Featured Items
Games
Software Demos Recommended News
Posts in "All News" channel about:

Folk Tale

Show posts for all products, not just Folk Tale
Jul 5, 2014
Community Announcements - Games Foundry


Hi Everyone,

On Sunday 6th July, 3pm GMT we'll be live streaming the Sandbox Editor on http://www.twitch.tv/gamesfoundry, and running through community questions on how to use it. We'll also be jumping back and forth between Sandbox Player.

Hopefully we'll be running the latest development build to show off progress.

We recommend that you follow us on Twitch.tv so that you can receive an email notification of when we are about to stream. You can also follow us on Twitter (@gamesfoundry) as we'll be announcing it there too.

For those of you not familiar with Twitch, it's a live video streaming website where you can ask us questions over text chat and have them answered directly to you over webcam while we show the game in the background.

What time is 3pm GMT in different locations?


08:00 Los Angeles
11:00 New York
16:00 London
17:00 Europe
19:00 Moscow
23:00 Hong Kong
01:00 Sydney ( Monday )

I look forward to catching you in a dev hangout soon.

How do I access the stream and follow you?


Simply point your web browser at http://www.twitch.tv/gamesfoundry. To follow us you will need to create an account on Twitch, but it's not compulsory to watch the stream.

There are a couple of streams we recorded earlier in the week if you want to see what it might be like.

If I can't make it, can I watch a replay later?


Yes. A replay will be available via our Twitch channel.
Jun 19, 2014
Community Announcements - Games Foundry


Hey guys. Thanks for dropping in for Dev Blog 24. Today we’ll be looking at the recently released Patch 0.2.6, and the new website packed full of useful information.

For larger screenshots and more info, please visit http://blog.gamesfoundry.com/2014/06/folk-tale-dev-blog-24.html.

Patch 0.2.6 is available now on Steam if you want to try it out for yourself. We’ve added a raft of new buildings and professions that are going to make the first playable sandbox content in Patch 0.3 a deeper and more enjoyable experience.

The Hunting Lodge is home to the Hunter profession, ranged bow units that hunt Deer and Boar for raw meat and hides. For the next patch we’re focusing on making the new professions work-enabled. That means the Hunter will go about his daily routine of hunting nearby animals, and take them back to the Lodge for skinning.





In an example of one of the economy chains we’re introducing, once the Hunter has processed the carcass, they’ll pass the meat over to the Butchery. The Butcher’s job is to process the raw meat and make Steaks, Sausages, and Meat Pies for selling on to your villagers at a healthy profit, swelling your coffers, filling their bellies to stave off starvation, and keeping them happy.





The Farmer, Windmill and Wheat Field have been in for a while now, and with the addition of the Bakery we’ll soon be able to complete another economy chain. The Baker mixes flour from the windmill with water from the well, and bakes it into tasty bread. The Baker will also be able to craft luxury items including cakes and toast ( both of which require butter as a crafting ingredient from the Dairy which we’ll be adding later ).







In a previous patch we added the Monastery, Monk and Bee Yard for brewing Barrels of Mead. With the addition of the Tavern and the Innkeeper, tankards will soon be clinking to the sound of merriment as the Mead flows into the gullets of thirsty villagers. The Tavern will also be where you’ll hire heroes for adventuring out into the wilds in the RPG side of Folk Tale, but for now we’re focusing on citybuilding, economy and RTS style combat.





In the latest patch we’ve also added in basic combat. To help testing, we’ve made monsters selectable and movable, so you can either send a group of City Watch and Hunters out to find them, or throw monsters against your City Walls. It’s very rough at this stage, and we’ll be improving combat with each subsequent patch.



The Hunters are the first ranged unit to be added to sandbox, and as you might expect, we’ve gone the extra step and made sure the elevation of their arms matches the arc of fire. If you looked closely at the goblin archers on the Barbican in the old Tutorial, you may have noticed that even though they shoot down, their arms remain straight, which looks terrible and breaks immersion. In Sandbox, we’ve sorted that, and ranged units now adjust the angle of their bow arm, so when they are shooting down from elevated positions such as city walls, they look the part.



