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CD #33: New map, revamped tutorials, and bricks!

Hi Captains, Zuff here and I am thrilled to tell you about our biggest patch yet, the almighty v0.4.13! I have also prepared a TL;DR version of this post in a video form. The full hundred-lines-long patch notes are at the end of this post as always. Let’s get started!

Thanks for translations!

Before we jump in the new features and changes, I have a quick announcement. We greatly appreciate the extra work some players put into translating the game. Captain of Industry is currently translated to 17 languages and the latest addition is Turkish!


To show our gratitude, we will be giving out Steam gift cards to the most active translators (expect an email from us in the coming days)! And if you’d like to help us with more translations, see https://translate.captain-of-industry.com/projects/captain-of-industry/game.


What’s new in patch v0.4.13


New map: Insula mortis

The works on a new map editor are well underway but we wanted to give you one more map to enjoy before the editor is ready. The new map is called Insula mortis and it is a beautiful group of islands rich in raw resources. To get access to nearby islands you will have to make land bridges by dumping material to the ocean. There are rumors that this island is cursed but our scouts found no evidence of this so it's probably just a legend.

New mass upgrade tool

It’s finally here! With this new tool you will be able to select an area of buildings to upgrade. It works for all upgrade entities, including machines, conveyor belts, or pipes. By the way, this tool was implemented solely by our new team member Jeremy who joined our team in November. If you enjoy this tool in particular (or if you’d like to see it improved), feel free to drop him a line on our Discord!

New and reworked tutorials

Since the game's release back in May, we have been receiving lots of feedback about a steep learning curve and lack of guidance at the beginning of the game. We spent a lot of time and care analyzing the feedback and our solution is two-fold.


First, we implemented a new checklist-based tutorial that will help new players to learn the basic mechanics and progress through the game. This feature is optional and it was designed to be as non-intrusive as possible. Progress in the game is not locked behind any goals, there are no time limits, and every goal can be individually skipped. However, you will get rewards by completing the goals so think twice before skipping them!

Second, we have revamped our existing non-interactive tutorials. Tutorials now use less text and more images to make them easier to read and understand (there are over 170 new images!). Longer tutorials were split to smaller chunks and many new ones were written to cover even more topics. We put an extra effort to focus tutorials on explaining mechanics and features that are otherwise harder to discover by just playing the game.

These tutorial changes were a lot of work but we wanted to get it done before fully switching to the work on Update 1 so that players can have a better experience now, not later.

Pages from a 90-page working document that we used for collaborating on tutorial revamp.

New chain: Bricks

Addition of bricks was actually indirectly caused by the tutorials revamp. When we were writing goals and tutorials for the early game, concrete production seemed like too complex of a chain to set up. Concrete production requires the establishment of two new mines (limestone, and sand), limestone has to be processed to cement, dry ingredients have to be pre-mixed, and then combined with water – what a process!


Another issue with concrete was dependency on slag. It seemed advantageous to make concrete from crushed slag, as opposed to crushed rocks, because slag was just a by-product of iron ore smelting and rock would require a third mine to be set up. However, in that stage players were often still making iron from scrap that is not producing slag. This also made players reluctant to dump slag on the ground, stalling their iron smelting lines by lack of demand for concrete.


To fix these issues, bricks were introduced. Bricks are made using dirt, water, and coal and they are used in Construction parts recipe instead of concrete. The nice thing is that dirt often comes from your other mines so you might not need to even set up a new mine for it.


Concrete can be still used in construction parts as an alternative when it is unlocked later in the game. Note that some buildings require concrete for construction explicitly so it is not possible to progress through the entire game without making it.

New mods configurator

A common feedback from players who are using mods was that it was not possible to add or remove mods from existing games. While the modding community is still very young, we decided to invest in supporting this feature. Note that this will not work with all mods.


Additionally, you can pick mods when starting a new game. This means that you can have many mods installed but only choose ones that you want during a game start. Loaded games will automatically load mods present in those games.

Further optimizations of transport pillars rendering

Our eternal fight for more frames per second was focused this time on transport pillars rendering. The biggest difference was the introduction of LODs (level of detail) so that pillars further from the camera are using simpler models. When the camera is too far away, pillars are not even rendered at all!


We tested this on Neet Engineer's factory where the number of triangles rendered by pillars alone decreased by more than 50% from 5.7 to 3.2 million (his factories are huge!). This did not result in a big FPS gain on our hardware but players with weaker GPUs, especially laptops, could see some nice boost. Memory consumption was also lowered slightly.

Animation showing three levels of details of transport pillars. Level 0 is the normal model, level 1 has significantly reduced polygon count which is shown when looking from a distance, and level 2 completely turns off pillars rendering when the camera is too far away.

