This is Burak, the lead designer of Circadian City. Our team is putting up an incredible effort while we're trying to make Circadian City ready for our Early Access release.
We are going to PAX East between February 27 and March 1, 2020. It will be our last public appearance before the release of the game. Although we are still avoiding to set a hard date for release, I can say it won't be much further after PAX East.
This is also your chance to playtest the game before the release and tell us about your ideas on how to improve the game. We will iterate Circadian City a million times after Early Access with feedbacks coming from the community, and that chance has already started.
We have a closed alpha going, and we're aiming to make the game playable for alpha testers by next Friday (January 24). You can follow the states of the game from our public Trello boards
HOW YOU CAN BE PART OF THE DESIGN
I have to say a few words about my design perspective. I'm a stubborn guy sometimes, but when it comes to Circadian City, I want everyone in our team and in our community (and the wall is quite thin in between them) to participate in the design process.
This doesn't mean I let every new idea in the game and implement them right away, but I listen to every feedback and try my best to implement new ideas with the best of my effort if it's possible. If it's not, I try to spend enough time to explain to you why it can't be made (it can be something technically not possible, or it might break some other mechanics already implemented, or it can breach the rules of our publisher) until we agree. I have never used my privilege to say, "I want this to be done this way" so far and hoping to avoid it in the future as well.
Join our Discord Server, and I'll be available to chat with you for the most time of the day.
Hoping to see you all join us in making Circadian City the best life sim game ever made.
I mentioned that we're going to look at the interest system in the game, and it is one of the areas that make Circadian City unique in terms of gameplay.
After the latest changes, there are 25 interest areas where you can improve. Currently, they don't all have unique gameplays (some of them do), but we're hoping to add new interactions for each of them during Early Access.
Every NPC in the game has four liked interest, and two disliked interest.
The rate you are gaining friendship with other people depends on your shared interests with them.
There are three interest levels for your character and three friendship levels for each NPC. If you share similar interests, time spent together with that NPC quickly boosts your friendship.
Interests and friendships decay in time, so you need to choose your interests and friends carefully. You can't befriend everyone in the game, and it's one of the core feautres that makes Circadian City what it is.
The cool and unique part is, every NPC unlocks some new items in your dream world. So you need to pick some interests that will allow you to befriend the NPC you want to unlock these items. You can have a few close friends in the game, and being close friends with someone will enable you to have access to powerful and unique items.
There are tons of different strategies in terms of interests and friendship. Should you go for many interests, making your character to have two negative interests from many people but also allow you to have lots of casual friends? Or should you go for some selected interests that would target a few NPC, become their close friend quickly, and reach those powerful items in the dreamworld? What about the synergies of those items in between them and with your personality type?
Having different solid playstyles is essential in Circadian City, and we will balance those paths together with you during Early Access.
When we talked about the moods & states in the game, there were sub-moods in the game. Like, the hunger was made of fullness and nutrition, and the total of those two sub-moods was giving you the final mood score. We removed this from the game. It was complicating things too much, and we can implement some hidden moods instead that's even a cooler feature, I believe.
So if you start eating veggies, you develop your vegan state in time. This is not a mood on its own, but the state has its own benefits and problems. Or if you are hitting the gym 3-4 days in a week, you develop a "fit state." You can become a coffee or sugar addict in the same way.
We also changed the name of "Social" mood to "Motivation." The game allows introvert characters, and they can increase their motivation while watching movies or playing games instead of socializing. This was something requested from the Discord community, and it made sense right away.
Motivation is also affected by the dream world. We improved the link between the Dream World and the Real World. Stress is harnessed in the real world and changes both worlds. Motivation is harnessed in both worlds and affects the real world.
Some other minor changes are happening all the time, and as the game is not public yet, there is no meaning to list all of them in this post. But when the game is released, we will be publishing "Circadian City Post" once in two weeks to share with you all the design updates.
We think it really reflects the atmosphere, the feeling, and the style of the game. So please relax, sit back and enjoy it.
We hope you will feel how it is to live in Circadian City.
