The campaign, Sound design | Farlanders devlog #8

Greetings 🧐,

I’m presenting you the final major update to Farlanders before the release. We have 1 more major update planned which will introduce Daily Challenge & Sandbox game modes but that’s after the release.

Campaign & Narration

My main focus in this update was the campaign. This means implementing the story and working on actual missions. That’s a huge challenge to make missions not only interesting and diverse but also with the right difficulty and learning curve.

Video call in the campaign

We will have 7 missions in the campaign, currently, 3 are available (I’ll be adding the rest soon). It would be the good old “desktoppunk” (my invention 😛) that you had a chance to experience in Farlanders: Prologue but this time with:

  • Various media (chat messengers, emails, video blogs, video calls, and even actual offline meetings between characters)
  • Good writing (thanks to Shervin)!
  • Lovely characters drawn by Anna
  • Mars colonization, mystery, secrets, and a little bit of drama 😏

Not sure why I decided to present info in this section as it is some kind of an ad, but I believe that’s a huge step forward to what was done in Prologue, and you will enjoy the story. And btw, some of the media would have a voiceover.

Sound design & Music

A lot of work was done on the game sound. So now we have a complete soundtrack and sound design, by which I mean:

  • Visiting sounds for most of the buildings which is played when you select or construct the building
  • Sound loops synced with building animations
  • New SFXs and updates to old sounds so that everything sounds good together

That’s the first time I’m putting so much effort into game sound, but it seems it was worth it and I’m proud of the result. All credits to Danil Dunets and Ivan Turmenko! Ah, and you can check the game sound yourself in the video below.

Building upgrade mechanic

I decided to go back to the old building upgrade mechanic. This means that instead of gradual growth (wait for a few turns for the building to develop) buildings will be developed immediately if conditions are met. It just feels better and fits the nature of the game which is about direct dependencies between terrains and buildings.

But it’s not a simple revert to the old mechanic. First, we have a new animation for buildings upgrades.

Solar panels level up animation

And second, we took the good part from the old-new mechanic. That is buildings might have more different bonuses from various types of buildings. For example, Greenhouse gets bonuses from both Greenhouses and Food silos, although Food silos give fewer points. This creates more possible interactions between buildings which leads to more possible game scenarios. Imagine you need to build a Spices greenhouse for which you need to have Greenhouse level 3. You can achieve level 3 by constructing 3 greenhouses nearby, but that might be tricky, so instead, you can build 2 greenhouses + 2 food silos nearby.

Food silos improve greenhouse

Other changes

As the game gets closer to the release we get more and more tasks in the polishing area. I’ll try to mention the most important changes from what comes to my mind:

  • Complete revisit of the game text; new names and flavor text for buildings and terrains
  • Robotics gallery, a new underground happiness building
  • Adjustments to the plants (and other life forms) logic according to the changed buildings upgrade system. Plants require time to grow to the highest level
  • Reworked technology tree; no more building level-ups in the tech tree, when you research a new building you get all the levels that are available technology-tree.png
  • Updated main menu; campaign difficulty selection
  • Level generator improvement: rooms that are generated on the surface have softer edges, which means that there might be a passage between rooms that are not blocked by a canyon or mountain
New technology tree

Release date & final notes

I’ll be honest with you I feel burned out and tired of working on this game for so long. That’s mostly because of the scope that I ended up with. Now I understand that it was too ambitious for the budget and experience that I had. When I started working on Farlanders I never thought that the game would grow so much. But my conscience is clear, I think currently every game mechanic is in its place. And we got the most out of the original concept.

As for the release date, it will be announced after:

  • Playtests are complete and we’re sure that the tutorial is properly implemented and there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the game
  • Trailer is complete
  • The localization process is started

Also, I made a feedback and bug report thread on our forums. They would especially make sense after we release a new demo.

Thank you for following and #standwithukraine!

Andriy

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