Friday, 6 February 2015

Folk Tale Dev Blog 31

by Simon Dean, Project Lead


Folk Tale Patch 0.2.13 introduces significant change with an overhaul of the first hour of gameplay.

Starter Wagon and Resource Clearing

Players starting Folk Tale for the first time often arrive with an implicit knowledge and expectation from other RTS games. To make the game more intuitive, we have to acknowledge and design to this. Having watched Let's Play Folk Tale and Twitch streams, one of the most common first time actions of new players is to select a villager and right click on a tree, expecting them to go and chop it down. That wasn't happening, so we introduced sweeping changes.

Peasants can now gather resources from the environment (thereby clearing areas for future construction) by selecting and right-clicking on a resource, including chopping trees, quarrying small stone deposits, mining iron ore deposits, and foraging for berries. The iron and stone are new assets that are now dotted liberally around the starter location. After several visits, the resource will become depleted and will be removed from the world.



Peasants cannot access Quarries, Iron Mines, and the (possibly) soon to be added Lumber Mill. These will in time require Works to be constructed that can only be operated by Woodcutters, Stonecutters and Blacksmiths who are far more efficient than their Peasant peers. If you examine the current Quarry, we'll be removing the crane and wooden platform to make Works, an upgrade that becomes available once you have constructed the corresponding Profession building, which in this case would be the Stonecutter Lodge. You'll then be able to construct Works on Quarries, and assign Stonecutters to commence work there.

Woodcutters, Stonecutters and Blacksmiths can also clear areas, and are more effective than Peasants, requiring fewer swings of an axe/pickaxe/hammer and yielding more resources each time they drop off resources.

Enabling Peasants to gather resources presented a new design challenge: where should they drop off the collected resources? Henceforth, the very first thing players need to do when starting a new game is place a Supply Wagon containing a few rations and basic clothing to keep your Peasants happy for a short while. The Wagon also acts as a low capacity Storehouse.



These changes took gameplay further back in the life of a settlement, to where you start with very little and have to find what you need in the environment. There's a degree of urgency and survival. With food being a priority, and the Bread economy chain taking a while to get up and running, we've added foraging for Berries by selecting a Peasant and right clicking on a Berry Bush. Berries can be stockpiled and eaten by Peasants when they get hungry, and satiate a small amount of the need for carbohydrates.



Watching some of the recent Let's Play videos and playing ourselves, we noticed that it was easy to get into a situation of having lots of Planks, and not much Firewood. To address this (prior to the implementation of the Marketplace building), we added a crafting recipe to the Woodcutter's Hut for converting Planks into Firewood, available immediately once the building is constructed. With some further balancing, we'll get the Firewood situation under control.

Improving Villager Needs

In the last patch Peasants would frequently complain via the Advisor about being hungry and needing food, even though inventories would be brimming with supplies. This wasn't caused by mass hunger, but rather individual units - especially Hunters - wandering far from town and becoming hungry while doing so. To solve this, we've changed the Needs system to monitor averages, and added some useful charts to the Civics dialog that can be accessed via the topbar button to support forward planning. In times of bountiful harvest, Peasants are able to gorge themselves to fend off hunger for longer. They also take longer to get really hungry, reducing the frequency of them leaving.

New peasants will now only arrive if happiness is in the yellow or green.



Taxation And Changes To Economy

We were dissatisfied with the way the economy was working in regard to Villagers buying goods for gold. While it sounds logical, this could lead to unacceptable delays waiting for gold to be generated. We've not removed the exchange of goods for gold, and replaced it with a new taxation system. In the Civics Dialog (see image above), you can now set the tax rate in gold. Taxes are levied every 30 seconds, and are dependent on Cottages. Setting low taxes will lead to increased happiness, while heavy taxation will lead to decreasing happiness unless you are taking steps to offset that.

Research

The whole concept of accruing Research Points didn't feel natural, so we scrapped 'em. Now, you choose which research you want to undertake, and as workers deliver resources to the building, part of that work effort can be allocated towards research, progressing the percentage complete. Once you reach 100%, the research is unlocked. Multiple buildings of the same type can contribute to the same research at the same time to unlock it faster, or research something completely different in parallel. For example, one Blacksmith might research Leatherworking. Building a second Blacksmith, you can set it to contribute towards the existing research into Leatherworking, or research Plate Armor in parallel.



