Quick update to 1.41

Just a quick update to fix a pathing error in 1.41.
This bug was produced when a worker would try to nudge another settler off the block he/she is trying to work, and was especially apparent with multiple miners. The effect was massive stutter that would only remedy itself when the working unit was ordered to move, halt, or change profession.

Be sure to grab the update, this is an especially annoying bug.
The version number isn’t changing, so make sure you’re playing from the version with today’s date (09-12-13).

Still here.

There are two purposes for this update, the first is to address my lack of presence the last few weeks, to reassure those still interested in Timber & Stone’s development that I’m still here, and haven’t run away.

Call it burnout, lack of inspiration or motivation, whatever it was, it’s run it’s course. I’m currently working on settling the legal matters of getting help with programming; bug fixing, restructuring, performance enhancements, & other possibilities that could lead to exciting changes to Timber & Stone.

In the meantime, and for the second purpose of this update; 1.41 is released. This is solely a bug fixing update, remedying the more game-breaking issues, such as unit cloning, builder work-finding, and profession level influences.

1.41 Change-Log:

  • Builders should no longer be able to fall asleep on ladders.
  • Settlers should no longer be falling asleep inside benches and chairs.
  • Fixed a few instances where a worker’s current task was being reported incorrectly.
  • Fixed an issue where choosing maps when starting a new game could result in duplicate wagons.
  • Migrants should no longer be cloned due to a bug produced during saving while visitors are present on the map.
  • Reduced stutter brought on by builders who cannot reach unpathable building zones.
  • Archery training targets should now be deteriorating properly when used.
  • Fixed an error where it was possible to place structures inside of player-placed trees.
  • It’s now possible to cancel a tree-sapling-structure before it’s been “built”.
  • Goblins should no longer be able to build campfires inside trees/bushes or on water.
  • Fixed a few errors regarding builder ladders and how they are allowed to be placed. Consequently this also remedies issues where those blocks used to be unwalkable.
  • Fixed an issue where all worker professions levels weren’t correctly influencing the worker. This created unintentional difficulty; farmers/foragers/herders/fishermen weren’t producing the correct amounts of food, miners/builders/wood choppers were working far too slow, etc.
  • Builder work-finding should be more reliable, as a few instances of looped loading/unloading of materials have been fixed.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented mining beneath, or building inside, deconstructed doors.
  • 1×1 farm zones should no longer break farmers.
  • Fixed an error where spiders would follow wolves, this generally resulted in spiders re-burrowing and creating far too many holes.
  • Farmers shouldn’t become stuck while walking from food barrel to farm zone, previously this resulted in a immobile farmer playing the walking animation.
  • An Archer’s “Guard Position” & “Patrol” commands will no longer become interrupted by archery targets.
  • Wolf colors (and other attributes) are now properly being saved/loaded.
  • Goblin Archers will no longer target not-yet-built structure “blueprints”.
  • Miner laddering should now be working correctly.

 

1.4 Finally Released!

My last post described what I’ve been working on with 1.4, so I’ll jump right into the change-log: (this might get editted a few times, I’m terrible at logging this stuff)

