Trade routes implemented : step 3/5 is complete!

The trading system is now implemented, completing the 3rd task of the 5 remaining! I am now moving to the 4th one : technologies.

There is 4 different types of commercial activities in Ymir.
The first one is the most primitive and basic one : manually loading resources into a group carrier units, travelling to destination and unloading the goods from their inventory.
The second one is the most common one among games of this genre : trading offers to sell and buy amounts of resources at  specific prices. You can put any material resource for sale and it will be available for sale to anyone in your trading network.
The third one is more advanced: Trade Routes. They allow for the constant transfer of a resource instead of a one-time sale. For instance, with a trade route, you can arrange to constantly transfer a certain amount of food produced in a farming region to your capital.
The fourth one is related to trade routes as well: to work, a trade route needs a service called Cargo. Cargo represents the fact ships and caravans are required to constantly carry the goods along a trade route.

You can produce this service by building docks in your city. This special service can be ‘rented’ from any of the cities of your trading network, and when you open a trade route, you have to choose an “operator” : the city that will provide the required cargo service for this trade route and deal with the transportation of goods. You can choose your own city for this, but also any city of your trading network that has enough cargo available.  The cargo required for a trade route depends on the volume of resources traded, but its also affected exponentially by the total distance of the trade route.
Now this is where it gets interesting : the distance is calculated from the operator’s location. This means that choosing an operator in the middle of your trade route will make it A LOT cheaper than choosing to operate the route yourself from one end of the route, where the distance factor is maximal.
This also means that strategically placed cities can thrive simply by ‘operating’ trade routes, without producing anything themselves, but simply by providing cargo to others and effectively becoming a “trading node”. Cargo generates incomes for your traders, which in turn generates tax revenues for the city. But on top of that, cities can raise a customs tariff, taxing a percentage of the value of all goods of every trade route operated by the city, generating additional income.

When you sell goods via trade route or regular sales, the generated income doesn’t belong to you ( the state ) but to the owners of the sold resources ( local producers in your city ).
When you buy goods however, it is you (the state) that buys them at the price specified in the offer. The imported goods therefore belong to you, and not to local producers in your city.
Later on, If these goods generate incomes ( by beeing sold to local population via merchants or consumed by industries ect .. ) , the generated incomes will this time go directly to the state, potentially reimbursing you the cost of importation. For instance, if you import tomatoes at a price of 2 but that they are worth 3 on the local market of your city,  you could very well generate profits for yourself.
However , trade routes are expensive as not only do you have to pay upfront for the imported goods but you also need to pay for the cargo service, and to eventually pay a customs tariff.

The cost of a trade route includes 3 things : the cost of the imported goods themselves (paid to the exporting city), the cost of the cargo service to carry the goods (paid to the operator) and the cost of the customs tariff (paird to the operator).

You can only trade with your own cities , or cities belonging to a state that has given you access to its trade ( via a diplomatic treaty ). You will only be able to sell and see the trade offers from cities of your trading network.

When selling something, you are free to sell it at any price regardless of its local price in your region. The offer will then be visible from any region that has trading rights with yours.

All buildings are in : step 2/5 is complete!

All the buildings for the planned release version are now ingame.
All their new functionalities are also implemented , including a new kind of resources : services. Each service building mostly produces its own service resource, so for example a Tavern will produce a Tavern service.
Some services are consumed directly by the population to satisfy their needs, like the services of Taverns or Theaters that satisfy the social or entertainment need.
Some other services are also consumed by population but have other effects : doctors, washhouses or public baths will for example improve health of the population accessing it.
Other services have more specific uses :
– Builders produce a construction service now required to build most things.
– Docks produce a cargo service, which will be used to operate trade routes.
– Markets produce a trading service, which will be used to create ‘inter-city’ trade offers.
– Scribes produce an administrative service that increases administration of the city.
– Schools produce a service that increases intelligence of the population accessing it.
– Magistrates produce a justice service that reduces conflict in the population.
– Tax collectors produce a service that reduces waste ( a % of incomes lost, increased by population and bad administration ).

I added a new need in the pyramid of needs of population: the social need, of priority 2 (meaning it comes after vital needs of water and food).
For now, its satisfied only by Taverns and Forums ( a kind of plaza you can build in your town center where people gather  ).

Water has been added. Its now required as a vital need. You can produce it with wells or with water collection points placed on the shore of rivers. Water is also used by various industries or buildings like the public baths or bakeries.

