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Banished

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A friend showed me this video of a game currently in development called Banished. It reminds me a bit of stronghold but the population mechanics seem to make a bit more sense to me. I hope it pans out well as development gets closer to completion.

 

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I came across this too, through Reddit.  I definitely like what I've seen so far - it has the potential to be a first link to a historic-based SimCity, starting with agriculture.  Between this, Cities in Motion 2 & other future indie games like Civitas I am hoping for several SimCity replacements.

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Updates:

 

 

 

Over the last few days I’ve made fixes to some hard-to-find bugs that have been plaguing the game for a long time. Many of these bugs only show up in extended play. I’ve also done some performance optimization to handle higher populations.

And so today I played the game for a long while to stress test my fixes. Below are some screenshots of the resulting town. This town uses only hunting, gathering, and fishing for food.

 

Screenshots: http://www.shiningrocksoftware.com/?p=883

 

 

Latest video:

 

 

I'm pretty excited about this, feels like a cross between SimCity and Colonization or Settlers.

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I was just going to post this here also, I discovered it this morning. This will be what I think to my personal liking, probably a game that I will play for a longtime. Luv that kind of games. I am playing The Settlers, CIV III and 1503 AD ever since they came out and never get tired of them.

 

 

.....yes, I forgot SC4, of course I still play it fulltime (at least 3 hrs/week)

 

It looks promissing and surely a game I will buy.......that makes me think, I still haven't bought SC2013........nah, come to think of it, not worth it. ;)

 

mrb

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The developer posted a big article about pathfinding:

 

http://www.shiningrocksoftware.com/?p=901

 

Pathfinding seems simple. Find the shortest, or a least a good path from point A to point B. As humans we do this all the time. We do it unthinking while driving in the car, walking through a city, or looking at a map of roads. Making it work in a game is not so easy.

....

All that pathing and flood fill code I just described is only about 350 lines of C++. Strange that a small amount of code has caused me so many performance issues and headaches….

 

Very interesting read. 

 

 

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Some interesting updates:

 

http://www.shiningrocksoftware.com/?p=963

 

For a long time I’ve been neglecting the orchards in the game. Only apples could be grown in them, and the art for them was mediocre. While this was ok, the townspeople in the game like variety in food, and just apples wasn’t making them happy, especially if there were no wild berries in the forest to collect.

 
So this week I added the new art required for having larger variety in the orchards. This is a somewhat tedious for each tree type. For performance reasons I can’t model every branch and leaf, which in some ways I think would be easier than generating low poly trees.
 
I have to make a lot of different resources to get the these trees into the game and usable in orchards. There’s the model itself, which has solid parts for trunks and main branches, textures on billboards for the finer branches, textures for the leaves, textures for ambient occlusion, a model representing the fruit when it’s harvested or moved from storage, and textures for that. Then there are sprites and text strings representing the fruit and seeds so that it can be shown in the user interface. Then there’s a whole bunch of data to configure. The tree needs to be setup as a growable item, configured to grow fruit dependent on temperature, and then tied into the game. Then the actual item that townspeople can use and eat needs to be configured as well.  

 

Screenshot12.jpg

 

http://www.shiningrocksoftware.com/?p=952

 

When I did get back in front of the keyboard, most of the time was spent on the mundane fixes that I can’t take screenshots of – bug and crash fixes, minor enhancements to the user interface, and tweaks to game balance.

 
However I did add a slew of new crops that can be grown in fields, and you can see one of them is pumpkins. I also added new plants that can be gathered from the forest. This coming week I’ll be adding more fruit trees that can be planted in orchards and possibly some more creatures that wander the forest…
 
I’ve also made some big additions to trading, allowing the player to setup automatic trades anytime a merchant stops by as well as being able to place custom orders for goods with the merchants.

 

Pumpkins.jpg

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He just posted an update:

 

http://www.shiningrocksoftware.com/?p=1234

 

A large part of my work has been on large scale disasters that will destroy buildings a leave a path of destruction across the town. Building a town and then unleashing a disaster is pretty fun to watch. I’m still play balancing how often they happen and ways the player can prepare for the disasters ahead of time.
 
One of the ways to prepare for disasters resulted in a few more buildings and objects that can be placed on the map. Adding things like this is dangerous in terms of feature creep. When I add a new object, I start thinking of all sorts of ways it could be used, even though I’m trying to head towards content lock-down.
 
One of these objects is a well. It makes me think about making water and thirst a need of citizens. Then I’d have yearly rainfall, usage, and closeness to a body of water effect how much water can be gotten from a well. Then I think I’ll have farmers haul water to crops in years where it doesn’t rain. That then makes me think about allowing the townsfolk to dig irrigation ditches…. At some point I have to stop thinking this way because I really need to ship the game. And what I just described is probably more than a week of work, and the time spent getting water will slightly unbalance the amount of time townsfolk currently spend working.
 
