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a multiplayer game of parenting and civilization building

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#1 Main Forum » Notice about account details shared publicly (account pools, twitter) » 2020-08-01 22:35:30

Replies: 37

If the secret details of an account are shared publicly in any way, that account has officially "escaped" into the wild, and has been abandoned.

Such accounts will be permanently blocked when they are discovered, with no refund.

So, if you post your account key on Twitter, or in these forums, or on Discord, your account has escaped, and it will be blocked.

Also, if you add your account to an account pool, your account has escaped, and will be blocked.

You own your account, but only as long as you keep your secret secret.  Once it's no longer secret, and members of the public can log into your account (even if it's through an account pool that doesn't divulge the key to them directly), you have abandoned your account.

Note that after being abandoned, your account is no longer useful to you, because other people can use those account details to log in and interrupt your game, kicking you off.  Thus, an abandoned account no longer has any value.

This is fair warning for folks who might be spending their precious time developing account pool services:  people who donate their accounts to these services will have their accounts permanently blocked.

#2 News » Update: More Fixes » 2020-07-24 19:20:24

Replies: 3


I spent the week clearing up some of the reported issues that had accumulated.

The biggest change is to how killing and posses work.  First of all, if you try to join a posse, but cannot for some reason, you get a DING message explaining the reason.

Next, there's a new exception to the posse and exile requirements---something like "live by the sword, die by the sword."  Someone who kills becomes vulnerable to being solo killed, without being exiled or having a posse form against them, for 60 seconds (the same amount of time that they are stuck holding the non-sword murder weapon).  This helps people deal with the "evil leader" problem.  The current leader is the most powerful in terms of being able to exile, which means that dethroning them requires quite a bit of political willpower.  If that leader goes on a unilateral killing spree, organizing collectively to de-follow them---to strip them of power---can be really difficult.  One of the early ideas for justice in the game was "safety in numbers."  As long as the citizens outnumber the griefers, the citizens should triumph.  That idea resurfaces as we differentiate good killers from bad killers.  The good ones will need to be protected by others while they are in their post-kill vulnerability state.  The bad killers, who are acting alone and without the approval of the group, become fair game for everyone.  The 60 second window of vulnerability is a live server setting, and may be tweaked in the future.  It could be even longer than the murder weapon hold time.

Feast tables have been tweaked so that they are no longer kick-started by pumpkin pie, allowing these pies to be stored on a table without forming a feast table.

This week, I'm also kicking off a new community content feature.  Congratulations to Fred Struggs, whose modern berry farm is featured in this week's VOG Shot:


I'm on vacation next week.

#3 News » Update: Pipeline » 2020-07-17 03:02:21

Replies: 1


Long-distance pipelines can drain the new diesel oil well from afar, and also give you more oil per well than the Newcomen pump.

And pipes, for both sprinklers and oil, can pass through property fences now.

This might seem like a simple change, but with all those different pipe orientations and and flow directions, it's actually pretty complicated, requiring 125 new objects this week to stitch the whole thing together and make it work.  Long distance flow requests and responses, with no code changes needed to make it happen.

#4 Re: Main Forum » We got roads....paved roads. » 2020-07-13 21:44:40

I just did a little VOG survey, and I didn't see any paved roads.

#5 Re: News » Update: Paved Roads » 2020-07-13 21:43:00

Roads speed up horses and carts and on-foot travel, not just cars.  They also auto-navigate you to a destination.

Currently, the stone roads are VERY expensive and labor-intensive.

The paved roads are cheap (infinite roads in a single charge of gravel and paint) and require much less labor (aside from clearing the way, there is no labor per-tile paved).

#6 News » Update: Paved Roads » 2020-07-11 01:35:58

Replies: 19


Over the years, a few people have complained about what is shown toward the end of the trailer.  When the game shipped, these people were apparently expecting atomic powered robots and monorails.

However, the end of the trailer is supposed to represent a possible future for the game, when I say, "Who knows where we'll end up?"

And that's what these weekly updates are about.  Along with improving the core of the game, and fixing problems, I'm also slowly adding more and more advanced technology.  There are already hundreds of things in the game that weren't shown in the trailer.  Just not robots, yet.

Today, we inch a little bit closer to some of the stuff shown toward the end of the trailer, with the advent of paved roads.  But these roads, with the way they are constructed, and with the way the seamlessly connect together with branches and tees and crosses, go far beyond the straight horizontal highway shown in the trailer.  Spaghetti junction, here we come.

You can also add elbows and vertical sections to the layout of your sprinkler pipes, allowing you to build more compact fields that are served by a single sprinkler pump.

#9 Re: Main Forum » How can the games punishment system be based on "he said she said"? » 2020-07-08 03:20:52

How could a system NOT be based on "he said, she said?"  That is exactly what justice looks like in real life.  Whoever tells a more compelling story, with more compelling evidence and witnesses, wins.

Even if justice happened outside the game, it would still look just like that.  You would email me, complaining about what happened to you (he said), and then I'd have to email the other person, to get their take on it (she said).

#10 Re: Main Forum » Zig zag preview » 2020-07-08 02:07:56

Yeah, this is just a side-note this week, mostly for completeness.  Not because it's really really needed.  Yes, the pipes do take up space, and no, stuff can't be piled on top.

And yes, I can imagine people using 1 u-bend to shorten the length of their farm into two long rows instead of one long row.

Fug, one engine can be moved around to do everything a village needs, right?  So you don't need a whole extra engine just for the sprinkler.  However, with how many uses a sprinkler has, the engine will get "stuck" there for a while.

#12 Re: Main Forum » On the subject of Hardened Rows » 2020-07-07 18:02:16

Wheat and carrots now produces hard rows.

