Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Skyward Collapse 1.800 Beta "Civilian Reversal" Released!

If you've not yet read about the general changes in the 1.4 beta line, now is a good time to do so. It's expected that we'll stay in beta for the new features until we release the 2.0 version of the game in late August, alongside the new Nihon no Mura expansion.  A lot is different in the base game since 1.4, so we want to make sure and give this time to mature before we put this out to everyone.

This one is another biggie that chews almost all the entire remaining items from the the list of implemented features so far for the new expansion.  Basically all that is left feature-wise is the new Woes, and then everything else for this expansion is just balance and tweaking.  Which is good, because the expansion launches a week from today!

Hamlet Stuff
The big big new thing here is the new Hamlet Idyll game mode.  I think it's really fun and interesting, because it's just focused on the hamlets and nothing else.  It's pretty much a puzzle game more than anything else, which amuses me. 

The hamlets in general were overly simplistic in the prior 1.600 version of the game; players were reporting really enjoying it, and that's great, but it didn't stand up to repeated plays much.  Now the hamlet functionality both in the Idyll game mode and in the main game mode have been expanded such that they have more strategic depth without just getting complex for the sake of complexity.

Specifically the way we handled that was:
- Having the queue of upcoming tiles you can use both be larger, not auto-shift out the first item in itself, and have a much larger points disparity between slots.
- Tweak a few of the specific tiles to make for better balance.
- And most of all, add in Civilian tokens that get created and removed by specific tiles, and which block further tile placement.

Those things really help to make it so that the hamlet mode isn't just an in-the-moment thing where you just put the best tile in the best slot; but rather it's an over-time thing where you have to think about how your actions will really affect the future the longer you go.  Your queue gets stale and you have to do something with that.  You're filling up parts of your town with civilians, and you need to wipe them out with a slum.  And so on.

I thought that the hamlet mode was fun yesterday, but the more I played it the more bored I was of it.  These slight revisions really keep me mentally engaged through the whole session with them, though; and it makes hitting the culture goals exciting and tense in a way that it wasn't before.

Culture Actions / Large Towns
These are the other big big big things from this version.  (And no, I'm not intentionally trying to sound like Effie Trinket, heh.)

The most boring of these is still useful in the extreme: Super Smite lets you destroy any tile, no questions asked, for 500 culture.  Kill a god, kill a bandit stronghold, whatever.  There's a good chance that this is way undervalued at just 500 culture.

Very exciting are the new Large Towns, which cost you 1000 culture and give you double the construction space in a single town.  The uses for that are pretty immense.

Also very exciting is a new Reverse Time ability, which costs as whopping 4000 culture and rolls back the clock by 10 turns.  Worried you might not hit a score goal?  Just wanting more score in general?  Here you go!

Also very cool is the last of the culture actions, Stop Woe.  This also costs 4000 culture, and it immediately wipes out both the Current and Next woes, and puts a weak Upheaval woe in the queue for 15 turns out.  This lets you dodge some woes that you don't want to have hit you, AND have a nice woe-free period.

Of course, if you are doing any of those things, you are likely not doing other of those things.  You can't have it all, and if you're focusing on culture you're also foregoing a few other things based on your action point expenditures.  I think we can all agree that the culture is worth it, but what I'm most pleased about is how there is a good opportunity cost here that does not make anything an obviously-do-this situation.


More to come soon.  Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the  in-game updater itself, if you already have any version of the game.  When you  launch the game, you'll see the notice of the update having been found if you're connected to the Internet at the time.

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