The Character Designer has now been updated with all the latest profession uniforms, and we’ve added in a couple of new hair and beard styles. Longer term we intend to support loading and saving of characters so you can play sandbox games with your favourite bunch of villagers, as well as sharing and downloading characters with the community.

Lighting has a new high quality setting for high-end PC’s that adds proper lighting to the night windows. It’s purely aesthetic but does add to immersion at the cost of some performance.



There’s no more ALT F4’ing or command-Q’ing to quit out of sandbox player, with the escape key now bringing up a quit to desktop option.

And finally one of the biggest changes is that we’ve swapped the default public version of the Windows build over to 64-bit. Most players are already using a 64-bit edition of Windows, and for those it brings the benefit of fewer memory related issues including moonwalking villagers after loading a Tutorial save game.

Players who find Folk Tale no longer works after Patch 0.2.6 are most likely on Windows 32-bit. Don’t worry, we’re still supporting a 32-bit build, but you need to opt-in to a special build under the Steam beta’s system. Instructions on how to do this can be found in the Announcements tab of the community section on Steam.

And that leads me nicely on to the next announcement we have today; the overhauled website. As development of Sandbox continues, we needed somewhere to provide all the information that players will soon start asking us for. What buildings are available? What function does each building have? What character professions are available? What loot items are available and what are their stats? We’ve set the foundations early so that we can continue to add meaningful content to the website, including Tutorials on how to use the Editors.



You’ll also find a development roadmap on the website. This is a high level overview of what features and content are coming in each patch.

In the next patch we’ll be introducing more of the economy, making resources more important, improving combat, and bringing more monsters to life.

I’d like to say a big thank you to the 875 play ers who completed the Player Satisfaction Survey. Your feedback has been important in helping us understand where we need to increase our efforts and make changes. Hopefully you’ll notice some of the changes resulting from your feedback, including the Production Status mini-blog where we look more closely at what’s in production, and a continuing drive to reduce patch times, down from once a month to around three weeks. Hopefully we can continue this and have the next patch out in the first half of July.

Your role as part of the community and your continued support during development is very important to us. We always try to listen to the voice of the community, and do our very best to respond to the feedback provided by taking actions that make a difference. Thanks for taking this journey with us.

Until next time, bye for now.
Community Announcements - Games Foundry


Platforms

PC, Mac

Bug Fixes

#0076 Sandbox Editor: Kit Icons Missing From Kits List
#0077 Professions Remain In Carrying Animation For Too Long After Drop Off
#0078 Professions Get Invalid Hairstyles

Changes

Sandbox Editor: Bakery building added
Sandbox Editor: Baker profession added
Sandbox Editor: Butchery building added
Sandbox Editor: Butcher profession added
Sandbox Editor: Tavern building added
Sandbox Editor: Innkeeper profession added
Sandbox Editor: Hunting Lodge building added
Sandbox Editor: Hunter profession added
Sandbox Editor: Some Grassland Animals have been disabled pending their conversion to spawn points
Sandbox Player: Basic combat is enabled ( Monsters can be selected/moved )
Sandbox Player: Wheat Fields Grow Speed Slowed Down However Two Harvesting Operations Are Now Required
Sandbox Player: Quarry and Iron Mine now have camera colliders
Sandbox Player: High quality night window lighting setting
Sandbox Player: Elevation angles added to animation system for ranged weapon firing
Sandbox Player: Professions now carry the correct weapons/tools
Sandbox Player: Innkeeper carries barrels of mead to the tavern
Sandbox Player: Right click now cancels wall placement
Sandbox Player: Escape now brings up menu to quit to Desktop
Sandbox Character Studio: Baker, Butcher, Innkeeper, and Hunter uniforms added
Sandbox Character Studio: Male quiff hairstyle added
Sandbox Character Studio: Female french braid with curl hairstyle added
Sandbox Character Studio: Male mutton chops beard added
Launcher: Survey icon redirected to results
Launcher: Added links to social media

Developer Comments

The default build for Windows is now 64-bit, which the vast majority of players are using. Players with older 32-bit versions of Windows will need to opt in to the 32-bit build. Instructions are included below.

The new professions aren’t work-functional yet.

The construction button visual states are glitching regularly.

There is a known issue with some older save games in the Tutorial Swamp Zone that might cause the game to lock up. Please use Alt+F4 or Cmd+Q to quit and restart.