Refugees balancing

This patch brings many balance changes but the most important one is that the world map no longer gives refugees from explorations. This change was made to prevent frustration from bringing new people from explorations while your settlement was already full, making people homeless. To balance this, Beacon is now infinite with diminishing returns.


Key behavior changes

Here are the most important behavior changes from this patch.


Excavators no longer return to the mine tower when mining finishes, unless they are outside of the mine area. This should make mining more efficient, especially when resuming mining after all designations were fulfilled.


Dumping designations are searched based on proximity to the vehicle, not the mine tower. This makes dumping more efficient since vehicles usually drive shorter distances. Placement of the mine tower also makes no impact on dumping operations.


Transport connector now attempts to accept inputs evenly from all connected ports. This means that a connector has an equivalent behavior to a balancer without any priorities or ratio enforcement settings on. This can for example ensure that all products are being conveyed evenly through a congestion.


Transports construction tool now places a connector in places where it makes sense (e.g. two output ports facing the same tile). This simplifies connecting entities that have ports facing each other.


Statue of maintenance now provides maintenance reduction based on the number of operational statues instead of a flat bonus for any number of statues. The maintenance reduction of a single statue was reduced from 5% to 4%, but each additional statue gives an additional reduction which is a half of the previous one. For example, 3 statues give 4% + 2% + 1% = 7% total maintenance reduction now.


It is now possible to flip entities with mechanical shaft such as turbines and generators. This enables more designs when making power plants.


It is now possible to queue any research node and all required parent nodes will be queued before it automatically.


Improved ship surrender logic so that your ship will not surrender if the enemy has much lower HP. This should never happen how:


Significant bug fixes

This patch brings so many fixes, here are the most important ones.

Fixed recycling of gold which was incorrectly returning only 1/3 of the expected value. Are you ready for the extra gold?


Fixed contracts that were in some cases charging more Unity than they should have. More Unity for you!


Transport connectors now return products to the shipyard when destroyed instead of destroying them. No more lost products!


Fixed buried pipes that are no longer destroyed when another transport is built on top of them. Yes, you can bury pipes. No, it is not a good idea.


Thanks for the incredible reviews!

One last thing. We are completely blown away by all the positive reviews posted on our Steam page recently. During the last 30 days we have received all positive reviews except one! Thanks everyone for this wonderful gift! We read every single review carefully and take notes on what to improve.


And that’s all for today. The entire MaFi Games team wishes you happy holidays and a wonderful New year 2023!


Full patch notes for v0.4.13

New map: Insula mortis

Improved experience

  • Added mass upgrade tool. When an area is selected for upgrade, a popup window can be used to select what entities in that area should be upgraded.

  • Added comprehensive checklist-based tutorial that will guide new players though the early game (can be disabled).

  • Reworked and restructured tutorials to better explain game mechanics, be more simple to read, and be less verbose.

  • Added mods configuration options when starting or loading a game. This also allows you to add/remove mods before a game is loaded. Note that not all mods can be safely added/removed from a save.

  • Introduced a new bricks production chain into the game. Bricks can be used as an alternative for Concrete in Construction parts. Bricks are designed to make early game a bit easier.

Performance

  • Further optimized transport pillars rendering and added LODs, saving many millions of drawn triangles in large factories.

Balance changes

  • World map no longer gives refugees from explorations.

  • Beacon is now infinite with diminishing returns.

  • Reduced early research difficulties.

  • Removed electronics from collapsed radio tower.

  • Research labs no longer consume Unity when idle.

  • Reduced connector buffer size significantly (size is still based on transporting speeds of connected entities).

  • Increased water requirements to make 8 acid from 4 to 6.

  • Reduced water yield from cleaning of 24 toxic slurry from 20 to 18.

Behavior changes

  • When assigning a vehicle to a building (e.g. mine tower), assign the closest one.

  • Excavators no longer return to the mine tower when mining finishes, unless they are outside of the mine area.

  • Dumping designations are no longer searched based on proximity to the mine tower but on proximity to the vehicle.

  • Refueling trucks now don’t leave fuel stations while the station keeps loading them with more fuel.

  • Trucks and excavators now prefer to refuel at the fuel station that is assigned to their mine tower.

  • Improved logistics jobs priority system.

  • Transport connector now attempts to accept inputs evenly from all connected ports (outputs were already even). This means that a connector has an equivalent behavior to a balancer without any priorities or ratio enforcement settings on.

  • Transports construction tool now places a connector in places where it makes sense (e.g. two output ports facing the same tile).

  • Statue of maintenance now provides maintenance reduction based on the number of operational statues. The maintenance reduction of a single statue was reduced from 5% to 4%, but each additional statue gives an additional reduction which is a half of the previous one. For example, 3 statues give 4% + 2% + 1% = 7% total maintenance reduction now!