Moving to a progress model however presents some redesign challenges for non-production buildings including the Barracks and Storehouse. For the Barracks, we'll be introducing a villager need for security, which can be satiated by stationing City Watch in locations frequented by villagers (by the Storehouse and Wagon would be great!) As Peasant's pass by, they gain an increased sense of security, and that generates a tick in the progress towards any active research in the Barracks. Having City Watch behave in this manner also plays into the original plan for their role as law enforcement, and opens up the possibility of implementing crime and thieves.

Research at the Storehouse will be redistributed to other buildings including the Workshop.

Monster Dens and Ecology

As your settlement expands, you'll be clearing resources and pushing more into the unknown. Sooner or later you're going to encounter Monster Dens, starting with spiders. Spiders make their nests in hollow tree trunks, and are easily identifiable by the presence cobwebs, spider eggs and spiders. Over time, nests will spawn more monsters, and in time a queen that will wander and settle a new den. Monster Dens have health, and can be attacked and destroyed. However, the nests and monsters they spawn are a source of crafting ingredients, so it'll be a balancing act of what to destroy and when.

In future patches we'll be introducing ecology. Wolves will hunt rabbits, and rabbits will eat your crops. But killing rabbits will remove the wolves' source of food, which may in turn hunt down your villagers to chomp on.






Heroes, Faction Bosses, and Behemoth Mini-Bosses

With much of the village assets complete and queued for implementation, the Art Team have shifted over to producing content to support the RPG aspect of Folk Tale. All of the factions now have fleshed out back story (on paper, not in game), with a leader, hero and hulking behemoth. In our world design (community worlds may differ in design), each biome will have two opposing factions interacting together in a storyline, each having their own quest lines. Helping one faction will raise your notoriety, eventually granting access to the faction's hero for inclusion in your adventuring party. However, helping one faction will inevitably cause your standing with the opposing faction to decline into open conflict, leading you into combat with the opposing hero.

In the early stages of play, once you've constructed a Tavern, we want to provide access to non-faction based heroes to introduce adventuring parties and special abilities. Our first hero, Ser Gregory, is coming together and will soon be ready for adding into the game. Adding heroes will run in parallel with an overhaul of the combat system. For the last 6 months we've been retrospectively adding reaction animations to monsters, villagers and heroes, including hits, knock downs, stuns, shocks, and cowering. These additions should make combat feel much more involved and tactical.






Dungeon Kit

The Withering Dead will inhabit the crypts and catacombs of the Desecrated Cathedral found in the Grassland (Easy) map. Somewhere in the cathedral we'll add a portal that your adventuring party can take to Crypts Level 1 (via a loading screen). This map uses the new Classic Dungeon Kit, our first kit for creating underground Adventuring Locations. Adventuring locations are maps designed not to have villages built on, and only your adventuring party can travel there. We've also added a Lights Kit for placing dungeon lighting. Map designers should be mindful not to add too many lights in close proximity, as this can affect frame rate.



Future patches will include a Traps Kit, and a means of setting up triggers, either for traps, encounters or events.

Armor

Work continues fleshing out loot and crafting items. This month we've added the common scale armor that will be worn by the Cavalry and at least one hero; and a rare cloth armor set for Witches and caster heroes.

All icons are hand-painted at 512x512 pixel resolution and then scaled down, be that to the final in-game resolution, icons used on the website, or blog images such as the one below. Detail is painted in roughly in the original images, and becomes fine detail when scaled down.



We've tweaked monster damage to be more reasonable, testing it against the damage reduction provided by wearing armor the different types of armor. Villagers wearing armor are no longer invulnerable.

What's Happening Right Now?

February is a time to refine all the goodies we've added to the game in recent months. Load/Save is having a final push to squish any remaining bugs before adding in the UI. We have a rewrite of the inventory system to reduce chances of bugs, and further balancing to do. The Art Team are working on a wide array of tasks including the Ice Palace/Caverns (Glacian faction), Mordich the Withering Dead boss, Bonefinger the Withering Dead behemoth, Melody, the Gladefolk hero, faction loot weapon models, hero special ability visual effects, and of course inventory icons for the Withering Dead and Gladefolk factions. And I'll be focusing on character voice-over scripts so we can get more of your villagers and heroes talking.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Folk Tale Dev Blog 30

by Simon Dean, Project Lead


With the relatively short period between the content-rich November release of Patch 0.2.11 and the holidays, efforts were focused on improving gameplay and fixing bugs so that we could release the much improved 0.2.12 build in time for the festive break.