Windows 32-Bit Version

If you are unable to run Folk Tale on Windows, it’s possible that you are running the 32-bit version. To access the 32-bit build, please follow these steps.
1. In your Steam Library, right click on ‘Folk Tale’ and select Properties.
2. Click the fourth tab labelled ‘Betas’
3. In the dropdown list, select folktale(windows32-bit) and click close
4. Wait for Steam to auto-update
5. If the update fails to download, quit and restart the Steam Client
Community Announcements - Games Foundry
Platforms

PC, Mac

Bug Fixes

#0071 Sandbox: City Wall Stairs Collider Broken
#0072 Sandbox: Farmer Starts Farming Before Field Construction Is Finished
#0074 Sandbox: Storehouse Is Missing Roof Textures
#0075 Tutorial: Narrator Interrupts Himself Or Continues With Previous Dialogue

Changes

Sandbox Editor: Beaches Added
Sandbox Editor: Sea Wave Surf Effects Added
Sandbox Editor: Missing Kit Piece Icons Restored
Sandbox Editor: Human Village Map Updated Providing More Room For City Walls
Sandbox Player: Buildings: Windows Now Illuminate At Night Time
Sandbox Player: Buildings: Colliders Added
Sandbox Player: Buildings: Chimney Smoke Added
Sandbox Player: City Walls: Gatehouse And Stairs Are Now Instant Build
Sandbox Player: City Walls: Turrets Now Have Damaged Versions
Sandbox Player: City Walls: Repeating Crossbow Visual Updated
Sandbox Player: City Walls: Trebuchet Animation Speed Changed To Constant For SFX Sync
Sandbox Player: City Walls: Characters can now go through the gatehouse and towers
Sandbox Player: Holding Left-Alt To Rotate/Tilt Camera No Longer Requires LMB To Be Pressed
Sandbox Player: Added Gameplay Setting: Snap Building To Cursor
Sandbox Player: Resource Icons Added to Construction Option Buttons
Sandbox Player: Fixed Female Peasants using Invalid Hair Styles
Sandbox Player: Building Icon Tooltips show resource requirements
Launcher: Game Now Starts In Full-Screen Mode By Default
Launcher: Link Added To First Ever Player Satisfaction Survey

Developer Comments

This is the 64-bit OSX and 32-bit Windows public build. The Windows 64-bit build will follow once we've ironed out a glitch.

Patch 0.2.5 includes all the changes from the non-public 0.2.4 build, details of which can be found at http://steamcommunity.com/games/224440/announcements/detail/1873805350664051102
May 19, 2014
Community Announcements - Games Foundry


Following the release of Patch 0.2.4 towards the end of last month, the team have continued to work in two streams: Patch 0.3 enhancements, and downstream content.

For larger screenshots and more info, please visit http://blog.gamesfoundry.com/2014/05/folk-tale-dev-blog-23.html.

Patch 0.3 Enhancements


While combat and monster spawning is being worked on in Sandbox Player we're adding the final touches to the Grassland Kit, the environment where Patch 0.3 will take place. If you recall the village in the Tutorial, we have shoreline with sandy beaches. Because we want to migrate the Tutorial over to sandbox tech, we want to recreate all of the biomes as Kits. Sandy shoreline also gives us a number of options for Patch 0.3.x. Initially we'll have a beach spawn point where Goblin Warships will have landed, dropping off waves of goblin invaders. In later patches I'd love to have beach landings, and the possibility for your Trebuchet to sink ships before they have chance to disembark. But I digress.

To achieve the shoreline effect, we've created new shallow incline tiles, which can be combined with steeper hills to introduce deeper water. Using the Paint Tool we paint our beach tiles with the sand texture. Add in some water tiles, and a few new wave particle effects, place a couple of random rocks, and we have a nice looking shore.



Part of making the village feel more believable is the addition of colliders. In earlier builds it was possible for the camera to move right through buildings and city walls. We've now added physics colliders to buildings, so the camera should go up and over rather than through for a much more realistic experience.

In Patch 0.2.4 we had a number of bugs with City Walls which have now been fixed. Characters can now approach and walk up City Wall Stairs without issue, and will happily walk through gatehouses and turrets, allowing you to run all the way around your walls.

