We’re on Steam Greenlight! Vote to get Timber and Stone on Steam!

Timber and Stone on Greenlight

In case you’re unfamiliar with how Greenlight works, it’s a platform for indie developers like us to put our games up for approval to be distributed through Steam. Selection is determined by the Steam community, by voting on whether you have interest in purchasing that game or not.

Ultimately, a successful Greenlight campaign and subsequent Steam sales will determine the future of Timber and Stone’s development through 2015. So please use the link above to head on over and vote to keep the game alive.

More Bug Fixes, Update: 1.62

1.61 was a little too buggy for our standards. Archery and Maintain-in-Storage, to be specific. So here’s another:

  • Fixed the issue of Archers still preferring punch enemies, and the Archery Target. Ironically, this was caused by the attempted fix from 1.61.
  • The Maintain-in-Storage ‘queue’ is now limited by your desired amounts, again this broke in 1.61.
  • Spiders should now stop digging into your map and producing crashes, this enemy mechanic will return in the coming enemy update.
  • Resolution and Full-Screen settings should now be saving/loading properly in all cases.
  • The F6 screenshot hotkey should be working again.
  • Fixed a pathing to Hall issue where no roads were present.
  • If offered over 10k of a resource while trading, that number is now displayed correctly.

Bug Fix Update: 1.61

This is mostly a bug fix update.
The following change-log should list everything that has been addressed in this update:

  • Having settlers “Wait in Hall”, without setting a Hall designation, no longer crashes the game.
  • Random planted trees should no longer appear one block to high on load, this also produced an un-mine-able “Block (64)”.
  • Visitors (new migrants especially) will now path back to your roads if they fight or flee from enemies while approaching your settlement.
  • Remedied a similar error where visitors would repeatedly fail path-finds if your hall was obscured by too many settlers/objects, resulting in full path-finder queues and ‘lag’.
  • Beds that are assigned now have a much higher priority for their owner.
  • When assigning a bed to an owner, the list of settlers is now alphabetical.
  • Pressing down when selecting designation zones now allows the height to go negative.
  • The “Options” and “Control” menus have been brought into the title-screen.
  • Fixed an error where dead enemies could repeatedly duplicate their drops.
  • The Objects Menu has been moved into the Design Menu. This fixes the input issues when both were open, and it allows the game support for lower resolutions.
  • Settlers will now swim to the water’s surface if you flood them beneath more than a single depth level. Previously, this would render the settler immobile, eventually starving them.
  • Fixed the Straw Bed’s shape, so that it no longer consumes neighboring blocks.
  • Remedied an enemy inventory issue that produced errors on saving.
  • There is now a bubble telling the player if a settler told to hold equipment is overloaded and cannot find work tasks.
  • The Forge now properly truncates high resource counts for it’s fueling materials.
  • There’s now a bubble for carpenters who lack an axe for creating Timber.
  • Same as above, but for Tailors who lack a Knife for the Tanning Rack.
  • Newly built resource crates now properly hide when depth-scrolling.
  • Un-pausing the game during the map generation screens no longer produces a Game Over.
  • The ballista now loads it’s tilt/yaw rotations correctly.
  • The Forge’s sound effect volume has been reduced significantly.
  • Hay Pile storage amounts have been increased.
  • The herder will now produce a bubble to suggest crafting a feeding trough for your livestock.
  • The trader will now produce a bubble to alert you if you haven’t selected anything for buying/selling.
  • Crafts in the Maintain in Storage “queue” are now more evenly distributed.
  • Archers (any settler really) will now always equip the best weapon they have in inventory when attacking. Previously it was possible for Archers to punch enemies while they were carrying bow & arrows.
  • The sight range of settlers has been increased, initially this fixes the “Longbow archers can shoot enemies before they’re sighted” bug, but it’s also to compensate for how enemy spotting is going to change in the near future.
  • If the game fails to load, you are now kicked out before the auto-save overwrites your files. Usually this is due to sharing violations, and the game can be reloaded. Though, in the rare case of actual corruption, please post that save in the bug tracker. Nine times out of ten, we can fix your save data and give it back to you.

 

… and 1.6

1.6 is now available.

There has been a lot updated since 1.52, so this is going to be an overview of the major changes; for a more complete change-log, we’ll be compiling a list later in the Dev Log.

First off, we’re hoping that this release will be the last of the ‘waiting several months for releases’ releases. We’ve made some huge leaps forward in the tech we’ve implemented and our code-base is more solid than ever. Performance should be at an all-time high.