Another great news is that we will launch the Alpha this week!
Yes! It will give our Alpha riders some hints about the art, quests, and storytelling. Nothing completed, though, but it pushes us forward. We need to hear from those lucky ones because from day one, we believe this game is designed by all of us. But promise! Next time we will have more of you to participate!
Romance, as we all know, is a very complicated matter. So we try to bring it as simple, entertaining, and fun as possible. We try to cover that zone between “I am in love and don’t care about anything-mania” and “It is over, but I am hopeful for the next big thing” lies. Believe us; it is very slippery area…
Back to the game… When you are casual friends with NPCs, your romantic possibilities will start to appear with a relationship bar. Not with all of them, but according to your choice, you may share romance with someone. There will be three main stages in romantic relations:
When our character crushes into an NPC, we can invite him or her out to have a drink. At this point, our shared interests (both positive and negative) play essential roles in determining the future of our relations. If everything goes well, we can start to “date.” In which there will be some regular duties- sorry behaviors expected from us. The player must invest a lot of time, effort, and yes, money to a relation at the "date" stage.
After that, we come to the “lover” stage. Here we will have some quests to prove our love to our partners. You know all those little-stupid-things we do…
Most of the time, these romantic relations will give you happiness. Still, at the same time, they can raise your stress level with a multiplier, so if you are brave enough to date with two people, you have to bear the stress of more than two relations. Why? Because in a relationship, you always deal with more than one person; ex-lovers, idols, best friends, mentors, role models, disappointments, etc.
The more your relationship gets “serious”, the more stressed you will become. But don’t worry if anything goes wrong, you can always have the option of “restoring a relation” quest. And yes they will probably cost you more time, more money and more effort. But we all know true love is hard to find and harder to achieve.
If our relation bar goes under a certain point, our romance will end. We are proudly cast a light of hope at this point: We can always start from the first scratch. The lovers are always dreamers. So, keep your eyes on the price (or prices) and charge!l
A human being is a selfish creature. We usually forget that we share this planet with other organisms like mushrooms, plants, and animals. Especially animals. For thousands of years, we hunt them for their meat, skin, and fur, enslave them and place them as small wheels of mass production.
Today this is about to change. Younger generations are more careful about environmental issues. They are creating strong bonds not only with cats, dogs, birds but also with wild animals. Older people, fortunately, begin to understand how years and years of wrongdoing to these animals harmed the planet (therefore their own lives). The movements for animal rights are raising their voices stronger than ever and spread throughout the entire world. That's good to have.
So, we decided to put this issue in our game.
Circadian City is a place where you can interact with birds, cats, dogs, and squirrels of any type. And instead of going to a pet shop to have an animal, you can simply find one on the street and decide to take possession of it.
Furthermore, we are thinking of giving our players a chance "to raise a new notice on animal rights and make nations sign under this notice" as one of our Life Goals.
Animals are not property or assets to humans. They are our partners in life (more likely that they are more loyal to us than our personal picks). So, you can't sell or buy an animal in C.C. simply taking them to your home will be enough. An animal will give you more happiness and make your home a less stressed habitat. If someday you want to leave them behind, well, it won't be that easy. There will be some consequences in your inner world. Your consciousness won't give you rest, your happiness will decrease, and your stress will rise for a time. Maybe you won't focus enough on your work and will do some poor quality things, who knows...
Owning an animal means a great responsibility, and with great responsibility comes greater consequences.
One way or another, you should respect their existence.
The movie Joker reminded us in a dark way how stress and mental health are essential, especially in city life where every individual is designated from each other but somehow effected by other's movements.
In our dream, we found different ways to coop with subjects of mental health like stress, anger even food.
The circle of the game will be; during day time, players will come upon different occasions like events, NPC's, quests, etc. These occasions will affect Player's mental health, and that will raise or lower the performance throughout the game.
