Hotfix!

Hotfix for the newly released version:

– WARNING: this hotfix will temporary mess up existing cultural balance in regions
– fixed exploit with spawn cool-off
– fixed exploits allowing to create population
– removed Elephant events from early game
– fixed boost event not disapearing
– some exploration events are now affected by the distance from home (ex hostile tribes less likely close to home)
– each region can now hold up to 3 other foreign cultures instead of 1.
– rebel regions might now offer to rejoin a legitimate owner (having the highest culture influence)
– added new unit of “rockthrowers”. a starting range attack unit good to defend behind palissades and gates, with really low range but decent damage and low cost.
– faster production cycle in persistent mode
– slowed down evolution/rebalancing of culture in region
– fixed battle errors

The primitive warfare update

Great milestone for Ymir as the first experimental test of the “persistent mode” ( 24/7 running server ) will begin with this new update!
I will be hosting a persistent server and all the current testers of Ymir will be welcome to join. I expect a lot of issues will rise from this first experimentation… but its still an important step for the project and it should hopefully be still fun.

Besides that, this update adds new primitive units to make the stone age more interesting!
Elite warriors inspired by the spirit of wild animals can be recruited. Wolf warriors are fast, agile, and deal double attacks with their 2 axes. Bearserker have the strength and toughness of bears, and deal extremely high damages that will go through most armors… or city gates. However both are weak to ranged attacks as they lack armor themselves. 
But recruiting them is not that easy : for each of them you need their respective animal resources which can only be obtained by killing hostile wolves and bears.
New resources are also added : obisidian and obsidian weapons. They allow to recruit 2 new “aztec” styled units : the pitzotl and the eagle warrior. Pitzotls are spearpigs with an obsidian spear ( the topilli ) while eagle warriors are equiped with macanas, a wooden sword with blades of obsidian.  Compared to metal counterparts, obsidian deal more damage but give a lower combat skill.

Another important modification is the addition of a new spawn type, and the “inactive” status for characters. If a character is left unplayed for a while, it becomes “inactive”. This creates a new type of spawn: a succession spawn. Any new player can join and takeover this character,  gaining control of all its possessions.

Improving the dynamism of early game is also still a work in progress. I’ve added a “speed boost”, that increases the production speed,  growth, research speed and construction speed for a limited amount of time when you start a new character. I’ve also added new early game events : warriors joining to help explore, and free tools. 

 

The primitive warfare update
Adding new primitive units, obsidian, ‘inactive’ mode and ‘succession’ spawn,  more early game speed boost and events.
v0.0.11.x
– added 4 new primitive infantry units: pitsolt, eagle warrior, wolf warrior, bearserker
– added obsidian terrain tile
– added 3 new resources: obsidian, macanas and topillis.
– added 2 new techs for obsidian weaponry and beast warriors.
– fixed misc issues and bugs
– fixed issues with missing battle reports
– added detailed battle reports
– new running anims for wolves and bears
– offline characters in realtime mode no longer increment difficulty and game events such as barbarian raids
– added caching of the “lowres” worldmap textures for faster loading
– increased terrain fertility of continental climate. Decreased for tropical climate ( only for newly generated regions )
– when recruiting units, you can now see the number of inactives by hovering the mouse on the total population icon
– fixed server connection issues
– added 2 new early game events to boost game start
– increased early game events to boost game start
– reduced standing army soldier upkeep 0.5 to 0.3 coin per unit.
– fixed issue with units overprioritizing the pillaging of buildings during invasions or sacks.
– added “inactivity” -> Characters offline for too long become inactive and elligible for succession. New players can spawn as successor, taking over all the abandonned character’s possessions.
– added spawn cool off time that forbids players from recreating a new character before a certain amount of time, to avoid spawn point spamming.
– added possibility to “abandon” a character. It removes it from the player’s list and control, and makes it inactive.
– improved issue of allied troop breaching their own walls instead of using gates. Its not perfect yet and it might still fail in too complex layouts that have more than 2 consecutive gates.
– fixed libraries not working
– implemented ‘speed boost’ for newly created characters that affects all the main productive char stats ( res prod/cons, demographic growth, research speed, construction speed) to increase dynamism of starting the game. different values for each game mode.