Saplings and milkweed still produce the wild variety when farmed.  That will remain the same for a while, because fixing it would require quite a bit of duplication.

#13 Re: Main Forum » On the subject of Hardened Rows » 2020-07-07 17:23:05

I will adjust some of these to be more consistent.

#14 News » Update; Green Revolution » 2020-07-04 00:20:25

Replies: 7


New this week:  diesel-powered plows and irrigation systems.

Through these industrial farming techniques, you can use water, soil, and iron much more efficiently.

The third-party tech tree (OneTech) can now be reached from a button on the Login screen.

#15 Re: Main Forum » Stuck cravings (and fixing it today) » 2020-06-29 19:59:15

Yes, both bugs have been fixed.

Servers are updating right now.

#16 Main Forum » Stuck cravings (and fixing it today) » 2020-06-29 16:29:30

Replies: 4

This issue was reported:

There's a glitch in the code that won't allow you to satisfy a craving if the craved food is a "yum overlap" food, like a bowl of berries (which isn't yummy if you've already eaten a berry).

Fixing this today.

#17 Re: Main Forum » My genetics are stuck after beeing nameless child » 2020-06-27 22:08:33

What do you mean "genetics were stuck?"

You mean lives after that haven't updated your gene score at all?

#18 Re: Main Forum » Why I take a hands-off approach » 2020-06-27 22:07:52

Yeah, muting cursed people might be interesting....

I'll have to think about that....

#20 Re: Main Forum » Server crashes after update » 2020-06-27 22:04:04

This is fixed now.

Sorry for the trouble, everyone.

#21 Re: Main Forum » Server crashes after update » 2020-06-27 21:17:27

Crash is caused by conducting an action on top of a table.  For now, avoid doing that... just avoid using tables in general.

#22 Re: Main Forum » Server crashes after update » 2020-06-27 21:05:34

Yes, just got around to checking my email this morning.  YIKES!

Why, oh why, after MONTHS of stability, do I have to program a crash during the Steam sale?

Fixing it now...

#24 News » Update: Crave Spice » 2020-06-27 06:26:02

Replies: 11


Last week, a bunch of new foods were added to the game, pushing the total up to 64.  Pickles were among the new foods added, and they make a perfect example of a pressing design problem.  Why do people eat pickles in real life?  They don't have much nutritional value.  Maybe they eat the lacto-fermented type for probiotic benefits.  But they're mostly eaten because they taste good.

As I work toward my goal of making the largest and most comprehensive crafting game of all time---a true love letter to our civilized world, which is so full of all the amazing things that people make---64 foods is just the beginning.  But why would people bother to make these foods?  They can't actually taste things in the game.  Players will likely gravitate to the most efficient food, and make only that, after the novelty of making a food that looks like a hand-drawn pickle wears off.  To put it another way:  ice cream has been in the game for over a year, but almost no one eats it.

In facing this problem a while back, the YUM system was a good solution.  Each novel food that you eat in your lifetime contributes to a growing bonus multiplier, boosting the value of each additional novel food.  This is an abstract representation of "nutritional variety" or something like that.  A long YUM chain is much more resource-efficient than a mono-diet of even the most efficient food in the game.

However, YUIM only takes us so far.  Analysis by community members has shown that an optimally-scheduled YUM chain of just 24 foods---the 24 most-efficient foods---is enough to last a person all the way through their life.  What about the other 40 foods?  For players who strive for efficiency, the back 40 are effectively dead content.

But sometimes, you just feel like having a pickle, right?

The new craving system solves this problem in a way that can scale way beyond 24 optimal foods.  Each family is assigned a sequence of foods that they will crave, one after the other, with foods chosen based on how advanced they are.  Eating a craved food gives a bigger YUM multiplier boost---double the usual increment.  Of course, for some hard-to-get foods, a double bonus might not be enough to make the food worthwhile.  In that case, the craving will persist, even across generations, until it is finally satisfied.  For each generation that goes without the craved food, the bonus increases.  Eventually, even the most difficult to produce food will be worth making, as the bonus keeps growing.

In a given lifetime, eating a series of craved foods will be even more efficient than a standard YUM chain.  However, if you get stuck on a food, or decide not to pursue your current craving, your craving sequence gets blocked on that food.  So even if the craved food is not worthwhile for the initial bonus attached to it, it might be worthwhile so that you can continue eating other craved foods that will come later.

To expand your craving possibilities, the raw spices added last week have been used in a few additional recipes---spiced versions of shrimp and mutton that provide no additional food value compared to the non-spiced version.  You probably won't bother making them, unless you get a craving for them.

And to aid you in preparing all this stuff, tables have become much more user-friendly, allowing you to transform objects that are sitting on the table without removing them from the table first.  So you can make pie crusts, chop ingredients, and season meats, right on the table.

To prevent mother overload, mothers are now blocked from having more babies if they currently have four living children.  This will allow them to focus their attention on helping those four survive.  This is a soft block, which will be overridden if all mothers on the server have more than four living children.  But in general, it should help quite a bit to smooth out the variance that sometimes saddles one mother with loads of kids.

And speaking of kids, since male characters don't have any babies themselves, their nieces and nephews count toward their genetic score---men are treated as uncles.  People have figured out that women in the game can avoid genetic offspring by leaving their homeland to remain infertile for their whole lives.  This has been fixed by treating any childless women as aunts---their nieces and nephews will also count toward their genetic score.

#25 Re: Main Forum » When I have plenty of food I still hear the dinging constantly » 2020-06-26 18:06:39

This has been fixed.  No more dinging when you have bonus food points not shown in your hunger bar.

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