If you are too stressed, then your performance in business meetings or presentations will be lower. Your craftsmanship will be poor. Even your romantic dinner can be affected by such a thing. So you have to find the ways that will keep your mental health stable. How? Well, there will be so many ways to do that; rare collectible items, like a tranquil painting of a sea view or a music list on a cloud full of Jazz songs, a romantic dinner, or a comedy show that you will spend a half-hour on TV…
But the most reliable way to coop with enemies of your mental health is in your dreams. After a hard-working day, when you go to bed and sleep, you will find yourself in a "dream-world." In the dream world, you can collect, seed, farm, craft, or pick items and decrease your stress level.
Mental health will be the crucial point in Circadian City to achieve friendships, romantic, and life goal quests. Live a happy life, keep out of trouble (and maybe have a drink), and live a peaceful life.
Actually, we are happy to witness the rise of healthy living trends and like to add, in Circadian City, we are not against genetically modified foods. There are so many things going on both on the organic and conventional markets.
But nowadays, consumers are looking for other possibilities. They really would like to know the producer of the goods they are consuming.
They don't like to talk to big brands anymore. They begin to close to simple, ordinary people who produce decent goods, just like they are...
That's why we create a farmers' market (known by commons as an "organic market") in the game. Every Sunday, the courtyard of Gateville is turning into this market that people sell products from their own land. So that customers may buy food directly from the producers!
This idea really excited us because, with it, we may have an alternative way for players who would like to consume commodities without any food giants, supermarkets, .etc. Plus, it will allow the player to spend less by surpassing third parties like retailers. in some cases, one may have organic food too. So, save the date! It is every Sunday on Gatesville!
It is a myth. Some say it is a symbol of wisdom, the clarity of the collective human consciousness. They believe that the one who rests under it will achieve enlightenment and has the control of his or her own fate. Others claim it as a modern-pagan runaway port. They say it is just another tool of escaping from reality. Either way, the brain tree is shaping our world and dreams throughout history.
In this issue, you will find a small interview, our reporter Nick Shean made with Prof. Beinroff with an illustration from claimed artist Ada Mcnoun.
Prof. Beinroff, what can you tell us about the brain tree? We know that it is as old as human history. My guess is it started to exist since man first began to dream. Archaeologists met with some of the first images of the brain tree, in the caves of southern Africa, dated back to 10.000 B.C. We can say that when people started to see this mythical figure, instantly they captured by the feeling and carved it on cave walls so they could remember it.
Isn’t it fascinating that this tree has been seen in precisely the same way to all its viewers? I mean there is always a chest and the lamb. What is your opinion on this? I think this tree is the design of all of the human race. From the beginning to this date, we shaped it, gave it reasons to be. I don’t know if we did that with conscious or not, but that tree resembles something both very human and divine at the same time. It is also exciting that most of the viewers saw the brain tree from the outside and couldn’t reach it. Maybe because they were not ready and were not allowed to.
By whom? By themselves of course! I believe that the tree is the place where you are under full control of yourself. Remember the strong roots it has and how people describe them: “hands like claws holding the ground, not letting it go.” The ground symbolizes reality. This is a notion of “the mind that builds itself over reality.” This is what the brain tree stands for.
And the chest? The lamp? The chest is the treasure of the mind; dreams, goals, quests, ideas, utopias all those shiny gleaming things in your head. And the lamp... Well, when there is light, there is hope…
One last question: Do you ever sit under the brain tree Professor? I see it every now and then, but no. I am afraid not…
Today we will talk about the systems that define the gameplay of Circadian City. Most of these systems will be enabled for modding as well but we will talk about the vanilla game on this post.
If you played other RPG's or Life Simulation Games you should be familiar with need bars you see on the mainscreen of these games. You need to refill these bars before they get empty otherwise you die.
We did this part a bit more complicated. We have need bars that you need to keep on the positive and we have status bars that you need to keep on the negative. Overall we call them mood bars / system
4 mood bars (positive) are: Hunger, Energy, Social and Happiness 1 mood bar (negative) is : Stress
These moods are further broken to sub-moods that have effects on their parent mood. For example Energy is broken into Phsyical and Mental Energy. Sleeping can refill both but working drains mental energy and running / exercising drains physical.