The new resources of obsidian and obsidian weapons: topillis and macanas.

Added max char limitation and spawn cooloff to avoid exploits and spawn spamming. Its also possible to abandon your character to make a new one.

started implementing more detailed battle repports, but still in WIP!

Updates!

As the game is now playable for a minority of testers, here’s a recap of the last updates, including the newest one of today!

 

The swampy update
Improving swamps, nordic region’s balance and herds gameplay.
v0.0.10.x
– fixed misc issues and bugs
– added global climate health bonuses/malus. nordic regions-> health bonus +10. tropical regions-> health malus -5.
– added new terrain type: peat. produces ‘charcoal’ directly exploitable from the ground with the ‘soil miner’ building. It’s present in nordic swamps.
– increased frequency of swamps and lakes in nordic climate.
– increased frequency of sheep and rabbits in nordic climate.
– improved swamp terrain generation. added more topographic diversity and swamps now connect with other adjascent ones.
– added global health malus of -5 in swamps.
– herds will now continuously spawn all over the world map.
– herds now grow with time
– herds now randomly move from region to region
– bigger herds of elephants and mammoths.
– new “capture” action for formations (with the animal capture tech), which is a hunt focusing on capturing live animals from herds instead of killing them for meat. This action loots only livestock resources but no meat or leather.
– elephants and mammoths are now only present as herds ( no more permanent region spawns )
– added new “elephant riding” tech to unlock ability to recruit mounted elephants and mammoths.
– added agriculture tutorial
– added barter transition tutorial
– added a lot of missing project & ideas texts

The new swamps have a more natural looking topography. and also vary more in depth, sometimes being really shallow.

And sometimes with larger areas of water.

Added “peat”, a new terrain type present only in nordic swamps that gives free charcoal when exploited.

The treaty renegociation update
Added missing diplomatic tools for treaties allowing to renegociate, modify, and ending them. Rebalanced life-quality bonuses.
v0.0.9.x
– cannot recruit new troops in a formation if outside home region
– fixed misc issues and bugs
– fixed missing cider mills buildings
– fixed problems with the ‘truffles’ resource
– added terrain tile infos when holding right clic on the terrain
– increased efficiency from 1 to 1.2 of woodcutter 1, and added +2 to its range.
– tiles covered by buildings can no longer be exploited for resources ( –> trees covered by fields will no longer be exploitable by woodcutters )
– hammers and axes less expensive in higher tier metals
– increased life quality bonuses of all houses.
– increased life quality bonuses of satisfied higher level needs
– richer classes are no longer served first for resources equally affordable by poorer classes.
– fixed a pathfinding fatal error
– added server.bat in game folder allowing to start server directly
– added game loading and creation UIs on the server allowing to create new games directly from the server
– improved “first builder” victory mission procedural objectives
– treaty breaking close of “coins penalty” is now a % of GDP instead of a fixed amount of coins.
– it is now possible to terminate treaties without breaking closes if both parties agree on it
– it is now possible to renegociate existing treaties if both parties agree to a modification
– fixed the non-working treaty counter-proposal option

Small improvements update
v0.0.8.x
– fixed misc bugs
– animal ‘camps’ no longer placed in region center, avoiding automatic hunters to start in the same position as the animals
– event-spawned units no longer invade regions
– editor locked
– its now possible to create treaties with no honor engagements.
– smaller tribes of porkoderthals with more loot
– right-click on a building button allows to build its previous obsolete version when relevant
– the defender can now admit defeat when an attacker has compelted his objective, ending the battle instantly without needing to wait for them to retreat
– fixed issues with culture changes and resistance when invading a city
– fixed issues with missing battle events
– fixed issues with average score triggering instantaneous gameover
– improved revelance of procedural objectives for victory missions to be more accessible and relevant to the situation of current players
– added notification to all players when a victory mission is completed
– implemented server passwords, ‘friends only’ and ‘private’ games.
– fixed ability to launch server by shortcut(edited)

 

Discord, Patreon and closed Beta testing

 

After many years of work, Ymir is now finally in closed Beta and being tested by its first ‘external’ players for the past 2 months.
Since then , the Ymir Discord (directly accessible from this website)  has become the main place of activity for the ‘community’ of the game and to follow the project more closely which is also why i’ve been late in posting news about the progress of the game here.
In the discord, some members received temporary ‘pig pioneer’ status with access to the closed beta and received a temporary steam key that will be revoked when the testing phase is over.

