Construct and rule your own post-apocalyptic town. Decide how to set all the laws and morals of the survivors. Build in a harsh and desperate environment. What kind of society will you create?
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Release Date:
Late 2017

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“We are releasing in Early Access first to indicate that more content, patches, and improvements will be coming to the game after release. And to gather player feedback that might make the game better.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We don’t have a firm date in mind to leave Early Access. The game will be done when we believe it’s as good as we can make it within the limits of our small team size and budget. That might take 6 months of development or it might last years. Please only buy the game on what it’s offering today. Not what it might be in the future.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The final version will have more buildings and challenges, social issues to deal with, a lot more polish and balance, and general gameplay improvements.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“(We will update this when we are about to launch on Early Access and the answer is clearer.)”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The game is priced lower than it will be at release to thank our Early Access customers for playing it. The price is likely to go up to some degree when it is finished.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“Atomic Society has been developed alongside hundreds of players during its pre-alpha phase of development. We find player feedback extremely useful and seek it out as much as possible. We also release detailed dev blogs so people can see what's coming next and are active on forums and social media for the game.”
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Available: Late 2017


Recent updates View all (11)

October 27

Dev Blog #24: Final Work On Pre-Steam Version 0.0.8

Where is Version 0.0.8?!

There's a couple more pre-alpha testing versions to go until we're ready for Steam and this dev blog will cover the latest progress on our journey towards that big release date.

This is actually the 24th monthly dev blog since starting this project as a bunch of middle aged folks wanting to make our first game (yay to me writing for these reports for 2 years!). This month we'll look at the last steps to finishing version 0.0.8, which might turn out to the penultimate version before Steam.

​Not surprisingly, 0.0.8 is taking longer than we hoped for. Redoing the pathfinding and construction systems from scratch is turning out to be another one of those “oh, didn’t expect this to be such a insanely complicated thing!” situation. Long-time readers of these blogs will know this happens occasionally making this game. It all works out in the end. On the plus side, I am reasonably confident that when you try the new version you won't ever want to go back to the old one.

Another New Map & Various Graphical Upgrades

​0.0.8 will now come with not one but two new maps for players to create towns on. The extra time in development gave me the chance to go for it. That means that in 0.0.8 all the maps will be in the game to enjoy at last. No more “coming soon” icons!

The 9th and final map to join the game is called Summit and is set on the side of a moody, frozen mountain. This map has an ominous mood. The survivors must’ve been pretty desperate to call this home. At the moment I’ve made it very misty as the mountains look best hidden by fog.

Thanks to Nani, this map comes with its own brand new convertible ruined ski lodge and broken chair lifts you can scavenge. The tourists don’t need it anymore so why don’t you take it over? Summit joins Valley as the new maps available in 0.0.8.

My current plan is to leave it at 9 maps for now and add more random elements to each of them so they're different and surprising each time you play them. I'd rather make the game with a handful of lovingly crafted maps you can master than to create endless generic random ones, especially as most people will probably only make a few towns. I think when we've got more features in the game we can start to add modifiers to each map, for example, reduced water production on desert maps, etc. I don't want to punish people though for picking the climate they like though.

0.0.8 will also come with some other improvements to all maps as well. New ruins have been added, bugs have been fixed, and all maps now have procedural sky boxes which really tap into Unity's advanced lighting system. On top of that we have also upgraded the water in the game, which looks far, far better and runs better too. These are some of the perks we can afford thanks to our pre-Steam customers funding us. On top of that, I finally have time to start tweaking and perfecting the maps instead of creating new ones. There are about 45+ different places you can spawn in Atomic Society overall, so balancing all of them as one designer takes some time! Perhaps your favourite spawn point will be more fun this version!

