Today, we’re excited to update you on the progress of The Universim development. Our team is completely focused on the Full Game release - V 1.0. As we are getting closer to full release, we’re going to introduce less new, big features to the game. Instead we’re concentrating on Quality of Life improvements. This includes enhancements for old systems, balancing of new ones, new tutorials, and so on. A lot of our fans expressed their interest in learning more about our current progress and the work our team is doing.
We would like to honor that and provide you with a short update that will showcase some systems that our team has worked on and some things that are still in progress. If this short update finds your support, we will gladly share more of them on a frequent basis to keep you up to date.
The very first exciting change that we added (and are currently finishing up) is our new Building placement UI. As you know, in the construction site, we do list all of the information about the building, but due to a large amount of it, we noticed that a lot of players simply ignore or miss certain important elements. Especially the ones that are related to Crime | Happiness | Pollution.
In order to improve the visibility and give an overhaul of our outdated UI, we created and expanded the functionality of it.
We hope that these changes are more functional and will help players to better understand the information while playing the game.
With those changes, we did some additional functionality work. The current name for it is “Sample Building.” This name might change upon the full release, but we are keeping it for now internally.
This new functionality allows you to sample the building and produce an identical one!
By pressing a combination of buttons (CTRL + Middle Mouse Button) and moving your cursor over any building structure that you currently have within the world, you can instantly bring the ghoster of this building and place it without having to open the Construction menu. We hope that a lot of people will find this functionality extremely useful, especially at later stages of the game.
Next, we tried to tackle the issue that a lot of players experienced while playing the game: “Nuggets Drinking from Lakes.” This is something that we were battling constantly for quite some time. Initially, there was a bug related to that functionality that was quickly fixed, but the issue stuck. After studying over a dozen different save files from players, we realized multiple common factors: 1) there were not enough wells 2) wells were not scattered throughout the city and 3) wells were concentrated in one place. In order to tackle this issue, we decided to use 2 different approaches. One per each issue.
Now, each well will have a radius that will define and show how efficient it is. If the well is closer to another well, the efficiency of the well will drop. The further wells are from one another, the higher the efficiency of those wells. This efficiency visibility functionality aimed to help new players to better place their wells across the city and avoid the issue where Nuggets would have to travel a very long distance to the opposite side of a city to get some water. You are still able to place wells next to each other, but their efficiency will be lower.
The second improvement added to tackle this problem provides a better indication on the amount of water that is left.
We added a subtle visual effect to the water icon and, if you move the mouse over the icon, a tooltip will now display the aggregated amount of water your wells have. This should help to keep track of water in the wells across the city and warn players earlier if more wells need to be placed.
Now let's move to tutorials.
Multiple different tutorials were added to the game, but the most important ones we believe are: Creator Power Tutorial and a Builder Bot Tutorial.
We received a lot of requests from the community and we heard a lot of people saying that they were struggling with using the creator powers or figuring out how to use the builder bot. Both of those systems will now be accompanied with a tutorial that will teach players how to utilize those features of the game.
Previously, we shared WIP Nugget clothing with you. Our talented artists were working pretty hard to make them stand out among other Nuggets and bring some more variety during later stages in the game. All of those Nuggets were finalized and now you can see them as their colorful selves in the game.
Lastly, we would like to share some visual improvements to our new planets. These changes may not have a functional implication, but they create a completely different atmosphere for your planets. We expanded our initial orbital system to have many different objects such as multiple suns, asteroid belts, rings, other planets, etc. This should diversify the look of the planets and bring joy to your eyes. Here are some examples of these effects:
All of these changes are just one portion of what was added to the game. We do have more things to share and if this is something that you guys enjoy seeing, we will surely make these updates more frequent as we near the end. So please, let us know in the comments below if this is something that you would enjoy seeing or if you would rather be surprised!
Things that our team is working on currently:
3D Art Department:
- Additional variation for tanks and helicopters for another civilization
- Orbital objects for the planets
- Variation of clouds
- Space map objects
- Cinematics and final planet improvement scene
- New tutorials
- Reworking Space Trading
- Addition of all new Nugget clothing to the game
- Additional improvements to the game UI
- Credits screen
2D / UI / UX
- New UI panels for new building
- Improved UI / UX experience for some old systems
- New Icons for the Research menu
- New Icons for the Construction Menu
- New Space Trading Panel UI / UX
- Final Encounter UI
Game / System Design:
- Rebalance of the main planet
- Balance of new planets
- Rebalance of the crime / happiness system
- Localization improvements
- Addition of new sounds
- Balance of the final encounter and series of quests and tutorials
We also would like to remind our community to keep expectations reasonable. We’ve seen some fans making over the moon speculations in regards to what is going to be possible in the full game. We’ve seen some talking about full blown war with aliens which is something we never promised. Combat/war overall was never planned to be in the game, but we listened to the community and implemented elements of it in the game already.
In being an extremely small team with a limited budget, we are not planning to expand combat systems at this time. However, you’ll have deeper interactions with the “aliens” and invasion that we’ve shown in the trailer. You will also learn more about the game world and how it works. We're working on a game finale and we think you’ll be surprised! After the final scene, you will be able to continue playing your game indefinitely, colonizing other planets and establishing trade between them.
We hope you will enjoy this short update and we would like to thank each and every one of you for your continued support and encouragement. You are the best.