Patreon and game keys
But besides that, I’ve also opened a Patreon account and I decided to add some rewards as promised after the initial objective of 200$ per month was reached.
From now on, all donators who accumulate lifetime donations of 40$ or more will receive a permanent key of the game (accessing the closed beta as well but not revoked when its over).
– Patreon emphasizes monthly donations, but if you wish it is possible to donate only for one month and then cancel your pledge the next month. You can donate 40$ only for one month and receive a key to access the game.
– 40$ is more than what the game will be initially sold for on steam at its release. Its a way to support the development of the game and not just a “pre-sale”. If you’re only interested in buying the final product for what it’s worth, its probably best you wait for the actual release!
– For now, payments on Patreon are only processed at the beginning of the next month. You can still cancel during the whole time before that! But that also means you will only receive the key once the payment is processed the next month.
Besides the Patreon i’ll probably still release ‘pioneer’ free but temporary keys to testers, but at my own discretion on the Discord! 

Victory missions & player scores
Adding new big features to the game is pretty much done now, until the game is actually released. 
Still, the biggest added thing since the last news is victory missions, victory points and player scores.
To win a game, a player needs to gather 100 victory points which can be earned in 2 ways : by completing victory missions, or by having a score higher than the ‘average score’.

Victory missions are common to all players and only the first one to complete it gets permanent victory points in rewards. Victory missions include objectives such as being the first to produce or accumulate some resources, discovering a new tech, reaching a certain level of population intelligence, amount, or life-quality in your city etc…
The objectives are procedurally generated depending on the current state of all players to be reachable but not too easy to complete.
Then there’s the score, calculated by combining various stats of your society : wealth, culture, knowledges (techs) and military strength.
Based on the scores of all current characters, an ‘average score’ is calculated plus a score cost for victory points.
All characters with a score higher than that average receive victory points based on the score cost of each point. example if you have a score of 1800 and the average is 1400 and the score cost of each point is 50, you’ll receive 8 victory points. Unlike the victory points from missions, the ones earned from the score fluctuate and you can earn or lose them depending of how your score evolves in relation with the average one. Its also not possible to win the game only with score points, in all cases you need to complete at least a few missions to win. 

The new score leader-board allows you to see your rank and the details of your score. Here i am 2nd despite having a lower score than the 3rd player, because i completed more victory missions giving me extra victory points.

Servers lobby
I added basic support of steam lobbies, and created a server list making it easier to see and join games instead of relying on direct IP only. 

the new servers lobby

Terrain tile infos
Maintaining right-click now gives infos about the hovered terrain tile : fertility level, terrain type, objects on it like trees, and also listing of all potential resources exploitable on this tile allowing you to identify ores and such.

Resource locators
Still based on testers feedback, i added ‘locators’ that will help you see exploitable resources when placing buildings such as the Hunter or the Gathering camps.

Tutorial
A starting tutorial, Sagacious Pig, has been added to help new players in the game step by step based on the feedback from the first testers.
Additional parts to the tutorial are planned and remain to be added.

Besides all that, most of the work has actually been about fixing countless issues, bugs, and re-balancing things in the game. 

Why Patreon rewards & personal situation
This is the result of 2 things.
First the fact the Patreon reached its goal of 200$ for which I had promised rewards, and secondly the fact that my financial situation is a bit tricky right now so i could use the help :troll: .
As i explained in Patreon, i would like to relocate before releasing the game. But currently I depend on a small state subsidy which i’d really like to stop relying on. If I relocate, I obviously lose it, and without it what’s left of my savings won’t last more than a few months….
So i’m stuck and right now my best hope would be to be able to replace that subsidy with Patreon. This way i would be able to relocate where i need to for the release. I would still be depleting my savings, but at the same rate as I am right now here which still gives me some time!
Without it i’m not sure yet how i’ll manage relocate and might have to do everything last minute which is a bit complicated or loan money which i’d like to avoid at all costs…
I have to say reaching the goal of about 800$ a month would be a tremendous help for me and would solve quite a stressful problem i have to deal with in parallel of working on the game itself!

