Since the early access release, I've had my nose buried in my keyboard, fixing bugs and not posting too much about upcoming updates and features - in part because there's been a major backlog of bugs to work through, and because future features have a tendency to change. Now, with the game rapidly approaching a stable state, and with a clearer view of the updates ahead, it's time to share the future roadmap with you.
I'd say the bulk of my development efforts since the early access release has been iterating on the pathfinding, but at last, it is just around the corner. In the dev branch (and in a few days, on the steam build), units no longer get stuck on terrain or buildings. I’m still dissatisfied with group steering, especially in combat - fighting units tend to trip over each other and struggle to get into melee range. I'm looking to resolve this before releasing the next patch.
Improved AI - Attacking, expanding, trading
This is being worked on. As far as rabbit holes go, this one is deep. I’ll be making incremental improvements rather and releasing them together with other new features. Expect the AI to become a little more competent and engaging with every new patch.
There’s some new combat mechanics waiting in the wings, such as buffs and debuffs, auras, armor and damage types. I’ll be unrolling these together with new units that make use of these mechanics in interesting ways. The new units in the pipe are the Slinger (a tier 1 ranged status caster), as well as the Seider, Skalder and Noaidi (Tier 2 and 3 aura-casters)
As I’ve mentioned in a few other places, the food mechanic needs some love. I’ll be adding more food engines (rather than the dummy simple “put grain in bakery”) and adding a survival mechanic.
Tier 3 rework
It’s no secret that the last tier is a bit of a placeholder still. This will be fleshed out with more resources, buildings and units.
The current harvesting mechanic - specifically, the dotted line around each city - was not really intended to be in the game for this long. The new design will revolve around building specific structures to collect different resource types, such as granaries and lumber mills. I’m not entirely finished with the design on this one, so the dotted harvest radius line will remain for a while longer.
Main Quest Chain
Not going to spoil the plans for this one, but there will be group of procedurally generated “main quests” that can be completed to achieve sweet victory.
Currently, every patch breaks existing save games, and each save file is on the order of several megabytes. This makes autosaves an unappealing concept. To fix this, I’ll be replacing the current serialization layer (Protobuf) with flatpak, and separate the serialized gamestate from the data-model that’s used in-game.
Future roadmap from 0.9 to 1.0
With the above features in place, the game will be in a good spot to be taken from Early Access to released. It's too early to give specific details here, but in all likelihood, when we get past 0.9, I’ll start marketing the game again, focusing on a Mac and Linux build, as well as the holy grail - Multiplayer. The big roadblock for this one (on a technical level) is the “Save rework” bullet point mentioned above. As it looks today, the serialized gamestate is a bit too cumbersome to be transmitted over the wire. Hopefully those pieces will fall into place as the patches roll out.
Want to share your thoughts? There's a discussion thread on the steam forums or you can hit me up via any of the social media links in the page header.