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StA Dev Diary 2 - Outposts

Hello everyone! My name is Matti and I work as a Game Designer at Iceflake Studios. A lot has happened over the past month after the Colony update, which focused more on buildings and resources. This time it’s more about the World Map and what you can do there. We’ve added Societies, Outposts, Trading and improved visuals of the map view itself. A variety of balance changes should make living the post-apocalyptic life more interesting. Our programmers have also found and fixed several causes for the stuck colonist bug.


The first big addition to the World Map are the Societies! You’re not alone in the world, and other people have made their homes in various sectors. Once you find a Society you can start trading with it by researching Bartering and building a Trade Center. Pressing the new Trade button you can see what’s on offer and how long it’ll take to reach your colony. Each Trade Center can handle as many convoys as it has workers. This is just the very first version of Trading and a little bare-bones, but fleshing-out the World Map was definitely something both we and the community wanted sooner rather than later.


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Outposts are our first step in resolving the “grindy” nature of the World Map exploration and something our community has been vocal about. Once you’ve researched the “Frontier Outpost” tech, build an Outpost Depot in the colony and set it to establish an Outpost on any explored World Map sector that doesn’t have a Bandit Camp or Society in it. Once built, this it will act as a drop-off point for the resources your specialists are carrying, transporting the goodies immediately to the Outpost Depot storage in your Colony. Specialists won’t heal at an Outpost, so bringing them back from time to time is still necessary.


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Much-requested by you, we’ve improved movement on the World Map. You can now click and set a destination several days off from the Specialists’ current location and have them move towards it automatically at the end of their turn. If you want to cancel this, just select and move them towards another location. Specialists also refresh their Actions Points at the same time now (twice per day), so you don’t have to jump back and forth between the map and your colony as much. You can see the progress towards next AP refill from the World Map button’s edge meter.


We’ve also added some new content. Colonists got more portraits and you’ll be getting over 30 new Specialists knocking on your gate. Bandits have also divided themselves into factions like the Wolf Gang and Doomsday Militia, and get increasingly tougher the further away from the colony your Specialists venture.


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In addition to new things to do, we’ve also overhauled the World Map visuals. The old map honestly didn’t look too good and felt flat in more ways than one. Kalle, one of our game artists, has been hard at work making it feel more epic. New mountains and swamps, better buildings in the urban biome, atmospheric effects and biome-specific roads all add up to that. Adding mesh support to mere height maps helps create more detailed terrain features. There’s a lot more fidelity especially in the mountains and marsh lakes. But it’s also important to keep visual elements separate from game objects to not confuse players, or block their view. There’s still a lot to tweak and improve, but for example the plains biome looks rather nice as a result.


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Extractors are now working more like we originally wanted but couldn’t develop and test in time for the Colony update. Instead of being built on barren soil, they must now be placed next to emptied resource deposits. For example, once you deplete a Metal Deposit, a much larger underground deposit will be discovered underneath it. Underground concrete deposits will spawn from large ruins.

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A lot of balancing changes are also coming in. Birth rate and survivor group sizes have been toned down to prevent explosive population growth later in the game. Water and water-related buildings have also changed. Water Towers are now much cheaper and are drained empty slower than before, making them a viable option to just building a ton of Wells everywhere in case of a Heat Wave or a Pandemic. Basic building material balancing continues too, with Metal and Concrete being replaced with Plastic in several places. And finally, the deadly Nuclear Fallout and Meteor Shower catastrophes are now a bit less deadly and more in line with other horrible events as requested by the community.


For those interested in statistics (like me), we got the first version of Graphs. We’ve started with some simple basic info views and will continue to develop the feature from there. Found in the Statistics view, they’ll track stuff like population growth and resource production. Use them to find a bottleneck in your colony or to just admire the (un)steady rise towards prosperity.

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So that’s it! We hope you’ll enjoy the Societies and Outposts update, continue giving us feedback and stay tuned for the next feature update!
 
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General Karthos

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Just in time for me to get back into the game! I like all these changes at least in theory. Looking forward to trying things out!
 

Daelyn75

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Once the game is "fully" launched it will be available on Steam as well.
This is the first time I'm seeing this game. I haven't even read any of the details and I want to see more. Do you know when it will be available, or can you at least tell me why Paradox hasn't advertised it more? A strategy post apoc survival game looks and sounds pretty awesome.
 

Leckan

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All great changes, thank you Matti for keeping us updated. This game was pretty shallow at first, but I love seeing these additions that still keeps the core of the game which is really well made.
 

BrasatoAlBarolo

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I don't know guys, perhaps there's some sort of agreement on an "early access exclusive" and "keeping the expectations low" until a certain point during the development that both developer and publisher want to keep "secret" (because it's their business, in the end).

Well, steam allows a lot of early acces game, so i dont see any problem with relasing this game as ea now.
On top of that, it's true that Steam gives you the most visibility at the moment, but with great power comes great responsibility (more early access users -> more toxicity during early development stages -> negative reviews because there's alway THAT GUY - and in the case of Steam it's probably 1000x "that guy" that expects a full and polished game from an alpha).

This is the first time I'm seeing this game. I haven't even read any of the details and I want to see more. Do you know when it will be available, or can you at least tell me why Paradox hasn't advertised it more? A strategy post apoc survival game looks and sounds pretty awesome.
Anyway, I got here from a Facebook sponsored post, so the people who might be interested on the "survival building" genre has probably been reached. I have to agree that, imho, on the Epic launcher I use to launch the game, it wasn't really mentioned the way it deserved.
 