At the top of the community-requested improvements is Load/Save. While it's been available in game for several patches via the console, it wasn't functionally complete which rendered it unusable. Throughout December, Load/Save received much love, and in Patch 0.2.12 it is now stable. We've left it accessible via the console to allow for a period of both internal and community testing, so if you run into a problem please let us know, and submit your output_log.txt file (Player.log on OSX). Pending positive test results, we'll soon be moving forward with integrating Load/Save into the main UI.

The camera is now at a fixed angle, which becomes more shallow as you zoom in closer to the ground. There are numerous reasons for introducing this, the most important of which is maintaining frame rate. By angling down towards the ground in typical RTS fashion, we're able to reduce the amount of geometry in the camera frustum, which means lower frame rendering times and higher FPS. When we launched in Early Access we deliberately set the minimum specification quite high, with the intention of lowering them as development progressed. As optimizations continue to be added, its looking increasingly promising for being able to lower the minimum spec towards launch. We're now able to play a meaningful game at 25fps on an old Macbook pro with an Intel HD3000 graphics card. If you're not a fan of the new camera system, that's not a problem. You can disable camera locking under Settings and return to the previous camera setup.

Building Rotation Is Now Done With The Mouse Scroll Wheel, Fixed RTS-Style Camera Angle, Resources Inside And Outside The Building's Boundary


Referring back to the Let's Play videos and streams we watched post-0.2.11, we noticed players weren't rotating their buildings as much as we expected due to convoluted controls. Revisiting the controls, we've opted for the more expected behaviour of placing rotation on the scroll wheel, overriding the normal zoom function when in construction mode. We also noticed some confusion over how close economy buildings had to be placed to resources. To address this, when placing buildings we added icons over nearby resources, setting them 100% opaque when they are within the building's boundary, and 50% opaque when they are outside but nearby (and therefore likely to be captured once the player unlocks the Expanded Boundary research).

Being able to watch play sessions is so incredibly useful to us in learning how players engage with the game, and where improvements are needed. It's one of the primary benefits of being in Early Access.

If you played Patch 0.2.11, you'll know that the Needs system we introduced expanded playability, but lead to some confusion because of a lack of information provided in the UI, and a likelihood that villagers would start leaving. Throughout December the team worked on improving the UI, adding quick-glance indicators to buildings so players can see if a building is missing workers, or how many workers out of the maximum are currently trained. Missing workers is the primary cause of not being able to meet villager needs later on, so knowing when there's a problem helps players address the issue before it starts affecting villager happiness. We also expanded the number of event notifications, and added advisor voice over to tell players when a worker had left or a building didn't have any workers (more on this later).

Improvements To The Building Healthbar Including Productivity % and Current Workers vs. Max Vacancies; Hover Icons When Buildings Have No Workers


Digging deeper into the Building Dialog, the Workers tab received much needed attention, enabling players to recruit directly from the list of available Peasants (villagers without a profession), demote workers, and find them (thanks to the newly added camera panning system for event notifications). Auto-Recruit was enabled, easing micro-management demands for those wanting to simplify their tasks by automatically filling vacancies. This isn't quite perfect, and in the next patch we'll be adding checkboxes that appear allowing to you check which slots are to be auto-recruited; useful for early stages when you don't have enough villagers to be employing a full compliment of professions.

The Building Dialog Workers Tab


The Research tab in the Building Dialog became functional, especially for the Blacksmith buildings. You might recall the misleading "We don't have enough Iron Ingots" advisor line that would play when trying to unlock research. This was indicative of an increasing number of missing lines from the original tutorial; it was meant to be "We don't have enough research points." So this month we set about recording a new set of advisor lines scripted specifically for Sandbox, broadcast live in one of the Sunday Dev Hangouts. 7 hours of material recorded over two sessions was condensed into 70 minutes of candidate takes, from which 600 individual lines were then selected and dropped into game. These include lines for future features that will be coming online in the next several patches.



If you'd like to read all the improvements made in Patch 0.2.12, they are fairly self-explanatory in the Patch Notes.