Despite thinking about things like water, I’ve also added some map starting condition parameters, changing map size, climate type, and terrain type. These really just come down to how hard or easy the player wants to make the game play experience. I’ve also been considering exposing the random seed used to generate terrain so that good maps can be replayed and shared.

The other significant change I’ve been making is the happiness of the townsfolk. I’ve had happiness in the game for a long while, and a happiness achievement, but not many things factored into it. Generally until a town was very mature happiness was very low. This wasn’t good balance. A small town should be able to have relatively happy people when it’s just starting off.
 
I want overall happiness to be a good measure of how well the town is doing, and in turn how well the player is doing, but unless it’s meaningful I’d rather pull the stat completely. Before removing it I wanted to try to flesh it out. So I took a few days and made more events effect happiness.
 
Happiness is now related to being healthy, cold, sick, or hungry, deaths of family members and how they die, availability of supplies, frequency of job changes, housing type and location, what types of buildings are nearby, having children, getting married, getting better clothes, food variety, how much time is spent working, new construction around homes, disasters, how far away a job is from home, and how much time is spent idling at common locations.
 
Buildings can also now be categorized into several categories of happiness (or sadness), such as entertainment, spirituality, shopping, safety, health, and eye sores. Visiting these places and living near them makes the townsfolk happier or sadder.

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Keeps getting cooler and cooler.

 

http://www.shiningrocksoftware.com/?p=1414

 

 

While eating my lunch, instead of dwelling on these ideas, I decided I would hack up the game to follow a citizen around town. I’ve been told players like to do this, so I decided to try it – but hands free so I could continue eating. I added one line of code that caused any selected item to always be centered in the middle of the screen. The functionality was already in the code – I just needed to call the function from the right place.

I clicked on a person, and the camera started tracking them as they moved through town. I decided I liked watching the people move around town enough that I should add it as a feature. (Did I just add functionality while trying to avoiding doing just that?)

 

Thinking it was a small task and a worthy addition to the game, I got to banging away at the keyboard. After an hour or so, I could select any person, press a button, hide the main user interface, and then happily follow them around town with a description of what they were doing.

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oJW013U638

 

Lot of new screenshots:  http://www.shiningrocksoftware.com/?p=1406

 

x01.jpg

 

x09.jpg

 

x08.jpg

 

x12.jpg

 

x15.jpg

 

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Ah yess, I was wondering if he was going to add taverns and churches with graveyards. Stone houses, too. It'll be a real city of its time.

 

The cemeteries feature is amazing!

 

http://www.shiningrocksoftware.com/?p=1474

 

I’m waiting for a full clean build to complete, so I thought I’d take a second to talk about cemeteries. Since the last gameplay video I’ve gotten quite a few questions and seen a bit of speculation regarding their use. Here’s how they work.

 

The player can place a cemetery of variable size anywhere it fits. When townsfolk die, if there is space in a cemetery a grave will appear. If a spot is available the family of the person that died won’t be as sad. If there are no cemeteries, they’ll be much sadder for a while, but they’ll head back toward normal happiness after a few years.

 

The townsfolk like to visit places of interest in their idle time, and the cemetery is one of these. People that live near a cemetery also get a happiness boost.

 

Tombstones eventually decay and disappear after a generation or so. This allows reuse of graves. Otherwise a town would be covered by cemeteries by the time 10 generations go by.

 

Unlike other structures, if you destroy a cemetery, the walls around it will be taken down – but the tombstones won’t disappear. The citizens don’t want to just tear apart graves so they can build homes and other buildings on top of them. The player has to wait for the natural decay of the tombstones before that space can be utilized for something else.

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  • Original Poster
  • Seems like he's almost finished.

     

     

    So what’s next? Not sure. My schedule has fewer and fewer items on it each day! Am I actually coming to the end of development!? Sweet!

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    This is a game I would love to play! I can see a future expansion pack that adds technology progression that allows you to build brick buildings and possibly steel-frame buildings (allowing you to build tenements).

    --Ocram

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    This is a game I would love to play! I can see a future expansion pack that adds technology progression that allows you to build brick buildings and possibly steel-frame buildings (allowing you to build tenements).

    --Ocram

     

    He showed for a brief moment in a recent video that at least houses can be upgraded to stone from simple wood. Though I think steel-frame buildings are too advanced for the game's setting. Making steel on that scale requires a blast furnace. 

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    It looks very good, I hope you can buy it without requiring steam as well. I don't like to depend on steam to get games... 

     

    Anyhow, I am wondering what the gameplay consists of, it all seems very straightforward, but that might also mean it is not so much in depth. Nonetheless it is already relaxing when you look at the videos and listen to the music and sounds.

     

    I'm sure there will be more gameplay than you can see from the videos. Definitely looking forward to this one!

     

    Kind regards,

     

    Dijego

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