Valley 1:Pre-Beta Release Notes

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Valley 1:Beta Series 1 Release Notes

Beta 0.500

(Released September 26, 2011)

  • Fixed a quick issue with icicle leapers not drowning quickly in water, while working on something else (no, we're not delaying beta for stuff like this, folks). ;)
  • The game now more aggressively updates its world coordinates for the mouse cursor, making sure that scrolling-based issues that could happen while your character was running (possibly only during somewhat lower framerate situations than 60fps) should no longer happen.
  • The game now links to the new beta release notes page, rather than the pre-beta release notes page.
  • Fixed an issue where reportedly a few specific characters in world file names could cause crashes on some OSes, although we were not able to duplicate this issue on OSX Snow Leopard or Windows 7.
  • Put in a fix so that when you try to enter a "vent to nowhere," it no longer will turn your screen black until you exit the room.
    • Now it shows a message saying "The way is blocked! It turns out this doesn't lead anywhere."
    • This is basically a safety measure, for when an invalid vent or door gets seeded, so that you don't get trapped in limbo. The actual core problem of having the extra vent in some destroyed rooms is something we'll look at soon, since now it's into the realm of trivial annoyance rather than confusing game-stopper.

Alpha 0.425

(Released September 25, 2011)

  • Adjusted the adviser guardian tooltips to make it abundantly clear that the strategic map and citybuilding bits don't appear until civilization level 3 and 6, respectively.
  • Got the proper (much larger) number of minibosses now seeding in underground caverns. One guards the room above each gem vein, neutral illari chunk, and so on—provided that the chunk the boss would be in isn't the first chunk you enter when coming into the dungeon.
  • Fixed a bug where the new crafting interface's tooltips were able to interfere with mouse handling when ostensibly they were invisible; and they would also prevent the main menu from drawing if you then exited the game.

Alpha 0.424

(Released September 25, 2011)

  • A huge amount of polish for the new crafting interface from yesterday. This thing is incredibly usable now, we think.

Alpha 0.423

(Released September 24, 2011)

  • Removed outdated walkby dialogue for the green guardian stone.
  • Built a new crafting interface, hopefully will cause fewer cases of interface poisoning (if you accidentally view an interface designed by an engineer, rinse your eyes immediately with fresh water and call for medical help).
    • Some significant rework of the underlying crafting and tech systems were involved; things are clean thus far in our testing but some it's possible there are new bugs introduced.
    • Items still TBD before beta on this:
      • The tooltips on the materials will get reorganized a bit, and will become less vertically tall as well as showing the icon for the ability that would be produced.
      • Counts of the commodities held in inventory will be added to the buttons at the bottom instead of just having those in the tooltip alone.
      • Button click sounds will be added in for these buttons.
    • Beyond those things, if you have feedback please do let us know! The new interface allows some things that the other did not, such as: repeat crafting of spell scrolls and outfitter items; viewing child recipes that you don't have the first commodity for (so viewing tidal pulse if you have no sapphire gems); and in general being less confusing with only one panel rather than two, and the second panel stuff moved into tooltips (which still need the improvements listed above).
  • Fixed some of those stubborn "the last click to close a window triggers an ability" bugs; this may cause some situations where a click won't trigger an ability when you think it should, but our testing hasn't found any of those yet.
  • Fixed bug where hitting escape while the region-detail-window was open on the world map would not close that window but instead open the escape menu.
  • Fixed bug where if there were pillaging monsters and (resource deposit) guarding monsters in the same region it would not draw the pillaging monsters on the map and the tooltip and detail window would describe the guarding monsters. Now it will draw the pillaging monsters on the map, the tooltip, and the detail window. Also amended the pillaging monster description (in the detail window) to say "These monsters also prevent your scouts from noticing any other hostile monsters in the region.". In general if there are hostile "stacks" you will not be able to see more than one of them at this time, but now it will prioritize the ones actually coming to get you.
  • Fixed bug where the pay-off-rampaging-monster task info box at the top of the screen was drawing extra boxes around the numbers.
  • Strategy/Settlement-Management: Fixed bug where production estimates were higher than actual production.
  • Strategy/Settlement-management: Greatly cleaned up the positioning of various boxes to not go off the screen or overlap others, etc.
  • Fixed a crash bug that could occur when trying to use some gamepad buttons.
  • Fixed several issues relating to the gamepad reticule aiming.
    • Now the reticule actually works, although it is still based on the up/down axis of the gamepad. Dual-stick options aren't yet supported, and I'm not sure how well they would really work anyhow. Further refinement can be made to the gamepad controls once we have folks actually actively trying to use the gamepad for main gameplay.
    • Note to testers! It's possible this messed with the keyboard or mouse controls in some fashion, although no evidence of this is yet seen. But this was a fairly major shift in some respects to get the gamepad stuff working better, so it's something to watch out for if possible. Most likely, if there was any issue it would be something subtle like the ability bar not firing at the mouse cursor when you hit the number keys or something (although that has been tested and works). But some relatively obscure case along those lines, anyway.
  • The game will now try a lot more fervently to fit some sort of boss into every boss room.
  • Fixed a bug where summoned rhinos were sticking around incorrectly after loading a savegame with them in it.
  • Summoned rhinos now rebound properly off of interior walls, rather than just running against them indefinitely.

Alpha 0.422

(Released September 23, 2011)

  • Fixed up the way that spells are fired from the player so that if the spell is wider than the player, it starts out offsetted in front of them. This is important when the character's back is to a wall, for instance, because then the spell won't collide with the wall.
  • Fixed a bug in how the scouted/visited percentages were being calculated in buildings with destroyed rooms.
  • Fixed a visual issue that was making the "target room if you go through this door" on the dungeon map look confusingly like the "you are here" indicator.
  • Resource Deposits will now not be seeded on regions that have some other macrogame-location. Mainly this is to prevent getting stampeded by the guards in your initial settlement right after you start a new game, but it also helps avoid some other confusion.
  • Added "Show Skies On World Map and Strategy Map" to the Graphics tab of the Settings window:
    • When this toggle is enabled, the game will draw the normal sky backgrounds behind the world map and strategy map, instead of just blackness.
    • This will be make those displays more demanding and more likely to have a choppy framerate, etc. Also, it can be visually confusing but some people think it looks nice.
  • Fixed bug where static skies were still sometimes drawing a black bar on the bottom of the screen in side-view.
  • Fixed a bug where hitting escape on the world map with a region detail window open was opening the escape menu instead of closing the region detail menu.
  • Fixed some bugs related to the hp/mp/xp/danger tooltip zones not shutting off when they should.
  • Fixed a bug where the strategy-map order rescue-stranded-npc was not available until level 6, when it's supposed to become available at level 4.
  • Fixed a visual bug that could cause the skies to have to quickly catch up if you'd been in the strategic map or citybuilding interfaces again (this was a regression in the prior version).

Alpha 0.421

(Released September 22, 2011)

  • Fixed a bug where "kiting ranged" enemies that were set up as microbosses would flee you constantly.
  • Put in logic that changes the behaviors of microbosses to be more aggressive when normally they would not (such as rhinos directly chasing you now, etc).
    • Also put in logic to make the behaviors of minibosses that are part of a resource deposit guard contingent act like the more-aggressive microbosses while still maintaining their miniboss stats.
  • When using warp scrolls to warp to a surface chunk that has an exit to the world map, it now warps you to right next to the world map transition, rather than to a random place in the chunk. This makes getting back to the settlement a bit of a faster thing.
  • Fixed an issue that could make it so that miniboss types still were not being seeded in every room.
  • Settlement-Management: Added Right-click-for-details functionality on existing structures (it would also work for empty tiles... but there's really nothing to tell you about those, so it doesn't open for them).
    • Displays the name of the person assigned, if any, and provides a button to un-assign them (if any) or assign the selected npc (if none is currently assigned).
    • Displays an "upgrade" button next to the upgrade costs (if an upgrade is possible). This is now the way to upgrade since the right-click-to-upgrade was removed to make this right-click function possible (which also makes it more consistent with other screens where it's left-click-to-do-something, right-click-to-get-details).
    • Displays a "destroy" button next to the salvage quantities (if destruction is possible). Only trees can be destroyed; building deconstruction will likely come at a later date but there's some questions that have to be resolved first.
  • Reintroduced the Right-click-Region-for-details on the world map. Hopefully this time it won't break the game.
  • Fixed a bug with the non-hearth guardian stones never having their icon show properly on the world map regions with them.
  • Fixed a bug where some of the procedurally-generated rooms could have passages that were impassibly low.
    • This doesn't fix existing rooms (you can turn into a bat if you have to), but it should prevent this from happening with any future rooms.
  • Strategy: Fixed bug where the "rescuable NPC" icon was being drawn on regions with just a lone guardian stone instead of an actual npc.
  • Strategy: Fixed bug where the guardian monsters were being shown in the tooltip for a region with a resource deposit even if it was unscouted.
  • Rescuable NPCs in caves should now show the Rescuable-NPC icon on the strategy map, once you've been to the chunk where they are (i.e. they've actually been generated by the game).
  • When any of your inventories are open, it is now possible to drag items out of those inventory slots to drop the items on the ground one at a time. This makes it possible to, for instance, get rid of old spellgems from a lower level; or to give regular or crafting materials to an ally in co-op.
    • This is specifically prevented from working when your inventory is not open (just on your regular ability bar), to prevent players from accidentally dropping stuff during the heat of battle.
  • Fixed up the ocean so that it's no longer seeding so hugely many goodies on the ocean floor. Now it's still more than average, but not so crazy many.
  • The graphics of the desert burrower (and stuff like exploding tree dust) substantially improved.
  • Fixed the issue with there being odd air pockets down at the bottom of the ocean where goodies were seeded.
  • Completely redid the ocean tilesets, to be easier to see and look more ocean-y at the same time.
  • Added a new underwater monster nest entity, which is used only in the ocean and ocean shallows regions, and which float anywhere in the water and spawn enemies.
    • So now there are actually enemies in the ocean regions for the first time (for now, just amoebas).
    • This is actually the first entity type that is able to collide with non-water. The various fish and whales that are coming up will also use this.
  • Made the ocean half as deep vertically. This is less deep-ocean feeling in some ways, but it makes for a better density of enemies and it also makes the minimap not take up an abnormally large amount of your screen compared to other region types.
  • There are now tooltips on all the four health/magic/civ-level/danger-level bars at the bottom of the HUD, explaining their various functions.
  • Fixed an issue that could make the static skies show a black bar at the bottom of themselves.
  • The skies no longer draw behind the world map, citybuilding, or strategic map screens.
    • This helps performance, but also it's just plain less visually distracting.

Alpha 0.420

(Released September 22, 2011)

  • Disabled the right-click-region-for-details behavior on the world map because it was conflicting with normal ability usage in side-view.
    • This is a temporary change—this will be re-enabled properly in an upcoming alpha release, but we wanted to go ahead and get a functioning copy back out ASAP.