New Animation System Progress

Despite this being one of the core tasks that is holding up 0.0.8, I can't say too much about the new animation system quite yet as it is still mid-construction. Nick is spending all his time on this, getting it perfect. What I have however seen looks vastly better than previous versions. We have upgraded all the citizens to a physics-based, organic animation system (IK), which lets them move with realistic weight and body-mass, and adjust their footing appropriately to the terrain. We tried to do this ages ago but had to roll back as it was beyond us. Well, we've levelled up as devs since then and now know how to pull it off (he says nervously, a few weeks away from release!)

Right now there are still a lot of bugs to solve though, but we're making progress. Making a city-building game with a third-person controllable character is double the work (don't do it fellow devs, though I wouldn't change it)! At time of writing we're battling problems with the Town Leader acting like she has lost her spine and Engineers teleporting halfway across the map whenever they finish building something. There's going to be a ton of perfecting to do with this but I'm hoping that when it's done, it's done...

New Construction and Pathfinding System Progress

As for the new construction system and pathfinding AI improvements (the other 2 core upgrades to 0.0.8) they're also a little hard to talk about, as they're also work in progresses. What I have seen however looks awesome. The pathfinding fixes are subtle but fix the most annoying bugs. And the new construction system alone is a dream. Scenery now deforms in real-time as you place a building, and it makes perfect sense where you can and can't place a building, there's new animations when you do build something too, and it feels 100x times better. Nick's labours are definitely paying off here. Building stuff is the core of Atomic Society and in 0.0.8 that core element will feel a lot more fun. I just want to put buildings down for kicks in 0.0.8, as you'll see when it's out.

Town Leader Repairing and Scrap Mounds

This month Adam has been really busy doing a ton of little upgrades that all add up to make the game feel a lot better. I've been chucking lots of tasks to him that I've wanted fixed for ages. The biggest one is that now the Town Leader can manually repair structures that are damaged and fix them manually. Useful when your repair shack workers are off fixing one thing while your storehouse is about to collapse!

In addition to that, whenever a building collapses, or if you manually demolish it, the ex-building now leaves a little mound of debris. Click on this and it tells you what the building used to be, and you can even salvage it as the Town Leader to get a few bonus resources back. You might even now choose to demolish structures to gain loot if you’re desperately short of something.

More 0.0.8 Goodness This Month…

Without wanting to reveal the whole patch notes for the version here, (which are coming a soon as I feel more certain about what’s in them), here’s some of the other slightly interesting things coming in this new version…

* You can now see, by mousing over any ruin, what loot it contains. This saves you the time of running a mile to loot something only to find out it doesn’t have what you want. I worked out that the player should know whatever I know as designer. I know whatever loot is in every ruin, therefore players should know. This change, on top of the Scavenger Focus mentioned last month, makes getting loot a lot less random in 0.0.8. It’s going to take some tricky balancing work to make up for this, but I do think this is a feature that once you’ve tried it, you can’t believe it took us this long to put it in the game!

* New character details: Our citizens have found a little time to hit the beauty salon. They now have higher resolution hair, smaller heads, ears, fingers and refined skin textures. All part of growing up in the radioactive wasteland I guess.

* Random Map Selector: This was a simple enough change, but you’ll now find a new button on the map selection screen that picks a random location for you. Perfect for those who can’t decide.

Changes to Town Leader mode

Adam has also been working on a tricky change that I wasn’t sure about. A few players disliked like how the camera in Atomic Society snapped to the Town Leader when you give him or her an order, and I can kind of see their point. We tried a few different approaches to solve this lately. For example, we temporarily changed it so that the camera never snapped to the leader at all. You simply ordered her about like a unit in an RTS game.

However, this change turned out to be a load of rubbish. It made the Town Leader feel like a tool, rather than a character. You were moving them about without any connection. It’s important that players get to see their town from a character’s height occasionally. However, because I’m probably in the minority here, we did find a happy compromise. It’s now that case (and all this can be toggled off in a new Interface section of the options) that the camera will break out of Town Leader mode whenever she enters a structure. This prevents you from accidentally interrupting her. On top of that, you can now deposit loot in the Storehouse in any mode, no camera snapping.