And finally, work is progressing on large-scale background props such as mountains so that location maps don't abruptly end at the boundary of the playable area.

Downstream Content: Swamp


Downstream Content is a term we use internally to refer to any content that won't be added until after the Patch 0.3 milestone. That includes the Kits for the different environments including desert, snow, lava and swamp, and the inhabitants that live there. The design of each environment biome begins with a concept diorama designed to communicate mood.



When the diorama reaches a state that we're happy with, work is branched into four tasks: textures, characters and architecture, loot, and soundtrack. The first is the production of a series of low resolution textures using the diorama for reference. Adding in basic lighting and painting some quick terrain geometry, we're able to confirm color, contrast, and scale before scaling up the textures and painting in the high resolution detail. Generally the Art Team work at a higher resolution and then scale down for the final texture.

With each biome being home to beasts and intelligent races, the second parallel task is to define what lives there, how, and the relationships between them. Having introduced Goblins in the Tutorial, we're expanding their culture to incorporate their habitat. What sort of things do our Goblins eat? How does environment influence architecture? Do they have a belief system? Do they have any natural enemies? All of these questions feed into creating a consistent racial story.



While the budget does not currently permit us to make the Goblins a comprehensive playable race for launch, we are able to introduce a believable AI-driven village while keeping the option of a playable race open for DLC.

We all love loot, and the RPG element of Folk Tale would be incomplete without it. Having defined a culture, we look at the items a race use. We wouldn't want Goblins dropping useless items, so instead we focus on weapons and armor, crafted items, and finally legendary items that form a race's back story. Concept sketches become loot icons, and once signed off handheld items are produced as 3D geometry and hand painted.



Finally, the diorama is provided with a written brief to the Audio Team. Several draft ambient tracks are composed, and the best elements combined into a final composition which then undergoes several iterations. Using the themes developed in the ambient track, a battle variation is produced which is cross-faded in during game play. Once both the ambient and battle tracks are complete, we test them in game to ensure they aren't too distracting to the player. You can hear the swamp ambient and battle music in the video at the top of this blog starting at 5'40".

Following community response, we also plan to add in an option to disable battle music if players find pounding drums too distracting.

Characters










Folk Tale Player Satisfaction Survey


It's the first ever 2-minute Folk Tale Player Satisfaction Survey. Tell us what you think of development so far and where we can improve. It's totally anonymous, and has 18 easy to answer multi-choice questions.

Take the survey now by visiting:
https://www.surveyplanet.com/survey/5daf3546d57f761448fc2146f1f46ef5
Community Announcements - Games Foundry
Platforms

PC, Mac (OPT-IN)

Please note this is initially an opt-in build, and will be published as a public update after a period of community testing. Dev Blog 22 covers the contents of the patch in some depth:

http://blog.gamesfoundry.com/2014/04/folk-tale-dev-blog-22.html?showComment=1398695872953#c2602719221424538798

Bug Fixes

N/A

Changes

Sandbox Player Added ( 'Preview' on Start Screen )
Sandbox Player: Building: Cottage Activated
Sandbox Player: Building: Windmill Activated
Sandbox Player: Building: Farmers Field Activated
Sandbox Player: Building: Woodcutter's Hut Activated
Sandbox Player: Building: Smelt Activated
Sandbox Player: Building: Stonecutter's Lodge Activated
Sandbox Player: Building: Monastery Activated
Sandbox Player: Building: Bee Yard Activated
Sandbox Player: Building: Barracks Activated
Sandbox Player: Building: Workshop Activated
Sandbox Player: City Walls Activated
Sandbox Player: City Walls Gatehouse: Activated
Sandbox Player: City Walls Stairs: Activated
Sandbox Player: City Walls Siege Defenses: Trebuchet: Activated
Sandbox Player: City Walls Siege Defenses: Repeating Crossbow: Activated
Sandbox Player: Character: Peasant Activated
Sandbox Player: Character: Farmer Activated
Sandbox Player: Character: Woodcutter Activated
Sandbox Player: Character: Miner Activated
Sandbox Player: Character: Stonecutter Activated
Sandbox Player: Character: Monk Activated
Sandbox Player: Character: City Watch Activated
Sandbox Player: Character: Engineer Activated
Sandbox Player: Resources: Iron Mine Activated
Sandbox Player: Resources: Quarry Activated
Character Studio: Engineer Added
Character Studio: LOD Test Mode Added ( Dev Tool )
Sandbox: Buildings: Tiers merged, Only Tier 1 Available
Sandbox: Characters: Professions Removed, Peasant Spawn Points Added

For a comprehensive overview of changes, please watch Dev Blog 22.

