King under the Mountain is a simulation-based strategy/management game where you design, build and run a settlement in a fantasy world. Then, once you're up and running, you can send out groups of adventurers to explore and loot other players' creations, playing out through turn-based tactical combat. You start a game on a randomly-generated area map with a few settlers, tools and other provisions, and slowly grow into a self-sustaining village, town, or eventually, a city. You play as one of several fantasy races each with their own unique gameplay mechanics.

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Hello undermountaineers! Does that work? Between family and/or Christmas it's been a fairly slow and quiet month for King under the Mountain, so much so that I'm really intent on making more time available in the coming weeks. That said, there's still been some development carried out over the last few weeks!

The biggest feature is that it's finally possible to build walls (out of wood or stone) rather than relying on mining to mark out areas for rooms and doors.

As with most development at this point, this doesn't quite have an effect on gameplay yet (other than giving another use for planks and stone blocks) but we're still at the stage of laying out all the groundwork and base systems, before the interesting point at which they tie into and affect each other. Before long you'll want to build walls and add a roof (where I'm not quite sure how that will be done yet - I don't want to copy the way rooms/buildings are constructed in Prison Architect by requiring four walls and a door, but instead to leave it more freeform) to shelter your dwarves (or settlers of a different race) from the elements while they're waiting for an underground home to be mined out (or perhaps you're playing as humans who don't like sleeping underground).

A small but nice-to-have improvement is that "designations" (such as areas to be mined or trees to be chopped down) now start blinking when a dwarf is working on them, so you can see what is and is not being worked on currently. Eventually you will be able to prioritise individual jobs and different types of work but for now the UI and player's interactions are being kept quite simple.

Finally there was a big behind-the-scenes change to pathfinding, where each tile keeps track of which region it is in - where a region is all the tiles that are navigable in the same space - so characters will not even attempt to find a path to an area which isn't accessible to them. This is then modified as walls are built or mined out without any noticable impact on performance, but it should help massively with the AI deciding what to do or where to go.

This month's patron release is the water flow calculator (and source code) which figures out the direction of flow of the river tiles, along with part of the map generator to randomly generate a new river each time. Patrons at the $3 level (or above) can download it from patreon.com/posts/water-flow-15826795. Next month's patron release will either be a new build of the game including building walls (if it is in a releasable state by that point, which is a little doubtful just because there are so many small details to iron out) or else the full map generator and source code which should prove interesting to play around with. Eventually it'll be possible for modders to include their own map generator and plug it into the game rather than the default one. I'll be releasing guides on this at the appropriate time, but for now this should prove a good look "under the hood" at how things are working. If any of that sounds interesting to you and you haven't already, please consider backing the game via the Patreon page! All funds raised via the Patreon are going directly towards commissioning more art assets (currently) and sound/music (later) to get the game into a releasable state more quickly - hopefully I'll be able to report back on what the patreon has helped to create in next month's update.

As part of getting walls working fully in the game, I'm rolling it into also implementing "double doors", or doors spread across two tiles. There's a bunch of edge cases to figure out such as placing doors next to a door which is already being extended into a double-door, but I don't think it's going to take too much time up. Part of doing this somewhat necessitates being able to deconstruct doors as well, which opens up a bigger piece about being able to select walls, doors and furniture in the UI, and set them to be deconstructed by the dwarves.

Once those pieces are all finished off I'll finally be onto growing and managing crops which has been scheduled since before getting the river working properly. Again, it's a common thing to hear from sole indie developers but I'm very sorry at the relatively slow rate of updates. It's quite frustrating for me personally to feel like I haven't made much progress from a year ago - a lot of time was spent on getting ready for and running the Kickstarter and exhibitions, followed by the 6 month break due to moving home and having the baby boy (who is doing very well!) While I'm sure any parent will understand just how little time you have free between working a full time job and looking after a newborn the rest of the time, now that there is a Patreon running with active financial support from backers every month, it makes me very keen to ensure that progress is constantly being made rather than letting anyone down. In 2018 I'm cutting down on other (but not all) leisure and social activities as development of King under the Mountain really is my top priority after my family, and I want to be in a position to show a reasonable amount of progress since the last crowdfunding campaign before launching a new one. This will hopefully result in enough financial independence to devote a lot more time to this project, which in turn I'm sure will result in much, much more rapid progress than what's been seen so far. Thank you very much for following along and see you next time!