Change Log for 1.4:
 - Settler Inventory. Each settler now carries their own items separate from the global inventory counts. They work from and gather into this inventory.
- Storage Structures. There are 10 new structures used by your settlers to access (and stockpile into) your global inventory. These structures also add to your storage capacities, a total of your available resource mass divided into nine categories. Nine of these structures are craftable, the last is a large wagon and is provided when starting a new game. The UI tooltips have changed to add descriptions for all structures.
- When idle, settlers will equip their own tools and weapons. Some of their preferences can be influenced ( Infantry preferring polearms, or Foragers using bow & arrow ). This is done by clicking on the weapon slots. Spare inventory can also be assigned, to provide spare tools or for allowing quick profession changes without requiring a trip back to storage.
- Resource Mass. Every resource now has a mass that gets used to determine a settler’s carrying encumbrance and in storage structure capacities.
- A settler’s encumbrance affects their walk speed. How much they carry before stockpiling can be adjusted via a slider in their inventory menus. The base walk speed is substantially faster than in previous versions.
- Profession changing no longer penalizes morale and previous professions experience counts.
- Metal ore and coal are now visible in the top layers of the map. Digging further into the ground will uncover the ore hidden on the layer beneath. Generally, there is more ore below the top layers.
-When placing a build structure, it’s required resources are used immediately when placed, similar to most RTS games. If the resources aren’t available, the structure will turn yellow and take the needed resources when they are available. This allows you to still place multiple structures ahead of time, but prevents structure building ‘failures’ due to insufficient resources.
-Structure crafting time has been lengthened. The trade-off is that when a crafter is interrupted, the building progress is retained, and a different crafter can even start up where the previous left off.
-Metal ore now requires a pickaxe quality comparable to it’s own quality. Check the pickaxe descriptions for details on their capablities.
- Ladders have been completely re-worked. Allowing a spare ladder in a builders inventory will allow them to set it aside walls and build while standing on the ladder. This can allow the builder to build up to 8 blocks before climbing down, provided he’s carrying the materials.
- Military units who are guarding other settlers now get a slightly increased walk speed to help them keep up.
- When walking on roads, movement speed is increased.
- There is now an toggle in the options for opaque or transparent GUI windows.
- The resource recipe menu has been changed a bit to allow for more ingredients in recipes and to display mass of the selected resource.
- Unit tabbing and re-selecting units no longer closes the unit menu.
- Enemy swim speeds have been decreased.
- Skeletons now walk underwater.
- Holding shift while placing structures allows you to keep placing them. This is useful for placing several trees or benches.
-The unit menu, watched resources, and storage cap windows can now be dragged and moved.
- The amount of Animal Hair & Hide provided by both hunting and herding has been drastically increased.
- The gray and darker brown wolves are now 25% weaker.
- Non-mounted melee goblins now deal 30% less damage.
- New armor: Cloth Tunic & Leather Tunic. Wearable by all settler types. Provides minimal chest protection.

From here, I’ll be spending 90% of my time on bug fixes. This has been neglected in the past weeks, so the goal will be many iterations of 1.4, each including more bug fixes. The remaining 10% will be spent on new decor, morale functionality, additional enemy types, and slight adjustments to the combat mechanics. Mostly changes that should not introduce more bugs. I’m starting fresh with the bug reports, so if you’ve posted an error previously, and it persisted into this version, please re-report it.

“a massively daunting task…”

A quote from steveadamo, my forum admin and one of my favorite people.

With 1.4 I had wonderfully selfish plans to make the core mechanics of the game more complex and give purpose to what was, in my opinion, lacking. The most basic example is wood chopping, and axes in particular. Previously, there was very little reason to equip a bronze axe instead of stone. The differences in breaking rates were negligible at best, and even if those were greater contrasted, you could make several stone axes, turn “auto-reequip” on, and there’d be no apparent difference. The obvious solution is to allow axes to affect chopping speed, and that’s quite realistic, a woodsman with a tempered steel woodaxe is going to be much more efficient than a guy using a sharpened rock lashed onto a stick. The same problem existed with mining and pickaxes, but I felt the remedy needed to be different. The quality of the pickaxe needs to dictate what can be mined. This forces a progression, something that was also deficient.

Stockpiling and storage is another area that I felt needed development. I’ve chosen to implement a stockpiling method that requires a unit to deposit and retrieve resources through a storage structure in order to access the virtual inventory. I’m not really in favor of a 1 to 1 system of stockpiling, but I’ve also never been fond of the current implementation of your resources simply materializing when and where they are needed, so I feel this system is a fair compromise. This meant personal inventory and work finding had to become much more robust, which required a complete overhaul of the current systems… and of course, there needed to be several new storage structures to allow units to access the resources they require. Nine of ‘em, in fact. I also have some ideas for capping your resources based on how much actual storage you have built. For example, if you have 4 wood piles, you can collect 80 wood, in order to gather more (and thus have ‘room’ for storage) you’d have to place more wood piles, which itself, costs wood… it’s a very interesting concept, I think, and it adds another layer of complexity. Also, the scenario might arise where you are capped, and when a goblin burns a few of your wood piles, you dropped from 80 wood down to 60…. :D This is something that will be played with during the testing phase.