Cyenthies

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Awesome update devs! Kudos on your work! Can't wait to see ya'lls vision on this one! I'm loving the little things, sound effects, graphics, etc.
Noticed a few issues still though, minor and major. Minor issue, see picture. For some reason, unable to scout this area. Attached the save file too, as it still shows the area as unmovable. Second, and this one is major, carriers are still not picking up resources on the ground. Not salvage, I'm talking lumber, concrete, metal, plastic, etc, in crates on ground. These show as in inventory BUT are not listed in any stockpile, which means they are not available for trade or gate events. It really sucks when someone shows up willing to trade science points or components for a resource you supposedly have, but which the interface says you don't have... :)
I seem to be able to pick up crop harvest by setting stockpiles over the area. Only general stockpiles though, the food carrier work area will not work to have them carry the harvest to the stockpile. Colonists will drop a job to go 'have fun'. No, that's laziness, especially if a catastrophe is forecast to happen. Gate inventory is not applicable to trades either, and just like resources on the ground, priority is place on salvaging work areas and building roads, (roads should be low priority, js), I've never seen a colonist go get resources from gate without micromanagement.
Also, what are the multipliers for specialists? I have one who has a 3 in scavenge, able to get 6 med-kits, a 5 in scavenge able to get 8, and a 1 in scavenge get 5...? Makes no sense, do these numbers even apply? For example. specialist has 1 in attack, one hit a bandit for 10pts dmg with 3 defense, and a spec with 5 in attack hit for 2 points with 0 defense. Say what?!
Looking forward to the updates! And awesome work, ya'll definitely on the ball. Love it, and keep fleshing this out, map bigger, more building, this is one you can expand upon quite a bit, and I hope you do, more than what was teased in the road map. No end-game without conquering the world either, this is the Apocalypse man. Make it great!
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morarz

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I was playing in this game and it really good, keep going good work, I have a few bugs one is I cannot build upgraded outpost and another is when I am build metal extractor, source of underground metal dissapear, and I must build third extractor on another source of metal. Third bug is I can only sow potatoes and corn. Nothing more and my mill need wheat. In another upgrade You should add car mechanic building and make cars for specialist and in mail base we should have source of oil, mayby coal ? But I am dissapointed one think after a while nothing happend, same s*it every day and game get boring.But I hope after a while You can add more fun thing to this game.
 

Cyenthies

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I was playing in this game and it really good, keep going good work, I have a few bugs one is I cannot build upgraded outpost and another is when I am build metal extractor, source of underground metal dissapear, and I must build third extractor on another source of metal. Third bug is I can only sow potatoes and corn. Nothing more and my mill need wheat. In another upgrade You should add car mechanic building and make cars for specialist and in mail base we should have source of oil, mayby coal ? But I am dissapointed one think after a while nothing happend, same s*it every day and game get boring.But I hope after a while You can add more fun thing to this game.

Seeds are only available via the special trades that go on at the gate for now it seems, otherwise yes, corn & taters, lol. Tbh, I've never bothered with the mill as I've usually got over 200 mixed meals by the time seeds show up. But yeah, in order to get more seeds, it's pretty much RNG as to when they'll make an appearance and you can trade for them. Hopefully your colony does a good job of keeping resources in the stockpile and not on the ground, (unlike mine, smh... my colonists are so inept, lol), that way the trade is possible when it does happen.
I've seen the little cracks in the ground, so I'm assuming they do have plans eventually for other resources. Just gotta be patient, as the game is still Early Access, and heck, was just available a few short weeks ago. As far as having issues with the new buildings, just upload your save file here, so the Devs can take a peek and see whats happening and hopefully get a fix for you.
 

Archiver_2k4

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Seeds aren't that hard to come by, usually a little girl asking for medicine for her mom gives type of seed. Another is the scientist girl ask to go outside to clear her head, she comes back with another type of seed. Two or three more cant remember them atm, but by then you should at least have corn, potatoes, cabbage, soybeans, wheat. Im only at ~ 3 weeks in & have had those already. But lost that game due to freeze bug & save wont load, so just deleted it & started over.
 

Leckan

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Seeds aren't that hard to come by, usually a little girl asking for medicine for her mom gives type of seed. Another is the scientist girl ask to go outside to clear her head, she comes back with another type of seed. Two or three more cant remember them atm, but by then you should at least have corn, potatoes, cabbage, soybeans, wheat. Im only at ~ 3 weeks in & have had those already. But lost that game due to freeze bug & save wont load, so just deleted it & started over.

It really depends on luck! I have played 2x 80 day games just now, I only got wheat in the first of these two games, and not a single other seed in the latter. Never was it an option in any merchant van or anything.

However in some of my first games they were trickling in a lot, and I have 5-6 seeds most games after 30 days. I assume I just got very lucky then, and now in my last two games very unlucky. Still feels bad to be growing potatoes 80 days in :)
 

starkaos

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Well, steam allows a lot of early acces game, so i dont see any problem with relasing this game as ea now.

Another option is adding Surviving the Aftermath to the Paradox Store right now and use the Paradox Launcher to play the game. It would allow any player that will never use the Epic Game Store to play the game right now instead of waiting for Steam to get access next Fall. Also, it has the added advantage of Paradox keeping 100% of the profits instead of losing 12% to 30% of the profit to Epic or Steam.
 

Pheace

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That problem is the contract they have with Epic, which requires them to sell exclusively via the Epic Game Store for a year.

lol, I honestly figured the game was still in development and coming out later. Oh well, I'll wait for the full game, assuming it's well reviewed by then. No interest in endorsing EGS's exclusivity bull, though I can't fault PDX for taking the handout. It's not good competition if you don't get a choice of where to buy.
 

matti_ifs

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Since many wondered about seeds, atm they can be acquired from several different Gate events, but we got plans to add a way to get them in a less random way.