Development Roadmap Update



A quick update about some new stuff I am working on, short-term and long-term for HammerHelm. And by "quick", I mean lots and lots of stuff. :)


I've been wanting to do this for a while now. Aside from uploading builds, HammerHelm isn't really integrated with Steam much. Achievements is a good starting point for that. I have about 10 planned to start and will add more over time once the core system is hooked up.


This will be a bit of work as the save system is some of the oldest code in the game and it can't be used as an auto-save. When you save the game in the ESC menu you'll notice a few second delay. That's fine when you're leaving the game, but would be awful for an auto-save. Still, it's an important improvement so worth refactoring.


With very large towns, sometimes framerate can drop more than I'd like. Thankfully there is quite a bit of room for optimization with the buildings, NPCs, and the surrounding wilderness.



That's some of the shorter-term stuff. Longer term I'm in the process of designing a big update to the game. This is still in the design phase, but I'm really happy with it and I'm about ready to start working on it, so I figured I'd share.

Part of the reason I am working on things like Achievements or Key Binding is because of the stuff I outline below. It's all interconnected (which will make the game even better!) and while I am finishing designing it, I want to avoid working on stuff that might wind up needing to be changed to fit the new and updated features. 

I'm working in parallel essentially, updating the current game to add some of the missing core features that most games have, while working behind the scenes on what will be a big update, and hopefully huge improvement, to the game. The core game will still be about building your town and adventuring, but I think these updates, along with some other stuff, will make for a better game with more things to experience. Note this isn't the full list, but these three features are the core of what I want to update.


Add more resources and more ways to get them. 

  • Questing feels grindy because it's the only way to get resources you need for yourself.
  • If you need leather, but the game keeps giving you quests to fight monsters that drop ore and alchemy ingredients, it can be frustrating. 
  • Even if I updated the system to know what you need and increase the chance of getting it, it still makes quests seem more grindy because you're always waiting for the next one.
  • I want to add more resources and more ways to get those resources from the town rather than quests.
  • This will make quests more like special events, rather than a necessary resource gathering mechanism
  • This also means that I'll be adding more things for you to do aside from questing, so you're never idle waiting for a quest. There's always something else do to and you aren't blocked just because the right quest didn't appear!


Add meaningful personality to the townspeople. 

  • I want the Dwarves in your town to feel special, rather than just crafting stations and quest givers, by giving them more personality and stories.
  • The idea here is to start with why the Dwarf left and joined your clan. It could be anything from he's in debt (opening the possibility of the people he owes money to coming after him!) or s/he just wanted a new adventure. 
  • Traits and histories would offer bonuses and penalties, such as the Dwarf in debt charges more for crafting (if you make him a crafter) or a lazy Dwarf who always walk slow.
  • There will be quests and events tied to the Dwarves based on their backstories and traits, adding even more to their stories.
  • All of this means of course that you’ll be able to choose which Dwarf gets a job and be able to switch them around


Add a more meaningful economy. This ties a bit to resources, but is more focused on creating opportunities for choices.

  • There are very few resources and they don't play off of each other. 
  • You don't really have to choose to spend resources on something for yourself or something for the town.
  • Right now the town's resources (wood, stone, etc.) and separate from what you need to craft (ore, leather, etc.) - I want to combine them so you're making choices for yourself vs. stuff for the town.
  • Because the resources are more shared, you'll be able to gather more kinds of resources for the town in addition to for yourself.
  • This also means that the townspeople would be gathering resources that are useful to the town AND you, such as ore and gold.
  • With the town, I want to add more dials and switches to play with so to speak and give you more things to do aside from just questing..

There's more planned but I wanted to give you an idea about some of the bigger stuff in the works. The goal is to make a more varied and personal experience while maintaining what you all like about the game now.


In addition to all of that, the new female Dwarf model is well underway. I'll have an update on the characters in a couple of weeks. I'm really looking forward to replacing some of the placeholder art, especially the Dwarves. For those of you that missed it, here's the concept art for the female Dwarf.



I'm also looking to update the look of the caves, add a new day/night cycle (and maybe weather and seasons), add more options for farms (such as crop types), new buildings and townspeople jobs, and more interdependency between the various town buildings. Oh and if I can find the time, I want to do a small holiday update as well with more limited edition items.

So... lots going on. I also wanted to say thank you for coming along on this journey with me! I very much appreciate the support and feedback.

Files

HammerHelm Full Alpha 895 MB
Version 122 Dec 06, 2017

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