Alpha 0.419

(Released September 22, 2011)

  • Resource Deposits now have an associated purpose and challenge:
    • The purpose is that each "secured" deposit within 3 tiles of a settlement provides a 50% boost to the production of that resource in that settlement.
    • The challenge is that now each region with a deposit has a unit of "guarding monsters" on it. These do not leave that region, and only spawn in the surface chunk farthest from the world map, but the resource is not considered "secured" until that unit is taken out. Currently the composition is a random miniboss leading 3 microbosses. Watch out for crippled dragons in surface caves. Tidal Pulse is handy for the flames.
    • To assist the player, all scouted non-secured resource deposits within range of a settlement are drawn on the world map during movement as well as on the strategy map. Other resource deposits will still be drawn only on the strategy map because they aren't really relevant to world-map travel.
  • Added in Phil's new graphics for the background windows behind most in-game text. It's a lot more stylized and more fantasy-looking now.
    • More GUI updates are coming over time.
  • The Inventory keybinds were removed a couple of versions back, but the tab was still there in settings and was causing errors when clicked. Fixed so that it's now out of the settings screen as well.
  • There is no longer a "Use Spell Scroll" cooldown type. That was not actually being used, but it was erroneously being displayed instead of the real cooldown time on a lot of items.
    • Now the actual cooldowns for the underlying scrolls/objects are properly shown; they were ALL previously incorrect, not just the healing ones (though those were the most noticeable).
      • Additionally, details on the magical power of scrolls and such are also now shown, which were incorrectly being omitted before.
  • Converted the numbers above the ability bar slots into a single static image rather than being actual text that gets rendered using the Unity GUI.
    • This prevents any sort of flicker on that text, and also drops the draw call count for every frame by a flat 20 calls. On my 8800GTS this is an improvement of 0.2ms per frame, which is the difference of about 330fps and 350fps, thereabouts. For players on much older (often integrated) graphics cards, the savings will be more substantial.
  • Fixed a minor issue that would cause a black line to be drawn off the side of the starting settlement chunk minimap, or any other chunks with a wall at one side of them.
    • This was a fix to the actual chunk generation, so it won't fix existing chunks, just ones that are generated fresh.
  • Added Right-Click-Region-For-Details functionality to the world map (with a note on the existing world-map HUD that you can, in fact, right click a region for details). Intentionally didn't do the tooltip thing as it seemed like it would get in the way without giving enough of the details anyway.
  • Adjusted the tooltip on the world map to look a bit prettier with variable-size text, and to include instructions to press confirm to enter the current region.
  • Put in some logic that changes how the game sets diffuse colors on objects, and which will require many fewer texture swaps when there are a lot of the same image with varying colors/opacities on-screen at once (such as with, for instance, the minimap blips or the darkness when underground or inside.
  • Rather than drawing the words "health" and "magic" and so on above their respective bars at the bottom of the screen, icons are now used.
    • This saves another 12 draw calls per frame in all, helpful on lower-end cards, and it looks nicer and is easier to see since the prior text was quite small.
  • Awesome new sound effects for the crippled dragon breath and launch meteor spell have been put in place.
  • Enemies and characters on the world map now have a border around them that transitions slowly from black to white, making them visible against any sort of background without making them blinky or having to add any sort of underlay.
  • The civilization level is now shown on the EXP bar instead of the amount of EXP collected; that's a far more useful number.
  • There is also now a new Danger Level bar, which shows an indication of how tough the current chunk level is versus your civilization level. If you are the same level the bar is in the middle, if you're higher-level than the chunk then the bar goes down, and if you're lower-level then the bar counts up. The number shown is the level of the chunk, giving that an on-screen indicator for the first time. This makes it easy to compare your civ level to the chunk level, to gauge how difficulty things are likely to be.

Alpha 0.418

(Released September 21, 2011)

  • Vastly improved the collision logic granularity when objects are moving very fast or there is significant game lag. Previously, in those circumstances it was possible for entities to sometimes pass through other objects, such as falling through thin platforms or boxes or similar when falling toward them and a screenshot was taken.
  • Fixed a bug in the code that was auto-expanding the old 10x10 settlements to the current 75x75 size where it wasn't properly wiring back up the "which structure am I assigned to" associations for the NPCs.
    • Now any future auto-expands will properly maintain those associations.
    • Also, any worlds that have already had an auto-expand will have that data corrected so to prevent any invalid states (having the game thinking you're assigned to a structure but there's no structure there, which leads to crashes, or the game thinking your residence is some structure that can't take a resident or your workplace is some structure that can't take a worker; though those shouldn't happen due to the sizes involved). When repairing it will try to find the "new" location of the old assigned structures and really should succeed but in case it doesn't you'll need to manually reassign your npcs (can't think of why that would happen, though).
  • Removed an old over-time processing thing that was causing slowdown every few frames on large worlds (it was only supposed to be run about every minute or so anyway, but no longer needed).
  • Made it so that undergrounds can now have entirely different miniboss types than the interiors and surface areas, so that various underground-specific minibosses can be made to take advantage of the unique terrain there rather than changing the terrain to be more like the surface or the interiors. All three of these types can now have their own sets of minibosses associated with them per region, some overlapping, some not.
  • Added the first underground miniboss, the Giant Shadow Bat.
    • The shadow bat is the first enemy that is able to emit an aura of darkness, which literally counteracts the effects of light sources near it.
    • They also have the first vampiric attack, which heals them the amount of damage they do to enemies.
  • Fixed an issue that was causing many monsters to use the wrong kind of melee attack; so ghosts and bats weren't playing their proper sound effects, was the the main effect.
  • Put in something where the amount of EXP granted from killing a boss can now be set to a percentage of the normal amount per boss.
    • The giant shadow bats now grant 50% the EXP of other bosses.
  • Put in some logic where now multiple copies of a boss can be seeded in miniboss situations.
    • The giant shadow bats now spawn 2 of themselves rather than 1.
  • Microbosses will now chase you (or NPCs) from vastly further away in each area, rather than ignoring you until you get close.
  • City: The Grass and Dirt city-terrain-types have been implemented, and settlements in non-snow/ice region types will use them.
  • Strategy/City: Settlements now start with exactly 3 NPCs instead of 3-6. If we need to bump it up we can but the randomization was giving pretty drastically different levels of challenge to the early bits of settlement management.
  • Fixed a couple of spell description misspellings.
  • Previously Rampaging monsters would always be whatever level they were last encountered as or the level of the region you were encountering them in, whichever was higher. Now they will be at least the same level as your civ level.
    • Note: Vengeful Ghosts now never gain levels, regardless of where they are or what your level is.
  • Fixed a couple of spell description misspellings.
  • When new underground caverns are generated, their chunks are now cropped to fit the cavern.
    • This prevents things like bats flying way off into the middle of a bunch of solid rock that the player doesn't care about.
    • And it also prevents there being a huge amount of odd-looking offsetting to the minimap on viewing caverns that just happened to be located toward the bottom right of their chunk space.
  • Put in some changes so that surface tunnels will no longer get so near to the side of the chunk that they would cause a the "exit is on this side" lines to show down into the cavern area.
    • If anyone still sees this, please post a world file, though, for sure. This isn't exactly easy to test (can't prove a negative and all that).
  • Population pattern types are now also able to upgrade themselves when the civilization level or chunk level gets too high, which allows for more interesting variants of the same enemies to come about over time (or new enemies entirely to be introduced into higher levels of the same place).
  • Added new Red Amoebas and Giant Red Amoebas, both of which use fire spells that they fire in extremely rapid succession.
  • Amoebas renamed to blue amoebas.
  • Trap revamp:
    • Traps can only ever be deployed at the character's feet now, and the logistical recharge time on trap-laying is now much higher.
    • Traps can now be targeted by player spells such as fire touch, so that they can actually be cleared.
    • Players and NPCs are no longer able to step on player traps and trigger them; only enemies will.
    • Traps actually do more damage to enemies now.
  • Wood platforms can actually be placed on top of the player now, which makes them less fiddly to place while you are jumping.
  • Minibosses, Lieutenants, and microbosses now have their own region/civ level gating system to make it so that the harder ones don't appear too soon into the game.
    • At the moment, this mostly means withholding the giant red amoeba and the crippled dragon on the miniboss side. This really paves the way for a good boss progression as we get more than the current 5 miniboss types, though, which is important.

Alpha 0.417

(Released September 20, 2011)

  • Opened up mantis for AVWW feedback from alpha testers, now that beta is nearing.
  • Strategy/City: Added "Population Overview" display under the resource stockpile display. Displays the total number of NPCs residing in the settlement and the number that have not acted during that strategic turn. On the settlement-management interface it also displays the number that do not have assigned workplaces and the number that do not have assigned residences.
    • Left-clicking on any of these counts will select the next npc in the settlement's list that fits in that category.
  • Made the "Press ~ to switch back to normal message display." message use the actual key combo description if the user has rebound the key to something other than ~/`.
    • This isn't something we want to have a lot of places, it involves a lot more effort than any one string should.
  • Fixed bug that allowed auto-grave placement to go outside the bounds of the city map in some cases.
  • When loading a world with an old settlement of the smaller size, the game will now expand its settlement map to the larger size (and even fill in random trees in the new part; now that's service!).
  • Fixed a bug where vengeful ghosts were not being fully removed from their previous chunk when they form a rampaging group.
  • Removed keyboard nav/triggering for the inventories, so that E can resume its normal duties while the inventory is showing.
    • In general the keyboard support was half-hearted, seemed better to not halt between two opinions on this one.
  • Added "Aim Keyboard-Triggered Abilities At Mouse Cursor" toggle to the settings window (game tab).
    • When this toggle is enabled (as it is by default), all your keyboard-triggered abilities will be aimed at the mouse cursor unless you have a target locked-on (in which case it will aim at that target).
  • Fixed some bugs where settlements that had been generated by the game but the player had not entered yet (and in some cases could not even know were there, being in regions more than 10 levels above the civ level and thus not displayed at all) were being processed for production/consumption during strategic end-turn processing.
  • Tweaked the region level seeding once again: now, the lower-level regions tend to be to the north and east, making for a more natural progression from left to right.
  • Fixed an issue with the first set of bandits still being able to be the wrong entity types, even though future sets of bandits would not be.
  • Added new progression of availability of macrogame stuff as a first effort on letting folks ease into things (they'll have everything available pretty fast even with this, though).
    • Covered Bridge is now hidden from the start.
    • Hearth Guardian Stone is shown but does not initially display a message on opening the strategy map.
    • At Level 3:
      • Unlocks Interface: Strategy Map
      • Unlocks Strategic Order: Scout Region.
      • Unlocks Strategic Order: End Turn.
      • Resource Display shows only consciousness shards.
      • Escalation: Rampaging Monsters start spawning at this point (otherwise the player can just scout infinitely).
        • That's actually achieved implicitly: the starting unit is still spawned but obviously doesn't move until the first end-turn, which isn't possible until now; also the recurring ones only spawn on end-turn, which can't happen until now.
    • At Level 4:
      • Unlocks Strategic Order: Construct Wind Shelter.
      • Unlocks Strategic Order: Migrate Loner NPC.
    • At Level 5:
      • Unlocks Strategic Order: Donate/Withdraw.
      • Unlocks Strategic Order: Pay Off Rampaging Monsters.
      • Resource Display now shows all resources.
    • At Level 6:
      • Unlocks Interface: Settlement Management.
      • Unlocks Structure: Well
      • Unlocks Structure: House
      • Unlocks Structure: Farm
      • Unlocks Structure: Grave Plot
      • Escalation: NPCs start eating food per strategy turn.
    • At Level 7:
      • Unlocks Structure: Woodcutter's Guild
      • Unlocks Structure: Quarrier's Guild
    • At Level 8:
      • Unlocks Structure: Lumber Mill
      • Unlocks Structure: Stonecutter's Shop
      • Unlocks Structure: Furniture Shop
    • At Level 9:
      • Unlocks Structure: Library
      • Unlocks Structure: Warehouse
    • The just-leveled-up chat log message is accompanied with a list of new stuff, if there is any for that level.
  • Fixed bug where upgrade-structure was using the upgrade cost of the structure type currently highlighted in the structure list, rather than the type of the structure actually being upgraded.
  • Strategy/City: Added small "back" and "forward" buttons next to the settlement name in the upper-left corner, these let you switch which settlement you're managing (or at least which settlement's resources and npcs you are using, on the strategy map) without having to, well, walk to the other settlements. Make sure you still get enough exercise.
  • Fixed some (longstanding? Can we say that yet?) bugs with mouse-edge-scrolling on the strategy and settlement-management interfaces where it would basically stop working unless the mouse cursor was not over a region or map-cell.
  • The world map region generation now always makes sure that there is at least one region of each level 1-10, which in recent versions was not always happening.
  • When a new game is started, the world map now shows all of the level 1-3 regions as fully explored on the world map, since you don't get the ability to use NPCs for exploration until after level 3, now.
    • This lets you still find the low-level rare commodity towers, etc, right away.
  • Evil overlords and evil outposts now have to be 12 tiles from the start, instead of the former minimum of 10.
  • Evil overlord keeps are now prevented from seeding way higher in region levels than players would expect. Except in rare circumstances where there is simply no other option, overlords will never be 10 region levels higher than their minimum region level for the given overlord number.
    • So in other words, overlord #1 will almost always be between levels 20 and 30 unless something really funky happens. And overlord #2 will be between 40 and 50, etc.
  • Instead of all lieutenants within 20 tiles helping out the overlord, now only those that are equal or lower level to him will do so. The ones that are higher-level are considered to work for a different overlord, and any that are much lower level and too far away are just free agents.
  • When entering a region from the world map, the character is now always facing the proper direction (into the region, rather than back out at the world map).
  • Fixed a bug from the last few versions where any time the player died they would be asked to repeat the basic tutorial.
  • New sound effects integrated into the game:
    • Sunrise and nightfall spells.
    • Douse monster nest.
    • Emit light scroll.
    • Use profession book.
    • Pause
    • New time period unlocked.

