Listening to the dev livestream on twitch a few days ago it sounds like this forum actually is a chance for the dev team to engage with fans and vice versa, so I figured I’d head over and drop some impressions after playing through to tier 4 a handful of times. For context, I’m coming off games like Surviving Mars, Ixion, Timberborn, Stranded: Alien Dawn, and Satisfactory over the past 2 years or so.
Generally I’m a huge fan of this game - it has that magic to capture your attention for hours and hours and hours. I’ve been patiently waiting for patches to be released to give it another go each time. My feedback all revolves around things I’ve noticed that enhance that feeling of flow or otherwise are a barrier to it.
Things that are super awesome:
The graphics are great and a huge draw over most of the other survival city builders on the market.
I find the production chains and advancement through the tiers to be very well paced, which is no small achievement. The pacing often leaves you at the “I just need x to happen and then I can do all this other stuff” moment, which is a captivating way to move through a game - it’s the same ‘one more turn’ magic that Civ has. Making the leap to getting your ‘heavy industry’ on line feels like a big moment; deciding which production lines to lean into after a town hall tier upgrade poses lots of interesting trade-offs.
The desirability, fertility, and water mechanics encourage lots of interesting decisions when it comes to planning the layout of your settlement, and the long winding path from start to finish of a settlement layout is a constant source of satisfaction.
Things that get in the way:
Frames. I’m running this on an Intel I7 12700H and Geforce RTX 3070 TI, and at 1920 x 1080 (with smaller supersampling), v-sync off, and AA off, I’m lucky to get more than 20 FPS past 250 pop. I find myself often reloading my saves because the performance seems to be better for 10-15 mins after I do so. I understand this to be partially an early access thing, but just worth noting that it’s still, to me, the #1 barrier to enjoying the game. As well, having the health bars and what actions the people are doing visible (F3?) is a huge benefit, but is an additional loss of ~10 FPS.
Logistics could use some love. At its best a logistics system lets you fine tune your settlement into a well oiled machine. But, at its worst, it makes you play the game in ways that aren’t satisfying.The features like workplace travel time and % working breakdown are nice, but having that information and no satisfying solutions to it tends to frustrate (I don’t want to have to make new neighbourhoods out in Narnia, ruining my elaborate urban planning, just because there’s no way to deliver supplies to remote mines or camps directly). Remote miners spend the vast majority of their time stocking their shelter and won’t access the resources in the temporary shelter next door, all while my wainwrights sit idle in the shop. If I’m low on coal, my foundry workers will run all the way to the mine to get coal, rather than waiting for the storage in town to be resupplied. The checkboxes on specific storage items seem to sometimes work and sometimes not (why isn’t all of my gold being sent to the vault once it’s built?). Generally, it feels like I need more tools to control the flow of resources between the various places they can be sent (e.g. let me set each wainright on a specific, unending supply route, or tell the foundry to ship all the iron bars to this specific storage), as well as controlling what my workers are allowed to do and not do (e.g. “Trading post guy, only grab gold ore from this storage next door, not the mine out in Narnia each time 3 more appears”, “Forager, just start exploring on your own goddammit”) so I can live my master planner fantasy. I’d rather remote miners starve a bit because there aren’t enough wainwrights to deliver them food, than to run all the way across the map, because I can control the former and have very little to no way to control the latter.
Topographical variation. The maps vary greatly with regards to what resources are where, but I find that variation to be largely meaningless as time goes on. Things like making the flatten tool actually flatten the first time around, and more natural barriers in the landscape (large boulders that can’t be moved, unpassable valleys, bridges, RIVERS, tall cliffs), would provide more interesting decisions about how to integrate your settlement with the map, rather than imposing the same settlement on top of it regardless of what it is. Timberborn’s recent map making contest is a great example of an early access survival city builder that has leaned in to what map variation can offer. In my mind, map variation is the core of replayability in a city builder.
Can my hunter please just hunt boars without me telling them to? Please? Make them die 30% of the time as a trade-off, sure. Micro-ing them to do this just doesn’t feel fun. The retreat mechanics could also use some love, rather than having somebody retreat ALL THE WAY home, as opposed to, say, the nearest guard post.
Feel free to take or leave any of this, and let me caveat all of it by saying that I do very much enjoy this game and I have a deep appreciation of the work that goes in to game development. I offer this as food for thought as requested, not as complaints .
That’s pretty weird. I have a less performant system (Ryzen 5600X, Radeon 6600XT) and with MSAA 2 + all other graphical options enabled, 1920*1080 (without supersampling) and currently 400 pop I get > 50 FPS basically all times. On Linux via Proton.
