The Concrete Jungle Weekly Chronicle – May 24th

Hello!

I’ve been really busy this week- the backer beta went live and I’ve been getting some great feedback! People seem to be really enjoying it which is the main thing. You can also expect a mac beta version soon- it should be around the end of the month, around the time of the next update.

Other than that, it’s been back to work on the game’s content. I’ve implemented another character this week- Horrace Murray.

horracejpg

Horrace is a twenty-something sports fan and graphic designer. His mission is to transform the local sports scene, so half of his skill tree is dedicated to that. The other half is based around hipster culture. He gets access to unique buildings such as a Stadium, Ice Rink, Sports Club, Design House and Microbrewery. Many of his skills involve drawing and swapping cards around, which will be fun in versus mode!

I’m pleased to say the pace is picking up with both the character implementation and building creation. Now I have almost all of the game’s systems in-place, it’s much quicker and easier to create the unique skill trees- as it often involves modifying my existing code rather than writing it from scratch.

In a similar way, I now have a substantial collection of 3D modeled building parts created over the course of the project I can use as a library for building creation. Most buildings require a unique 3D model or two, but having a library of existing parts makes the process a bit like constructing with lego- which is awesome! To finish, here’s the latest batch of buildings, mostly unique to Horrace:

A Microbrewery.

A Microbrewery.

A Coffee House.

A Coffee House.

The Ice Rink.

The Ice Rink.

and Sports Club.

and Sports Club.

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The Concrete Jungle Weekly Chronicle – May 19th

Today is a good day, because when I post this update it means the backer beta has gone live! So, if you’re a backer and had access to the preview version you can now play the beta version!

It will be hosted again by the awesome folks at humble bundle. Just like with the preview version, you will be able retrieve it with the key resender. Or if you made a humble bundle account, you should be able to access it through that if you clicked ‘claim this page’ when you downloaded the preview from them.

But while we’re waiting for them to host, I’m going to send all backers a kickstarter message with a temporary dropbox link- so you can play right now!

BetaScreenshots1

There’s such a leap over the preview version it’s hard to know where to begin. The whole game has been tightened up, there’s load more buildings and the introduction of playable characters and a whole new game mode! Here’s what’s in the beta as of today:

-120 buildings, 135 cards.
-3 playable characters, each with around 20 unique skills.
-The first 9 levels of the story/campaign mode
-A ‘custom game’ option with 2 playable game modes- solo and versus.
-Easy and Hard AI to play against with versus mode (each character AI has their own playing style!)
-6 Unlockable buildings

I’ve had some time to play test it and I don’t *think* there are any game-breaking bugs. There will be the occasional glitch, and maybe you’ll come across something I didn’t. The ‘classic’ mode and ‘load game’ are currently disabled as there are some issues with them, although you can ‘save & exit’ and ‘continue’ your game.

The AI is still on the tough side! Easy is fairly challenging, and Hard is a bit of a nightmare!

So I hope that keeps you busy! There is still more for me to do- implementing the rest of the playable characters and buildings is perhaps the most obvious. In theory that should go relatively smoothly as I now have the fundamentals in-place.

Another area I will focus on next is sound. At the moment the game has pretty much the same SFX as the preview version (although with the addition of some music by Saad Akhter Ali). I really need to get the game sounding good- at the moment the game has a tonne of visual detail but very basic sound.

BetaScreenshots2

I’m pleased with how the campaign mode is developing. It’s focused around building ‘Caribou City’ through it’s difficult transition to a new mayor. Along the way you’ll meet and unlock the characters by completing a series of pre-set levels. The levels contained in the beta are largely focused around teaching new players how to play. By spreading the tutorial out over a few of these and letting the player play with the basic concepts of the game first, I think I’ve improved a lot over the bare-bones tutorial I had previously.

I’ll finish with a quick Q&A which I hope will cover everything else:

There are only 2 playable characters in my game!
You have to unlock #3 through the campaign mode- after beating level 9.

Can I stream the beta on Twitch/Youtube?
Absolutely! There are no restrictions on this at all. Just be aware that the beta is currently limited to just backers and press, so any viewers wanting to play will have to wait a bit for the full release.

When do you think the full game release will be?
My original intention was to get the game done this month- but that intention was based around basically adding the rest of the content to the preview version. I received a load of good feedback from you guys from the preview version -*loads* of awesome ideas plus a few of my own I wanted to change and add. So, over the course of January-March I decided to revamp a lot of the core game, which was definitely for the best as the game plays a lot better than the preview version ever did. But it has come at the cost of delaying the game a few months. I wasn’t originally going to do a beta version, so this is my form of appeasement- I want to give you something to play in May! I’m currently aiming for a full release towards the end of the summer and shall continue regular progress updates until then.

Any word on night mode/voice acting/extra characters/buildings (ie stretch goals)?
They still are coming, absolutely! As stated in the kickstarter, I want to deliver these in the form of a free update after release, as they are significant additions that will take time and I don’t want to delay the game further. With the exception of the 2 extra characters, who will be in the first release as I want to add them as part of the campaign mode!

Will there be a mac beta version?
I’ll keep you updated- it depends on a few things right now. My intention is to get a mac beta version hosted on humble along side the PC version- stay tuned!

The game is too easy/hard, or x card is too weak/powerful
There is a significant amount of balancing still to be done on the game. My priority right now is getting all the content in the game and making sure everything works. I do a little balancing here and there when I get time to play test, but most of the balancing issues will be dealt with towards the end of the project (and will likely be an on-going process after release too!) If you have suggestions however, please feel free to get in touch.

Can I report a bug?
Yes, I’ve set up a bug tracker here. I may not be able to respond to each report, but just know that I will definitely read it and thank you for reporting it!

X option doesn’t work
The options menu is still a work in progress- most things work but some don’t. There will also be more options in the final game, specifically controller options and colour options.

I can’t see my backer/building name in-game
The beta is using a backer name database from March, so if you’ve submitted your backer naming requests recently, it’s likely not in the beta. Rest assured, all submitted backer names will be featured in the final game! I also have to work out how to put all your names in the credits, that’s still to do also!

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