Alpha 0.416

(Released September 19, 2011)

  • Made the "destroyed" descriptions for Evil Outposts and Evil Overlord Lairs static instead of contextual (to who destroyed it and when) because that info isn't readily available just now and the strings drew weirdly without it.
  • Strategy/City: made the next/previous mouse-clickable arrows on the NPC and Structure-Type lists gray out and stop responding to clicks when there's nothing to go to in that direction rather than disappearing (and ceasing to capture the mouse at all) in those cases. So now you can still click on them and it will not do anything if it can't go any further rather than interpreting it as a click on whatever was below the arrow.
  • Fixed bug where MessagesWindow (in chat-log mode or not) was intercepting mouse input before various interfaces (tech unlock and crafting, notably) could check for it, despite being drawn on top of the messages window. Now the MessagesWindow doesn't handle the mouse at all since we weren't really using that function of it in this game anyhow.
  • Redefined basically all the boss rooms at least somewhat, giving them more room to actually fit all the various types of bosses in, and more room for the neutral skelebot to actually move around in the various little side pockets.
    • Also added in a new Crates tile type for the map editor, specifically for use in the boss rooms, which are basically destructible blocks that provide temporary cover for players instead of permanent cover.
      • Added four different kinds of crates to start with (two metal and two wooden).
  • Fixed a physics glitch with entities standing on top of other solid entities and getting stuck in them.
    • Prior to the new crates, this just applied to seized objects.
    • This may also fix that very slight hitch that sometimes could happen on angled surfaces, but we'll see.
  • Strategy: Changed "To City Map" button text to "To Settlement Management" to be consistent with the walk-by text on the covered bridge (which takes you directly to Settlement Management).
  • The AI of flying enemies is now a lot more interesting, and they'll actually tend to fly up into the sky a lot more.
  • Spell balance changes:
    • The life of the player fireballs and forest rage have been reduced by 3/4, also reducing its range by that. You can't snipe enemies from so far away anymore.
    • The regular amoeba shots, the player tidal pulse spell, and the player creeping death spell, have also had their range/TTL reduced by half.
    • The ball lightning and energy pulse spells have been reduced in range/TTL even further.
  • The restore magic scrolls and potions are now considered logistical spells when it comes to their cooldown; thus they don't impact healing spells, or get impacted by healing spells, in any significant way.
    • The cooldown on these has also thus been increased from 5 seconds to 10 seconds.
  • Any health bars that are shown, including boss health bars, are now automatically snapped to stay on the screen.
    • This makes it far easier to keep track of when things are damaged by shots that go offscreen, and it gives you a constant view of where bosses are relative to your current location.
    • This also makes it a lot easier to see the damage done to really tall things like trees.
  • Put in fixes to make the health bars properly show over the minimap.
    • As a side of this, the minimap blips for the characters and bosses are also now showing up better, with a smoother, taller, blip animation.
  • Strategy/City: Removed click-to-donate behavior on resource stockpile icons. Replaced with a brief mouseover tooltip that tells you to right-click for details and advanced actions, and if you right click it opens the new ResourceTypeStockpileDetailWindow.
    • This displays the icon, name, and description of the resource type.
    • This also provides controls for both donating and withdrawing that resource, and setting the quantity of the same, all without using those pesky modifier keys that keep getting stuck if you alt+tab.
  • Previously character stats would not draw on the escape menu if you were on the world map; fixed to draw them (still doesn't draw the chunk stats because you aren't in a chunk).
  • Fixed some bugs where NPCs being migrated to a settlement were not being properly associated with the settlement and wouldn't count for some purposes like food consumption.
  • Strategy: Fixed a bug where the Migrate-Loner-NPC action basically wasn't working unless the target was already in a region with a settlement, and then it was moving them (if anywhere useful) to the settlement in the region they were already in. Now they will go to the settlement of the npc performing the strategic action.
  • Added a new Crippled Dragon miniboss.
    • The crippled dragons have a powerful and unique dragon breath attack, which spawns living fire that chases you around for a bit. You can kill the fire, but the dragon spawns a good bit of it every time it does its breath attack. Oh, and the living fire sets you on fire, like the fire bats do.
  • Made some improvements to how the larger enemies work with their collision boxes when turning around, etc.
  • Added graphics for new blue whale, black whale, and carp monster types, but they haven't been coded in yet.
  • Added a new Launch Meteor spell for players.
    • This is basically a souped-up version of launch rock, but it has a fire trail, flies faster/further, does more damage, and costs much more MP to use. It's not a wholesale replacement for launch rock because of the MP cost, but against multiple large foes that you're sure you can hit it's definitely a no-brainer there. It uses the rare magma commodity, though, so that's another place where there's a decision to be made; magma is rare, and so you have to wisely choose what you craft with it.
  • Walnut trees now have a narrower "with other trees" collision range, which means they will be a lot more likely to actually seed commonly.
  • Also, the grasslands with tree clumps type of region, which is something you can see on the world map, is now a huge source of walnuts.
  • Put in a change so that for older settlements without an adviser guardian stone, it will definitely not ask you to listen to the first five pages of that.
  • Put in a change so that the microbosses that are spawned from regions (for things like roaming bandits) are now explicitly set to avoid things like icicle leapers providing an underwhelming microboss experience.
  • Put in a fix so that ghosts and other similar homing enemies (bats, etc) don't latch onto your location and swarm you while you are still invincible.
  • Esper shots are now vastly slower, but they now fire three of them in an arc at you, making them a lot more interesting.
  • Espers are now called lightning espers, as there will later be espers from the other elements.

Alpha 0.415

(Released September 18, 2011)

  • Strategy: now if a group of rampaging monsters is already in the same region as a settlement, you cannot advance time (end-turn) from that settlement. Before you could just go merrily on passing turns until you actually left for a bit and came back so that the monsters could spawn.
  • Added settlement name display to strategy map.
    • Added somewhat more meaningful default settlement name generation.
  • World map changes, for new parts of existing worlds or new worlds:
    • Really redid how the regions and region levels are seeded on the world map; generally speaking, pockets of like-level regions and like-type regions are now far smaller. This makes each area feel substantially more unique and interesting, and prevents the world from getting so large so fast. By level 10 we were having people with 4000+ regions, which is basically the equivalent of a square of 16 million pixels for the world map alone.
    • Also increased the number of regions above the current civ level that can be seen: from 5 up to 10.
      • As part of this, made it so that the extra-EXP gains scale up to 10 levels higher rather than 5, at a slightly lower rate than before; this provides a better-balanced gradient.
    • The net effect of these changes on the early game is that you have actually more regions to explore, but fewer that are equal-or-lesser level right at the start. And in general, fewer regions of any given specific level all across the map, but more variance in types of regions at each level.
      • Put another way, this lets worlds get more interesting in a more condensed space, and it makes global world size grow at a smaller rate; in one test of a level 10 world, it generated 1400 regions instead of 4000+; and in general the difference between two level 100 worlds (one in the old style and one in the new) would be even larger.
  • Sped up the player movement on the world map by 50%, making it quicker to get around.
  • When players and NPCs put on snowsuits or become a bat, it no longer changes their game entity id, which fixes a number of bugs related to that.
  • New players in a world are now prevented from exiting the 0,0 settlement until they have completed four simple tasks that nevertheless inform them of some basics about the game that would be majorly frustrating for them to play without being aware of:
    • Each player must read, or at least scroll through, the first 5 pages of the adviser guardian's spiel. This is to make sure they at least know that resource exists, as it can be frustrating not to know it does.
    • Some player must unlock at least one spellgem crafting recipe, making them aware that such things can even be unlocked (each player has to do all the tasks except this one; only one player has to do this).
    • Each player must craft at least one spellgem of some sort (without at least one of these, the game consists of running around with fire touch).
    • Each player must craft at least one spellscroll of some sort (without emit light you're running around in the dark underground, and without something like heal scrolls the game is also more difficult when just starting out).
    • The game shows a message in the upper right about each task in sequence until it is completed. For an expert player, completing all these takes under 60 seconds, if that.
  • Fixed a bug from 0.412 that could, in certain circumstances, cause corruption of all the regions in the world. There shouldn't be any more such issues, but just in case it is always wise to back up your world folders every so often.
  • Fixed an issue with enemies that were under low overhangs going nuts since version 0.412.
  • Fixed an issue with ball lightning having such a wide collision box that it could not be dumbfired straight ahead.

