Guidance and Lore Update – Part 1 available!
Home, sweet home!
I can’t think of anything more pleasant than basking in front of the fireplace and reading the hot-off-the-press issue of the Smoldering City Journal.
Here are the keys to your new home. Take your raincoat off, put on those comfy slippers, and enjoy your reading.
- Aunt Lori – interactable character
- Tutorialized narrative
- Building deactivation
- Grid and list view in Warehouse
Enough of me talking, it seems you have a visitor to take care of!
In today’s update, we bring you the first part of the new Guidance and Lore system – a feature meant to breathe a bit more life into the Citadel and give new players a sense of direction (while also providing lore and some practical advice). Additionally, we introduce a few minor UI and balance changes, as well as a whole host of bug fixes.
Let’s first start with a somewhat lengthy preamble. We’re slowly but surely nearing the 1.0 release of Against the Storm. From a development standpoint, this means one thing – focusing on the last few items on the roadmap, like the aforementioned Guidance and Lore system, tutorial improvements, Steam Deck Verified status, and general polish/balance. That’s why this and the next few updates won’t be introducing any core gameplay shakeups and will be more about delivering on the promises we made during Early Access.
This doesn’t mean we will stop introducing community-inspired improvements or that we’ll slow down our update schedule. We just wanted to let you know what the team is currently working on and what to expect in the near future. We will share the exact date of the 1.0 release with you soon-ish™.
But enough of that. Let’s now go over the main feature of this update – Guidance and Lore. This system, in a way, is part of the extended tutorial of the game. It’s mostly aimed at new players, but it’s not trying to hold their hands and force them to do anything. It’s more of an additional support mechanic that helps to understand the game and add context.
Instead of hiding it behind the in-game encyclopedia or showing annoying popups, we decided to go with a more immersive approach. From now on, after finishing a very early Deed (First Steps), you will get access to your own home in the Smoldering City. There, you will meet Aunt Lori – an interactable NPC who serves as a mentor and guide.
To talk to Aunt Lori, you need to visit the Smoldering City and either select the new building directly or click on the “Home” button in the Citadel UI. This will take you to a new screen with the interior of your house and Aunt Lori in it.
When talking to Aunt Lori, you can ask her questions regarding certain game mechanics, get a few bits of lore from time to time, and ask her for advice. Some conversation topics are always available, while others will only appear if certain conditions are met (like specific gameplay tips based on your previous runs).
Interactions with this system are never forced. You won’t get a dialogue box in the middle of a game or while browsing the upgrade tree. We designed this feature so that it’s useful and fun for players who enjoy a bit of lore and need some advice, while not forcing it on players who just want to focus on the mechanical aspects of the game.
As this is the first iteration of Guidance and Lore, there aren’t that many subjects you can pick when talking to Aunt Lori. But we will expand upon this system in the next few updates – by adding collectibles to the Viceroy’s Quarters (your home), increasing the number of conversation topics and tips, and introducing dialogue branches meant to guide new players through the game’s content. As with every new addition to the game, we will closely monitor your feedback on it and adjust if necessary.
Before we move on to the detailed changelog, let’s just quickly go over the most important UI changes coming with this update. We added a grid/list toggle to the warehouse panel, we improved hauler AI to prioritize fuller internal storages, we added the option to freely move all unconstructed buildings, and we introduced a new “activate/deactivate” button for all production buildings and construction sites. We also fixed a lot of bugs, as well as tweaked the balance of some production buildings and Forest Mysteries.
As always – thank you all for providing feedback and suggestions for the new update. If you’d like to share your ideas for upcoming updates, here are some useful links:
May the storm be gentle on you,
P.S. One of the best things you can do to help indie games is to leave a Steam review. If you’ve had a chance to play Against the Storm, we’d love to hear any feedback, positive or negative. Thanks!
Number of changes
Inspired by community
Changes marked with ⚡ were inspired by community.
New content and features
- ⚡ Added the Guidance and Lore system in the form of a new interactable NPC in the Citadel – Aunt Lori.
- The Guidance and Lore system is mainly aimed at new players, but it should also introduce some interesting lore and tips for veterans.
- The current version of this system is just the first iteration, so the number of dialogue options and conversation topics is not final. We will introduce new options and topics in the coming weeks.
- The core of the Guidance and Lore system is the player’s home in the Smoldering City and Aunt Lori – an interactable mentor NPC.
- To unlock the Viceroy’s Quarters and Aunt Lori, you have to complete the First Steps Deed (finish a game after the tutorial).
- After it’s unlocked, the Viceroy’s Quarters appear in the Smoldering City, where they can be entered either by clicking on the building or a button in the Citadel UI.
- The interactable NPC, Aunt Lori, is always present in the player’s home. The game never forces the player to interact with her, though. All conversations are completely optional and never occur outside of the player’s home.
- Conversations are mostly focused on lore, tutorialization, and contextual tips.