  • It is now possible to flip entities with mechanical shaft such as turbines and generators.

  • It is now possible to queue any research node and all required parent nodes will be queued before it automatically.

  • Improved ship surrender logic so that your ship will not surrender if the enemy has much lower HP.

  • Improved tree harvester logic to ignore non-reachable trees if possible.

User interface

  • Replaced toggle buttons with checkboxes.

  • Improved several dialogs to properly respect the Esc key.

  • Total population view moved from the big top left tiles to the main top toolbar.

  • Removed custom starving notifications and moved them to the regular notifications.

  • Notification dismissal status is now persistent (loads from a save).

  • Collapse warning icon on affected building disappears when its notification is dismissed. Notification reappears when more terrain under the affected building is modified.

  • Custom warning notifications on storages don't go away until the contents are more than 5% off the target to prevent flickering.

  • Message notifications now auto-collapse when there are more than 5 of them.

  • Add "delete entire transport" action into the construction toolbox for better discoverability.

  • Transport height now shows the correct height when connecting to other transports.

  • Remove the top title bar from the bottom toolbar and use tooltips for the items instead.

  • When selecting an entity, prefer a vehicle if there are two entities to choose from. This allows selecting trucks clipped inside of buildings.

  • Fixed idle non-assigned vehicles that were not properly updated in the UI.

  • Fixed an incorrect estimate of water yield in the rainwater harvester.

  • Fixed Recipe book that did not show some recipes as locked if the owning entity was locked.

  • Fixed hotkey for price tooltip did not work if transport editor was activated via copy tool.

  • Fixed missing tooltips in settlement overview, added a link for tutorial about health.

  • Product stats titles are now ordered by name.

  • Made key-binging tooltips translatable.

  • Mining overlay can be now toggled without canceling current selection for building.

  • Games can be loaded/saved by double-clicking on existing file names.

  • Updated translations, thanks to everyone who is contributing!

Significant bug fixes

  • Fixed recycling of gold which was incorrectly returning only 1/3 of the expected value.

  • Fixed issue with free maintenance when global maintenance amount exceeded capacity.

  • Fixed contracts that were in some cases charging more Unity than they should have.

  • Fixed game crash when clicking "continue" for a save file that was deleted in the meantime.

  • Fixed terrain rendering that was showing lighter stripes on steep slopes.

  • Fixed shipyard collapse that was not properly destroying products, potentially causing the permanent radiation issues.

  • Fixed incorrect sun brightness and shadows intensity when a game was loaded during rainy weather.

Transport related bug fixes

  • Transport connectors now return products to the shipyard when destroyed (instead of destroying them).

  • Fixed buried pipes that are no longer destroyed when another transport is built on top of them.

  • Fixed pipe attachment to the pillar that was sometimes incorrectly oriented.

  • Fixed spontaneous transport collapse that sometimes happened during flip, connection, or upgrade.

  • Fixed transport pillars that were sometimes stuck as a blueprint.

  • Construction state of a transport (e.g. ongoing upgrade or construction pause) is now properly preserved when joining it with other transports.

  • Fixed construction cubes visualization when transport under construction was connected to other transports.

  • Paused transports no longer accept products.

  • Transports in clearing mode are no longer moving products and are no longer accepting products.

  • Fixed destroy tool that was incorrectly selecting the entire transport when the cursor was previously on any other non-transport building.

  • Fixed transport destroy tool that was not showing destroy preview when repeatedly hovered over the same spot on a transport.

Other Bug fixes

  • Server racks can no longer be added into non-constructed data centers.

  • Fixed vehicle overlay that was sometimes shown for an incorrect vehicle class.

  • Fixed wood disappearance when truck overload edict was active.

  • Fixed inability to select tree harvesters sometimes.

  • Fixed edict panel to correctly show effects of unity-positive edicts.

  • Fixed excess consumption of lab equipment on research finish or change.

  • Cargo depot modules now have an idle state.

  • Fixed that the beacon was not losing progress when paused.

  • Fixed buildings highlighting during route assignment.

  • Fixed rendering of building ghosts particles below terrain designations.

  • Upgrade of machines now properly prunes obsolete product buffers. This means that upgraded Blast furnace II will no longer accept iron ore since it cannot even process it.

  • Trucks no longer exceed reservations of other trucks when delivering their cargo

  • Fixed unity stats that did not contain items that went over the unity cap.

  • Fixed some recipes that were unlocked too early or were not visible in research.

  • Fixed that cutting and pasting of a building with vehicles assigned did not preserve the vehicles assignments.

  • When people leave due to lack of food, any homeless will now get properly accommodated in their place.

  • Fixed mining of corner designations that was sometimes not possible for large excavators.


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