Alpha 0.414

(Released September 18, 2011)

  • Altered some physics stuff once again to fix some popping-through-geometry regressions in the prior version.
    • Hopefully this doesn't regress the stuck in geometry bug as well, but I haven't seen it happen yet in the new version.

Alpha 0.413

(Released September 17, 2011)

  • Now when your NPCs have scouted a region, the entire surface of the region is visible to you in the dungeon map as soon as you enter it.
    • This makes finding caves, minibosses, etc, far easier.
  • Fixed an exploit where it players took a screenshot during a jump, they could jump higher.
    • This also smooths out jumping when the game is running at various different framerates, too.
  • Made the player able to jump ever so slightly higher, so that they can now get up onto ledges that are 5 tiles high (previously it looked like they could, but they would always come up just slightly short).
  • Strategy/City: various interface cleanup, particularly interactions between elements (what keeps drawing/handling-mouse-events when other things have the mouse or are showing, etc), tons of little things, still more to do.
    • Notably the npc list is now only 3 wide which makes it much more friendly to 800-wide resolutions and makes it easier to keep the left/right arrow from moving or "hanging out in space".
    • Also, the npc info has been abbreviated somewhat and made to fit into a smaller space, on top of the selected npc instead of on the side (which was causing the list shape to change somewhat as you scrolled through and hit people with different width info).
    • NPC info on the strategy map no longer mentions their residence or workplace assignment, since it has no bearing there really and was being confused as some kind of "what action did I tell them to do" rather than the correct "where did I tell them to work when I hit end-turn".
    • Added mouse behavior on the npc portraits:
      • mouseover: shows tooltip with the same info that used to be shown next to the portrait.
      • left-click: selects that npc.
      • right-click: opens the new NPCDetailWindow which shows some extra info (there's a lot more work to be done on the detail window, but it is there).
      • Most importantly, regions/map-cells no longer try to capture mouse input if your mouse is on top of a npc portrait.
  • Added a new "Icicle Leaper" enemy type that replaces the amoeba in all the ice age areas (the amoeba is still plenty prevalent on other regions, though).
    • The icicle leaper is a lot more basic, and essentially just goes jumping along the ground, striking players it nears. The skill level of various enemies is intended to ultimately be a lot more variant than it has been, and this is one of the lower-level ones.
  • World events are now logged whenever the presence of a new evil overlord or a new lieutenant is felt.
    • This provides yet another record of the existence of these evil forces, for players that don't stop to listen to NPCs talk, etc (and for the permanent log in general it's handy).
  • Evil overlords and their lieutenants now have to be further away from the starting settlement in new worlds (minimum of 10 tiles instead of 6).
  • About a third as many lieutenants are now seeded in the world; they were far too dense before.
    • Lieutenants also are no longer allowed to appear before the overlord appears.
  • When lieutenants and overlords are defeated, it now logs a world event for those (kind of important, eh?)
    • Morale in the settlements is increased by 120% for 20 turns when a lieutenant is killed.
    • Morale in the settlements is increased by 400% when the evil overlord is killed, falling by 1% each turn for 300 turns after they are killed.
  • Fleshed out NPCDetailWindow to have basically all the stats about the NPC.
    • The morale rating has a mouseover tooltip that explains the calculation of the morale value for that NPC.
    • The happiness rating also has a mouseover tooltip for its calculation.
  • Moved the Rename Character button from the City-map button menu to a button on NPCDetailWindow.
  • Put in a message saying "Press ~ to switch back to normal message display." when the full message log is being displayed.
  • Fixed a regression in the prior version that was causing minibosses to never seed at all.
  • When rare commodities are pulled from their room in a rare commodity dungeon, the room type changes to "former rare commodity room."
    • Additionally, the marker on the world map for the rare commodity is removed, since it no longer has any significance given the item is gone. This really helps players mark their progress automatically as they go.
  • NPCDetailWindow now has mouseover tooltips for each of the traits listed for the NPC (stuff like Storyteller, Naturally Happy, Green Thumb, etc).
  • Fixed a really rare issue where it was possible to get the world into a state where you could not see it or do anything because you had no character.
    • I think this was only possible when you started to create a world but then never chose a character, then exited and came back into the world. But it's fixed now either way, just in case it could also happen any other ways.
  • Fixed a bug where "dumbfiring" a fireball (and most other projectile spells) with the keyboard key for its ability slot would work fine firing west but would go off at some weird up-and-west angle if fired east.
  • Strategy/City: Amended the End Turn tooltip to note the 10-shard cost of that action (would show it in the upper-center task-info box but having a really hard time getting that to work with End Turn right now, particularly on the city interface).
  • Put in logic so that completely invalid chunks are now detected and a message is now shown that allows the player to recreate the chunk in question.
    • Mostly this is for if a prior version of the game had messed up a chunk and now players run into it.
    • If you ever see this message in the game and regenerating it doesn't help, please send us the world file! And if you're seeing it on fresh-in-new-version games, we want to know about it anyhow.
  • Finally got in a fix for that issue with sometimes getting caught in the geometry of angled slopes until you jumped again.
  • Previously, the item pickup messages were showing the tier twice. Fixed.
  • Changed it so that now when you play up region levels, you properly gain more EXP from the monsters there.
    • And in addition to that, really changed around the EXP formula in general for how much bosses grant you. The progression should be a bit faster now.

Alpha 0.412

(Released September 16, 2011)

  • BACK UP YOUR WORLD FOLDERS!
    • This version includes a much-revised region data format, which leaves certain details about the regions idle on disk instead of in memory, and which combines the rest of the central lookup data into one easy-to-manage file.
    • Some players that had generated more than about 4000 regions were reporting upwards of 10 seconds to load worlds—this was far too slow, as with 10 or 100 times that many regions generated it would be linearly longer to load. This new method should hopefully have it down into the sub-second range for intial load of most any world, before it starts loading the images if this is the first world loaded since the application was launched.
    • This will also be friendlier to multiplayer servers with more than 30 people (assuming that the computer can handle that in general, which remains to be seen), so this is something we've been planning for a long while but finally had to bite the bullet and do before beta, to avoid impacting more people if we made a mistake in the world-format conversion.
  • Strategy/City: Fixed some bugs where npc's in the same region as the settlement but a different chunk (like down in some caves near a neutral Ilari) could be considered as eligible for listing on the npc list for these screens and causing all matter of confusing tomfoolery.
  • The outfitter workbench no longer requires any gems or any gem dust—it is now a tier-less crafting place where you can just use regular raw materials to make physical goods.
    • The recipes for all the various outfitter stuff have also thus been changed, but existing worlds are upgraded to grant the first row of all the outfitter stuff.
    • Outfitter is now based around the following base materials instead of dust:
      • Cedar Logs (available at the start)
      • Granite (available at the start)
      • Quartz Rock (available at civ level 2)
      • Copper Ore (available at civ level 5)
      • Iron Ore (available at civ level 10)
      • Coral (available at civ level 70)
  • This change to the outfitter makes wood platforms super plentiful for players that want that, makes moon lamps actually attractive to build, and delays the time at which you can craft bear traps, but then makes them more attractive when they arrive.
  • Strategy/City: npc's now have a "Happiness" rating in addition to the existing "Morale". Conceptually they're not going to be able to have much genuine happiness while still under the oppression of an evil overlord or evil lieutenant, but they can have some. Morale is more like "will to survive", etc, and reflects their willingness to keep working hard regardless of whether they're actually happy.
    • Base is 10.
    • Being assigned to a house higher than "level" 1 gives 5 extra happiness per level higher.
    • Naturally Happy gives +5.
    • Naturally Grouchy gives -5.
    • If an evil overlord is within 20 regions (manhattan distance), max happiness is 15.
    • If an evil lieutenant is within 10 regions, max happiness is 20.
    • Happiness currently does nothing mechanically, and probably won't until after the first beta.
  • City: implemented library behavior:
    • Can be worked, but only by an NPC with the Storyteller trait (this is now noted in the Library detail when you mouseover it in the structure list)
    • When worked, gives everyone in the settlement +25 happiness (that's probably higher than it will be in the future, we'll see; it's also supposed to be pretty non-trivial to build a library).
  • The cooldown time for magic points restoration has been increased from 0.66 seconds to 5 seconds.
  • When healing potions or scrolls are used to automatically prevent the death of a character, they now must abide by the rules of cooldowns—they cause cooldowns, and if the ability is currently on cooldown they won't trigger and you will instead die despite having healing stuff on-hand.
    • However, there are two differences in the cooldowns:
      • Firstly, when it's auto-applied it will ignore the "global" cooldowns that come from using non-healing spells. That way if you are actively attacking some monster, and it kills you, you won't die unexpectedly despite there not being an ongoing healing cooldown.
      • Secondly, the cooldown that is applied is actually 1.5x the normal cooldown for the healing potion/scroll. So it is actually somewhat a good idea to apply your own healing potions still, but it's not that big a difference if you don't plan on dying every 25 seconds.
  • The cooldown time for the health potions and scrolls has been increased from 0.66 seconds to 15 seconds.
    • This really slows down the speed at which potions can be used to save your life, which is pretty important and which still rewards manual healing, etc.
  • City: implemented Warehouse behavior:
    • Can only be worked by an NPC with the new Organizer trait, but when worked provides a 10% boost to all raw-resource and refined-goods production.
  • City: implemented Well behavior:
    • Without a water source (only way to get one now is a well) all npcs in the settlement have morale capped at 30 and happiness capped at 10.
  • Magma now has a chance of seeding above region level 10 into rare commodity towers. It is now required to make a heatsuit.
    • Note that a heatsuit is not the only way to get into the lava flats effectively; you can also be a neutral skelebot, if you've unlocked them through the junkyard areas.
  • Fixed up the procedurally-generated rooms (maze rooms and otherwise) so that they are generally having higher ceilings. This is particularly important for letting the neutral skelebot fit through more spaces, but it's also important for making jumps to ledges more convenient, etc.
  • When destroyed nodes in a dungeon are scouted, any children destroyed nodes also now become visible.
  • Previously, bosses were being set to the civilization level no matter what. This has been changed, so that you can over-level against the bosses if you want to.
    • However, now overlords will never be lower than level 20 in general.
  • Evil outpost super regions are now no longer never lower than region level 5.
  • Evil overlord super regions are now never lower than 20x the overlord index—each overlord is sequential in difficulty now, going from levels 20 to 40 to 60, etc. Of course those are minimums, so it's entirely possible to see a level 27 overlord or whatever just based on the random seeding. But you'll never wind up with two level 20-something overlords, for instance, now.
    • This presents the appropriate series of sequential challenges when it comes to overlords, while not making individual overlords ever a moving target, unlike before.
  • When a player clicks "Create World," the game now asks them for a name to give that world.
    • This not only makes worlds easier to find (particularly when there are multiple players on a computer each with their own world), but it also makes it so that if players mis-click the Create World button, they can cancel out of the world naming step rather than having to go all the way into the world and then delete it.
  • A warning is now shown when vengeful ghosts are in a chunk that you have just entered, same as with the bosses.
  • The "Entity DEFINITELY moved on load" warning message no longer shows on non-developer copies of the game, although it is logged into the output log.
  • Destroyed rooms no longer have their doors show up as red or green on the minimap, since they aren't really exploration targets. This keeps things cleaner and clearer.
  • Fixed several issues where the sky would update too fast after not being updated for a while, rather than just jumping to the state it should be in. Being in a building or in surface tunnels for a long time are examples of this.
  • City: Added Quarriers' guild.
    • Basically functions like the woodcutters' guild except producing granite instead of cedar logs.
    • Both this and the woodcutter's guild will get a bonus to production based on the number of nearby (on the strategy map) deposits of the corresponding resource, but that has not yet been implemented.
  • City: Added Stonecutting Shop
    • Basically functions like the lumber mill except producing stone blocks from granite instead of lumber from cedar logs.
  • City: Added Furniture Shop
    • Basically functions like the lumber mill except producing furniture from lumber instead of lumber from cedar logs.
  • Strategy/City: Cleaned up the "resource bar" a bit to not overlap with the task tooltip so readily, and also to expand more gracefully as more resource types are added (though some method of hiding irrelevant resources or only showing more advanced ones in a different place will probably be necessary at some point).
  • Changed the construction costs of pretty much all the buildings to be at least an attempt at balanced/real.
  • Increased the invisible-until-level thresholds for the enchant, disenchant, crestmaking, spellshaping, and socketing workbenches to something fairly absurd to avoid folks trying to use them until we're ready for testing on those.
  • Fixed a bug where buildings with multiple entrances would not properly show their "entrance has been entered" status. Previously it was showing both as entered if the first entrance had been entered, or both as not-entered if it had not. Now each door works properly individually.
  • Slowed down the skelebot dwarves slightly from what they were in the last few versions, and made them no longer chase the player at all;
    • This actually makes them the most effective by far.
  • New sound effects:
    • The vengeful ghosts' melee attack.
    • Forest rage casting and hit sounds.
    • Creeping death casting and hit sounds, and miasma touch.
  • Fixed a number of issues relating to enemies hitting a wall and then walking against it for several seconds before realizing it and turning around. Or, in the case of rhinos, indefinitely.
  • Fixed an issue that could sometimes lead to there not being a passage down into caves on nodes that clearly should have had one based on the dungeon map.
    • This doesn't fix existing missing caves, but it will prevent new ones from having the same malady.
  • The dungeon map header now shows the percentage scouted as well as the percentage visited, to implicitly clarify what scouted even means.
    • The scouted and visited percentages both ignore the destroyed rooms, as an added bonus.
  • Fixed up the collision bounds on the energy pulse, which was very difficult to even aim along the floor at all in prior versions.
  • Thirded the power of the tidal pulse spell, which was overpowered in the prior version.
  • Put in a fix to where interior staircases could sometimes be seeded in a funny way that was basically inset in the floor or floating over it, in rare cases.
  • The messages log in the upper left now includes the second of each message, to make that a bit easier to read.
  • Changed it so that to manually explore a region tile on the game map, you only have to scout each node in it, not literally visit it.
  • Renamed "bonus room" in houses to "spare room" to spare folks the confusion. Game-style bonus rooms might well be a thing in the future, but that's not what these meant.
  • In recent versions, the stats of the player character would jump around every time a suit was put on or off, or every time the player became a bat and back. Fixed.
    • However, all existing characters will all have their stats completely redefined upgrading to this version.
  • Fixed a bug where all the "ongoing conditions" on a character would be lost when they put on a snowsuit or became a bat. Such as the emit light scroll, etc.
  • City: Added "Rename Settlement" button to the top-left button menu.
    • Pops up a textbox where you can change the name (the default names are pretty... test-ish).
  • City: Now displays name of the settlement to the right of the top-left button menu.
    • The stylization is very placeholder.
  • City: Added "Rename Character" button to the top-left menu.
    • Pops up a textbox for renaming the selected NPC.
    • This is too many buttons for that top-left menu so it's temporary that it's there; will have a new place to put it soon, hopefully.
  • Fixed up the default positioning of the vengeful ghosts when they are reloaded from an existing chunk. They are no longer always in the upper left.
  • Improved the seeding of minibosses in boss rooms; there should pretty close to always be a boss when one is advertised, now.