- Some dialogue options are always there (like questions about specific game mechanics), and others appear based on player actions (like a tip about Blightrot if the player was struggling with it in a previous game).
- In the next update, we will introduce dialogue options meant to direct the player towards their next objective, as well as collectibles in the Viceroy’s Quarters (as rewards for Deeds). There will also be some new Deeds overall.
- Added a new Deed – First Steps. It can be completed by finishing the first game after the tutorial (existing players will have to just play one run to unlock it, no matter their progress).
- The reward for that Deed is the Viceroy’s Quarters – your very own home in the Smoldering City.
- ⚡ Adjusted the AI of haulers and hauling carts. They will now prioritize fuller internal storages over emptier ones (although distance is still a significant factor).
- ⚡ Reshuffled a few recipes in buildings to avoid too similar configurations.
- Smelter – removed Pipes (★★), added Training Gear (★★).
- Smithy – removed Training Gear (★★), added Pipes (★★).
- The changes to the Smelter also apply to the Flawless Smelter.
- ⚡ Removed the Shifting Paths Forest Mystery.
- ⚡ Rebalanced the Unnatural Erosion Forest Mystery. It now activates at Hostility 4 and spawns in a more balanced configuration (with a higher chance of spawning alongside stronger positive Forest Mysteries and weaker negative ones).
- ⚡ Added Porridge to Training Expeditions (as a selectable starting good).
- ⚡ Added Porridge to trade routes. Towns established in the Coral Forest and the Cursed Royal Woodlands will now sometimes request it.
- Towns built in the Royal Woodlands will now sometimes request Leather in trading routes.
- Renamed the old First Steps Deed to Third Time’s a Charm.
- ⚡ All unconstructed buildings can now be moved for free.
- Beware that moving a construction site will reset building progress and return the used resources to the Main Storage.
- ⚡ Added a grid/list toggle to the warehouse panel.
- To track or set a lower limit for a resource in the grid view, click it and use the small interactable tooltip.
- The list view works the same way as before.
- ⚡ Added an option to deactivate construction sites and production buildings. Deactivated buildings are ignored by haulers and builders, and all workers are unassigned immediately.
- The “deactivate” button can be found in the building panel after selecting a given building.
- There is also a keybind for deactivating/activating a building ( . by default).
- ⚡ Added an alert when a resource node is removed by a Seal Plague or Forest Mystery.
- ⚡ Changed how completed Deeds are highlighted to make it clearer that a reward can be collected.
- ⚡ Changed the wording in the description of the Vitality effect (Tea Doctor). It now correctly states that the bonus is triggered for every fulfilled complex food need, not for every complex food item consumed.
- ⚡ Changed the wording in some World Event decision tooltips to avoid the word “pay” for embarkation goods (it only occurs in relation to Citadel Resources).
- ⚡ Improved the wording of some World Event decisions to make it clear that resources and villagers are taken away for only the current cycle.
- ⚡ Changed the table header for the lower limit to “minimum” in the warehouse panel.
- ⚡ Changed the name of villager rewards given for completing orders to “villagers” instead of “newcomers”.
- ⚡ Long town names without spaces are now automatically broken into two lines in the calendar at the bottom of the World Map HUD.
- Some towns made before this update might have incorrectly formatted names due to this change. New towns, however, will be displayed correctly.
- ⚡ Fixed a bug with Hauling Carts not disappearing when destroying a Small Storage.
- ⚡ Fixed a bug with workers being assigned to slots occupied by automatons when using the Shift key.
- ⚡ Fixed a bug with haulers not taking goods from production buildings in which workers are already unloading resources.
- ⚡ Fixed a bug with incorrect settlement names being displayed on the World Map HUD.
- ⚡ Fixed an issue with the Market Shift Plan Cornerstone appearing for players who already had almost all trade offers unlocked.
- ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Trading Post showing an incorrect message when selecting it at the exact moment a trader leaves the settlement.
- ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Vanishing Water Forest Mystery not showing progress correctly in its tooltip.
- ⚡ Fixed a bug with Deeds still being tracked in the Deed panel, even after their completion.
- ⚡ Fixed a bug with the mine showing an incorrect alert when it’s idle because of a player-selected setting.
- ⚡ Fixed an issue with the camera position not being saved between sessions.
- ⚡ Fixed a few minor issues with the Ancient Hearth’s mesh and textures (intersecting geometry, invisible vegetation).
- ⚡ Fixed an issue with dust particles still being animated when building construction is stopped.
- ⚡ Fixed some inconsistencies with the translation of “Drizzle” in the Russian version of the game.
- ⚡ Fixed a typo in the Czech description of the Additional Cornerstone Choice unlock in the Smoldering City.
- ⚡ Fixed a typo in the Traditional Chinese description of the Queen’s Gift Cornerstone.
- ⚡ Improved save stability on certain hardware configurations.
The current game version is 0.61.1.
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