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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

More work on user interface

Sorry, no screenshots today, but I thought I'd let you all know what I'm up to.

I'm working on making the game more accessible to users. What that means is that instead of a planet generating "23.3 points of agriculture", it now says "Starving (-1.3 Pop", "Feasting (2.1 Pop)" or "Content". So users can gauge if their people are starving or not, instead of trying to guess the growth factor.

I've also reworked the growth formula, and now it won't immediately kill off all people if you set agriculture to 0, but it stills need a bit more tweaking. Right now it is a bit too extreme in growth factor (+12.5 pop in one turn!). The formula itself is final, but need to tweak some variables in it.

Another thing that I'm working on is replacing the "Waste" with "Environment". Environment includes cleaning up the waste generated by other fields still, but now also includes terraforming. So if you invest a lot into Environment, you can improve your planet's terrain type. Not just that, having surplus points in Environment increases your planet's max population. When your max population reaches a threshold, the planet's terrain changes. Also, if you pollute the planet too much, it will change to a worse climate. Polluting reduces the max population.

Each planet will have one of two "types" of climate path that it will go through in terraforming. Every planet's worst climate is "Radiated", I will show both paths here:
The "Dry" climate
Radiated -> Toxic -> Volcanic -> Barren -> Badlands -> Desert -> Steppe -> Terran


The "Wet" climate
Radiated -> Toxic -> Arctic -> Dead -> Tundra -> Ocean -> Jungle -> Terran

If you pollute, the path is followed in reverse. The "Wet" climate planets are more likely to have agriculture special bonuses (Fertile that does 2X agriculture for example), while the "Dry" are more likely to have construction bonuses. There may be negative special "bonuses" such as "Poor" or "Infertile" that adds extra penalties. Special bonuses for planets are permanent and don't change with climate changes.

They are:
"Ultra Poor", "Poor", "Rich", "Ultra Rich" - Affects Construction
"Desolate", "Infertile", "Fertile", "Lush" - Affects Agriculture and Environment
"Insipid", "Dull", "Sensational", "Exciting" - Affects Commerce and Research

The bonuses are -50%, -25%, 0% (normal), 25%, and 50% of normal output. They will be represented by icons next to the planet's name. A planet may have more than one special bonus, for example, a planet may be Ultra Poor and Fertile.

When those are done, I will post screenshots of those in action, along with the new information display.


  1. "Dead" sounds more inhospitable than "Arctic"

  2. Good catch! Dead is a planet without atmosphere, like our moon. I will swap those two. I'm not sure why I put Dead after Arctic.