Known Issues

Lots of known issues, no need to report bugs at this stage
High End GPUs in Sandbox Editor: Press 'V' to toggle on vertical sync
High End GPUs in Sandbox Player: Access settings dialog from topbar and turn vertical sync on
Tutorial: Advisor's speech is a little broken

Developer Comments

Patch 0.2.4 introduces Sandbox Player. You can now open maps created in the Editor in the Sandbox Player. Sorry, but maps created in earlier versions are unlikely to work.
This is an opt-in build for now to provide the Sandbox Player with the opportunity for some time out in the community.
If you are on a low end machine, swapping to Low Performance settings ( first icon on topbar ) in Sandbox Player should give you a good experience

Exiting Sandbox Player

Currently there's no menu in the Sandbox Player, so quitting is ALT+F4 on Windows, Cmd+Q on Mac, or ALT+TAB and close the app from the task bar.

Sandbox Player Guide

We strongly recommend reading the Sandbox Player Guide first to familiarize yourself with the controls. They are very different to the Tutorial, and have be adapted to be more inline with RTS convention.

Opting-In: Windows 64-bit & All Macs Build

1. In your Steam Library, right click on Folk Tale and select Properties.
2. Under the fourth tab, Betas, enter vQZ7Rj6E into the password field and click Check Code.
3. You should receive confirmation that the debugging64bit build is now unlocked. *
4. Select debugging64bit - Public pre-release support builds for Windows 64-bit from the drop down list and click Close.
5. Wait a few minutes for Steam to automatically patch your game. If it doesn't, try running the game. This should trigger the automatic patching.
6. Confirm the build version is 0.2.4.0 ( bottom left of the main menu, or right topbar in the Location Editor )

Opting-In: Windows 32-bit Build

1. In your Steam Library, right click on Folk Tale and select Properties.
2. Under the fourth tab, Betas, enter veW6kJBz into the password field and click Check Code.
3. You should receive confirmation that the debugging build is now unlocked. *
4. Select debugging - Public pre-release support builds from the drop down list and click Close.
5. Wait a few minutes for Steam to automatically patch your game. If it doesn't, try running the game. This should trigger the automatic patching.
6. Confirm the build version is 0.2.4.0 ( bottom left of the main menu, or right topbar in the Location Editor )

* Please note that on rare occasions, opting in to beta builds will give an invalid code error. Please try the code again. If it repeatedly fails, we're sorry but you are not going to be able to test this build. You might consider contacting Steam Support. We have used this password to support players in the past so it is known to work.

Gorax ( independent YouTuber ) has recorded the steps to opt-in to the build, as well as a preview of some of the features. We've noted the bugs he's spotted and will work on those as part of the next patch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2klRwSfnqyE&feature=youtu.be

Opting-Out After Testing

After you have finished testing, you can opt out of beta builds and resume receiving the main patches as you have done before.

1. In your Steam Library, right click on Folk Tale and select Properties.
2. Under the fourth tab, Beta, choose NONE - opt out of all beta programs from the drop down list and click Close.
3. Wait for a few minutes for Steam to automatically resync/patch your game back to the main public releases. If it doesn't, try running the game. This should trigger the automatic patching.
4. Confirm the build version in the bottom left of the main menu has reverted to 0.2.3.0.
Apr 19, 2014
Community Announcements - Games Foundry


Today we're going to be taking a look at the Sandbox Player, accompanied by some of the composition work for the soundtrack. Not all the tracks used will make the OST, but are nice to listen to during longer videos.

We hoped to have the Patch 0.2.4 live by now, but at the eleventh hour as we were packaging and testing the patch to upload to Steam, we discovered a bug in the engine build we've been using. That bug was very quickly fixed by the engine developer. Unfortunately we now have to wait around 9-14 days for the next build to become available. You can track the latest status over on the Steam Forum.