Looking to the New Year, we have a number of short-term objectives:

  • Sickness, death, and medicines - the Herbalist get their functional purpose, while the Monks will receive a second function (in addition to brewing Mead), to collect dead corpses and bury them in a new village Graveyard. Expect outbreaks of coughing and vomiting.
  • The Needs system will be iterated and expanded, adding ranting behaviour leading to rebellion where some villagers run around setting fire to your buildings. Wells will become functional to help fire fighting.
  • Clearing areas of Trees/Stone/Iron Ore deposits - we need more interaction with the environment. Being able to clear areas to make way for village expansion contributes to a feeling of progression and further investment in the ownership of what we as players are doing.
  • Quest Designer - being able to trigger quests will allow handholding tutorial quests to ease new players into sandbox, as well as prototyping how the player will progress into the RPG side of the game. This eventually leads to portals, the hero party system, and the World Editor combining multiple location maps into a single playable experience.
  • Monster Dens - these are a natural progression from the wave spawning system. On the Hard snow map especially, the wolf packs present a constant and frequent threat. It makes sense for such creatures to have a home/nest/den with health that can be attacked. Attacking a nest will cause any monsters inside to come out and fight, and destroying the nest will prevent future waves from attacking your village. Leaving a nest alone will result in a 'settler' monster spawning that goes looking for a site to establish a new nest.
  • Enable the selling of Mead and Pumpkins.
  • Implement the Crooked Cauldron, Stables, Jeweller's Shop and Marketplace with their associated professions.
  • Enable building upgrades.
Work continues on the Dungeon Kit which should be making an appearance in one of the Q1 patches. We've brought this forward into the 0.2.x release cycle from 0.9.x cycle to work on enhancing the camera system to meet the needs of dungeon exploring, and to test out triggers and traps.

For a look further ahead, it's worth taking a look at the Development Roadmap.

That's it for 2014. From us all on the Folk Tale dev team, we hope you've all had a great holiday, and look forward to chatting with you in the New Year.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Folk Tale Dev Blog 29

by Simon Dean, Project Lead


November sees the launch of a new Sandbox Preview Trailer, and a refresh of all our screenshots to highlight all the great progress that is being made with Sandbox. Patch 0.2.11 shipped a few days ago, and was a substantial patch expanding gameplay with the addition of villager needs and the entire new snow biome. If you want to grab Folk Tale now and avoid the recent price increase, there's 25% off in the Steam Sale until 2nd December.

Villager Needs
Villagers now need a variety of things to keep them happy, ranging from protein (meat and fish), vegetables (pumpkins), and carbs (bread), to entertainment (mead) and basic clothing. We'll continue to add to their needs in future patches. If any of your villagers aren't having their needs met, they'll let you know via the event notifications that popup in the bottom right of the screen. Continue ignoring villager needs, and they'll eventually pack up and leave town. In a future patch, we'll be adding in ranting and rebellion.

The needs system has added considerably to gameplay. We've shifted our short-term goals to be purely gameplay focused, so the next few patches should see significant improvements in playability, starting with the latest Patch 0.2.11.

Research


Most buildings now have research that provide village-wide buffs, worker productivity bonuses, or unlock new crafting recipes. Not all have coded effects at the moment, but we'll be adding more and more with each new patch.

Crafting


Researching Plate Armor for example grants access to several Common quality plate items that can be crafted at the Blacksmith. Items take different amounts of time to craft depending on their complexity and size, and multiple items can be queued so you don't have to wait around. As each item is crafted, it gets added to your Global Inventory from where you can distribute it to your villagers.

New Buildings And Professions
The Herbalist profession can now be trained at the Herbalist Den. Placing Farmer's Fields and changing their crops to Herbs will activate nearby Herbalists. Herbs are cultivated and taken back for concocting into Lesser Medicine, which will be used to cure minor ailments when sickness is added in a future patch.



The new Weaver profession is trained at the Weaver's Hut. Placing Farmer's Fields and changing their crops to Cotton will activate nearby Weavers. Cotton is cultivated and taken back for weaving into Bolts Of Cotton.



Last up in the line of new professions is the Tailor who take the Bolts Of Cotton and fashion them into Basic Clothing. Over time, villager clothing becomes shabby and in need of replacing. Villagers will buy new Basic Clothing by visiting the Tailor's Emporium.



RTS Controls
Unit command and control has become a little easier with the addition of Control Groups and Attack-Move. Holding CTRL+1...4 will assign the current selected units to the '1' key. Holding CTRL while right clicking somewhere will command units forward. Any enemies they come into contact with will trigger them to attack. We'll continue to adopt RTS conventions in future patches, including double left clicking a unit to select all units of the same type in the proximity.

