… 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!

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