For larger screenshots and more info, please visit http://blog.gamesfoundry.com/2014/04/folk-tale-dev-blog-22.html.

Sandbox Player


In the month since the last blog a lot has been added, and Sandbox is really starting to come together. For the first time we're able to "play" maps designed in the Sandbox Editor. I say "play" loosely at this stage, "mess around with systems" might be a more accurate description.



Construction is up and running, with several level one buildings and their associated professions available for Peasant training. Character's have unique faces, varying skin tones, and a few dodgy haircuts. Females are now fully trainable in all available professions. Lobbyists for the Campaign to Stop Female Peasants Being Used As Cannon-Fodder can lay down their protest billboards, as equal opportunities are finally with us.



To help get everyone started when Patch 0.2.4 arrives, we've published the Sandbox Player Guide on Steam, which we'll continue to update as development progresses.

City Walls


One of the most significant additions is the revised City Walls system, which can now traverse steep cliffs and rivers. Gatehouses, stairs, and tower siege defences are all in, but we'll leave those for you to uncover once the patch is published.



Hovering the mouse cursor over sections of wall and repeatedly hitting U on the keyboard simulates the impact of boulders from Goblin Trebuchet. Any idle Peasants will run to the wall and do their best to repair it before any larger enemies breach the walls.

Workshop and Engineer


The final profession for inclusion in Patch 0.3 ( we'll be adding more thereafter ) is the Engineer, capable of constructing ingenious traps and turrets in the fields around your village to help fend off any raiding parties. Engineers can be trained by building a Workshop.





LOD Models


Level of Detail models are a trick developers use to boost frame rate performance by reducing the complexity of 3D models as they move further away from the camera. We've now added in LOD models for all three tiers of building upgrades, and incorporated LOD into the character customization system. There's more work to do, for example on the terrain, but it's already starting to have an impact.

Feature Icon


Mar 21, 2014
Community Announcements - Games Foundry


Hey everyone. In this episode we take a look at how the Sandbox Player is shaping up, run through the Sandbox UI overhaul filling in some of the details of gameplay mechanics, before wrapping up with a review of new assets.

For larger screenshots and more info, please visit http://blog.gamesfoundry.com/2014/03/folk-tale-dev-blog-21.html.

Sandbox Player


The fixed build plots of the Tutorial are gone as promised, and free placement is in, providing precise control over the design of our village. We can freely move the building around; a green transparent cube means we're over a valid place for construction, while a red cube means we're too close to an obstruction. As you might expect we can also rotate buildings. We've also added a radius of influence, shown by the dotted circle surrounding the building ( see video ). Resources need to be located within this radius to be accessible by the building. Capturing multiple mines can result in a greater maximum output for the building.



Art Assets - UI


For Sandbox, we're overhauling the UI and adding new elements. As a multi-genre village builder RPG RTS, there's a lot of information to condense and optimize to reduce screen clutter, especially at lower screen resolutions. In fantasy 4X games you might be used to seeing resources on the top bar, for example wood, stone, and iron. We forecast how much time players would be spending in each genre, and the information they'd need immediately to hand. In village building for example, resource stock levels are important, but when you are out in the wilds with your Hero Party, they aren't. Taking into account the complex nature of the economy and number of resources, it wasn't feasible to pack them all into a static top bar ( we tried! ). So we're adding an expand/contract toggle to show a separate resources dialogue that if you choose you can leave open permanently should you wish.



We've taken the Special Abilities / Portrait UI from the bottom left of the Tutorial and condensed it further, adding in new features at the same time. Under Misc Controls & Info we've added an Aggressive/Defensive Toggle to exert greater control over your villagers, preventing them from charging into combat, and the Auto-AI Toggle to place special abilities under AI control. Hardcore players will want to turn this off and have full control of heroes, but for your first few sessions it's a helpful feature to reduce micro-management during battle.

We're also adding short cuts for Health and Power Potions providing direct access to your global inventory stocks during combat, making it faster to save your villagers from death.



The Character Sheet has been condensed by removing personal storage ( not required when you have global inventory ) and adding Resistances. There are also tabs for professions ( workers ) and special abilities ( heroes ).