Snow Biome


We've added the Snow Kit and Snow Monastery Kit, along with the lovingly designed 'Howling Tundra' map that we streamed the design of over on our Twitch Channel. The fantastic looking Monastery Of The Mangy Wolf is home to the Werefu Monks, a race first introduced in the original Tutorial. They've had a visual overhaul, and now come in three varieties: Warriors, Priests, and Head Priest Wolf Chow (pictured below), whom you may recall incited the Ritual Of The Bloody Fang to turn the Monks into lycans.



Also inhabiting the snowy wastes are Yeti, a sentient race allied with Jack Frost. We'll be expanding on Jack Frost, his minions, and their opposition to the Werefu Monks in future blogs.



Swamp Biome
The Swamp Biome received a solid upgrade in 0.2.11 with the arrival of the Goblin Village Kit, and the Toadkin Race. The Goblin Village Kit adds several starter buildings that map designers can use to create convincing goblin villages.



The Toadkin Kit adds the Worker, Warrior, and a placeholder for the King, sat on his palanquin. We took a closer look at Toadkin in last month's dev blog.



Environment Settings and Weather


Noticed that everything has started to look better? That's because we've added environment settings, enabling you to set mood lighting and weather for each map using the Editor. Weather can be enabled if you want rain or snow. We've also tweaked the ambient settings for all the available zones.

Supersampling
For players with high end PC's, we've added supersampling, accessible via the in-game Console. Supersampling unlocks rendering at higher than native resolutions, scaling down the result back to your native resolution. The results are a terrific boost to visual fidelity, helping world detail pop. The downside is that you need a powerful graphics card with at least 1GB of gpu memory.

Patch 0.2.11 includes a number of bug fixes and minor enhancements. For the full list of changes, please read the Patch Notes. If you like what we're doing, now is a great time to pick up a copy of Folk Tale with a 25% discount in the Steam Sale. Alternatively, leaving a few kind words in a review would be very much appreciated.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Folk Tale Dev Blog 28

by Simon Dean, Project Lead


Welcome to Folk Tale Dev Blog 28, and our first look at the new Toadkin race. As inhabitants of the swamp lands, Toadkin are the natural opponents to the Goblin race. Once we add the quest designer, we’ll be pitting these two enemies against each other, and the decision of which to befriend will be up to you. As a sentient speaking race, it’s going to be an interesting task for the script writer, voice actor and the sound designer to deliver their dialogue.




Toadkin society is patriarchal, with the King protected by the Warriors, overseeing the smaller workers that do most of the labour.



Toadkin are inspired by ancient Mayan culture, and this is reflected throughout, including architecture, armor and weapons, and the loot items that they’ll drop. Here are just a few of the loot items that you can expect to gain from your encounters with Toadkin.



Earlier this month we released patch 0.2.10, including two new swamp kits which you can see in the images throughout this blog. We’ll be continuing to add to the swamp kits with the inclusion of the Goblin Architecture Kit in a future patch.




The soundtrack accompanying the blog video features tracks from the Swamp biome. All of the tracks for all biomes are now complete, and we’ll be releasing the ultra high quality Official Soundtrack as DLC at the same time as Patch 0.3. We hope to expand the soundtrack as more tracks are composed to accompany the cinematics that will go into production next year.

One of the significant additions in Patch 0.2.10 was the ranged Arbalist profession, which you can train at the Barracks along with the City Watch. Using control groups which we’ve added for the next patch, you can now quickly select and command your melee units into combat while keeping your ranged units at the rear.



Using the new console we can add one of every item to my global inventory to demonstrate gear attributes. Using the inventory filters I can show only the items I’m interested in. Equipping armor now modifies unit armor ratings, increasing the damage reduction effect when they take physical damage. Armor effectiveness varies by type and rarity, and in Folk Tale we’ll have Cloth, Leather, Chainmail, Scale mail and Plate.



In Patch 0.2.10 we also added the prototype of the special abilities system. While special abilities will be used by heroes, for testing we’ve added some of the early prototype effects to the staffs. The Cursed Staff has Fire Shield, a passive aura that inflicts fire damage on any opponent caught within the area of effect. The Amber Staff has a mass heal spell which is activated by clicking on the button on the character portrait wheel. The Emerald Staff has a passive heal over time aura that replenishes the health of nearby friendly units. And finally the Staff Of The Dead has the targeted Firestorm spell, Life Steal, and Electrocute. We’ll be improving the look of these abilities in time, but for now they are fun addition to play with.



