April 2021 Update
It’s the April 2021 dev update for King under the Mountain! I am truly sorry to have missed a couple of monthly updates. Until the Steam Early Access launch, the game is basically a hobby project and real life has endless ways of getting in the way of that. I’m happy to say it’s fully back on track though and we’ve had some great progress this month!
The major milestone achieved was the addition of the initial list of particle effects that have been added to the game thanks to the particle effect system. In fact this month I had enough time that I was able to stream some real time game development on Twitch, and below you can watch me go through the steps needed to create and add a new particle effect to the game (from 12:24):
So there’s been a whole bunch of new visual effects added to the game using particles. One I’m particularly happy to get added is leaves falling from trees in autumn, which was promised all the way back in 2016 with one of the very first looks at the game!
While it’s not exactly a particle effect, setting up that system also allowed me to add a much needed quality of life feature – progress bars when working on jobs! No longer do dwarves just stare at a blank wall or piece of furniture until it happens, now particle effects and a progress bar all appear to really tie everything together. Here you can see mining incorporating chips flying off the rock wall being mined, a cloud of dust as the wall is removed, and the progress bar that’s displayed.
Rather than list them all here, you can try them out for yourself with the latest version (Alpha 5.2) from the usual Itch.io page.
And that’s not all either – perhaps the single most requested display feature has finally been implemented – you can now run the game in borderless fullscreen mode! The new setting should be set by default if you were using the old exclusive fullscreen display mode, and the exclusive fullscreen option is still included for those that prefer it (mostly for older hardware that might struggle with games not running exclusively).
As ever, there’s some bugfixes included, mostly thanks to the help of the community and member SirRockstar in particular who’s been invaluable in providing reproducible problems with larger settlements. There was an issue with soup getting mixed up with water in a kitchen and buckets ended up full of soup and stuck! In fact there’s now an in-game option to get a dwarf to empty the contents of an unused container as a workaround for similar problems in the future, though primarily I want to stop them from happening in the first place.
Also a big thank you to community member Lyserg who has translated the game into Turkish. The latest update includes his translation as part of the community translations mod, and perhaps just as importantly also includes the Turkish flag to display alongside it.
Looking ahead, the roadmap has been updated and the only part remaining for Alpha 5 is constructing roofing and flooring to have proper rooms and buildings in the game. I’ve been toying with the idea of roofing not needing any input from the dwarves, just being a kind of UI setting which has an effect in-game, but that doesn’t really go with the simulated world I’m aiming for in King under the Mountain so I suppose that means placing roofing will need a dwarf to get the right resources and do the work after all! Following that, I’m very excited to get stuck into Alpha 6 as it’ll be the first time in a long time we’ve had new art assets added to the game, things that have been ready and waiting to go on the artwork side but waiting for the implementation to catch up!
That’s all for this month. Again, sorry for the lack of communication for a while but we’re back on top of things now. Please drop by the game’s Discord server if you haven’t already, it’s the only true community hangout at the moment, and see you next month!