Alpha 0.411

(Released September 16, 2011)

Important: for anyone who downloaded versions 0.409 or 0.410, you will have to download the following file manually and unzip it into your game folder: http://avww.s3.amazonaws.com/AVWW411.zip

For anyone on 0.408 or prior, updating as normal should work. After a dalliance with the Rackspace CDN, it's clear that's not suitable for serving files that change frequently. Therefore, we've moved to Amazon S3 again, which we've used in the past but had some annoyances with on the internal side. But this should now be robust enough for the upcoming beta in terms of bandwidth, as well as getting our updates in a timely manner. Rackspace still has 3 days to go at this point before their servers will update our file, which is why the 0.409 and 0.410 folks have to download this manually.

Alpha 0.410

(Released September 15, 2011)

  • Fixed bug where chat log messages were taking mouseovers and generating tooltips if your cursor was over where the message would have been drawn if the chat log box were taller.
  • Added "World Event Log" button to the escape menu, it opens the new WorldEventLogSummaryWindow which displays one line for each of the actual world events (not all chat messages qualify; these are things the game actually remembers and can do stuff like NPC morale modifiers based on), and allows paging once you get over the max it displays at once.
  • Fixed a null exception that could happen on the main menu after quitting a game and moving the mouse down where the ability bar would be if you were still playing.
  • Moved initial spawning of bandits in a new world from before first character selection to just after the seeding of the starting profession-book windfall.
  • Underground gem veins are now vastly more common; there are now six in each underground dungeon, rather than one. That also means that there are tons more bosses underground, too. Navigating these caverns is a lot more tricky and interesting now!
  • The F1 key, which lets you switch the first mouse button's position along the ability bar, is kind of confusing. Handy for players that want it, but now that ability is unbound by default (and updated to have that unbound on all existing configurations).
  • The old "world map wait" option is now removed, since it was pointless since the windstorm mechanics changed.
  • "Look ahead" is now bound to T instead of shift, to avoid issues with the steam client overlay later if the game goes to steam.
  • The player no longer makes footstep sounds while transmogrified into the bat.
  • There is now a "walk" button, which is bound to left ctrl by default, and which lets your character move at 1/4 their normal speed while that is held down.
  • Fixed a bug from the last version where using the "Abandon character" function would cause your character to use a healing spell/potion to avoid their fate. Oops!
  • Tweaked the ball lightning visuals so that it's no longer so oversized.
  • Added in a new Forest Rage spell.
    • Offensive spell that thin, fast, and hits a single target for nontrivial damage.
  • Added in a new Creeping Death spell.
    • Offensive spell that very slow, but very powerful, dealing massive damage to each enemy OR ALLY it passes before it ends.
  • None of the offensive player spells except the creeping death are now able to hit NPCs.
    • This still gives players an option to kill NPCs, but it prevents the need for any sort of "friendly fire" option. And prevents accidental NPC death from just messing around with spells in the starting settlement.
    • Later when we get into some PVP options, we'll make some sort of special something that players can craft to be able to target other players and be targeted by them. It might be an enchant, we'll see.
  • RegionDetailWindow: now when showing a group of rampaging monsters that has demands, it shows the icon, quantity, and name of each resource demanded.
  • RegionDetailWindow now hides the menu buttons on the strategy map (end turn, close, to-city-map) since there's overlap problems on an 800-wide resolution.
  • Strategy map: you can now order an NPC to "pay off" rampaging monsters who are demanding something (so vengeful ghosts can't be paid off). Their price is named when they're created, and you can see it by mousing over them on the strategy map (it's at the top) if you've scouted that region, or you can see it by right clicking their region and looking at the region detail. Once you've paid the price the group will disappear and the people in the former-target settlement will get a 5% morale boost for 5 turns (which is pretty small).
    • The price is reduced by 25% if you order an NPC with the new "Diplomatic" trait to perform the task (traits are listed on the little info card next to their portrait on the strategy map).
  • Destroying a group of rampaging monsters now also creates a record in the world event log and gives the people in the former-target settlement a 20% morale boost for 10 turns (which is pretty good).
    • Note that for both the pay-off and destroy event log entries it's using a new "leader name" field on the group records that didn't exist prior to this version, so if you do either to a group spawned in a previous version you may see some entries where no name is given where the leader name should be.
  • The vengeful ghosts now leave trails of poisonous miasma in their wake.
  • Strategy/City: Fixed a few bugs that were causing the game profound confusion about which npcs it should be allowing the player to use in a given settlement.
  • The quantities of spell scrolls that you get for each gem dust have been increased dramatically, making them much more attractive as targets to craft.
  • Added a new spellscroll: decoy fireworks.
    • Single-use magic scroll that summons a small fireworks display to distract enemies; enemies will attack the fireworks as well as you until the fireworks are destroyed.
    • Not only is this useful as a decoy, but it also blocks incoming enemy shots at the moment. This may need some tweaking.
    • Also, this makes it so that there is at least one spell scroll per gem dust color, which is nice.
  • Strategy: NPC scouting can now only be performed on a region adjacent to an already scouted region. If their own region has not already been scouted they can always scout that one.
    • This now gives some motivation for "manual" scouting (running out there yourself and entering all the surface chunks) as that can be used to open a new "pocket" anywhere that your npc scouts can then widen.
    • This also motivates finding other settlements, as the npcs in a new settlement can explore their own region and then any npc can expand that pocket.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause crashes in old saves with retorts in them.
  • Fixed a bug where wind shelters that were built by NPCs could not be properly entered when the player tried to then visit the region for the first time.