I used the term personal inventory to describe the items and equipment that the unit itself is carrying, not counted in the resource totals available to the entire settlement. Previously, you micromanaged equipment, which became especially tedious if you frequently changed professions. In 1.4, your units will equip themselves based on a few preferences you can set at any time. You still have your five slots for equipment (main hand, off hand, helmet, chest-piece, & boots), which are equipped automatically based on what’s available, but there are also 6 additional slots, which can be used to carry extra tools, weapons, armor, torches, or even food. The slots that you leave empty will be used for stockpiling, useful for gathering professions and crafters. This leaves a bit of room for strategy; your protected underground miners should have more empty inventory slots to quickly gather stone and ore. The miners above ground however, who are less protected, should have spare weapons and armor, so they can quickly be changed to military professions to fight off potential threats, the trade-off being that they are travelling to the mining stockpile more often to offload their stone.

There is still far too much that is work-in-progress here, but I am frantically hurrying to get a build to the testing group before Monday. And I expect there to be many iterations thereafter, as much of the base mechanics have been re-written. After 1.4, there are going to be several bug fixing updates. (1.41, 1.42 etc..) 1.5 will need to be a stable release.

I’ll close with a few other minor additions for 1.4, and a rendering of a few of the new structures.

- Cloth and Leather tunics are available as armor for non-military units.
- Tool breaking has been drastically lowered across the board. Iron, however is still quite brittle in comparison to other materials.
- The unit menu & watched resources windows can now be dragged and moved.
- Enemy swim speeds have been lowered.
- Skeletons now walk underwater.
-  Holding shift while placing structures allows you to keep placing them. This is useful for placing several trees and benches and such.
- There is now an toggle in the options for opaque or transparent GUI windows.
- The resource recipe menu has been changed a bit to allow for more ingredients in recipes.
- Unit tabbing and re-selecting units no longer closes the unit menu.

 

1.3 Released!

After a week of fixes and fine tuning, 4 builds and a 12-page testing thread, 1.3 is ready for release. The goal here was to add to the enemy mechanics and behaviors, and in doing so, ramp up the difficulty. OSX version will be up tomorrow.

 

Change Log for 1.3:

-Wolves are more attracted by animals, especially livestock and freshly hunted wild animals.
-Two new wolf types have been added, their stats and behavior differ slightly from the original gray wolf type.
-Wolf pack behavior should be more apparent than in previous versions.
-Wolves no longer require line of sight to attack, and instead rely on pathing & distance checks that emulate smell.
-The Necromancer has returned, summoning skeletal minions and hellfire. Will destroy all living things on the map, including flora, fauna and other enemy types.
-Any idle skeletons on the map will now gather around a newly spawned necromancer.
-Skeletons are more likely to attack at night, and receive a boost to vision and mobility after nightfall.
-Two new skeletal infantry types have been added to the game: a bloodthirsty type with a stronger bite but lower health, and one who carries a mace and shield for added attack damage and defense.
-Skeletons now share the necromancers desire to attack living enemy types, so they can also target goblins and wolves.
-Spiders are less likely to leave their holes and re-dig.
-New enemy: Spider Matriarch. Boss spider type, likes to collect spiders from around your map before attacking, high damage and health, but weak to fire arrows.
-Spiders, goblins and wolves can now swim.
-Infantry and goblins can now battle in water.
-Goblin Archers can now target your structures, and will occasionally launch flaming arrows.
-New enemy: Mounted Goblin Marauder. A goblin mounted on a wolf. Extremely mobile and aggressive, generally takes over twice as long to destroy (kill the wolf first and you still have a goblin threat, kill the goblin first and there’s still a wolf to slay).
-New Weapons: Flaming Arrows & Polearms. There is now a pike weapon type available for each metal grade, polearms have increased range and do extra damage against mounted opponents. And flaming arrows, which are very deadly and can spread fire.
-Game speed buttons have been added to the top left of the GUI, next to the time of day.
-New game speed: Quadruple, used to play the game in 4x speed during slow bits, or ‘fast forward’ when your workforce has fallen asleep (though I still recommend learning to use the sleep schedules to prevent that).
-New Structure (Decor): Tree, ‘crafted’ by the wood chopper, requires seedling.
-New Raw Material: Seedling, used to plant trees, and in future updates; decorative plant structures. Low drop chance from trees and bushes.
-Unity’s presentation settings splash screen has been removed, and the game resolution can now be set via the “Video” options menu when starting the game.
-New control function: Toggle Grid (G key by default), used to show a grid atop the terrain, helpful for initial planning and building.
-Fire. Fire can spread from flaming arrows and necromancer spells. Will destroy grass and many wooden building material types. Especially damaging to farms, trees and wooden structures.
-Livestock feed slightly less often.
-8 new musical stings have been added to the game.
-6 new full music tracks have been added, this includes a few new intro songs to accompany the main menus and new map screens.

Bug Fixes:
-Units should no longer be getting stuck while attacking enemies, this was due to buggy line of sight checks.
-Cancelling a “Remove Stump” command will no longer bug wood choppers.
-Blocks should no longer be randomly disappearing due to rounding errors, this was mostly caused by enemies and wild animals toward the edges of large maps.
-When a unit is walking, there are now checks to prevent them from walking into blocks freshly built during their pathing sequence, this usually resulted in additional block disappearances.
-The above is also true for Merchants and road blocks being destroyed, this was a highly annoying error.
-Livestock should no longer be starving when there are available wheat and idle herders.
-Fixed an bug where Infantry would walk back and forth between their bed and training dummy.
-Infantry should also no longer get stuck trying to find/operate siege equipment when two or more ballistae are in range.
-Greatly reduced the “stutter” when saving your game. This should fully remove the hiccups in the game’s music while opening the pause menu.
-Goblin Archers shouldn’t be randomly walking directly up to your units before shooting.
-Fixed an error where the game could not load if you collected over around 32k of any resource. This ‘cap’ is now doubled.

Timber and Stone OST

The very talented mastermind behind Timber and Stone’s music, Joseph “Voobr” Toscano, has put the OST for the game up on Bandcamp. If you like the game’s music, please support him by buying a copy of the digital OST album. You can take a listen (and name your price) using the link below.

http://musicbyjt.com/album/timber-and-stone-ost

As for an update with 1.3:
A testing build will be uploaded for the testing group in the next few hours. From there, it should only take a few days up to a week for 1.3 to be ready for everyone else. In the meantime, it’s back to bug fixes and remedying anything the ‘blue names’ find.

Some goblins just want to watch the world burn.

Wanted to report on what’s been done in the last couple weeks.

The wolf upgrades described in the last update have been implemented. The pack behavior is also more evident with this update.
Goblins, wolves, and spiders can now swim in water. Ideally, this should only be exhibited when they have a target. Enemies shouldn’t just ‘go for a swim’. Player units and goblins can now fight while swimming.

The majority of the workload has been brought on by implementing fire. I’ll go ahead and describe the role fire will play in Timber and Stone, so you know what to expect. I’ve always planned for fire to be one of the greatest weapons that the player, or your enemies, can wield. Fire should be extremely destructive, and if you don’t jump when you see a flaming arrow strike the fence surrounding your farmland, then I’ve not done fire the justice it deserves. Every block and structure in the game has a flammability value, which is checked (after being randomly adjusted, of course) to determine if fire can spread to it. Things like trees, bushes, grass (to a degree), and even wild animals will be much more susceptible to igniting when touching adjacent fire blocks. Units lit on (or touching) fire will take damage, as you’d expect, but the real damage must come from it’s destructive nature, the landscape will become charred and barren, while wooden buildings and structures can be destroyed completely.