As your Heroes level up, you can spend Ability Points on powering up their abilities in the order that you prefer. By level 20 you will have a fully powered hero.



With more economy buildings and resources added each month, the new Building Dialog provides control over each building and it's role in the economy. We're adding a second way of training Peasants in professions through the Worker Tab. You can now review a list of candidates and hire them into available vacancies. For players not wanting to micro-manage, Auto-Recruit can be set and will automatically hire from the pool of Peasants as they become available. Character Traits make Peasants more or less suitable for each profession.



The Production Tab crunches a number of stats and presents them in an easy to understand format. Worker Productivity is the average of how effective all the workers are, taking into account Profession Experience, Tool Bonuses ( Loot and Crafted Gear ), Traits, and overall Happiness.

Maximum Output is determined by how many sources of resource exist in the building's Influence Radius, and the current tier of the building.

Workbench Bonuses act as a multiplier to the Maximum Output, and can be obtained by installing Workbenches to the inside of each production building.

Actual Output is calculated by combining the three previous stats, and can be split between production ( producing more finished goods ) and research ( adds points to the research pool to be later spent on new technology ).



One of the recurring pieces of feedback we've received from the Tutorial is that finding your villagers can sometimes be tricky. To improve discoverability, we're implementing the Civics Dialog, a central view of all the activity going on in your village. From here you can view everything that's going on with your villagers, buildings and resources, allowing you to quickly identify any problem areas.



Art Assets - Characters


The Art Team have entered a period of polishing up leading up to Patch 0.3 ( a few more 0.2.x releases to come yet ), so a lot of production work is the boring stuff like adding physics colliders, navmeshes, and level of detail ( LOD ) models. That's not at all interesting for a blog, so instead we have the male and female Sandbox versions of the City Watch ( formerly Militia ), Monks and Stonecutters.







Feature Icon


Community Announcements - Games Foundry
Platforms

PC, Mac

Bug Fixes

#0067 Ambient Sound Effects No Longer Play

Changes

Character Studio (Access From Launch Screen)
Sandbox: Buildings: Barracks Updated (Work-In-Progress)
Sandbox: Buildings: Tavern Building Added
Sandbox: Buildings: Smelt Updated
Sandbox: Buildings: Stonecutter's Lodge Added (3 Tech Tiers)
Sandbox: Buildings: Storehouse Added
Sandbox: Buildings: Woodcutter Hut Added (3 Tech Tiers)
Sandbox: Buildings: Walls Removed From Farmers Field
Sandbox: Characters: Baker Added
Sandbox: Characters: Peasants Added
Sandbox: Characters: Woodcutter Added


Developer Comments

Known issue with vsync in the Editor where it is capped at 30fps. This can be reset to 60fps by pressing 'V' twice.
Known issue on sandbox characters with gaps between skin and uniform
Known issue with ear rotation in Character Studio
Cows and horses temporarily removed from sandbox buildings
Where buildings have been added, it includes all 3 tech tiers
Feb 19, 2014
Community Announcements - Games Foundry


We're making solid progress in the 0.2.x release cycle, and today we're able to take an early look at two major improvements in the pipeline. We have a working Player breathing life into custom maps designed in the Editor, and Character Studio where we can experiment with character randomization.

Sandbox Player


One of the key requirements for Patch 0.3 is the ability to play a custom map designed by us in the Editor. Internally we're now able to run Sandbox maps and test dynamics including character movement and construction. Testing pathfinding is particularly important as we've deprecated the memory inefficient grid based graph system in the Tutorial and developed a faster Tile-Based Navmesh system that supports updating during gameplay.



Developing a new pathfinding solution helps reduce the overall game footprint in addressable system memory ( reduced probability of a memory related crashes on marginal systems ), while making path calculations faster ( better frame rate ).

The blog video demonstrates a test case of running one group of villagers over a bridge while the other group run under it. This wasn't possible in the Tutorial ( anyone notice the rubble blocks in the Old Forge blocking access to the ramparts above the portcullis entrance? ), but for Sandbox it opens up lots of design options.

Character Studio


One of the frequent pieces of feedback we received following launch ( particularly in Let's Play videos ) concerned all the villagers looking like drones. Given that a major feature of Folk Tale is the detail of the lives of your Villagers and the adventures they become involved with, it's important that we give them an identity.