Alpha 0.409

(Released September 15, 2011)

  • Adjusted the tech book unlock system to no longer include retorts anywhere in the process.
    • Now when you use a tech book near a guardian stone, it gives you four options that are actually randomized (before, the randomization wasn't in). Each guardian stone that you talk to gives you a different selection of four, so you can shop around if you really want to.
    • When you use a tech book near a guardian stone, that tech book is not consumed unless you actually complete the transaction and make a recipe. Additionally, you don't get the EXP until that point, either.
    • The retorts had originally been implemented to make this process multiplayer-safe and to prevent players from re-rolling the random recipes at a specific guardian stone. However, we've solved that a different way now that is transparent to the player (it uses the guardian stone's entity ID as a random seed, making it deterministic per guardian stone).
  • Fixed bug where SettingsMenu and InputBindingsMenu were not closing when you pressed escape.
  • The emit light scroll now lasts for 10 minutes by default, with an extra 30 seconds per tier of scroll.
    • Also, crafting them now gives you 20 per dust, rather than 10. Thus even at level 1, you'd have no reason to spend more than 1 gem dust on them per 200 minutes of gametime on average, deaths not withstanding.
  • Now X and I can both be used to open your inventory; that way the obvious "I" key is mapped, but at the same time there is an option on the bottom row with all the other inventories (and it's easier to hit X while playing, too). All of the existing mappings for this keybind have been reset.
  • Light sources no longer show on the minimap, as that was relatively pointless and had the potential to obscure other stuff.
  • Monster nests now show up as purple on the minimap, and at a larger size, so that they are easier to see.
  • Made the light loot drops easier to see on the minimap.
  • Put in a fix to the ability bar still being able to trigger the first spell attack when the player dragged the item off the bar and released the mouse button.
  • The various HUD maps now all hide themselves when other windows are up, to prevent any sort of overlap.
  • Added in numbers above the ability bar slots to denote which numeral each corresponds to. This makes it far easier to use abilities via the number keys.
  • Four new room templates have been added.
  • A variety of visual effects were not properly showing up when the game was paused, including things like the light emissions going out. Fixed.
  • Rampaging Monster groups will now seek the nearest settlement in a region that a player has entered, rather than always seeking 0,0.
  • Changed the periodic rampaging monster spawns to only target settlements in regions a player has entered, rather than including all settlements in regions the player has ever seen.
  • Fixed a bug where killing a microboss in a settlement would generate a prevented-vengeful-ghost message.
  • There is no longer a limit as to how close you have to be to the target location in order to deploy an item there (like a trap, or a wood platform).
  • Added a new "Douse Monster Nest" spell that can be crafted:
    • Creates a magical aura that prevents nearby monster nests of an equal or lower level from spawning any monsters for the next minute.
    • The level of the aura will be your level or 5x the tier of the spellgem, whichever is lower.
  • Drastically changed the formulae for how monster and character health/magic are calculated.
    • The biggest effect is to make the differentials of unique character and boss stats a lot more noticeable. Choosing characters just got a lot more interesting.
    • The second effect is to make it so that many fewer enemies die in one hit now.
  • Player spell balance changes:
    • The ice cross spell has had its power increased 6x, and its MP cost halved.
    • The fire touch spell has had its power increased 5x, actually making it more powerful than the fireball; having to get in close is enough of a penalty with this one.
    • The circle of fire spell has had its power increased 10x, and its cost reduced to 3/4 its former value.
    • The ball lightning spell has had its power increased 3x, and it's cost increased 50%.
    • The light snake spell has had its cost reduced 3x.
    • The energy pulse spell has had its power increaed 10x, and its cost increased 50%.
    • The launch rock spell has had its cost increased 2x, and its power increased 4x.
    • The tidal pulse spell has had its cost doubled, and its power increased 8x.
  • If players are carrying a heal scroll or healing potion and die, a heal scroll or potion will be automatically applied to keep them from dying.
    • These are applied instantly and without requiring any recharge time.
  • Magic potions and health potions (and their scroll counterparts) now have a recharge time of .66 seconds instead of 4 seconds when used manually.
    • Also, their base effectiveness has gone up about 8x.
  • The attack power of the espers and amoebas (giant and regular) have been increased 3x to counterbalance the larger amount of health that players now have.
    • The physical attack of the rhinos, skelebots, and the desert burrowers have also been increased 3x.
    • The physical attack of the bats has gone up 6x.
    • The physical and magical attack of the skelebot giant has been increased 3x.
    • The skelebot sniper and dwarf have been left untouched for now, but the max movement speed of the skelebot dwarf has gone up by 2x.
    • The health of vengeful ghosts has been thirded under the new formula, making it still fairly equivalent to what it used to be. The attack power of the vengeful ghosts has been roughly doubled, so that they are more likely to one-hit kill you.

Alpha 0.408

(Released September 14, 2011)

  • City map: added a duplicate of the strategic End Turn button, tooltip and all.
  • City: added new structure type "Grave Plot", costs 1 granite (and that might actually be its real cost, it's just placeholder for everything else), takes up 1 tile.
    • New settlements will get a 10x10 area seeded with these. Hey, we thought you'd probably die a lot.
  • Now when an player character or settlement NPC dies it replaces a random grave plot in that settlement (uses your last visited one in the case of the player) with a grave with that character's name on it. If no plots are available it picks a random tile (tending towards the center of the grid) and puts the grave there.
  • Fixed a bug where a character dying in a settlement would not only not become a vengeful ghost but not generate the "has died" world event log entry that would be used to apply a morale penalty for the next 10 turns.
  • The first tier of crafting recipes are no longer automatically granted in new worlds for anything except the three basic crafting disciplines of outfitter, spellgem, and spellscroll.
  • This doesn't apply to existing buildings in existing worlds, but for all new buildings in new or existing worlds, the layouts generated will not grow as large as they used to be. Most of the smaller homes, etc, are the same as they were. But the various ginormous buildings are no longer remotely so large, as it simply didn't contribute anything to fun but did make the maps very hard to see, even on large monitors.
  • Strategy/City: now if you click End Turn on either interface and a rampaging monster group is 1 region away from one of the settlements you've seen, it will prompt you to confirm with a fairly ominous message explaining what could happen, that you can actually just fight them in the wilderness, and the coordinates to find them at. If we ever implement cruise missiles we'll probably add GPS coordinates to this (kidding).
  • Now when rampaging monsters are on the map and heading towards a settlement (in strategic time, that is) the npcs in that settlement have dialog to talk about it.
  • When there are no more recipes to unlock in a world, it no longer creates a retort, but instead tells you a message saying that it can't create anymore yet because you already know everything so far.
  • The profession books that are found in libraries and home studies are now limited to just those where there are actually more recipes for you to unlock, as well as those whose workbenches have become available based on the civilization level.
  • Strategy: new bandits now periodically spawn to advance on a settlement you've seen. The frequency varies by strategic difficulty level and is currently 20/12/6/3/1 for difficulty 1/2/3/4/5, respectively.
    • Note that while they can spawn near other settlements, they're still hardwired to advance on the settlement at 0,0. That's to be fixed soon.
  • The join multiplayer game main menu button is really disabled for real this time.
  • When you stay in trial mode instead of entering your key immediately, it now works substantially smoother.
  • When a character is standing within about 500px of a monster spawner, it stops spewing smoke and also stops producing any monsters.

Alpha 0.407

(Released September 14, 2011)

  • Fixed up the way that gravity works when you're standing on a slope so that you don't bounce down the slope.
  • Moved the settings and achievements out of being in a sub-menu of the escape menu, out onto the main escape menu display itself. It was too many clicks to get to the settings.
  • Moved around the character and chunk stats windows in the escape menu; they now show to the right of the escape menu itself, which blocks more of the view but frees up vertical space on the menu as well as looking generally cleaner.
  • Fixed the minor visual issue with the main menu showing in the upper left corner behind the loading screen on compiled versions of the game.
  • Fixed up the "Saved Entire World File..." message so that it only shows at most every 10 seconds as you open and close the escape menu.
  • Put in a new function, by default bound to tilde/backquote, which lets players show all of the log of recent chat/informational messages that have come in at the top right of the screen, in an expanded view of that panel.
    • The last 200 messages are now kept, instead of the last 100.
  • Fixed the text being slightly cut off in the message log in the upper left.
  • Added in a new pause function, by default bound to both the P and Pause buttons.
    • In multiplayer, it's actually only pausing the current chunk that you are standing in; so any other players in that chunk will also have their game paused, but any players elsewhere in the world will be completely unaffected.
  • Altered the default controls on the main menu to be taller, and considerably neater-looking, but at the same time working better on 800x600 screens as well.
  • Made the game version text larger and easier to read against light backgrounds.
  • When an unhandled exception occurs, the game now shows a permanent message at the top of the screen until the game is restarted; this being important because other errors that aren't really errors are likely to occur until the game is restarted, since any error throws the game into an unstable state.
  • Put in a fair bit more advice, and more early-game advice front-loaded, in the adviser guardian's dialogue.
  • Added a slight white/black pulsing shimmer around your character, to help tell them apart from other players and NPCs.
    • Also, your character is now a lot less dimmed by the night in surface chunks.
  • The vengeful ghosts now properly bob up and down on the world map.
  • All the various roaming monsters are now properly animated on the strategic map.
    • Also fixed an issue with them halting their movement for a bit when you go into their chunk, or when another player is in their chunk in multiplayer.
  • Visible sky time no longer stands still while you are in the city management or strategy map interfaces, which had led to it then rapidly catching up when you left those interfaces. Now it continues to animate properly while you are in there.
  • The join multiplayer server button has been temporarily removed from the compiled version of the game to prevent confusion.
  • Added in Sunrise and Nightfall spells, which make it 7am and 10pm, respectively.
    • These are made out of sunstone and moonstone, the first rare commodities actually used in crafting.
  • Sunstone and moonstone will now have a chance of being seeded throughout the map in rare commodity towers that get created new (as in, after exploring further in the existing world, or starting a new world).
  • The "not yet unlocked" message on the crafting material tooltips now includes information what to do with profession books and generally where to find more.
  • The maximum width of tooltips in the crafting interface and elsewhere is now cropped to 500px rather than the width of the screen.
  • Fixed a bug that would cause fourth commodity in the crafting interfaces to not show up properly.
  • Put in an efficiency improvement to the lighting model when there are a lot of light sources. It also makes things get lit more predictably gradually.
  • The nighttime outdoor lighting model now works with game entities and light sources; previously there was no way to light up the nighttime darkness. That's still true of the ground and grass (and likely always will be based on how those are constructed), but for plants, objects, people, enemies, etc, the light sources now function.
  • Added construction costs (icon + quantity + name for each resource) to the StructureTypeDetailWindow that pops up when mousing over an item in the structure list.
  • Rare commodity dungeons that have not yet been found via exploration in the world map now get their contents updated to each new version of the game.
    • This way players get to the new stuff faster, which is going to be really important on an ongoing basis.
  • The "name and MP only" tooltips on the main ability bar now also show the text "open inventory for details." This should help with new players actually finding the detailed tooltips.
  • The tooltips on the inventories, crafting interface, tech unlock interface, and dungeon/region maps, are now a lot larger, to make them more easily readable more quickly.
  • Fixed the bug with blank recipes in the crafting interface causing a crash if you tried to craft them.
  • The region map tooltips now actually show the name of the buildings that contain the interior dungeons.
  • The hanging lamps no longer block spells automatically. They are now part of the background, like other trees or whatever outside, and can be seized like the others if you want to have them block you from enemies. As it was, they were pretty much getting more in the way of players than enemies.
  • The innate ambient cold and heat resistance of characters is now shown in their stats on the escape menu.
  • Fixed a bug with sizing up the screen while on the main menu causing some graphical issues.
  • A little square bounding box is now shown around any regions with visible strategic units, and around the region that the local character is in or moving toward. This helps makes things visually more clear as to what is in which region.
  • Expanded Structure Detail Window to list resident capacity, worker capacity, production output, upgrade cost, and salvage amounts (though nothing in the list can be salvaged, only trees and there's no way to get their detail window right now).
    • Also made it hide the Close and To Strategy Map buttons while this window is showing because they could overlap it on an 800-wide resolution.
  • Put in the following performance-related graphics options on the graphics settings tab:
    • Disable Static Sky Storm Clouds
    • Disable Weather Precipitation 1
    • Disable Weather Precipitation 2
    • Disable Weather Precipitation 3
    • All four of these are for squeezing every last drop of performance out of low-end graphics cards which are otherwise able to play the game just fine.
  • City map: structure type list now shows the selected item in the top slot, and always displays two boxes below that even if there are no types to show in them, this makes the list always the same size.

