If you are regular guests on our forum, you've probably noticed the Planet Nomads in 2018 thread, where we have declared change in the way how we want to develop Planet Nomads. In recent months our goal was to create as many blocks and features as possible every week. Today we know that this is not an ideal approach.
When we were confronted with reactions of many new players who bought game during Christmas season, we realized that the core of our game is far from perfect. As Antoine de Saint Exupéry said once: It seems that perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove. We do not want to remove anything but we decided to focus more on things that we already have in the game than on adding new. Our main goal is to make better player experience.
This does not mean that we will not create new blocks and functionalities. There will just be less of additions than you are used to and we will more think about how could they improve player's experience than how many things we could make.
So what's our main goals for 2018?
We have noticed that the game is very hard to get understand for new players. There is a lot of game mechanics that we need to explain to newcomers and current tutorial system is not well structured and the procedurally generated environment is full of random distractions.
So we decided that we need to rework the first minutes of game experience. We want to teach new players all the things from easier to the harder ones and do it in more controlled environment without bothering of resources, terrain obstacles and enemies. Once the players know the basics, we could give them more freedom soon in the game.
The survival part of the game is generally considered as weak, being percieved more like creative mode with grinding hurdles than thrilling experience. Someone can state that we should have named it "economic", not "survival". So our next goal will be to rebalance survival mechanics, introduce new ones, and give whole surviving a meaningful purpose by raising immersion in the story.
Currently it is too easy to kill them and you can also ignore them completely if you keep away enough from them. Looting nests is just an easy way to gather valuable resources, but it was meant to be a very dangerous task. We will make impossible to kill animals by multi-tool. From the start we will equip you with a pistol and limited amount of bullets for emergency use. In later stages it will be possible to make more bullets and better weapons.
Currently we are thinking of adding new animals with a little bit different behavior. They will be less predictable and not bound to nests only. They will be able to damage your buildings if they are angry on you, but we still want to keep possibility to play peaceful without the need to kill everything that moves. We also want to add some other usage for happy living animals like milking or eating eggs.
We plan to change the way how planets are generated so it will not be so easy to obtain endless water resource just by digging down for few seconds. It will probably need wiping of all saves, so we will wait with it until really necessary and join it with some other biome changes.
The layout of materials in biomes and recipes for different blocks and items will also be updated to make it more challenging to build more advanced blocks.
In order to make survival more realistic, we will introduce damaging of blocks. This will make killing animals by cars more detrimental. Don't be afraid - collisions will not destroy your vehicle totally, but heavy collisions could put functional blocks out of order until you repair them.
Our goal is to make more types of weather in game and fix current bugs, like raining inside. We want to have some common weather conditions that will have no big effect on survival and some rare weather types that will make you run as fast as you can to find a shelter.
We see building as a main pillar of gameplay, and we will work on it on many fronts. We will make building independent on buildvision, so you will be able to turn it on even in cockpit or build without looking on all unnecessary augmented reality stuff. In buildvision, we will also display mass and its center for better construction of flying vehicles.
Buildvision will need some other visual tweaks - mainly hide icons for occluded blocks to make it more readable.
Blueprints will allow players to save their working creations and build dozens of them easily for themselves or exchange it with other players for example in Steam Workshop. We have already finished and tested the saving part of this feature and we will soon use it for purpose of collecting shipwreck designs from our kickstarter backers.
We have added block coloring recently. It was probably the last thing that was in our old editor proof of concept and was not in the final game. We consider empowering creative possibilities as one of our main goals.
List of Blocks
We want to make the list of blocks more lucid. We rearrange them into groups more logically and add filter by name. Also we add more useful information into tooltips and create clearer thumbnails for blocks.
There are still a lot of blocks that we want to finish, for example conveyors connectable between grids, electrically controlled rotor and hinge, mechanical gears and logic gates.
According to our measurements you spend about 20 percent of your time in some kind of vehicle. We want to make you feel comfortable there. We will include a terminal in each cockpit so you will be able to control all the vehicle functions without going outside. Moreover we want to make it possible to move buttons from the terminal into the new vehicle hotbar. For instance you can move light switch to first hotbar slot and then turn your lights on or off just by pressing 1 key.
We also add battery monitor, altimeter and attitude indicator into the vehicle GUI.
We promised a lot of creative rewards in Kickstarter campaign, like designing shipwrecks, holograms or statues and still did not finished it. It stagnated mainly because we did not have the tools to collect your creations. Soon, when we'll have most of blocks finished and blueprint feature, we'll advertise the final round of shipwreck design submissions and then put them all into the game.
We will see, how successful will we be in reaching our goals. I hope it will not take us whole 2018, so you can look forward for many unmentioned surprises. We will also continue to listen to all of your suggestions on our forum but maybe be a litte bit more picky about what we will do and what will not. Rather small improvements than big changes.
We want the game to be rather simply amazing than all-inclusive.