A primary change is to the save format. This does a few things: First your 1.6 saves should work in furure versions of the game without breaking anything. Unfortunately your 1.52 saves will not work in 1.6 (we had a number of things that just could not be converted). Sharing of saves has also become much easier and simpler now that the saves are one file. The new .tass.gz format is smaller ( because of gzip ) and contains all of the map, units, trees, enemies, and everything else for a game. In addition all of the saves in the saves folder are automaticaly detected and show up in your games list. So all you need to do to share a save is copy it to another computer and start Timber & Stone.

Another fundamental change is with the look of the game, which has been updated with new artwork for the terrian and building materials. New building materials have been added with dynamic textures. As you build in-game, the block textures change giving smooth transitions between natural blocks (grass, dirt, stone, etc) and hard lines for building materials (timbered plaster, castle brick, etc). This lets you just build with the material of choice and get nice non-repeating textures for walls and floors. The system is also player extendable, just add textures to the new “tiles” directory and the game will automaticaly load and use them. We look forward to the community of artists adding hundreds of textures and giving the game a whole new look.

Accessing these materials is easy with the new design menu. We have included a preview window that displays the appearance of that building material. This simplifies guessing how your constructions will look. In addition, you may toggle the “trimmless” and “pillar” buttons for even more creative options. Some materials may have other options such as building slopes. Using the structure rotate key (space bar) you can change the direction, allowing players to build sloped roofs and smooth terraforming. Many buiding materials may require more then one kind of resource now. Your units will grab the required materials and do the building automaticaly like normal. This eliminates the need to craft a resource for each material type.

Resources have been completely overhauled, with the intention of getting rid of the less necessary resources, and making the remaining resources that much more important. The introduction of coin allows the player to buy and sell resources using a standard currency, rather than the old system of random bartering. We can now tag resources that we wish to get rid of, and tag the items that we want to buy or perhaps weren’t lucky enough to start with. It’s now entirely possible to focus on the aspects of resource gathering that you prefer, and simply use the trading system to supplement the areas that you lack. Of course this resource overhaul comes with new storage objects, many of which are now upgradable. It’s also appropriate to note that destroying objects now completely refunds it’s constructing resources, so feel free to deconstruct objects if you change your mind about their positions.

There have been additions made to combat to allow for blocking, critical damage, and armor protection value. Where previously combat statistics were held off-screen, we’re now displaying all combat affecting stats to the player, as well as damage text. No longer will you have to guess which weapons are stronger based on their constructing materials, everything relevant is now listed in the resource menu and displayed on-screen. Military settlers should now be told which armor and weapons to equip using the maintain in inventory gui. This allows for better control over equipment on a per-settler basis, as things like heavy armor vs light armor have become much more important; this functionality will also become paramount as we move forward with how professions and even skills work down the road. So remember to change your soldiers’ maintain in inventory settings, including arrows (which no longer fire out of global storage). Initially we wanted combat to be a longer process, being able to see your fighter’s trade mulitple blows with the enemy. This required several areas of rebalancing, armor protection values, enemy damage and health, and changes to the courage mechanics (the fight or flee functionality). The result is a somewhat easier game. We want to stress that this is temporary. Please rember that enemies are still not running the new task system that settlers were upgraded to in 1.5. An enemy update will come soon, and with that will come smarter enemy behaviors, new enemy types, and a more punishing game, closer to previous versions of Timber & Stone.

Another goal was to enforce the feeling of progression while playing the game, using stone tools and wooden clubs at the start, gradually building up to working with metals and construction, to eventually building a fully steel-plated army and massive walls. The first way we’re aiming to accomplish this is to utilize the existing settler levels, which previously only affected things like work speed. They now influence much more, the ability to mine metal ore is now governed by your miner’s level and every processed material and buildable object now has a required level to craft. Another method was to use the resource overhaul; there are now 3 distinct tiers of ingot, 3 levels of armor and most tool types, and 4 tiers for weapons. And each upgrade has a benefit or stat increase.

 

We’ll get that change log posted in the Dev Log section ASAP. And as per usual after a large release, we’ll spend the next week or two in bug fixing mode for 1.61. So get your bugs posted in the bug tracker. Thanks!

1.52 – Pathfinding

1.52 is now available.

The update for this version is short and sweet: 1.52 fixes pathfinding.
All pathing is now being calculated on a separate thread from regular game logic, and across multiple frames. It is now virtually impossible for your settlers to become lost. In fact, the only situation where a path-find could possibly fail is when attempting to path to areas that are quite literally unpathable, if you wall in your settlers, for example. Another major benefit to this is that settler path-finding will now always have near zero impact on your frame-rate.