1.3 will also see the first real boss type enemy, meaning the first enemy intended to outlast a couple fully plated infantry units. These boss types will be rare and usually have circumstantial requirements to spawn. I shouldn’t call this first one a new enemy however, because she’s already been shown in an old screenshot. That clue should be enough to give it away, so I’ll not go into further detail.

This title of this post is due to the Goblin Firestarter enemy I’m currently designing. He’s going to be a pyromaniac goblin type with the sole goal of griefing and generally breaking your map. A very dangerous enemy, unless he kills himself in the process.

Other additions to the change log:
New raw material: Seedlings. Used to plant trees and create decorative plant structures. Low chance drop from felled trees and bushes.
New weapon: Fire Arrows. Giving these to low level archers, or those shooting at archery targets isn’t advised.
“Zzzz’s” are now displayed above the heads of sleeping units.
Triple game speed. This isn’t anything new to those of you who are in the testing group, but now you can ‘fast foward’ during slower bits of the game.
There’s now a Pause/Play/Triple Speed indicator displayed next to the time & day counter.Several bug fixes including mysterious block removal issues and frozen units.

Other plans for 1.3 include an option to display a grid across the terrain, mounted goblin marauders and ravagers, and polearm weapons for infantry. And of course, as many bug fixes as I can squeeze in. The changes to both unit and virtual inventory will have to wait until a subsequent update.

Line of smell.

I’ve kept it no secret that I was much more fond of Timber and Stone around version 0.1b, those were the days where simply surviving to day 4 was a difficult accomplishment. Surely having enemies making b-lines straight to your dudes wasn’t all that complex or even interesting, but I’d argue all day long that it was more fun.

And the challenge comes from avoiding those behaviors, instead finding ways to make enemies smarter, and have a generally more complex enemy AI in order to achieve that goal of difficulty.

The target for wolves in 1.3 will be to make them act more realistically, driven by the smell of livestock and animal blood. Wolves should be lured by the smell of a fresh hunt, or several penned up sheep. When it comes to wolf attacks, Herders and Foragers should be the first to go. While hiding behind trees, bushes, and fencing should no longer be an option. This should be possible by replacing the current line-of-sight checks with distance checks and simplified pathing to emulate smell finding.

I also like the idea of allowing goblins to tame wolves. Mostly because I have the strong desire to see wolf mounted goblins in Timber and Stone, but also to simply give goblins more to do. I see them amassing small armies and structures in the future of the game, thus becoming even deadlier enemies.

 

1.2.1

Initial release of 1.2 was a little too buggy for my liking, and yours too, I’m sure.
So here’s a bug fixing update, I might do this one more time before 1.3, as there will be many changes in that version which should bring it’s own round of nastiness. So let’s get as many current bugs squashed as possible. Please post anything you feel needs to be fixed before 1.3 in the bug reports forum, and remember to post your save files if necessary, they go a loooooong way toward isolating these issues.

Change Log for 1.2.1:
Merchant’s can now be killed by (goblin) arrows.
Castle gates will no longer ‘revive’ their attackers.
Sconce lighting can not be built inside of the terrain while z-hiding.
There is now a notification if a unit dies after falling off a ladder.
The chance to fall off a ladder has also been lessened.
Crafters who are sitting will now stand up to create resources.
Units commanded to halt in water will now play the correct swimming animations.
Fixed an error with Adventurer levels being loaded incorrectly.
Multiple herders will no longer work on the same task.
Upon loading a game, animals will no longer transfer to levels above them.
Fixed an error where blocks surrounding chairs  would become destroyed after loading.
Merchant arrival produces a notification again.
Archers are again more likely to shoot at enemies 2 blocks above & below them.

