Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Sovereign's Perfect Settlement

Every player leader has their own style. Each person who chooses to be a Sovereign will end up with a unique settlement guided by their personal perspective on gaming and ruling. You will find settlements with neat matching rows of exactly the same buildings, named in ascending fashion. You will also find settlement scattered with random useful buildings, with residents and production buildings in every district. Some sovereigns will rule through many ministers, others will try to lead the entire settlement by themselves. Perhaps most influentially, sovereigns will each find the size of settlement that is most comfortable for them.

Not every settlement will be trying to climb it's way into the ranks of 'biggest' or containing the most high ranking districts. Many will find a particular size and combination of districts to be fun and easy to run, and this number often comes well before 13 at the top. Rank 3 is a good place to settle if you like providing for the agricultural needs of your region. Ranks 5 and 6 are very comfortable for a sovereign who just wants an independent production chain. The higher ranks become more appealing to production specialists, who want the best troops, gear or transport. Thus, production-based settlements will find themselves trying to raise their settlement rank to reach the high ranking districts that provide bonuses and buildings for their preferred crafts. Some settlements will try to follow the best path to huge piles of gold, while perfectionist sovereigns may actually demolish lower ranking districts in order to make room for more high ranking districts.

The primary testing settlement of Testopia, ruled alone by Noble I, has settled comfortably at Rank 5. In this state, the settlement has finally become self-sufficient. Residencies are sorted reasonably, with peasants split between Town Square Cottages and Central Commons Tenements. Yeomen and Peers are housed solely in the Residential District, within Houses and Villas. There is a little residual residency in the Fields. The Fields and Forest, and Mines districts provide much of the raw material needed for the settlement, with a little extra coming from the Inner Courtyard. The Fishing Outpost is used primarily to produce Fillets to support the Pastures which produce the necessary Livestock for the Butcher and the Weavers. The Mineral Mines to Mints balance is almost correct, so Testopia is producing currency. It is also finally producing Paper, providing for Libraries and additional research spots.

This recent shift toward balance has allowed Testopia to start considering the Happiness of it's residents. Buildings with NPC and Player residents create more demand for district happiness, so Testopia focused on the Fields, Town Square, Residential and Central Commons districts. Within each you can check the individual happiness scores and create buildings that provide for your lowest scores. With a mostly complete production chain, a Rank 5 settlement should be more than capable of (eventually) producing enough to build the basic happiness buildings. Keep in mind, higher ranking districts tend to provide settlement-wide happiness bonuses. Every decision when ruling your settlement is a stylistic choice.

Testopia is not the only example of Brunelleschi leadership, and other settlements are more regularly tended and less used for arcane testing purposes. Testlandia, Slowland and Construction Land are also primarily testing settlements and have been managed unconventionally for this purpose. Players are encouraged to explore other settlements before deciding to start their own, or to stake a flag in the wilderness and boldly start from scratch. The Leaderboards offer a variety of ways to compare your settlements and personal scores and can be checked through the 'Info' tab on the top bar of the Brune UI.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

What Happens to Abandoned Settlements?

Abandoning a Settlement
Even settlements full of active residents can start falling into disrepair if the Sovereign and/or sitting Ministers stop tending to their duties. It is from their inventories that building upkeep is drawn. Even a settlement with a few active ministers might begin to fall if those ministers don't have access to the resources needed to upkeep their buildings. However, players do not have to sit helplessly as their home settlements decay around them. It is possible to enact repairs, and some settlements may even allow for the forcible replacement of current office holders. However, the more Authoritarian a settlement is, the less power it's residents have to fix the mistakes of their rulers.

Building Decay

Like most things in Brunelleschi, all buildings require upkeep, usually of the materials it took to build the building in the first place. Buildings that have been upgraded require more upkeep based on how highly they have been upgraded. Upkeep is taken from the inventory of the building's owner. If the building is owned by the government, this owner is the Sovereign, or the Minister of it's home district if there is one. Otherwise, the building is privately owned and upkeep is the responsibility of the player-owner. If that upkeep isn't met, the building begins to fall into disrepair, eventually taking structural damageand finally deconstructing entirely when they lose all their structural hit points (SHP). This is representative of the rot, infestation and decay that happens to buildings left completely unattended, but decay still happens to buildings with active player employees if the upkeep is not paid.

District Decay

Districts take upkeep too, represented by the upkeep needed for their Main buildings. If the Main building collapses from lack of upkeep, the district will collapse as well. Collapsed districts are essentially lost from the settlement, along with all the buildings that were inside of it. If this happens, these buildings won't be recovered, even if the Main building / District is rebuilt by the sovereign.

'Repair Building'
Players above Lvl 25 can repair a building that's taken damage at the cost of 200 Hemp per repaired Structural Hit Point. In this way, player-residents can prop up an abandoned settlement or Government officials can repair the damage done by their inattentive play. To repair a building, simply inspect a damaged building and click the 'warning' symbol next to it. This should open the 'Repair Building' Actions pop up. Technically from this point, you can select every damaged building in the settlement and repair them all in sequence, that is if you have enough Hemp and Action Points.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The New Wave - of Updates

Updates are Back!

For several months, development for the Brune 3D client was put on the shelf in favor of work on the central web-client. But now the MMO demo is back in production! Fans and new players alike can look forward to semi-daily updates and regular bug fixing. Fortunately, you won't have to re-download the client every time it updates. (But you should download a2.1.29 or higher) The regular client, available through IndieDB, comes complete with an auto-updating function. Each new update will offer to download itself and update the client for you. If you're one of the lucky receivers of a beta steam key, you can play Brune with Steamworks functions and maybe even get a few early achievements. This client will update itself through steam, as could be expected.

What's new in Brune 3D?

Through we only restarted development last week, there have already been two major feature changes. The first is the replacement of the Multiplayer setup. Our old multiplayer infrastructure updated to a state that is not currently useful to the project, so we replaced it with something smoother and simpler. Returning players will notice that there is no longer an 'extra' login screen. The new system doesn't require an extra database, so all data comes directly from Brune.

The second big change is the introduction of the Wardrobe feature. Used to be, after logging in, the player then loads into the big full-settlement map. This is is usually slow and a little hard on processing power, even for really nice computers (optimization is a long and continuous process). Now, players can examine their character model and explore UI elements without loading the full map. When you're ready to wander your settlement, just click the map behind your player in the Wardrobe.

Currently, the Wardrobe offers a limited view of your character and navigation to other features. The bust of Ceasar opens your character sheet. The jars next to the bust open your attributes sheet. The books on the shelf will take you to a small personal Office, from which you can open either in a separate browser or a web-view within the game. Soon you will be able to see / try on gear, visit your home, work and buildings you own, and even interact with your NPC retainers.

Anyone interested in our progress is welcome to check out the changelog, and watch for the cascade of future updates!