The image you see above is our first draft of the UI
Depending on the percentage of your mood bar there are also various states. If your character's happiness is full, he is in the "full of life" state so his crafting skills and socializing is improved for example.
You will be able to see on detail UI panel all the things affecting each mood stat and a log for the past 24h
We want to work on a more dynamic system for moods so you can create your own moods for your characters in modding if we can make it. That's just an idea right now. Let us first see the feedbacks to the current flow of the game.
Quest System and Items
We started on working on the quests as hard coded pieces but later on, it seemed like a very cool idea to develop a layer where the content team can write their own quests without the need of programmers. This seemed even more cooler when we realized this would be a great tool for adding their own content to their mods for our community.
We decided to use a console to quickly create these quests, place objects on the map, create items, define the behaviour of these items and create dialogues + dialogue options. We don't know when this system will be available for modders as it's still on development but it will be available somewhere during the Early Access.
Items in Circadian City are classified regarding their behaviours. There are item classes like trees, ores, vegetables, tools etc.. You can for example use an axe on a tree type object or harvest a grown vegetable with hand. Furthermore we can apply tags to these items for other uses. For example we can create an item that will have an effect on "blue" items. A blue item can be from many classes.
Crafting tables are built for making a list of items, in that sense, the cooker in your home is a crafting table where you can craft food items and the expected behaviour of food items is their edibility. Thank you Mr. Obvious.
When we will enable the crafting system to modding, we expect the universe to explode.
Upcoming in Later Posts
Some other systems that will be explored on later posts are:
- Character system (Now you can customize your pixel art characters yay!)
- Interest / Skill System - Emotion System - World Generation in Dreams - Day/Night and Seasonal Cycles
Stay well citizens, we're gearing up for Early Access !
This was a fabulous week for us. We had some beautiful results from the development, we continued to write new quests and created new zones, equipment, and items...
So, between all the work, meetings and several chaotic agenda we received some great news too!
First, we have been told that we reached 10K Wishlists here, on Steam. YAY! We didn't start doing any PR for the game, and we have some famous influencers that will help us get bigger for the first week of our Early Access. So we are expecting to have a much bigger community here and around the game.
Secondly, we translated our page here to our new languages: German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese. It is fascinating that from now on, we can share our process with more people in their own language. We can say that more languages will join in the future.
We closed the alpha applications as they will start very soon. But you can still apply for the beta branch that will take place after the game is public. The release date is not set yet. But after a few weeks of tests, we think we will set a date for the first months of 2020.
Thank you for all your support. We really do appreciate that and although we have a great responsibility on our shoulders, no problem! Because (unlike Spidey) we know what to do; just have to work harder.
The Opera House's history goes back many years. It is said that singers and entertainers used to give performances there at nights, by the firelight.
In 1899, to honor their memory, the town council decided to raise the new opera house on the same ground.
It was created by one of the most skilled architects of days; Julius Fainfold. An artist generally known by his conceptual designs… For this project, Fainfold followed his habit and use 4 towers of the building as the four pillars of design and named them after for main elements: fire, air, earth, and water.
Sadly, misfortune shadowed this beautiful building from the beginning. After one month from the opening gala, flames danced and burned nearly all of the tower of fire. One year later, during the wild winter, storms blasted all the windows of the tower of air.
Then, of course, people started to talk. Every day fewer people came, and at some point, singers and artists refused to step up to the stage. They said the place is troubled, uneasy.
The building was abandoned after 5 years. For a long time, occupants were street animals and homeless people. During the 2000s the reconstruction of the city began, and mayoralty decided to use the building as a performance hall.
They opened up a small contest on naming it. The jury decided on "OH!". They said, "It is an onomatopoeia on people's surprise and excitement. It also serves as a reduction to the old name; Opera House."
A week later, newspapers wrote about a young man who suggested the name; Thomas Fainfold. He was the grandson of the architect.
And people raised their eyes from newspapers and said just one word: "Oh!"