Other changes include:

  • Designation textures have been changed to display the grid they occupy, and are no longer influenced by lighting.
  • The road designations are now blue, and have been consolidated into a single designation. Road blocks can be removed the same as other designations, using ALT + SHIFT.
  • Selecting a spotted enemy will now display their relative health, and provide the option to “charge” this enemy. What this now allows is for your military to come out and attack that enemy (or group of enemies) regardless of whether or not they can be seen by each soldier. It’s now possible for your forager to spot a group of goblins, and essentially have a preset squadron of your infantry and archers charge out to slay them. All done with a couple of left clicks.
  • New preference for military: “Attack charge target enemies.” Which allows for the above mechanic.
  • You might also notice the beginnings of the GUI overhaul, fonts in particular, this is still very much a work-in-progress.

 

1.51 – A Bug Fixing Update

1.51 is now available.
There are a few new graphical and minor mechanical changes, but the majority of this update is for remedying bugs in the new task system.

This trend will continue for one more update, 1.52 will contain a rather large pathfinding overhaul. This is actually roughly 75% finished already, and has been verified to fix every single pathfinding bug we’ve seen reported for 1.5 already. So stay tuned for that.

Also, about those bug reports; if you didn’t already know, we have a new bug tracker over at http://www.timberandstonegame.com/bugs/ . It’s super easy to use and immensely more organized than the old forum system of posting bugs. You can get emails when your reports are resolved or updated, and monitor bug reports that you’ve experienced. There’s a quick tutorial here.

Change-Log for 1.51:

  • The ‘Design’ and ‘Structure’ windows have been added to the right click context menus. These old buttons (the three at the top of the screen) will be removed in the next update.
  • The lighting and Day/Night cycles have been overhauled. Sun and Moon are now visible, rotate around the gameworld, and produce dynamic shadows (if you have them enabled). This also results in brighter night lighting.
  • Herders without the amount of wheat required to fill a trough will no longer bug and gain levels.
  • Fixed a bug that occurred when using scaffolding to dam water.
  • Random remnants of wheat, flax, food, cotton, etc while farming are now being fully deposited into storage.
  • Blacksmiths will now report the reason they are unable to work via a bubble. (“Need tongs.”, “The forge needs fuel”, etc).
  • The same issue above has been fixed for benches/anvil (“Need hammer.”)  and Loom (“Need shears”).
  • Traders will no longer try to eat or go to sleep while bartering with a Merchant.
  • Military units now have the option of waiting in the hall while idle.
  • Merchants en route to your hall are now less likely to vanish.
  • Clicking the game speed buttons no longer also clicks objects beneath them.
  • Spiders will no longer climb vertically through terrain when exiting their holes.
  • Military units can now eat & sleep during their training tasks.
  • Beds that are built a block above their neighbors no longer produces a ‘sleeping under the bed’ graphical bug.
  • Tagging an animal for herding is now saved & loaded.
  • Archers & Foragers are now smarter about shooting behind trees and bushes, resulting in less wasted arrows.
  • Wolves can no longer sleep on water.
  • Your settlers will no longer walk on structures.
  • The unnecessary “Fish for food” preference for fisherman has been removed from the game.
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in troughs containing negative wheat.
  • Livestock now consume slightly less wheat while eating.
  • Renaming units while trading no longer completely breaks the game.
  • Deconstructing tables no longer bugs the blocks that they used to occupy.
  • Remedied a bug where Foragers were gathering from enemies that they could not path to.
  • Placing the starting wagon no longer selects the wagon when starting a new map.
  • Mining edge blocks underground won’t break miners anymore.
  • The storage cap window is now bound inside the total game screen.
  • A preference has been added to fisherman for fishing pole breakage notifications.
  • Fixed an error that resulted in burned trees becoming regular re-growing stumps when chopped. They can now only be removed.
  • Deconstructing a trough while a herdsman is filling it no longer breaks the herder.
  • Miners can no longer mine one block beneath another, basically preventing them mining below the surface they are standing on.
  • The GUI window for beds no longer gets stuck when assigning ownership.
  • Pressing ‘Home’ no longer changes the camera modes. This was a left over dev key from the testing builds.
  • The game over GUI window has been put back into the game. And unit-tabbing during game-over no longer produces a full lock up.
  • Fixed a few rendering issues within the resources UI.
  • A few random typos have been fixed.

1.5 is here.

….Finally, MIRITE? Took far longer than expected. Over the last five months we’ve compiled 593 commits to the code base, adding 29,956 lines of new code, and removing 22,224.