The building production UI has been redesigned and completed with additionnal informations. It is now possible to choose a specific material to use for a production ( when more than one is available ), or to leave it in automatic mode. The UI now also shows the budget of the building itself, allowing you to see how much taxes this building is generating, how its production is used and sold, or how much each one of its workers earn.

The new production UI: here a bakery requires a combustible ( wood, charcoal or coke ), flour and water to produce bread. The building’s budget shows where this building’s income is coming from and how it is used. Here the building generates 1 of taxes, and 2.6 income shared between the 2 workers.

I added a new kind of annex : the efficiency annex. These annexes increase the efficiency of the building they belong to.
For now, this type of annex is used for waterwheels and windwheels, which are used for example by flour mills.

The game now has its definitive look, and i’m moving to the next step!


An ‘iron age’ settlement.

A late game city with ‘classical age’ buildings, including the new multi-story houses.

An industrial district with furniture makers, carpet makers, weavers, paper mill, brickworks, weapon makers, fundry, steel maker… There’s also a forum plaza with a tavern, a bakery and a public bath.

A lot of cosmetic tools have been added : different kinds of gardens, lawn, flower beds, plazas of mosaic and marble, roads, fences… You can use all these tools to design your parks and gardens around important buildings or fancy houses.

All unit graphics finished : step 1/5 is complete!

All the unit graphics are now completed:
I’ve added about 30 types of units including mounted units on horses, camels, elephants but also the dreadful giant Mammoths.
Bigger and stronger than elephants, its ultimate form , the Megaphant, comes equipped with a full steel plated armor and 3 archers. This will be the ultimate tank of the battlefield!

The glorious Megaphant: a steel plated armored mammoth

For infantry units, there is now different types of swordpigs additionally to the spearpigs.
I’ve added heavy infantry with steel plated armors, including the Martelsnout, the heaviest armored infantry so far equiped with warhammers and steel shields. There’s also 2 handed longswords, battle axe warriors, heavy helbardiers in the fashion of Swiss pikemen, hoplites and more…
Range units now include longbowpigs and crossbowpigs.
Mounted horses and camels each include 4 units : one light unit , one heavy “cataphracted” unit with scale armor, one heavy “pig-at-arms” with plated armor , and one mounted archer.

The different military units of the game

Now that all the main graphic assets are complete, i’m moving to the next step : implementing service buildings. I’ll also have to render and format all these assets and add them to the game, wich is pretty time consumming!

All resources completed!

After the buildings, i’ve now completed all the resource graphics!
Generic tools resources have been replaced by specific tools : hammers, saws, shovels..
There is now proper ores for each metal, and i added tin, bronze, steel, coal and coke.
There’s also furnitures and carpets, rum, blocs for each stone types, cotton, wool… plus the missing sprites for all the food types like rice, cheakpeas, dates, figs, beans…
All previously existing sprites have also been re-rendered and improved with new shaders.

I’m also adding lots of pieces of military equipment. There is now about 20 types of equipment: armors, shields, helmets and weapons. They will be used to recruit various units.
Which leads to the last step of graphical contents : units.

A preview of some of the resource sprites

All buildings completed!

I’m happy to report that i’ve completed all the buildings. It took more time than expected as 20 turned into more than 30 new types of buildings!
In total, i had to make more than 80 new building designs, as each type of building has up to 4 evolutions.
The buildings are not integrated in game yet, which will also require a decent amount of work.

I’m now working on all the missing resource sprites (each resource has its own sprite with 8 levels of filling, and there’s quite a lot of new resources to add as well as resources i had never modeled ). Then i will be modelling and adding new units. When this is complete, that first step out of 5 will be completed, with all graphical assets finalized.

As a teaser, here is below a photoshop composition of some of the new buildings that I used as i designed them to check scales and style continuity. This is not an ingame screenshot, but it gives a good idea of the new look cities will have.
New buildings include tavern, school, library, carpet and furniture workshops, magistrate, water infrastructures, commercial and trading buildings, butcher, bakery, theater, cattle ranch and more…
As other misc additions:
Metallurgy is beeing complexified. I’m adding ores and I split the mine and fundry in 2 separated buildings. Also added steel making buildings. I’m also adding tin, bronze, charcoal, coal and coke.
Modular wind and waterwheels will be available for various buildings as an annex, providing efficiency bonuses.

A photoshop composition of some of the new and redesigned buildings. Here is a collection of “iron age ” buildings, which is level 3 out of the 4 of the release version.