Just as feedback that the game isn’t that badly optimized per se. No idea why it’s performing so much worse on your system though.
Some good points here. I would like to see this game to be more designing the town around map nature and landscape, not use 50 years of 5 different flattening tricks to get another big flat square and copy-paste the perfect town layout design from other plays.
The idea itself to have person level micro management possibility is very good - especially during raids and animal attacks, but it is not nice, if some simple professions require it regularly. Right now it automatically deselects person if i use mouse right-button for map view adjustment… and then i need to gather 3 hunters from all around together into same place and send far away mission.
“Instant flatten” would have to be a separate tool and not a modification of the existing one to improve the game because you need a lot of gently sloping roads to make best use of the hills and valleys. Personally I’d just like the flattening result to be more fixed as it seems to revert back to what was there before to a certain extent. Not a huge deal but I end up in “terraced” areas with a festival pole sticking out at an odd angle and a school which seem to be sliding off a cliff… stuff like that. It’s a little bit irritating.
Generally, it feels like I need more tools to control the flow of resources between the various places they can be sent (e.g. let me set each wainright on a specific, unending supply route, or tell the foundry to ship all the iron bars to this specific storage), as well as controlling what my workers are allowed to do and not do (e.g. “Trading post guy, only grab gold ore from this storage next door, not the mine out in Narnia each time 3 more appears”, “Forager, just start exploring on your own goddammit”) so I can live my master planner fantasy.
Absolutely this. In the early and mid game this isn’t really a problem, but in the late game walking times become a real pain, and it’s frustrating when you build two foundry/blacksmith colonies at mining areas on opposite sites of the map, only to have the foundry workers walk all the way across to the stockyards at the other side when there is more than enough ore right next door.
The result of this is that with every next expansion of your industry will make the town less efficient. Allowing the player to build internal transport routes, designated storage areas for certain buildings, and so on, would improve the late game greatly.
I also think wagons should play a much bigger role and should become the backbone of a late game transport network. Instead of wainwrights driving the wagons, they should be the persons building and maintaining them (wagons should need repairs every now and then), while the people driving them should be either workers who need to transport goods for their jobs, or specially designated workers who drive goods around player-defined transport routes.
Frames- my system is very similar to yours (RTX 3060 instead) but I don’t have issues with FPS.
Logistics- I second this!
Topology- Rivers would be great and for the love of all that’s holy flatten should, well, you know, actually flatten (on the first use, not the fifth). I’m loving the game but this is annoying. The labour cost should reflect the degree of change. In fact landscaping tools would be great- just the usual raise/lower/slope/flatten. I’m not greedy.
hadn’t spotted the cowardly hunters.
To stress, I love the game, there’s just a couple of tweaks I feel would help it shine:
Mini map and far zoom. No mini map- odd! And please let me zoom out so I can plan/survey my dominion.
More filters (ideally linked to the minimap) endlessly scrolling around to see if I have another source of clay isn’t fun.
Exploration. We start on a map with full vision but as soon as we place the TC we lose our knowledge of the terrain?! This makes no sense. Either start with limited visibility or just keep the full visibility from the start. I’d prefer the latter but I suspect some would prefer the former. Maybe give us an “explored” option in the game set up.
Requests for traders- Gain the convenience of knowing the trader will bring those tools you need on his next visit at the cost of knowing he’ll exploit your desperation.
More clarity on the benefits/cost of certain items. On my first play through I basically ignored tools and didn’t feel any disadvantage from it. Similar with baskets. I can conceptually understand that villagers with tools and baskets are more efficient but it would be better if I could feel it! And as Clarke says- have the sense of tuning this mechanic to make my town function like a well oiled machine.
Strnongly agree with most of what was said, but a couple of comments
I haven’t had performance problems at that pop level… only after ~800(?) pop did I start getting obvious performance issues. I have a Ryzen 5 3600 and an RTX 2060
Personally, I found wagons and temporary shelters to be very useful at the later stages of the game. Wagons can deliver food to the shelters, and the villagers near them do eat the food. Actually, villagers like the temporary shelter buffet so much that I need to have enough shelters and wagons to be sure to keep a constant supply of food to avoid having the villagers run to the other side of the map.
I’m a big fan of the alpine valleys map since my last village, precisely because of the interesting hills and lakes you can follow to get a unique looking settlement.
I’m wondering if the people here who have commented that their performance is mostly fine with lower-performing CPUs and GPUs that it may be a RAM issue. I have 16 GB of RAM - what are you all running with?