This past month has been spent with the testing group ironing out the bugs with the newer features, and double checking that the new task system is up to snuff. And it is, I couldn’t be happier with the new systems, but enough of that, you probably want to see what has changed, so here you are:

Change-Log for 1.5:

  • Everything your settlers do, all work, tasks, queues, work pools, it was all rewritten. This was a huge change, and leads to less stuttering, proper blacklisting, smarter work gathering, more co-operative group building/mining mechanics, and smoother framerates overall.
  • New tasks, a couple examples include the new idle wandering mechanic, and an eating task, where you might see your settlers grab food and head over to a table to sit down and eat.
  • Livestock Designations, any animal tagged for domestication will be hauled back to the livestock designation by your herders. This drastically changes how livestock is handled, the player needs only to set a livestock designation, and left click a wild animal. The herder will take care of the rest. No more micromanaging your herder (and livestock) back to your pens. Fencing is still recommended to keep livestock penned in and prevent the overworking of your herdsmen.
  • Feeding Troughs (stone & wooden), your livestock will feed from these troughs when they are hungry, and your herders will routinely fill them with wheat.
  • New Tools: Stone and Iron Tongs. All workshops will now require a tool for use, in the case of the forges, this tools is a pair of tongs. Please note the stone tongs are intended to be very brittle, and will break more than half the time. Use these to create stronger tongs. This is the start of a new tool system where we’ll eventually have less tool qualities, but more substance behind upgrading.
  • Morale now has a purpose in combat, and governs a unit’s likelihood to fight or flee. If a settler believes they can win a fight, they’ll charge in, but will also run away when they feel they’re going to lose. Morale is affected by the number of allies present vs the number of enemies, the threat of the enemy, the settler’s current health, the quality of his or her armor, and the courageous vs cowardly traits. With this new system you should see your settlers gaining up on single enemies, and fleeing when outnumbered. Lone Foragers and Woodsmen fighting ( and killing ) spiders and wolves, but running from undead. I believe this is a large change to the game’s difficulty, making your settlers smarter about what they choose to fight. For the time being, you still have full control over retreating by right clicking while a unit is selected.
  • Farming has changed to produce more seeds at the start of the game and more food once your farms have matured. Your farmers will now prefer to collect seeds during harvest until you have enough to provide for the amount of farming space you’ve designated. This is a substantial change to farming, especially in the early game, where it is now much more beneficial to have smaller farms when you wish to harvest food over seeds. The opposite is also true, designating larger farms if you wish to harvest more seeds to provide for that larger farm space. It’s actually quite elegant and simple to manipulate, once you understand how the system now works.
  • There are now two camera styles, the current default RTS-style camera, and a new Full Control Camera, where you can view the gameworld from any angle whatsoever. You can switch via a new right click context menu. When in Full Control mode, hold down right click and use WASD and the mouse to move the camera. It takes a short while to get used to but it becomes second nature once you get the hang of it. In-game controls like designating and selecting objects work exactly the same in both modes.
  • Design highlighting can also be toggled using the above mentioned right click context menu.
  • Combat damage of tools ( and bare-fisted combat ) has been increased. Again ‘buffing’ your settlers.
  • Accessing storage now takes time relative to the mass of the items being deposited/retrieved. So now collecting a full suit of armor from storage takes much more time than collecting a handful of seeds.
  • Settler walk speed has been increased to compensate for the new slow downs at storage and while eating.
  • Step forward in time button (next to fast forward), this steps the game forward one frame. Useful for testing purposes.
  • Any hand tools not in use will now always be returned to storage.
  • Screenshot Key: F6 will now dump a .png screenshot into the screenshots directory. This is a forced-daytime screenshot, holding shift while pressing F6 will allow nighttime screens.
  • Setting spare equipment has been overhauled, it is now possible to allow your settlers to hold on to any number of the same item, for example a dozen or so food.
  • New Designations, Guard Positions and Patrol Routes. These are now set globally rather than being bound to individual units. An idle military settler can now pickup a route after the previous patrolling unit goes to bed.
  • New preferences in Archers and Infantry to allow the use of Patrol Routes, Guard Positions, Training Equipment and Siege Operation.
  • Spiders are once again able to climb vertical walls.

Edit: Please note that the ladder mechanics have been temporarily removed from the game. Stick with scaffolding to build walls for the time being. We’ll be reworking ladders into a future update.

Getting there…

Just a quick update to alert those of you in the testing group that there’s a new build up for testing. You guys know what to do. And a huge thank you to those testers, your help is immensely valuable and appreciated.

I’d also like to mention a desire of mine to re-factor the game’s graphics, and art style in particular. This is not something I’ve talked about before, but I feel it’s time for a change. Not just a change, but what will be (in my opinion) an upgrade. In the coming weeks, after the next public release, I’ll be posting more updated game art, more sneak peaks at what I’m referring to here, and more front page updates in general. So stay tuned for that.