Technologies : Step 5/5 is complete!

Technologies
The last main step to complete a releasable version of Ymir is finally complete: technologies.
Technologies work in 3 steps : Ideas, Projects, and Knowledges. 
Ideas are events that are triggered by special parameters that are hidden to the player. Each idea has its own parameters such as owning certain buildings, having a certain amount of a certain class of population, producing or missing an amount of a type of resource, having a natural resource etc…
When an idea appears, it unlock a Project. The project is visible to the player and all available projects are listed in his government menu. Projects are tasks that can costs money or resources and need researchers to be assigned to it. Once completed , a project gives the player a new Knowledge. Each project requires a specific population class as researchers : for instance an agricultural one will require Farmers. To start the project , the player has to assign a certain amount of this population class to the project, but it will reduce proportionally their productivity in their respective buildings ( If a project requires Farmers and half the available farmers are assigned to it, all Farms will have their workforce reduced by half ).
Knowledges are the actual ‘techs’ : they unlock new buildings, new resources, new policies etc. Each knowledge however requires a certain amount of ‘knowledge storage’ points, depending on how complex it is. Knowledge points represent the capacity of your society to hold and remember all its techs and skills and it is increased by 2 things : your total culture (and therefore the amount of total population in your society ) and libraries ( once you develop some form of writting ). You cannot get new knowledges if you reached your current limit.

The “knowledges” tab of the government menu, listing all the currently available projects and all the currently held knowledges on the left ( many texts for projects and techs are still missing, for there is a lot of them to write! ).

Worldmap exploration events
I also added worldmap exploration (black tiles until you explore them a first time) and Exploration events. Exploration events are triggered each time you move and uncover new tiles in the worldmap. Its on a per-player basis so events will be triggered regardless of other players exploring the same tile previously. 
These events are here to make the early game more eventful , as your expeditions can discover useful loots and be joined by new units but also face many dangers.  Once an area is explored it no longer triggers these events to move through it, making the path “safe”. It adds challenge and a feeling of ‘distance’ preventing players from easily discovering the whole world right from the start.

New early game defenses
I added new early-game defenses : simple walls ( palisades ) and  new freestanding defensive ‘stone age’ tower. Those simple walls are breachable like doors, unlike the big “platform” walls that have to be climbed by the enemy. The wooden palisade is available right from the start and allows to quickly defend your early village and take advantage of natural positions as the big “platform” walls are only available much later in game.

Herds and hunting
Also to  make early game more eventful, I’ve added Herds and a new hunting action. Herds are groups of neutral animal units ( a formation belonging to the Gaia npc faction ) that can be attacked to ‘hunt’ them and will give you big loots of meat and leather to boost your early cities. Unlike a ‘resource spot’ of animals in a region that you can continuously exploit with a hunter building, herds are actual units – like an army – visible on the world map and with a finite amount of animals. They will give you a lot of food at once, but once killed the herd disappears. 
Sometimes herds will spawn from events near your villages in early game. Otherwise you’ll have to explore the worldmap to find new herds before other players, and, as explained up, exploring is now a risky thing.
Hunting a herd actually triggers a ‘battle’ where your units try to kill all the animals, so depending on the animal’s stats it can be more or less dangerous. Once you mastered the knowledge of “animal capture”, it will also give you chances to capture some animals alive which you can then use as livestock and later on to start animal husbandry.

What now ?
The closed testing of Ymir before its release should begin soon. To participate you’re welcome to join the Ymir Discord where the announcement and organizing will be done when the time comes.
Before that, i’m busy doing various misc tasks of ‘polishing’ the game : fixing various issues i kept postponing, bugs, improving some things etc. For instance i redesigned some UIs ( got rid of the top bar ) and replaced all the placeholder icons. I’m already testing the game with only a few friends and re-balancing / adding contents based on the feedback.
Amongst these polishing tasks it now appeared necessary to include a more detailed tutorial. I also need to add more events including Victory Point missions : global missions that award victory points to the first player that completes it, so that the game can have a formal ending. 
Once all these misc tasks are completed, closed testing will begin distributing gradually an increasing number of temporary steam keys ( up to about 200 ) . After testing is complete, the game will then be formally released in ‘early access’.