Alpha 0.406

(Released September 13, 2011)

  • Strategy map region-tooltips / region-detail-window
    • Added icon for rampaging monster to those entries.
    • Added entries for rescuable npcs.
  • Added a mouseover tooltip for the "End Turn" button because Every. Last. Being. In. The Universe. Repeatedly. Told. Us. To. (actually we planned to do it anyway)
  • Strategy/City map: when opening either of these it automatically tries to select an NPC that has not yet acted this turn.
  • Strategy/City map: Fixed a bug where dead npcs would still show up and be selectable, etc.
  • Fixed a bug where defeating 3 ghosts would cause any future ghost creations to immediately create a rampaging group (of 1), because it was considering the dead ones eligible.
  • The initial rampaging monsters group (non-ghosts) now has 4 members instead of 1.
  • Fixed some bugs where the strategy map and city map were scrolling from the same input, despite only one of them actually being shown at the time.
  • Fixed a bug where if a character were invincible, but would otherwise be taking damage from the cold or similar, they would still show messages about the damage even though they were not taking it.
  • Fixed a bug where the region/dungeon maps could still be showing inside the strategic/citybuilding interfaces. And where they could interfere with the keyboard scrolling of the strategic/citybuilding maps, too.
  • City map: Added detailed mouseover tooltip (detail window, really) for structure types in the structure list.
    • Still need to add cost data, input and output amounts, etc.
  • Fixed the vengeful ghosts on the world map seeming to draw higher than the actual tile they are on, and too large.
  • Hopefully fixed a bug that was causing rare commodity towers to sometimes not include a rare commodity (how rude!).
    • If any tester still sees this, please send me a world file for sure.
  • Fixed it up so that knockback can no longer be applied to players who are still in their just-entered-chunk invincibility period, even if a spell hits them.
  • On the region map, most buildings show up as light blue. But now evil outposts, evil overlord lairs, and rare commodity towers show up as red. Since these are buildings players would tend to be returning to a lot, and which are rare, etc.
  • A message is now shown in the upper right every time EXP is gained.
  • Fixed a bug where dragging items around in the ability bar was firing off the left-mouse-button ability if the cursor at all left the ability bar.
  • Skelebot dwarves are now a lot smarter about running away to get their ideal striking distance.
  • Fixed a threading issue with 0.405 and the crafting interface.
  • Fixed a rather serious bug in 0.405 that was causing players to have a ton of trouble moving between surface chunks.

Alpha 0.405

(Released September 13, 2011)

  • Vengeful ghosts no longer spawn when characters die in settlements, in wind shelter chunks, or in any other location where an Illari is present.
    • This helps to prevent complete-sweeps of the settlement NPCs whenever one is killed or a monster arrives.
    • A message is shown in the text log letting you know that the NPC died, but was protected from "a fate worse than death" by the local Illari.
  • The ride the lightning spell can now be used simply by double-jumping when it is in your ability bar. If you have multiple double-jump-activated spells in your ability bar, it will automatically use only whichever one is leftmost in the bar.
  • The very first region in the game now always will spawn with only one surface chunk—the settlement.
    • This makes it so that players have no chance of getting lost in that first region without finding the world map first, and immediately establishes the world map as the main way of getting around.
  • A "Difficulty Shrine" is now seeded into each settlement, which allows you to change the action and strategic difficulties.
    • There are five options at each, with the middle option being the default on both.
  • The action difficulty setting currently only affects the physical and magical attack strength of enemies. Everything else is controlled by relative region level.
    • On Featherweight, the values are 1/10th the prior value; on Apprentice, they are 1/5th the prior value; on Hero (the new default), they are 1/2th the prior value; on master hero, the values are equivalent to the prior values; on the chosen one, the values are 2x the prior value.
  • There is now more buffer space between the hearth guardian stone and the edge of the settlement chunks.
  • Fixed up the dropdowns so that they don't feel awkward when clicking one to close itself.
  • A number of player items that sometimes could be multiple tiers—but which never differed by tier—are all now being properly clamped to never having any tier at all.
    • Snowsuit/heatsuit, wooden platforms, seize, shrink, transmogrify into bat, flash of light, light snake, and all commodities other than raw gems and raw gem dust.
    • This lets these items actually stack with one another regardless of what level of gem or dust you use to craft them, which is far more convenient for the player. Previously these took up extra inventory space for no reason.
    • This also prevents confusion in the crafting interface when the player would think they could craft a higher tier of something that was really identical to their current tier. Now it's clear: if it says it is a higher tier, then it is actually better in some way.
  • Strategy Map: now when you right-click a region it brings up a new region detail window that displays all the info from the region-mouseover tooltip plus a much expanded explanation of each item.
    • Still need to add an icon for rampaging monster entries.
    • Still need to add the migrateable npc icon.
  • The header text of the various inventories now includes text telling you to drag to organize, and in the case of usables also to right-click to use.
  • Blue Sapphire Guardian Stones are now called Adviser Guardian Stones, and one of them is now always seeded in each settlement next to the difficulty shrine.
  • Added 33 tips for the adviser guardian stone, all of which are sequential. These are particularly helpful for getting new players off to the right start if they have questions about the world.
    • Pressing confirm at the adviser guardian stones now cycles you through the tips of the adviser. This is something that is player-specific, and it always goes in a linear order and then loops, so it makes for a mini-tutorial for anyone who wants/needs it. It remembers what point you were last at in the tips list whenever you come back, too, so you don't have to go through it all in one run, if you go through it all at all.
  • The "random tip of the day" sort of text for all of the guardian stones except for blue has been updated to include a number of new entries. These are all worded in-character for the world, and tend to be more vague. All non-blue guardian stones pick from these at random whenever you see them.
  • The way that the character stats highlighting is done in the new character screen is now much different. It now shows as green if the underlying multiplier (which ranges from 1-10) is greater than 6. It shows as red if it's less than 4. Otherwise it shows as white. This should be a lot less confusing than the old system.
  • Put in a fix for a missing image on some of the interior tiles. Testers: if any more pink images are seen indoors, please let us know and send a zipped world file.
  • Balance:
    • The health of the vengeful ghosts has been halved.
    • The attack power of amoebas (giant and regular) has been halved, given how many shots they shoot, etc.
    • The skelebot giant has had its attack powers halved as well.
    • The health of espers has been substantially buffed, while their attack power has been halved.
  • The action difficulty level is now shown in the escape menu stats for the Chunk.cs
  • Players now always spawn at the difficulty shrine when they are newly created or choosing another character after their prior one died.
  • Fixed one bug that could result in players getting stuck in building walls if they warped into rooms under certain conditions.
  • Fixed a bug in one hallway definition that was leading to completely filled-in rooms that players would get trapped in.

Alpha 0.404

(Released September 12, 2011)

  • Fixed bug where exiting to the world map while having the inventory open (expanded) made it impossible to enter a region from the world map (now it just un-expands the inventory automatically if you switch to some view other than the standard in-chunk one).
  • Fixed a few bugs where the strategy-map and city-map scrolling speed was framerate dependent.
  • Drastically improved the performance of the "scouting fog" on the strategic overlay, and also made it far more obvious when on light or dark region types by making it a checkered pattern.
  • Changed the logic for finding "wandering" NPCs that you can choose as your character when you die.
    • Previously, it was always just five wandering NPCs from the time period of the settlement you were currently going to spawn in. Since you often will want to spawn in the same settlement for a long period of time, that's really limiting in terms of what NPCs you could select.
    • Now, as you move around the world and meet NPCs from various time periods, you'll unlock their time period for wandering NPCS.
    • The number of wanderers you can choose from is now the number of unlocked time periods times two, but never fewer than six.
      • Thus at the start you get 6 ice-age folks to choose from, then when you meet your first NPC from another time you get 3 from each time period to choose from, and so on. Eventually when you've met folks from all 7 time periods, you get 7 wanderers to choose from, 2 from each time period.
  • A warning is now shown in the character selection screen when characters will take heat or cold damage in the region you'd be spawning them in. This doesn't ever happen at the very start of the game, but if you're based out of an ice-age settlement are selecting a non-ice-age character, that is an important warning.
  • Fixed a bug where the normal hud ability bar icons were still taking mouse input when on the strategy map and elsewhere.
  • Changed strategic scouting so that an npc always scouts the full cross pattern (the region clicked and all 4 directly adjacent, and one further out in each direction from those if a scouting specialist, though scouting specialists don't seem to seed right now), rather than going around in a certain order and stopping at the first "interesting" result.
  • Strategic Map Region Mouseover now draws:
    • Summary text (the name of the region and world coordinates like before).
    • Picture of terrain type (like before, but 16x smaller).
    • Name of terrain type.
    • Icon and name of each macrogame-location (i.e. rare commodity dungeon, settlement, evil outpost, etc) and resource deposit.
      • Does not yet do an icon for "there is an npc here that you can migrate" because we're changing that logic soon.
    • Some text about a pillaging group and the name of the leader if any (no icon on these yet, the rendering is trickier for these).
  • City Map, when mousing over a cell where a click would be interpreted as issuing a "build structure" order:
    • Displays a green "placement" ghost of the selected structure type if the order would be permitted.
    • Displays a red "placement" ghost of the selected structure type if the order would hit an error.
    • If there would be an error, displays the text of that error in the task info box at the top.
  • City Map structure list in the bottom-left corner:
    • Added a mouseover tooltip, but it's just the name of the structure, more needs to be added here.
    • Clicking an entry now selects it.
    • All entries are drawn at 96x96 (the largest currently in the game), smaller images are centered within that box.
    • Only draws at most 3 entries now instead of 5.
    • The upshot is that the list now stays still a lot more.
  • Strategy Map: now no longer shows the rescuable-npc icon on regions where there's only a situation where an npc will be spawned if you go to the right chunk, since those were not actually rescuable before they were generated (during first entrance of a player into that chunk) anyway.
  • Fixed an issue with pop-in of rotated trees during windstorms.