While we’re on the subject of the character portrait wheel, in Patch 0.2.10 we enabled the Auto-AI toggle. When Auto-AI is active, characters will go about their daily work routines. For the Hunter, this was problematic in previous patches when you wanted to use them as a ranged scouting unit. By turning off Auto-AI, you can now do that, and the Hunter won’t return to work duties until you tell them to.

For the next patch, we’ve added Guard Mode, very useful when you want military units to guard key locations such as your city walls and gatehouses. When Guard Mode is activated, characters will diligently guard that spot, only attacking units that come within range.

The Swamp Ruins kit included in the last patch is specifically designed for creating Toadkin habitat. While we were testing the kit, we decided to indulge level designer creativity by providing props for creating interiors. While future Dungeon Kits will specifically cater for interior locations, we’re interested in experimenting with the help of the community to understand how such kits might be used.



Jumping into the Editor, level designers will hopefully be pleased with the addition of the new swamp kits mentioned earlier, and also the Colliders Kit which includes invisible camera colliders and navmesh cuts. Camera colliders prevent the camera from entering areas or passing through walls, while navmesh cuts prevent characters from walking through certain objects such as sign posts. While most props already include colliders and navmesh cuts, there are special cases where level designers will benefit from being able to place these manually.



If you’re interested in keeping up with the latest developments, as well as sharing your ideas with other friendly community members, the Sunday Dev Hangouts are well worth dropping in to. For more information, please visit twitch.tv/gamesfoundry and follow to the channel. The broadcast times can be found towards the bottom of the channel. Hopefully I’ll get to chat with you soon.

As with all of our dev blogs, I’d like to finish by thanking everyone in the community who continue to support development during Early Access. Until next time, bye for now.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Folk Tale Dev Blog 27

by Simon Dean, Project Lead


Welcome to Folk Tale Dev Blog 27. Today’s blog coincides with the release of Patch 0.2.9, so let’s take a look at what’s new, as well as taking a sneak peak at content from the next patch.

Patch 0.2.9 introduces Tier 1 City Walls. At the start of a game, your buildings and walls are all Tier 1. As you expand and your culture grows, in a future patch you’ll be able to upgrade to stone buildings and defenses and the appearance of your village will change from an impoverished hovel into a thriving market town. For the next patch we’re working on the Crossbowmen unit to join your City Watch in patrolling the walls.



In the economy, we’ve added the Fisherman profession. Best situated near rivers and shoreline, these early stage economic units live in Fishing Huts, easily identifiable by it’s boat shape and nets. Fisherman travel to nearby fishing spots where they cast their lines into schools of fish, before returning to fillet their catch and sell on to hungry Villagers.



We’ve continued to improve the editor, adding plenty of new props, many of which have been added in response to community feedback. Patch 0.2.9 introduces the Loot Inspector for both chests and monsters. Adding loot is as simple as searching for a keyword in the loot item name, clicking the item in the results, and then setting the probability and quantity.





We’ve also added loot profiles for assigning predefined loot tables, with blue items randomized during gameplay so that each game is slightly different. For a full list of all the loot we’ve added so far, please visit the Game Guide on our website at www.gamesfoundry.com.

In the next four weeks, we’re focusing on adding several new professions and buildings. The Weaver profession cultivate cotton buds that are then woven into Bolts of Cotton ready for use by the Tailor profession. Weaver’s live in Weavers Huts, waterwheel powered mini-factories that spin the strands of cotton before being woven on looms.



Once the weaver’s have delivered Bolts Of Cotton to the Storehouse, the Tailor profession cuts the fabric into Clothes that your villagers will then buy. Tailors live in the Tailor's Emporium, designed to look like a pin-cushion for easy recognition. Tailors can equip tools to be more productive, including needles and thread, and thimbles, and can craft cloth armor for equipping your heroes and villagers.



The Herbalist cultivates herbs and brews medicines and potions. Medicinal Herbs are grown in Farmer’s Fields, while rarer herbs can be found in the world for use as ingredients in making potions and poisons. Medicine helps cure sick villagers, who would otherwise infect others, revolt from unhappiness, and ultimately die. Herbalists live in Greenhouses, easily identified by the large potion vials on the roof and the outdoor greenhouse.



