Emerald Woods – Survival mode activated (0.2.9)
It’s been one month since the last public release. We have packed a lot of work in this version, hope you enjoy it! You can download it for free from the page at itch.io.
As we continue pouring work into this, we get closer to a point of proving and “Earlier Access” version via itch.io. That will probably happen for version 0.3.0 which is not extremely far away. For now, this version remains completely free.
We have been streaming weekly on Wednesday and Friday, 11AM PST / 7PM GMT. Subscribe to our twitch so you don’t miss it! But if you do, these are always backed as VoD into our YouTube channel, so subscribe to it as well!
The overall goal for v0.3.0 in the roadmap is improving Farming, so that has been the criteria guiding the development of these new versions. Here is a summarized log of the changes and the work behind them.
Some of the most noticeable changes in gameplay are related to the exploration facet. The game has been rebalanced so it’s not that chill anymore: in the absence of monsters to combat, the biggest danger is your fatigue and hunger bars.
For starters, this version brings back the possibility of Fainting if you continue working (or even walking) when your fatigue bar is full; there are options to recover from the fatigue, like taking a nap (as long as it’s not too late already), eating or drinking a fatigue recovering item (coffee, for instance), or just relaxing for a bit up to a cap of fatigue recovery per day of sleep. Ultimately you will want to have a good night of rest, in a proper bed or bedroll and by a warm campfire, and with your stomach full, if you want to avoid the risk.
Fainting or mediocre sleeping will hit your health hard, and you will die quickly (and permanently) if you don’t keep an eye on it. We are open to your feedback on these aspects since we want to make the game enjoyable for a broad number of players but we see merits in being able to enjoy the procedural generation aspects more and requiring the players to take meaningful choices.
Another important addition, semi-related to these balancing changes, is the carry capacity limits; items now have weight so you will have to decide what to carry with you if you want to be able to bring back things, adding a layer of planning to your journeys.
Forageable items (like mushrooms and nuts) are now added to the journal, displayed in a separate section from the growable crops (along with the berries).
As a big improvement to the User Interface, there is now a new “contextual” menu with which you can now access all the possible actions based on your current tool and whatever is in front of you just by pressing Space. This eliminates the need of learning a lot of keyboard commands (or the clutter on screen that we had on previous versions). Additionally, this takes us one step ahead to a possible mobile version.
Some other additions included:
- A new tool, the shovel, which you can use to dig Clay out of the ground (which is used for some new crafting recipes).
- Actions also now take different amounts of time, this includes lumbering and mining taking some relevant time so you have to plan your work.
- You can now drop a single item from a stack of items, and it will merge into existing stacks of items.
- Tables (and other objects) you can place items on top of.
As mentioned before, farming and cooking is the guiding force of the 0.3.0 milestone, so there was a substantial amount of work on this which in turn pushed some other areas of the game.
For starters, we changed the cooking panel to display a grid of recipes instead of a list, along with the ingredients and required containers; this grid always includes the “inspirational” recipes, but we also added the option to cook any kind of meat you are carrying (in which case the recipe only displays for the raw meats in your inventory). This menu also now stays open in case you want to cook more than one recipe.
The recipes requiring a container will now require you to place it on top of the cooking place, and that recipient is where the contents of the recipe will be stored, replacing whatever was on it (as long as its previous contents were useable for the recipe itself). This triggered lots of changes for the liquid containers, which are described in the section below.
Some recipes now require plates as containers, so you don’t eat them like a savage.
We also added a bunch of recipes that use carrots, as well as other ingredients that are required for them, scattered as treasures in the cabins all along the land. This made sense since carrots are the first crop you’ll normally harvest so what better use for it than a good recipe. Along with that, a new overarching goal was added to bake a Carrot cake, which will require you to explore around to find the ingredients.
Containers can now be filled with liquids from other containers (not just water or results from cooking), this means you can prepare a given beverage in a big container, and then fill smaller containers with some of it for conveniently carrying it around. This is pretty useless for now.
The appearance of the containers is now updated based on their contents, as well as the description displayed when they are examined.
A new command, Pour, can now be used to empty containers as opposed to just placing them on the floor.
Added three variations of tiled floor you can craft, these require clay and paint so the paint items are back (however for now you cannot apply them to the world or other items, since that will require some changes in the rendering since we are no longer in the 1bit mode.)
A small but extremely visible change was making the grass lighter to improve the contrast with the outlines of the objects in the world.
The sprites for the berries, coffee grains, and bushes, were remade. The trees in the plains areas (outside the woods) also have a unique appearance.
A small nuance that was fixed was making fences no longer “stick” to trees and rocks, an artifact of how the smart rendering rules work.
A placeholder title screen was added based on an AI-generated image sent by a friend.
While the procgen is not the focus of the current overarching milestone, that doesn’t mean some small improvements cannot be done.
I added some patches of Ouvlurin forests to give some variety to the woods; in the future, there will be more of these kinds of features the player will feel very happy to find around.
More importantly, genco cabins will no longer be placed inside mountains or lakes, preventing runs where you could explore the entire woods without finding a single cabin. This already required quite a refactor in the codebase but will be worth it for future iterations hopefully.
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