I will find out in the next Youtube videos whether I have made a terrible mistake here!

Final Words

This and last month are still just a taste of what's coming in 0.0.8. It's not going to be a version that radically remakes the game or adds a new feature that changes everything, but it is shaping up to be a much-needed refinement of existing stuff. I don't expect any Youtube streams of this version because it's an evolution rather than a revolution, which is fine, as it gives us breathing space for the Steam release.

​I’m not quite sure when 0.0.8 will be out, perhaps sometime in November. After then it’s straight onto work on the final (!) pre-alpha version, aka 0.0.9. I can’t believe we’re almost ready to stop calling Atomic Society a "pre-alpha" and to move onto the next stage in the life adventure that started way back in Feb 2015. The end of 2017, or early next, is going to be the biggest shake-up to our lives since we first went public. As little indie devs working from home in our spare time after work, everything changes soon. It might not be a life-changing shake-up, but my life has been already been improved enough meeting my teammates and making this game.

Creation is its own reward. The more I make this game, the more I love making it (that hasn't changed). We're getting over the hard stuff slowly but surely, and it's proving to be a lot more fun expanding what exists. If I were looking for a game to play, this is the one I'd be after.

0.0.9 will be a smaller and slightly faster version (so let’s say 2.99 months instead of 3.0) and then it’s out onto the big world of Steam. I’d like to launch before Christmas but I think it’s more sensible to say we’ll be ready in January now. I’d love it to be faster but what game developer doesn’t? Thanks to all our pre-alpha players and players who are waiting. I hope you enjoy what's in store in 0.0.8.

I'll see you next month.

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September 19

Dev Blog #23: Version 0.0.8 Progress and Early Access News

0.0.8 Progress

The next big update to the game is coming along nicely and we're progressing through the last few big things to do list before Steam Early Access (more on that later). The focus for this update has been sorting some big old bugs and generally making the game feel less like a pre-alpha and a more like an alpha. We also found some time to include some extra little features at the same time.

At time of writing, I estimate that 0.0.8 is about 60% complete. That puts us on target for this version to come out mid-October, somewhat quicker than usual. As always I’ll post the patch notes for it as soon as I have a draft of them.

Path-Finding System Greatly Improved

This was by far the biggest task for this version. The way AI navigated in Atomic Society needed a big overhaul. Workers tended to take strange routes, get confused, bug out and walk through walls, etc. Small things but they happened constantly. It made everything in the game feel just that little bit annoying.

However, Nick has been busy in his underground lair and managed to drastically improve the way the AI picks its routes. This makes the whole game feel better. Watching people live out their lives looks more natural and realistic.

For example, before this version every building was shaped like a box to the AI regardless of the actual detailed shape of the model. Now the AI can accurately detect the shape of the building can even walk in and around its grounds and side-step obstacles. They’re much more aware of what’s going on around them, including their fellow citizens. They also no longer ghost through each other but step around one another, etc.

The same improvements apply to controlling the Town Leader, which is now more logical and consistent. And as an added bonus, all these improvements have given the game a small frame-rate boost too due to efficient coding.

The 0.0.8 pathfinding system doesn’t drastically change the game, but it does make everything in it better to play, so it was definitely worth doing.

Construction Improvements

Another overdue problem with the game involved placing buildings. Often players would be unable to put a building exactly where they wanted for no obvious reason. There was a reason of course, a bug, and how the game handled the radius of objects.

Thanks to Nick's tinkering with pathfinding, we were also able to improve how the game scans the landscape. It should now have a much better idea of where obstacles are and the shape of the ground. We’ve also improved how the terrain deforms when you place a building so when this task is finished, you should be able to build towns more or less however you want to lay them out.

