Hello, I am Ondrej Petrzilka (lead developer for Space and Medieval Engineers). In this blog post I would like to shed some light on our current and future plans with Medieval Engineers. Currently we’re working on three big things: castle siege (that has just been released), survival, and clans.
Before I continue, let me emphasize that everything I say in this blog post is subject to change. The process of game development at our studio goes through multiple stages (idea, concept, development, testing, feedback, more development…) and during the later stages it’s likely that some of the earlier stages will get changed due to the feedback and experience that we will gain later.
The original idea was to create a game mode where players can easily test their castle and siege weapon designs. This is the first iteration of this feature and we will be working on it during the upcoming weeks. We plan to add more weapons, armor, and a better combat system including ranged weapons. We’re also considering enabling some survival features in castle siege.
In castle siege mode, there are two teams: attackers and defenders. Defenders choose a map with a castle, and attackers choose siege weapons and one of the predefined positions where they would like to start an attack. The goal for attackers is to destroy the king statue within a pre-set time limit. The statue is hidden somewhere in the castle.
Attackers can use different approaches to destroy the statue. They can attack with siege weapons and destroy the statue directly, they can use ladders to go over walls, they can destroy walls with siege weapons and then run inside, or they can dig under the castle.
For more info watch the tutorial video:
Castle Siege development screenshots:
It was clear after our last survey that the majority of our players would like us to focus on survival mode. We have been working on several features for a long time now and for the next weeks/months survival will be our priority. You can see the results of the survey here: http://www.kwiksurveys.com/p/0q33A3vf?qid=539349
We plan to introduce health, stamina, and food, and maybe water later on. Stamina will be used for sprinting, combat and hard labor. Stamina will regenerate automatically, but when a character is low on food, stamina regeneration will be limited. Food will provide a temporary stamina regeneration boost, and different food will have different boosts. Health will regenerate automatically very slowly, but during sleep it will regenerate fast. Some food and items (e.g. bandages) will have a health regeneration effect. Food will be automatically reduced over time, and characters will have to eat. Otherwise, they will be weak and eventually die.
We plan to add an inventory which will allow players to carry items like food, construction components (nails, wooden spikes) and other small items and components we’ll introduce in the future.
Players will have to obtain food to survive, so we plan to add several food sources into the game. Players will be able to go into the woods and gather berries, mushrooms and roots; some of them will respawn in their original place, and some will respawn randomly. Another food source we plan to add is wildlife. Players will be able to hunt deer for food and later other animals including dangerous ones (like bears and wolf packs). In later stages of the game, players will be able to farm and raise cattle.
We plan to add seasons to make survival more interesting and entertaining. The game will start during spring and players will have 3 seasons to prepare for winter and obtain enough food, because during winter food sources will be scarce. We’re also thinking about introducing a new stat: heat. Players would have to get warm cloth and firewood for winter. With seasons, farming will become more interesting. It will be necessary to sow crops in spring and harvest them during late summer or autumn; crops will get destroyed during winter. During winter, pastures will be covered with snow and players will have to feed the cattle with hay, otherwise they will die of hunger.
We plan to release the first version of the building very soon. To build any large block, players will have to obtain components first. Currently, the only components are wooden timbers, scrap wood and stone. Players will be able to build simple houses in the first version. It won’t be necessary to carry all the components from the inventory to build something, but the components will have to be placed next to the character.
After this point we’ll continuously add more blocks. Later, we’ll introduce new materials and ways of obtaining them. We’re planning to add hay, in order to make hay roofs and feed cattle in winter. We will also introduce clay for making roofs, wooden walls, dishes and basic furnaces, and iron ore, to make iron weapons, armor, nails and mechanisms. We will also add limestone to make grout, sandstone as lightweight stone, and materials for cloth.
Players will be able to craft items in three different ways. The first way will be through a toolbar, where the player will simply put an item he wants to craft on the toolbar and then place it. Crafting will consume certain materials and the crafted item will appear in front of the player. This way, the player will be able to craft only very simple things. A second way of crafting will be through a craft table or forge; in this way the player will be able to craft furniture, barrels, chests, mechanisms, weapons and armor. The last way of crafting will be through a furnace. This will be an unattended way of crafting, where the player will put ore and firewood into the furnace and after some time will get ingots.
We would like to add fully simulated water, but we’re not sure if it’s going to be possible because of performance. First we’ll add simple planar water. At ‘sea level’ there will be always water. This will allow us to make lakes, wells and also fake rivers. Even though this has limited potential, it will still be interesting for players.We plan to transport water in buckets and barrels and use it for drinking, cooking and farming. It can be also used to extinguish fires and to power mechanical blocks.
We plan to start adding mechanical blocks when there’s basic survival. Players will use mechanical blocks to power lifts and automated hammers in forges. In the future, there will be more uses for them.
Clans will come additionally with the survival gameplay. The idea is that a player or multiple players will have their clan and they will try to survive. Players will be able to play as any member of the clan, and the rest of the clan members will be controlled by an AI. Players will be able to switch between clan members. AI-controlled clan members will be able to do simple tasks like farming, gathering food or raw materials, manufacturing items in a workshop, helping to build structures, or patrol castle walls and alert others in case of danger. We would like the player to do interesting and entertaining things in the game, while simple and repetitive tasks can be done by AI-controlled clan members.
When a clan member dies either of old age or when it gets killed, it won’t respawn – it will be lost permanently. New clan members can be born when there are men and women at a reproductive age. We’re already working on new character models: a female, an old lady, and an old man and a child. Old characters won’t be as efficient in manual work, but they will have the advantage of experience so they can be utilized in workshops or kitchens. Children won’t be able to do any work on their own, but they will follow adult clan members and help them (giving them a bonus).
These features are among the largest and most complex that we are planning to implement in Medieval Engineers and their development will be a long-term procedure. Please feel free to post your suggestions and ideas either under this blog post or, more preferably, at our Suggestions sub-forum here: http://forum.keenswh.com/forums/suggestions.413446/. Your feedback is valuable!
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