Let’s explore the latest news from the world of Against the Storm. In this new devlog, you will:
- Learn how blueprint picks work
- Name the new biome
- Discover the visual enhancements
Now chop chop, let’s get reading!
The most fundamental of our design pillars is to make sure the core gameplay is highly replayable. We constantly toy around this idea trying to flesh out as much roguelite as we can from the “rougelite citybuilder” we set to create.
In the late design, we worked around the idea of creating a “deck” of blueprints available during play: you are supposed to pick a number of buildings from the rooster and then build those and only (well almost only) those structures.
As it turned out, it worked mostly against the core pillar.
The system discouraged experimentation: sticking to your guns and picking the same set of buildings seemed like an optimal thing to do. Risking up to two hours playing with doomed and insufficient build with little to no way to mend its flaws led to an unsatisfying slog or early abandonment. Unlocking more blueprints granted more options and in the later stages of the meta progression, it led to decision paralysis. Every settlement started to look alike.
But there was something to the deckbuilding concept. There was a promise of diversity felt from the very inception of this idea. In roguelites you venture into the unknown with some basic resources, then explore and, in most general and abstract terms, scavenge. The idea is that your avatar gets its power or new options during play from randomized sources (loot, level upgrades, perks, traits, special effects); the process of carving a unique story and identity is… well – a process. We felt that the building part in the “deckbuilding” was neglected.
With that realization came an obvious solution: you will start with a small, mostly unchanging set of basic buildings, and will get to pick additional ones during play. After getting Reputation Points, you will be encouraged to select one of few randomized options (Reputation Bonus) to add to the rooster of buildings. While the settlement grows, so do its problems; getting to know them before committing to a build, making informed decisions, gives the feeling of agency. This system feels much more flexible. Randomizing selections prevents situations where there is always only one best solution to specific hurdles and encourages lateral problem solving, a smaller pool lessens choice paralysis. There is still room for more improvements but the game felt much more as it should.
Around the same time, we developed a concept of the “Obsidian Archive” and its Sage Archivists – perhaps the only faction inspiring the same amount of respect as the Scorched Queen herself. Men and women of all species work tirelessly and meticulously to preserve the knowledge between Great Cycles. They scribe runes on black tablets – one of a few materials resistant to the destructive powers of the everlasting rain. Only the worthy settlers may hope that the Archive will grant them copies of schematics and manuals on how to utilize laws of nature and magic. The Sages also study the world around, perform (or more often commission) field experiments in order to research new mechanics and ways of taming the land and the skies.
New biome (help us name it!)
Building roads and discovering glades on the new biome during Drizzle
We recently revealed the new Crimson biome (placeholder name) – a beautiful yet dangerous land colored in a strange shade of crimson. It’s not certain whether the soil and plants turned red due to the so-called Blood Rain, or if there is another explanation and the rainfall is simply a byproduct.
The Crimson Biome is also sometimes referred to as the Herb Garden of the Kingdom – due to the abundance of Herbs, Berries, and Roots. Due to its warmer climate (compared to the Royal Woodlands and the Smouldering City), it’s the preferred habitat for Lizards.
You can help us choose the name for the new biome. Just type your idea in the comments and we’ll pick the best one and put it in the game!
Community Brainstorm – Pick a name for the biome!
Since the last devlog, we also amped up the visuals, especially when it comes to UI. Here are some most important changes:
We groped resources into categories. Each group has its own drop-down menu.
We improved the radial menu for assigning units in buildings.
New glade popup
The new glade popup was toned down. The icon is now less “in-your-face” and the popup delivers the most important information in a clear manner.
Trade Routes window
Trade Routes are one of the features that we added to support meta-progression in our roguelite city builder. After each playthrough, the settlement that you created can become a trade partner with the new settlement.
We tweaked the window by adding some ornaments in the corners and a background texture.
Trade Routes window
Hey, thanks for getting so far! If you enjoy what you read, please add Against the Storm to your wishlist. We’d truly appreciate that!
Here are some other things we shared on social media. If you want to stay up to date, don’t forget to follow us: CLICK HERE.
Buildings Modules – Concept Art
Damian (graphic designer) surprised us with some new building modules concept art.
The Brewery can produce Ale, Wine, and Ink. The beverages (Ale and Wine) then have to be served in the Tavern.
Along with the reveal of the new biome, we prepared a new pack of screenshots for you. Gameplay trailer – we’re coming for you next!
Crimson biome on new screenshots
Oh, and from other news, we finally started working full-time on Against the Storm and grew our team. Luke joined us as a Community Manager. Actually, he’s the one writing this devlog, so it’s a little awkward. But I guess that’s what community managers do – they write such stuff and then like their own posts from private accounts. Weirdos.
Coming up next
In the next devlogs, we’ll show you what makes each map different and how to choose the location for your next run. You can also expect to learn what Blightrot cysts are and what dangers (and rewards) they bring, what you can find in Caches, how we apply textures to buildings, and more!
Time for your feedback
What do you think about this devlog formula? And how do you feel about the new features and improvements? Let us know in the comments or head to our Discord server and chat with us and other players.
And if you like the game and the direction in which it’s heading, do us a great favor and add it to your Steam wishlist.
May the storm be gentle on you.
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