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Captain's Diary #40: Happy New Year & Community Rewards

Ahoy everyone, Captain Marek here and on behalf of the entire MaFi Games team – Happy New Year!! Lots of things happened in 2023 and even more things are planned for 2024! We are thrilled about what’s coming and I have some exciting announcements. But first, we are rewarding the most active and helpful members of our community so let’s start with that.



Community rewards

Last year we gave out more than $800 in rewards to the most active translators, wiki contributors, moderators, and members of our community, and this year is no different! We truly appreciate the extra effort that many of you put into helping others and giving back to the community. For example, COI is translated into 11 languages and 7 more languages have more than 50% coverage, all thanks to the community. Also, COI the wiki looks great and is full of useful info. Amazing work, thank you all!


We’ve contacted all reward recipients via email and most of the rewards are in the form of Steam gift cards or COI merch. Hopefully, our bank won’t block our credit card for purchasing so many Steam gift cards this year (guess what happened last year).


Community screenshot from discord user BarBarBar


Community screenshot from discord user DeathFire


Community screenshot from discord user Deimosian


Community screenshot from discord user Sarda


2023 recap

It's easy to forget how many things were added over 2023. Just the changelog has 5707 words, so I won’t be listing all of the changes but I just wanted to mention a few highlights.


First, the biggest update yet, the Update 1 landed on May 30th 2023. It was actually COI’s first birthday as well! It added things like tree replanting, vertical pipes, extended nuclear power, new dynamic ocean, and improved graphics. For details, see the release announcement here.


Before Update 1 a smaller update landed that brought blueprints. Initial implementation did not support conveyors and pipes, but that was later added as well. Now we are working on the COI Hub website announced in Captain’s Diary #39 that will make blueprints sharing easy.


We’ve also optimized rendering, gaining 2x FPS on large factories. See Captain’s Diary #37 for more info.


And there is one more major update that was not as flashy, but it was the single biggest game change we’ve ever done: The terrain representation revamp. It’s hard to convey just how large of a change this was internally. The main CL (change list, or commit) was nearly 100k lines of changed code. This magnitude of changes in a released game is rare, and to be honest, a little reckless, but we pulled it off. If you’d like to read more about it, see Captain’s Diary #35.


Update 2

Now it’s time for some more info about the upcoming Update 2. Here are features that were already announced:

  • Map editor

  • Pipes and tank trucks coloring

  • Icons on storages

  • Stackable balancers

  • Conveyor lifts

  • Particles on terrain

  • Custom surfaces

  • Cloud shadows


This is not all we’ve planned for Update 2, though. We have many more features to announce, but we are reluctant to announce things that might not make it since our priority list is constantly changing.


However, since it’s New Year, I will make an exception to this rule today. But please keep in mind that if this feature ends up being too complex, we will have to postpone it to Update 3. It’s roads!


Roads

Yes, we are working on roads! It’s the #1 requested feature on our ideas tracker with 1.8k upvotes, and we’ve been internally talking about it for a long time, but it’s finally happening.


Roads are not just a terrain decoration, though. They are special entities that allow vehicles to drive on them while obeying traffic rules (at least that’s the final goal, we might release a first version without traffic rules). This also means that entering or exiting the road network will be possible only at designated places.


Vehicles will be free to choose whether to drive on terrain or on a road, but they will strongly prefer roads if possible. Building highways that connect distant places in your factory will make path-finding faster, allowing more vehicles to operate on your island.


Debug visualization of a functional roundabout composed of many smaller road pieces.


Debug visualization of a 90 degree turn of a double-lane road.


There are many more things regarding roads and their mechanics, but we will share them once they are ready, so stay tuned!


User interface

And since you read this far, I have one more teaser for you. We are working on UI refresh and while things are still heavily in progress, here is a mock of the new loading screen. Let us know what you think about this new art style! Keep in mind that the art is not final and we don’t plan to change all game UI in Update 2, it will be more gradual.


Mock of the new Load Game window showing the new UI art style.


And that’s all for today. Happy New Year again, and see you around!


Captain Marek out.

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