Scavenger Focus

We’ve added a new feature this month that a lot of people have been asking for. In 0.0.8 you will be able to tell your scavengers to focus on one particular resource. No more getting angry at them as they fill their bags with scrap metal if you needed lumber.

To do this you just open your storehouse menu and tick the resource you want most of all. The scavengers then obey your orders and use common sense to work out where the nearest ruin containing that item is.

​Aside from curing some player frustration, this also adds a little gameplay as you are now in control of your resources to a degree. You can send them off to get one thing while you gather another as the leader. Though I might need to do some re-balancing when this is finished, the game might be a bit too easy now you're not fighting the stupidity of your scavengers anymore!

Early Access Release

We’ve been thinking about bringing forward the Early Access launch. We were aiming for early 2018 but Atomic Society is already quite fun in its own limited and slightly buggy way, so why not make it easier for people to get the game?

I first thought about bringing the release forward while I was browsing Steam. I like diving into Early Access and seeing what weird and interesting games are out there that don't get the attention of the front page. Seeing all these games, it struck me how Atomic Society is already a lot more polished than a the majority of games out there and they seem to be doing okay, by my standard of "okay".

It doesn't matter we've still got a lot to add. For those who enjoy Early Access games (like me) it's fun supporting a game and seeing how it grows up, each patch can be fun to check out. And bad reviews don’t phase me anymore. I’ve seen games with negative reviews turn it around with a few good updates because Steam focuses on recent reviews. I'm not going to be scared away by a red thumb symbol.

The other reason we were holding off was to get the marketing right and have lots of content in the game before the mainstream press found us. But the mainstream press already found us 2 versions ago against our plans, and we survived that. Plus, I don't don’t care about lots of marketing these days. I’d be perfectly happy if things just carried on as they are now but with the added ease of Steam.

Anyway, long story short: Expect an announcement about our Early Access release in the not too distant future. We'll need to get 0.0.8 out first, and then do a mini-version to prepare the game for Steam, but after that we’ll be ready to start announcing dates. It will be this year (so in the next 3.5 months) unless something unexpected happens.

New Map

0.0.8 brings a new map for you to make towns on. This map is called Valley and is a forest biome. It’s a verdant woodland set on the steep sides of a valley around a huge lake. You can see right across the map from one side to the other, at least you can if you settle your town high up.

​The aim of this map was to make the most vertical landscape in the game so far, and to make a nice relaxing location! After months making deserts and frozen tundras it’s nice to be back in peaceful surroundings.

​I think the unique, crater-like layout of this map will lead to some interesting town shapes.

New Gameplay Building: Luxury Tower

A ultimate type of shelter has been added to 0.0.8. This is a huge building, the biggest you can make so far. It’s essentially a lot of luxury homes welded together into a battered tower. “Luxury” is a state of mind in the post-apocalyptic world after all.

​It’s designed to an end-game building, for those times when you have a lot of resources and you want to quickly provide housing for all the remaining homeless citizens without having to build a ton of houses, so its very expensive to build. It also looks cool.

New Attitude to Game Development

This is the personal section of this dev blog (skip ahead if that's not your thing). I’ve had a much needed attitude adjustment lately. In short: I've stopped worrying about how well the game sells and it’s amazing. I feel like a new man.

I used to worry every single day about how the game was being received, how it was selling, what I needed to do to make it more popular and liked. Long-time readers of these dev blogs might’ve noticed how stressed I sounded at times. My stress was getting worse the more copies we sold. I was always watching what "rival" games were up to, what indie devs were panicking about, worrying about what people were saying on our forum, worrying if nobody was speaking on the forum, worrying if nobody made Youtube videos of our game, being scared when people did make videos. And so on and so on.

At long last I got it into my skull that worrying about the future and trying to control it hasn’t made me even one tiny bit happier. So I’ve resided myself to accept whatever happens. If AS sells lots, all right. If 3 people buy it on Steam and then refund it, all right. Either is fine. And as soon as I truly accepted that my stress disappeared.

