are going to implement their effects on the party members.

The Discovery Journal is now filled with entries based on the events that happen on the expedition in addition to the discoveries that are made. It still needs some improvements for a more fluid layout but it’s a good step forward.

Finally, the Tqnda campaigns now start on their own hometown, where the player can setup their expedition. It still needs a proper artwork (as well as the journey to the Emerald Jungle).

That’s it for Week 85! Please remember to follow us on Steam, and add the game to your wish list if you like it.