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Gaia Eternal

Planet-scale sim and civilization-builder · By IF/IO

Announcements About Next Update Sticky

A topic by IF/IO created Sep 21, 2017 Views: 789 Replies: 11
Viewing posts 1 to 11
Developer (2 edits)

When I first started this project, the focus was on exploration and crafting. The current version of the game already does a pretty good job of showing how those aspects work.  Shortly before the first EA release, I became very interested in ways to simulate a global civilization in detail.

In the description, I wrote that the next update would include "improvements to the AI and town system." It turns out that this meant designing and coding a huge part of what the 'real game' will be. Rather than being a minor update, it was more like designing a whole game from scratch. So that's what I've been doing. I've made a lot of progress on designing the systems for towns/cities, jobs, and the economy.

Developer (1 edit) (+1)

I've settled on a design for the town system, which I'll outline briefly here:

Towns appear and grow based on local food production. There are rules for how neighboring towns interact, for example smaller towns become suburbs of larger hubs, and can be annexed if the hub overtakes them. Suburbs trade with their own hub city, and hubs trade with nearby hubs.

NPCs are assigned primary jobs based on the town's needs. Players can always do whatever they want. NPCs work in shifts: day job, home improvement, socializing, and sleeping. Jobs are assigned based on the town's needs, and generally focus on a specific type of gathering and/or crafting. For example a woodcutter finds trees, harvests wood, and brings it to a depot. A builder can take materials from a depot and construct someone else's blueprint.

I'm strongly leaning towards more free-form block-based building, instead of the current pre-defined structures. The idea is that structures are mainly decorative, not functional. People are functional. So a shop is a shop because there is a shopkeeper in it, not because it's a pre-defined building type.

Land is parceled out by the town on request, for various purposes. This allows the town to grow organically, but somewhat orderly. I've considered systems for discouraging players from being too greedy with land, but I'm not convinced it's necessary just yet. The game is still single player for the time being, so if you want to grief yourself and the town, why not :)

I think that's enough to get started on coding.

Developer (1 edit) (+1)

Lately I've been working on the world generator. 1) It's much faster now, especially if you have a lot of processor cores. 2) I'm increasing the view distance from 2km to ... about 200km, possibly more. And it's still faster than the current version. The views from mountaintops are ok now, but they're going to be ridiculous. 3) Since you can see so much further, I'm increasing the overall scale of terrain features. Bigger mountains, more space between them, etc.

If I finish these improvements before the town system update (which is very likely) I'll release an update just for this.


Here is a preview of extreme view distance and large terrain features!


Pics of the very first real development build running on the new terrain engine. The previous video was from a slimmer prototype. These pictures are of the full game with 100-200km draw distance. Still some work to do before it is ready for release.


The new 200km terrain engine is in the game now and working really well! Playing with some new terrain concepts. If things keep going this well, there should be an update sometime in April.




Still on track for an anniversary release. Originally, when I released this game a year ago, I wanted to do weekly releases. Then, instead of adding small features a bit at a time, I tried to design the whole town system. The scope of the whole town system is like creating the whole game of Banished. Since I did not succeed in breaking that goal down into smaller parts, it didn't happen, and neither did any releases.

The game still has a roadmap. This next release is all about the terrain engine, view distance, and performance. That's a good foundation to build on. The next priority after that is a basic narrative, and something a little more personal that tells you what you can do as the player. After that is building, which will probably not  work the way it works now. And the town system still has to get done! Even if it's in small parts at first. I also want to start working on multiplayer pretty soon. 

Longer-term, there's animals, role playing features, economics, and social things like how landmarks get named by people, and how people discover and share knowledge about the world.


It's been a author-chan still alive?

I'm very much wanting to know that myself.