Roadmap update, ocean & difficulty itterations and continuing after winning
Hello Martians! Let’s start with the most important point first: the next update will be released on the 7th of December! And it will be a big one: we’re merging updates 2 and 3 together into a single large update (and making some changes to the roadmap). Further in this devlog we’ll give insights in some iterations we’ve made to the way you expand over oceans, shine some light on the new scenario and explain in what way we’re tweaking the difficulty level.
So why didn’t we release the second update earlier? Well the very simple answer is we encountered more challenges than expected and it took a bit longer to polish than what we had originally planned. Once we were finally ready with the second update we were well on our way to finalize the content of the 3rd update. Our plan was still to release the 2nd and 3rd update separately (though relatively close together) and as for the previous update we wanted to put the game on sale at the same time, but Steam has some limits and conditions on how and when a game can be put on sale. These timers, combined with Steam’s own events like the halloween and autumn sales made us push the date even further back. As by then the content for the 3rd update was in the polishing phase, we decided to just go for it and give you all a single much larger update.
We have also been working on some roadmap tweaks, shifting around some of the elements so that the 2nd update would be focused mostly on new gameplay features and the 3rd update would be focused mostly on new content. But now it will be both at the same time, bringing 57 new projects (buildings, lifeforms, space projects), 8 new leaders, 2 new city slot layouts, 1 new scenario and 9 new events.
We are sorry it took so long, but we think it was worth it. We are pretty excited to see everyone get their hands on all these new carefully crafted pieces and to get your feedback on it. Here is the updated roadmap:
Iterations to the ocean expansion
After we’ve implemented docks that automatically expand towards nearby oceans, as explained in the August Devlog, we’ve noticed that there was an issue with that mechanic: If you would be on ocean level 1 or 2, and later increase the amount of oceans, the already constructed dock would not give you access to those new ocean locations. After playtesting this, we discovered that this was unintuitive (why would the boats leaving a dock not be able to reach these new locations?). Therefore we’ve simplified and changed how it works: when you now construct a dock, it has a free unlimited action with which you can expand to oceans. You can do this at any time and expand as far as you want, though the further you expand, the more negative support is generated (just like with city expansion).
The new ocean expansion flow.
We regularly receive feedback from players who find the game too difficult. A large number of players are currently not able to complete the final difficulty level, especially within 65 turns for the Platinum award. While designing the game, we thought this wouldn’t be a problem as everybody can just choose the difficulty that is appropriate for them. However, the way we’ve designed the scenarios screen can give the impression that you need to complete all difficulty levels to have “completed” the game. For the completionists among us, this can be frustrating.
Therefore we are lowering the difficulty and victory requirements of the scenarios a little bit, to make them more achievable for a larger group of players. Don’t worry though, they still are a proper challenge.
For the expert players, we’re adding extra expectation levels to the custom mode. In this way you can make the game as difficult as you want, still providing a good challenge for everybody. Here you can also select higher victory conditions (1500 points opposed to the 1000 points of the final scenario) so you can still play longer games if you wish.
One of Mars’ frozen CO2 glaciers.
Continuing your game after winning
We’ve received multiple requests that players would like to be able to continue a game after achieving the victory condition. We’re also adding this option in this update! You will be able to choose how you want to continue: in “survival mode” or “leisure mode”. In survival mode, the expectations keep going up, so the challenge will be to survive as long as possible. In Leisure mode, the expectations stop rising, so you can continue without the further stress of running out of support.
We’re looking forward to screenshots and stories of the awesome planets and cities you’ll build up to after a well earned victory.
Continuing after a well earned victory.
That was it for this devlog, in the next devlog we’ll expand more on the features that we’re also adding in the upcoming update that were originally planned for later, like the lifeform adaptation events and the catastrophic events.