 

1.2 Released!

The goals for 1.2 were mostly cosmetic, since the creation of the kickstarter I’ve had an email a day asking about the lack of female units, I’ve decided 1.2 was the time to remedy that. I’ve also wanted to start putting in structures with decorative purposes, so you’ll see those beginnings in this release. And of course, bug fixes (more than I’ll list in the changelog, actually).

This was a difficult update for me, I found designing female units particularly frustrating. Before Timber and Stone, I was much more used to creating art with a higher graphics fidelity. Differentiating male from female using only a couple dozen vertical pixels (versus a couple thousand polygons) proved to be a much more daunting task than I would’ve imagined, and even now I’m not quite satisfied with their models (the wood chopper, especially). Their designing, modelling, re-designing, and re-modelling took far too many hours away from implementing real game features. But somehow I also found it fun, it’s been a while since I’ve had to create art assets for character objects.

One of the other major updates to Timber and Stone’s visuals is in the addition of an option to change how the game is being lit. If your graphics card can handle it, the game can be rendered via per-pixel shaders, which allow for more accurate lighting, hard & soft dynamic shadows, and SSAO. However, the option is still there for the current per-vertex lighting.

The changes for 1.3 are planned to be quite different than those in this update. In a few weeks time we’ll see expanded enemy behaviors which will bring difficulty back to the game, a more complex system for unit inventory, the return of the necromancer, and possibly the beginnings of a stockpiling implementation merging with the virtual inventory. Oh, and fire.

Change-Log for 1.2 

-Line of Sight checks are now more accurate for units already in combat. You should see less units playing tag rather than fighting.
-Spider digging behavior has been slightly changed, they are more likely to continue tunneling in existing holes.
-Trees now ‘wiggle’ when they are being chopped.
-Tree, raw stone and grass appearances have all been adjusted.
-Female units are now in-game, all 16 professions now have female alternates. Several dozen new female names have also been put in the game.
-Livestock now must be tended to, this is also how livestock eats. The change will lessen the amount of time your herders are standing around idle.
-Several character traits are now affecting units; hard worker, bad/good vision, courageous, over eater, clumsy, quick learner and cowardly traits are all functional.
-Ballista bolts now damage blocks they collide with.
-The Ballista now reloads slightly slower.
-Idle workers will now sit if they can find a chair nearby.
-New Decor Structure: Stone Bench. Another chair type, for your units to sit on when idle.
-New Decor Structure: Post Banner. There are plans to allow the player to design their own, but for now, red and grey.
-New Decor Structure: Pennant Banner.
-New Door Structure: Large Castle Gate. This is the first door type that doesn’t provide it’s own support. Requires at least 4 block tall walls on either hinge, with a 4 block gap in between.
-New Lighting Structure: Wall Sconce. Must be placed against a wall and one block above the ground.
-The Resource menu items have been rearranged, thanks goes to Pangaea.
-There are new video settings for lighting, shadows, & SSAO.
-Crafters will now craft items in the queue that are below uncraftable items.
-Archers can now fire at enemies while patrolling.
-Fixed a bug where the Adventurer could attack targets from very far away using melee weapons.
-Fixed an error that arose when switching a unit’s profession from farmer to trader, resulted in broken farmer progress bars and broken farming zones.
-Sleeping fishermen no longer show a work progress bar.
-Crafters now alert the player (via bubble) if they require additional workshops to continue crafting.
-Wood Choppers will now properly move forward in their work queue if the current job cannot be completed.
-Miners, builders and farmers will no longer produce ‘lag’ if they cannot get to their working zones. Instead they will inform the player that they are lost.
-Adventurers no longer gain experience from attacking dead enemies.
-Fixed a memory leak that occurred when building in water.
-There is now a check for duplicate migrant names. This also applies when renaming units.
-Fence Gates are no longer indestructible by enemies.
-Taking control of an adventurer while he’s already walking will no longer prevent first person controls.
-Adventurer walk speed in first person is now affected by the unit’s level.