Hey guys, v1.5.2 is now live and comes with lots of nice goodies.
Since the addition of Workshop support for Megaquarium, players are building bigger and better aquariums than ever! One piece of feedback that came back to me as a result was that there were not enough staff in sandbox mode to cope with all the extra animals available via the Workshop.
I communicated the various options available to increase the staff numbers and asked for additional feedback on the preferred option. The results were unanimous: adding fully randomised staff to sandbox mode - thus removing the staff cap completely. Just in case you're not aware. Before this change, all the staff were hand-designed by me which, to avoid duplication, lead to a hard cap on the total staff available.
One of the things I liked about this solution was that it also has the potential to add a new gameplay dynamic to sandbox games. Due to the randomisation, there's a larger variety in the type of staff that are available.
While testing, I found there were often times where I had to compromise on one talent. Like "this person has some fixing skill and decent precision but they have 1 for fitness! Do I really want to hire this slowcoach?" or "Nice, a 7 for fitness, and actually a decent amount of Empathy for feeding but they currently have no feeding skill and a 2 for Memory so they are going to learn really slow!".
During the time that this update spent in beta I received additional feedback that people were missing the predesigned staff, so as of v1.5.2 you have the best of both worlds: unlimited randomised staff with a sprinkling of your favourites from the campaign missions. All hail Dante - the divine comic!
Personally I've really enjoyed playing with this new feature and I hope you do too!
It took several weeks but I think the results are worth it! This is part 1 of a large rewrite of the entire graphics pipeline for Megaquarium in an effort to improve performance.
The increase in FPS that you see will depend on the size of the aquarium and PC specs but I've recorded an increase of 75% (!) when zoomed out on a large map where the CPU is the limiting factor.
I've also slightly reduced the maximum zoom-out level. The reason for this is that the number of objects onscreen is a major factor when it comes to performance. Off-screen objects contribute a lot less. My goal is to reach a point where the engine can run at 60fps, on a PC with the recommended specs, with an aquarium of any size. This is much more likely to be achievable with this new max zoom level. The alternative would be a cap on total game objects which I believe would be much more restrictive for players.
Based on yet more player feedback, I've made a few tweaks to the sandbox generation code.
- Trades and merchants are generated even with animal availability set to 'everything unlocked'.
- With animal availability set to 'standard', Trades and merchants generally try to offer the player animals that can't be unlocked with research points. Previously, when these ran out, no further trades or merchants would be generated. With the update, they will still be generated but will offer animals from a rank above instead, so they are still valuable.
- Some side-objectives will offer base prestige as a reward instead of money.
There are few other subtle changes but overall I think the play between the various trades, merchants and side-objectives now feels better than ever!
Megaquarium can now be played in Italian! :)
- Tweaked staff speed algorithm to make increase between fitness levels more linear. Speed now increases by 8% for each level of fitness. These values are exposed for modding in simulation.data.
- Added staff salary to staff window.
- Fixed bug where game would not load when a mod had a corrupted info.data file
- Added Italian localisation.
- Smoothed out 'freeze' on new day in large aquariums.
- Removed freeze during autosave when entering the menu.
- Improved animal swimming animations.
- Tweaked fixing animation so that toolkit sits on the floor next to staff.
- Fixed bug where an object could be not "in game world" but still occupying the floor.
- Reduced cap for zoom level.
- Fixed darkening of rounded corners of tanks when viewed from behind.
- Improved visual look of animals with transparent meshes like the Volitans Lionfish.
- Added minimum work animation speed for staff.
- Fixed purple plume fan and leopard clam icons.
This update has been live on the beta for a little over a week so it should be pretty stable, but if you notice any bugs or graphical glitches, don't hesitate to let me know.
If you'd like to gain early access to the next update while also helping me test the game, then consider switching to the [beta] branch of Megaquarium as described here. Make sure you subscribe to the discussion so you know when a new beta is available.