Merchants work at the Marketplace and act as middlemen enabling you to buy and sell resources on the open market. The Art Team are still working on the marketplace and the Jeweller profession, and we’ll take a look at those once they are ready in the Sunday Dev Hangouts and a future dev blog.



If you’re interested in keeping up with the latest developments, as well as sharing your ideas with other friendly community members, the Sunday Dev Hangouts are well worth dropping in to. For more information, please visit twitch.tv/gamesfoundry and subscribe to the channel. The broadcast times can be found towards the bottom of the channel. Hopefully I’ll get to chat with you soon.

As always, our sincere thanks for supporting Folk Tale during development and continuing to provide great feedback. Until next time, bye for now.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Folk Tale Dev Blog 26

by Simon Dean, Project Lead


Welcome to Folk Tale Dev Blog 26. Patch 0.2.8 is out and once again we've got a wealth of improvements to share starting with work-in-progress character and global inventory. Besides equipping villagers with armor and tools, weapons can be swapped out and shown on characters. For this patch only we've included one of every item into the global inventory, which can be accessed by clicking on the inventory bag on the top bar. To open a character's inventory, first select an individual which will cause the portrait circle to appear in the bottom left of the screen. Next, click the inventory bag on the portrait wheel. You can now drag and drop items onto your character.

We've still got much work to do on inventory, including proper tooltips, right click to auto-equip, and shift+left click to split stacks, which we'll be working on for the next patch. Inventory is a stepping stone to looting both corpses and chests, so you can expect that soon too.



Two of the economy chains are now complete. The Butchery and Bakery both produce finished goods, and now hungry villagers will buy products ( parting with coin to fill your coffers ) to satiate their hunger. Different foods will fill empty stomachs by differing amounts, and the taste buds of your villagers will evolve as your settlement progresses from Tier 1 through to Tier 3. We've taken the first step by allowing the crop type to be set in the Farmer's Fields.



The worker cap for Tier 1 profession buildings has been increased from 2 to 4, which should make training a small company of City Watch a lot less painful. When enabled, Tier 2 will support 8 characters, and Tier 3 the maximum of 12.

On a final note about economy, we've moved away from the economy simulation first introduced in sandbox and gone back to an actual work performed basis similar to that of the Tutorial. What that means is that there is now a direct correlation between workers dropping off resources and quantities increasing in your inventory. That move opens up a number of options, including the ability to clear areas of land from the map, which we'll be adding in a future patch.

Combat has taken another step forward with the addition of the wave inspector in the Editor. Each wave can comprise of multiple groups, each group being a different monster class. For example, in wave 1 you can spawn a Beastman in Group 1 and a couple of War Pigs in Group 2. In wave 2, you can setup a completely different set of monsters to spawn. Each wave can have a different behaviour, including standing still, wandering within a radius, and seeking out player characters and buildings. You can also choose the wave starting formation, with Group 1 being the captain who's position is denoted by the colour dot in the formation options.



We've migrated the Goblins across into Sandbox and made some improvements, including the addition of the Goblin Warship prop. Goblins can now scale your City Walls, so Engineer's Turrets, Traps and Siege Machines will play an important role in defending your village in later patches. We've also made changes to the Trebuchet including the framework to support different ammo types, with each shot consuming items directly from your global inventory.





Several Editor Kits have received new content, including an expanded Kobold Camp Kit and new Grassland Kit pieces including flaming torches, sconce, braziers, mushrooms, and mine carts. The biggest addition is to the Cemetery Kit which now includes modular snap-together components to create an entire mausoleum complex for your necromancers, skeletons and spiders.



With the kind agreement of community member Matty101, we're including one of his Sandbox maps for you to play around with in Sandbox Player which we've called The Valley. It's completely different to the Human Village map and is well worth playing. It's also pretty stunning, and shows just have great a tile-based terrain system can be made to look.

And finally, if you weren't already aware, we've started the Sunday Dev Hangouts. The live streams on Twitch.tv have been running for several weeks now and provide a great opportunity for us to connect with our community. I always have the latest dev build of Folk Tale on show, and answer questions in chat about game features, what we've been working on, our plans for the future, and how to use the Editor. So if you'd like to hangout with a friendly bunch for a few hours every Sunday, head on over to our Twitch channel and follow us.