Captain’s diary #25: Release was a great success! We are hiring!

Hello everyone! Captain Filip and Marek are here with another Captain’s diary update.

Our first big announcement is that we have sold more than 60,000 copies over the last 16 days. The Steam wishlists have also grown substantially. We are incredibly pleased to see all the interest and want to say huge thanks to our wonderful community for their continuous support and feedback (especially given the world is in difficult times these days). And thanks to our dedicated community, the game is currently translated to 15 languages. As we have stated, we are committed to regularly updating these localizations and adding new ones to ensure people can enjoy the game in their native language.

We also have some cool stats for you. The average time played per player is 21+ hours and 3% of players played for 100+ hours. These are great numbers, given we are just two weeks after the release. We have also reached 7 thousand members on Discord.

The first reported rocket launch from an abandoned coal mine shared by player Torqk 5 days after the release!

All this support and growth allows us to scale our development operations as well, which is super important for the future of CoI. And we will invest into CoI a lot over the years.

Also, we are hiring! Please take a look here if you would be interested or know about someone who would.

Development update

Our current mission is to keep fixing any outstanding issues and bugs because although CoI went through alpha and beta stages, many things were added and need to settle. And also, since we got 20 times more players, certain combinations or issues suddenly start to resurface. I want to say huge thanks to folks who file issues on our GitHub together with clear steps and save files. It helps us tremendously to be able to instantly reproduce an issue to fix it.

Our other mission is to scale our development effort. This has to happen ASAP. We are working on features and improvements, but we need to increase our throughput. You know, the factory must grow :) In our case, we can’t just build more assemblers :) We have been trying to hire for several months already. However, we are pretty demanding on what we expect from future colleagues as CoI is our baby and also a fairly complex software with lots of proprietary systems in place. It’s an infra we have been building for the last 7 years. In case you are interested or know someone, check out our hiring page.

In the last 16 days we have landed 13 patches. These were lots of bug fixes but also several quality of life improvements or smaller features. Just to name a few: configurable key bindings, option to configure fps limit & v-sync, searchable recipes book, ability to follow a vehicle, ability to rename entities, recipes prioritization. We also did a minor rebalancing - making diseases less annoying and shifting from mortality to health penalty to enable the player to combat them more easily. We have also fixed several hard-locks and improved descriptions and hints.

"Who said CoI is missing paved roads???" by a Steam player MrChupa

Upcoming changes

Changes in advanced logistics / custom routes

We have noticed that custom routes are not very intuitive for players. They have been on our radar for some time, but it wasn’t clear what to do about them. We are going to land the first update to improve them. Right now, routes don’t have a direction. When two storages are assigned, they don’t know which one is supposed to be importing and which one should be exporting. This leads to situations where assigning a storage to a mine tower blocks that storage from the rest of the network. So we are going to introduce directional routes. This means that if storage is assigned to receive imports from a mine tower it will still support export to other storages unless export gets assigned as well. This should fix the need for double storage solutions next to each mine.

Improved copy & paste coming soon

Those of you who already used copy & paste tools know that they currently do not work on transports. The reason for this is, quite frankly, the complexity of the implementation and our time constraints. However, we also know that many of you would really like to use it. So while we were sending daily patches for the game, we were also working on this feature in a separate branch and it is nearly ready! Below are some examples of how it works.

Example of copy & paste operations. As you can see, it also supports rotation and flipping.
Example of clone and cut & paste used for final position adjustments.
The new tool also supports connecting copied transports to existing ones by placing new connectors.

Tutorials by our community

We understand that some players find the game difficult to navigate. We are collecting feedback and trying to improve everything we can. It won’t be done overnight; it will need time, but we will get there. We have also received feedback that some game mechanics like mining/dumping or initial factory setup are not intuitive for some players. We will be working on improving the overall user experience, but in the meantime, here are some tutorial videos to check out:

Beautiful beach factory shared by the player Popular Boat.

It also turns out that sometimes small hints at the right places can do a tremendous job. It is something we are working on as well. When we find that something is not intuitive, we always try to improve it or put it on our list to revisit it. The goal of CoI is for players to have fun and if some things are frustrating, we will deal with them.

We also consider introducing new difficulty toggles to make, for instance, Sailor difficulty more forgiving. But we also stay committed to the realism, and CoI will remain unforgiving on higher difficulties.

There is also a little misconception running around on the public forums, which we would like to address. That CoI has finite resources. That’s not entirely true. We have introduced recycling in EA, reducing your consumption margin massively (90%). And also, the game has contracts that can be your end-game goal. Primarily the endgame contracts should provide you with all the resources you need. There are also several renewable ways of generating fuel or things to trade with. It just takes time to get there. But we are happy to get feedback on the contract balance as well. Finally, you can also enable infinite world map resources in the starting options if you are not comfortable transitioning to contracts.

Update on the Mystery box

We also owe you an update on the Mystery box from Captain’s Diary #23. You all had wonderful guesses like a captain’s hat, COI merch, vacation package, or even power tools! However, the winner was a member “severalboxes” who correctly guessed that in the box was Lego Bucket Wheel Excavator 42055 - congrats on the COI key! Severalboxes actually told us that the game key was given to their son who was very eager to play COI and is now building some awesome factories. That just warms our hearts!

The mysterious box is now open, but it is unclear when Captain Marek will get enough free time to actually build it, as it looks like a multi-day build.

And that’s all we have for you! Thanks for reading and see you in the next update!