This build has some new and improved tool tips for various parts of the game. I will continue adding more in subsequent patches, as well adding more icons and links. Speaking of icons, the map now has icons for various strategic resources instead of the (mysterious) ‘circled M’. And as usual some bug fixes, including some pretty nasty save game bugs, which caused omission of important world data when saving. Here are some screenshots of the icons and tool tips.
Next I am going to be working on the character AI, making non-player characters more active and giving the player controlled characters a kind of agency. This will allow your followers to request assignment to certain tasks or the freedom to act independently. Not only can you use this to avoid micro-management – it also works to create a deeper and more interesting game world and story, where the characters have goals and motivations.
If we take Mayor Nzaich from the above screenshot, the personality traits Lusty and Greedy should be more than just modifiers to some skill and event rolls. They should drive his choice of actions. Will he choose to focus on what is best for his city or will he spend his time acting on his more base impulses?
There are a couple of steps needed to enable this. I have done a first pass at reworking traits and challenge mechanics – creating a more reusable framework for creating assignments and events. Next up is the basic character AI, setting up some motivations and goals for every character in the game, and tying this into the character relationship engine which already exists. Finally the range of actions and assignments needs to be expanded to allow characters to actually act upon their motivations.
If all goes well, the next patch will see your idle followers ask for permission to set off in search of adventure, to keep order in your realm or maybe to seek and out and vanquish your enemies.
That is probably also going to be one of the last patches before Early Access, where I hope more people will join in and give their feedback and ideas.