December 2017 Update - Go with the flow

December 2017 Update - Go with the flow

News 4 comments

Monthly dev update for King under the Mountain - a simulation-based strategy game inspired by Dwarf Fortress, The Settlers and Prison Architect

November update - Back in action!

November update - Back in action!

News 1 comment

Dev update for King under the Mountain, a simulation-based strategy game set in a fantasy world, inspired by Dwarf Fortress, Dungeon Keeper and The Settlers...

Development temporarily on hold

Development temporarily on hold

News

King under the Mountain is briefly on hold due to major life changes going on, but we'll be back before the end of the year!

King under the Mountain March Update

King under the Mountain March Update

News

A simulation-based fantasy city-builder, launching next week on Kickstarter!

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King under the Mountain win32 v0 3 3

King under the Mountain win32 v0 3 3

Demo

Early playable prototype of King under the Mountain, for Windows 32 bit.

King under the Mountain linux64 v0.3.3

King under the Mountain linux64 v0.3.3

Demo

Early playable prototype of King under the Mountain, for Linux.

King under the Mountain mac v0.3.3

King under the Mountain mac v0.3.3

Demo

Early playable prototype of King under the Mountain, for Mac.

King under the Mountain win64 v0.3.3

King under the Mountain win64 v0.3.3

Demo

Early playable prototype of King under the Mountain, for Windows

Comments
EarlyAccessGamer
EarlyAccessGamer

Hi, I was really enjoying playing your game. Even so early in development the mechanics are tight and fun. However, the demo crashed shortly after I started using it and I noticed that I was up to 3GB of memory usage from the game. I think you might have a memory leak :(

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RocketJumpTechnology Creator
RocketJumpTechnology

Here's a quick look at memory management under the hood - it's very spikey due to the Java garbage collector but over time seems to use the same amount of memory for the duration, dropping down to about 250MB on average. How much memory do you have on your machine? Any info helps!

Kingunderthemounta.in

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RocketJumpTechnology Creator
RocketJumpTechnology

Thanks a lot for bringing that to our attention! Looking into it now! The game does seem to hover around 2.8GB of memory usage normally (not been at all conservative with memory usage at this stage) which is a lot but shouldn't be a problem for modern desktops/laptops. Will do some debugging now to see if I can find a memory leak.

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EarlyAccessGamer
EarlyAccessGamer

Hi, I have 32GB of memory so it shouldn't be a problem at all (and I'm not even entirely sure it was the cause of the crash - I looked for a log file just now but couldn't find anything). My suspicion is that not enough memory is being assigned to the JVM which could cause it to crash if memory usage spiked. I'm really keen to make a video on this game so I'll try again this evening (GMT+13) and get back to you with an update.

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Rasip
Rasip

The windows demo is using 32bit java. It doesn't matter how much ram your computer has 32bit java will not be able to address more than 4GB, but in most OS it is closer to 3GB.

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ayarger
ayarger

The game's looking good! I enjoy all the activity and movement, and Dave's art is adorable. I think you could really make things feel cartoony and lively if you gave the sprites a bit of bounce as they move, south-park style.

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SenSei76
SenSei76

Look greate! ;)

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King under the Mountain
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Latest tweets from @rocketjumptech

The monthly dev update is now live at Indiedb.com You asked for it - you can finally build walls! #indiegame #gamedev

23hours ago

There's now a functional if not pretty UI for building walls in Kingunderthemounta.in #indiegame #gamedev T.co

Jan 5 2018

The water flow calculator and source code is this month's release to patrons at Patreon.com #gamedevT.co

Jan 1 2018

RT @EmbarkGame: Embark has launched on Kickstarter. Please support us! Kickstarter.com

Dec 26 2017

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