Alpha 0.403

(Released September 9, 2011)

  • City Map: Added Grave, Library, Warehouse, Well.
    • Graves are not placed by the game or normally buildable, but they are in the buildable list (along with trees) in the F3 debug mode.
    • None of these have their intended functions implemented yet, just graphically present, etc.
    • Added "To Strategy Map" button, and on strategy map added "To City Map" button.
      • Still intending to add "End Turn" to the city map too, but there were extra wrinkles there.
  • City Map: added ability to upgrade a house by right clicking on it. Costs are still placeholder and it has no effect, but makes them visually accessible.
  • Strategy map and City map:
    • Minimap is now hid while these are showing.
    • Mouse-edge-scrolling area is now much narrower.
    • City map menu buttons placed higher on screen, fixed position.
    • Structure list bottom-aligned instead of centered vertically to avoid overlapping menu buttons.
  • Added in glowy, floating, "vengeful ghost" versions of all the playable characters except the neutral skelebot, which can't turn into a ghost since it is a robot.
    • These move slowly and do a fierce melee attack on the player if they reach the player. A single hit of this sort is pretty well enough to kill the player. But on the other hand, the ghosts are pretty easy to avoid because they move pretty slowly. A single ghost is probably not too much cause for alarm by itself, but thrown into the mix with other monsters or especially bosses, it can be incredibly deadly.
    • Whenever a player or NPC dies, their character turns into a vengeful ghost and stalks the area where they died until someone comes back to kill the ghost. Or until they form a tactical unit (see below).
  • Bosses and vengeful ghosts now show a red blip on the minimap in the same fashion that NPCs show a green blip. Seems only fair in general, especially when dealing with ghosts or microbosses.
  • Fixed up some issues with the "bob up and down" logic for things like guardian stones not centering them properly on their actual collision box.
  • Fixed up the collision offset of the fire burst spell, which was offset too low visually.
  • The attack power of the skelebot dwarf has been thirded, as it was overblown before.
    • So has the attack of the giant amoebas.
  • The physical attack of the skelebot giant has been reduced to 2/3 its former value, and its magical attack has been reduced to 1/2 its prior value.
  • Added extra spacing between create world and load world, to prevent accidental mis-clicks.
  • In recent weeks the collision boxes for some of the spells had gotten a bit wonky. Fixed this up for the fireball, fire touch, circle of fire, seize, tidal pulse, and launched rock.
  • All enemies now target NPCs in their chunks with priority over players, since NPCs are the more finite resource.
  • Bear traps were not actually triggering because of other collision tweaks in the last few weeks. Completely redid their mechanics, and they now work great.
  • The map indicator for the chunk you would be moving to is now a lot smaller and is rotated on its side, so it's more obvious where you are versus where you're going to go if you go through a door.
  • Fixed a bug that was letting you still use abilities from the ability bar if your character is dead.
  • Put in several preventative measures to prevent the "medusa effect" from creeping in on static skies in some circumstances.
  • The black bar denoting the edge of a surface chunk (left or right) is now only half as wide.
  • When you have the region or dungeon map up, and you go to the world map or another place it isn't supposed to show, it will still hide itself but it will come back automatically next time you are in a place it should show.
  • Vengeful Ghosts can now form a pillaging tactical unit when there are four unaccounted for.
  • When a friendly character (player or settlement npc) dies, an event is recorded that reduces morale (multiplies by 0.95, once for each such event) somewhat for 10 turns.
  • Removed old pillaging behavior where the pillagers would abstractly kill a random npc each turn they were left on top of the settlement square (plenty of non-abstract killing going on now, once they spawn in the chunk).

Alpha 0.402

(Released September 9, 2011)

  • Lots more work on the citybuilding interface, though it's still not ready for prime-time.
  • Lots more character dialogue lines.
  • Enemies now have a "capacity cost" attached to themselves, and the monster nests that spawn them now have to keep within a capacity budget. Previously there was just always a flat two monsters per nest that could be spawned, which was problematic with a number of enemy types. Bats, amoebas, and skelebot snipers in particular all spawn far fewer now, and espers spawn several fewer.
  • The description text of the warp scrolls has been altered to include: "Visit any guardian stone to be refreshed back up to a minimum of two warp scrolls for free."
  • The default controls (and the controls for all existing players so far) have been redefined to have the E key be the confirm/action key instead of the T key, for easier access with WASD players. The R key now cycles inventory bars instead of the E key.
  • The minimap scale is now able to be increased all the way to 60, instead of just to 20.
  • The default minimap scale is now 15, rather than 1. All existing chosen minimap sizes have been reset to this new default.
  • The hopes interface, which is not really ready for prime-time yet, has been disabled. That's something for later into beta.
  • The Crestsmith, Spellshaping, and Enchant/Disenchant workbenches will no longer appear until the civilization level reaches 15, 20, and 10, respectively. This keeps the very early game simpler, and honestly most of the advanced functions in these really aren't relevant until later, anyway.
  • Fixed bug where mouse-fired abilities could happen from clicking within a gui window (like the messages window in the upper right).
  • A new music theme is now available in a lot of the ice age buildings, small town buildings, and so on.
  • The magic defense and physical defense stats have been removed from all characters and monsters. This simplifies the character selection process for players, and simplifies the balancing process for enemies. In general this was just complexity that was not positive, as there are more ways to accomplish something similar using abilities and enchants later.
  • The stats of all prior characters and monsters from existing savegames have been substantially altered. The balance is hopefully a bit better, but it hasn't been tested a huge amount so feedback is very welcome.
    • This seems to have improved the scaling of stats between levels as well, but we'd definitely like more feedback on that.
  • The dynamic skies will no longer go nuts when you first switch regions. They also will transition way more slowly when you move between regions on the world map, too.
  • The "Utility" button in the in-game escape menu has been renamed to "Settings" to be more clear as to what it really is.
  • Fixed a bug where, on static skies only, sometimes the background wouldn't draw and you'd get a "medusa effect."
  • The left and right edges of surface chunks now show a black bar so that you can definitely tell you're getting close to the transition edge. More importantly, it makes it easier to know which way you should run when you enter a chunk from the world map, which was definitely confusing before.
  • Any graphics cards that do not support shader model 3.0 will now automatically use static skies, since dynamic skies just draw a pink background on graphics cards tht don't support SM3.
  • When the dungeon map has been offset using the shift plus arrow key combination, this offsetting is now remembered until the player goes into a different dungeon. Previously it reset whenever the map was closed, the room was changed, etc, etc.
  • The dungeon/region map now does a better job of always disappearing when you go to the world map or the main menu.
  • The messages in the upper right of the screen now show for 60 seconds instead of 10, since with just 10 seconds they would often disappear before there was really a chance to read them. Now there is lots of time, but they still don't hang around indefinitely.
  • Monster movement speeds are now scaled by the difference between their level and the world civilization level. If they are 1 level higher they move at 80% of their full speed. At two levels higher its 100%. At 3+ levels higher it's 120%. At the same level as you it's 60%. One level less than you is 50%. Two levels less is 40%. Three levels less is 30%.
    • This also applies to monster spells that are cast.
    • All in all this helps with the difficulty tuning, where players who want a slower or faster game can play up or down region levels as appropriate.
  • Monsters now grow into existence at a speed based on their movement speeds as per the above change. Monsters are not allowed to fire spells at you while they are in the midst of appearing, which gives you a little more warning time as well.
  • Boss monsters now always show their health bar, with the background of it flashing between black and its normal color. This, plus the name of the monster instead of their type being shown above it, should really clear up any confusion about which monsters in a sea of monsters is actually the microboss. With minibosses and up it already wasn't a problem, but microbosses could be really tricky.
  • Added in a new monster type: skelebot dwarf.
    • This monster is automatically swapped in for regular skelebots or skelebot snipers in building interiors, since skelebots are too tall to be used indoors (which has always been the intended case, but I never got around to actually doing a smaller enemy for those interiors until now).
    • These use a new skelebot variant of the circle of fire, and some different AI than any of the other existing enemies in order to line up their shots on players.
    • The accuracy of their firing scales with the diffence in levels between them and you.
      • If they are two or more levels higher than the civilization level, they'll pretty much nail you every time you get in their circle's area. If they're the same as your civilization level, they miss more like half the time, but still hit you a fair bit.
  • In new settlements, the hearth guardian stone is now placed very near to the world map exit so that players can quickly and easily access it.
  • In new settlements, the various workbenches and the covered bridge, aside from the primary three of spellshaping, spellscribing, and outfitter, are all placed near the center of the settlement chunk, rather than at the outside edge. This keeps things cleaner and less overwhelming with them, and clearly differentiates between the primary and secondary groups (and all but two of the secondary group are invisible until you start reaching higher civ levels, anyway).
  • The name of the character speaking is now actually shown in their dialogue text, so that you can tell who you are talking to again.
    • This is particularly relevant for identifying what the hearth guardian stone even is, since other things refer to it by name but it wasn't labeled on itself!
  • NPCs no longer stop running when they are overlapping another entity with interaction possibilities.
    • This prevents them from making it difficult for you to get into crafting interfaces, etc.
  • When NPCs are running, their dialogue prompts no longer flash up as they pass you or you pass them.
  • The NPC "stats block" on the strategy and city interface has been simplified; with recent stuff it was getting about a mile high...
  • Players are no longer granted any spellscribing profession books right at the start of the game. There is only one spellscribe scroll to unlock as-yet anyhow (the rest all are unlocked from the start), so clearly this is something that players can live without and can go find on their own as they play.
  • The profession books are no longer considered commodities, and instead now appear in the main ability bar. This makes them vastly easier to find as well as more convenient to actually use.
    • In addition, their tooltips are now a lot more clear about how to use them, so this really should be vastly more self-explanatory to new players than it was before (it was quite obtuse).
    • And lastly, when the player uses a profession book away from a guardian stone, a message is now shown explaining that they need to be near a guardian stone, and where those can typically be found.
  • The old commodity-based profession books now get stripped out of player inventories on world load. However, there is now a new starting windfall at the 0,0 region settlement so that players of existing worlds can get another batch of profession books if they hadn't already used all their existing ones.
  • Initial city map size increased from 10x10 to 75x75.
    • Old worlds will not have this updated yet for existing settlements as stuff is still in a lot of flux related to this.
  • Trees are now seeded in the city map, and they block the placement of structures. Currently no way to cut them down but that will change.
  • City map now has the same scrolling controls as the strategy map (mouse-edge or shift+arrow, ctrl accelerates either).
  • All of the commodities now show a description of themselves, as well as their name, inside your commodities inventory.
    • The description explains what the commodity is in general good for, as well as noting where it can be found.
    • This also applies to memory crystals, consciousness shards, and the various crafting materials, of course.
  • The various trees that drop things like cedar logs, plums, cherries, and walnuts now have a 100% drop rate rather than a 10% drop rate. It was too annoying the other way.
  • Fixed a couple of crash bugs in the tech unlock interface when you open it in certain circumstances and there are no techs left to unlock.
  • Can now order an NPC to cut down a tree in city mode (left click orders currently selected npc to cut down tree under cursor). For kicks this gives the settlement stockpile 1 CedarLogs unit.
  • Fixed bug in the strategy and city interfaces where the npc list at the bottom of the screen was not being drawn if the selected npc's portrait had not already been requested to load.
  • All of the crafting materials shown in the top bar of the crafting interface now also show their full tooltips including data on their name, what they can broadly be used for, where they can generally be found, etc.
    • Additionally, these show information about the tier of the material being looked at (when it has a tier), the quantity held, the quantity already spoken for in this recipe, and information about the fact that the recipe is not yet researched if that is the case.
  • The Done buttons in the crafting interface also now include tooltips stating to click those buttons if you're ready to craft.
  • Actual error messages are now shown when you choose a recipe that hasn't yet been unlocked, or that you don't have resources for, or that is invalid, etc.
  • Added a "What's New? (Web Link)" on the main menu that takes players to the online release notes.