I guess I’m becoming… Optimistic?! Not about success, just optimistic that things will be fine however they pan out. I’ve stopped chasing the latest news, I’ve unplugged from Twitter, I let things happen as they happen. And because of this I’ve probably had my happiest few weeks of work on the game since the day we started.

New Convertible Ruin: Mansion

Nani has spent a lot of time adding a big new ruin to the game in 0.0.8. You will soon be able to convert (if you find it) an abandoned Victorian mansion into a post-apocalyptic home or storehouse. It should make a fine centrepiece of your society. It’s the biggest ruin in the game yet, and also the most detailed.

Making a convertible ruin is a lot of work. Like all ruins, Nani has to sketch out how the ruin should look, based on my concept. She then makes a fully intact version of the building in the art program we use called Blender. Players never get to see this version of the building, it looks as the building would in its prime, before the bombs fell. When we’re happy with how that looks, she smashes it up and adds decades of neglect!

This would be enough for ordinary ruins, but for ruins the player can convert, Nani then needs to work out how a bunch of post-apocalyptic engineers with limited supplies might try and restore it. And do all that with an extremely tight polygon count and range of textures. However it's all come together and our collection of ruins grows larger.

More Improvements in 0.0.8

That’s not all coming to 0.0.8. We’ve also been able to upgrade the game to the latest version of Unity which has a few minor benefits for players and will probably boost performance on older machines. The upgrade went smoothly for a change though Adam had a few problems on his 5 year old laptop with in-built graphics (only the finest hardware at Far Road Games).

Having watched people on Youtube get caught out by the new repair mechanic in the game, we’ve added in more useful information to explain why buildings are disappearing.

Adam has made it so players can now type in a number of loot to destroy, which is very handy if your storehouses are overflowing.

We've made several useful UI improvements again and fixed (*checks notes*) 7 important bugs at time of writing.

There’s more to come in 0.0.8 though. I’d like to try and squeeze in adding the ability for the Town Leader to help maintain buildings and possibly add little mounds of debris when a building collapses so you can salvage something back. We'll see how times goes.

​A Look Ahead...

By the time next month's dev blog rolls around I predict that 0.0.8 will have just been released, or at least be very close to going out the door. We'll then talk about an Early Access release date and begin integrating the game with Steam. There are 1-2 features I want in the game before Steam, nothing too serious, just stuff like rebindable controls. It should be a fun (and stress-free) end to the year!

​See you next month.

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About This Game

Note: Atomic Society is in an alpha state and contains many missing features and bugs. Please do not buy it unless you are willing to try an unfinished game.

Decades have passed since a nuclear war destroyed civilisation as we know it. Now is the time to rebuild. Laws and morals have been reset. It is down to you to decide how your new outpost will behave, what it will promote, and what it will punish. If you can keep your people alive in a hostile world world where survival doesn't come easily, and can build strategically, perhaps you can create a settlement others will admire or fear. You decide.

Current Features:

  • Rebuild a town after a nuclear war. Set all the laws and values of the people.
  • Decide between a range of solutions for every issue.
  • Be cruel or kind and make a town that reflects your values.
  • Choose how to handle slavery, drug use, murder, euthanasia and many other social issues.
  • See the actual crimes and issues unfold around you as you play.
  • Learn how to make a town grow in a harsh and brutal environment.
  • Salvage resources from ruins or convert them into homes.
  • Customise and control your own leader character and get involved directly.
  • Manage plague, sanitation and healthcare.
  • Expand from nothing nothing to a town of hundreds, if you can...

    And more features will be introduced during the Early Access period...

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows (Any Version From 7 upwards)
    • Processor: Dual Core Processor (i3 or equivalent)
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 500+ (or equivalent)
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Windows (Any Version From 7 upwards)
    • Processor: Quad Core Processor (i5 or equivalent)
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 700+ (or equivalent)
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
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