In the Sandbox Vision Presentation I explained why it wasn't possible to achieve full RPG level of visual customization due to memory constraints ( GPU texture memory and overall system memory ). Instead, we set out to give each villager a unique face, and show their currently equipped hand items ( tools and weapons ). In Dev Blog 10 I highlighted early development on facial customization, and since then we've expanded the customization system into something that is usable and will be included in Patch 0.3.



There's a lot more going on under the hood of Character Studio than first meets the eye, specifically to address technical objectives:

Minimal Memory Footprint

We've designed the character system using minimal base geometry and a single hair/skin texture to keep memory requirements down. We have one universal skeleton for all humans, two master head models - male and female - and a number of uniforms. We have a range of hair styles, eye brows, and facial hair, that we'll continue to add to throughout development to add more variety. All the geometry is combined at runtime into a single skinned mesh with just two materials: one for the uniform and one for the skin and hair, both of which are color tinted separately in the shader.

Performance

The more bones included in the skeleton the longer it takes the CPU to calculate the position of each vertex in each frame of animation before sending to the GPU, and that means lower frame rates. To achieve both a unique appearance AND good performance, we're baking appearances and then removing the influence of certain bones ( e.g. facial bones, 2nd-4th fingers ), reducing the bone count down from 140+ to around 60. This wasn't something we did in the Tutorial, and should achieve a performance boost.

Baking appearances does mean character faces won't be animated during normal gameplay, but will be during cinematics where facial animation can add a lot of emotion. We have implemented bake quality, so it might be possible on higher specification systems to enable facial animations during gameplay. It's something we'll be exploring after Patch 0.3 but is not something we're committing to at this stage.

Combining multiple meshes ( head, hair, facial hair, eye brows, uniform, exposed skin ), optimizing out bones and baking into one skinned mesh at runtime needs to be extremely fast considering how many characters we have and the possibility for changing weapons and tools, so we've invested time up front in optimizing the process. From very early proof of concept code taking 500ms per bake, within a matter of hours it was reduced to under 2ms. That means we can bake several characters at once ( for example when new villagers are created ) without significant impact on frame rate. In reality this only happens a few times every minute, or when hand-held gear is swapped out, so we are well within acceptable performance targets.

Universal Skeleton

Having a universal skeleton for all human characters means we can play any human animation on any human character. For example we can have men walking like women, but that's not the real use. The main strength lies in how we implement weapons. We're creating combat animations around weapon types: one-handed, two-handed, and dual wield. A pitch fork and halberd are somewhat similar in that they are held with two hands and look perfectly acceptable using the same combat animations. A sword and mace are also similar and can use the same one-handed combat animations.

In a game with lots of buildings, lots of characters, and lots of weapons, there's lots of creativity and trickery required in striking a balance between the quantity of assets and achieving an acceptable quality and accuracy of animations. The hard constraint of memory means eventually you hit limits, and you can't increase one without reducing the other.



While we only need randomization, baking and bone optimizations working for Patch 0.3, beyond that there's lots of potential for Character Studio. Here are just a few low-priority ideas we'll be considering at a later date:


  • sharing configuration text strings with others in the community forum to recreate characters;
  • naming and adding personality traits for inclusion in your games ( e.g. if you always want Henry The Coward to be one of your villagers );
  • uploading NPCs to Steam Workshop.


Art Assets - Characters


We're keeping up character production momentum with the addition of the male and female Peasant, Woodcutter and Baker. They Peasant and Woodcutter follow the visual style established in the Tutorial, but remade to fit the new customization system while standardizing the look of the villagers.







Art Assets - Buildings


Three more sandbox-spec buildings are finished ready for inclusion in the next patch: Stonecutter Lodge, Storehouse and Tavern. With the Player advancing at pace, the next step is to enable Resources ( Logging Camp, Iron Mine, Stone Quarry ) and early stage Sandbox gameplay ( resource collection and processing ).





...

Search
Archive
2014
Jul   Jun   May   Apr   Mar   Feb  
Jan  
Archives By Year
2014   2013   2012   2011   2010  
2009   2008   2007   2006   2005  
2004   2003   2002