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Post news RSS Dev Update # 12 - Pre-release Change Log

These are the changes that went into The Frontier before it was released in Early Access on Steam.

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Hey everyone! Sorry for the delay, but here are the changes that went into The Frontier before it was released in Early Access. Again, these aren't new changes, but since I haven't posted these anywhere yet, I wanted to make this update to show all the changes that went into the release version. I decided to cram all of the changes into one update post, so my apologies upfront for how long this is.

Change log:
- Volume now starts out at half volume.
- Town buildings now spawn with at least 1 tile of space between them.
- Added a new option for fullscreen.
- Adjusted some exp categories, and added new ones for Importer, Bundle Buyer and Bundle Seller.
- Fixed bug so buildings can no longer be built on top of other buildings (like paths and bridges) or lava tiles.
- The list of workers available for hire at the Town Hall is now saved and loaded (to avoid being able to refresh it at will).
- Workers can no longer be fired the same day that you hire them.
- Added back the Employer exp category.
- Added confirmations for saving, loading, restarting, and quitting the game.
- Added back mouse functionality in the field (honestly, I'm not sure why I removed it in the first place). Can use LMB for the DOWN key, and RMB for the UP key.
- Added a new unlockable skill, Long Distance Trader (allows you to access the Trade Markets UI from a distance).
- Capped skill levels to player level.
- Tools can now stack if at 100% durability.
- Updated tips and tutorials to reflect new changes.

- Overhauled the save/load system.
I replaced my previous system using Libgdx's Json serializer with a new one I made myself. It took a long time to create this new system, and maintaining it going forward will also be time consuming, but it does provide the game a handful of benefits. The save files (they are separate files now) are smaller, they save/load quicker, and they require significantly less memory (which is the main reason why I made the switch).

This new system ensures that older save files will work with newer versions of the game. The new setup now uses one of several default save locations outside of the install folder, and also allows the player to designate their own location with a text file. A slight downside to these changes is that save files can no longer be read and understood by players (they mainly contain just numbers now), so the formatted save option has been removed.

- Names and times are now displayed above specialists and workshops.
The names of specialists and player workshops are displayed above them in order to make it easier to distinguish between them. The remaining crafting times and production cycle times are also displayed above each building. If no item is being crafted or produced, then no time will be displayed.


- Updated the daily report.
The following categories have been removed: withdrawals, and deposits.
The following categories have been added: sales, purchases, shipping, and warehouse.


- Revamped how hammers work.
The hammer can now be used to pick up buildings instead of just breaking them down into materials. When using a hammer on a building, a progress bar will be displayed to show how many hits are required to pick it up (moving away or interacting with the building will reset the progress). After hitting the building enough times, it'll be picked up and placed in your inventory.
Due to this change, the following changes have also been made:
- Rebalanced hammer strength and the amount of hits needed to pick up each building.
- Lowered the number of fences that spawn with the town.
- Removed the pick up button from storage chests.
- Changed building related exp categories to total number currently on the field instead of total built.


- Revamped the Bundle system.
The rules for how bundles are made and the Bundle UI have undergone some changes (see screenshot below). One big change is that bundles are no longer items, but rather, value amounts. When you make a bundle, the value amount will go directly into your warehouse storage at the Market. A few restrictions have been placed on how bundles can be made. These include: all 10 slots must be filled, the same item can only fill at most two slots, and the number of items in each slot must equal the number of bundle sets. The reason behind these restrictions is to prevent the player from spamming individual cheap items (like Flower) when making bundles. (Please note that I'm currently working on ways to improve this system to make it less tedious).


- New Market and Trade system.
Trade is no longer conducted within the town, but at foreign trade markets instead. The Town Market now serves as a warehouse for exporting and importing bundles. Money is also handled through the player account now instead of through a market account.


The screenshot above shows the new Trade Markets UI. Here you can select trade markets and view their population, the bundles they trade in, the current trade value for each, and the discount/premium for each bundle. Buying and selling bundles is done here as well. You can also establish or expand your warehouse in each trade market.


In order to move bundles around the different trade markets, you'll have to ship them using the Shipping UI in the screenshot above. Shipping will cost money and time, and the player can only make one shipment at a time going in the same direction between the same two markets. NPCs will also ship excess supply from trade markets to other markets that need them, so the player will need to pay close attention to how this will affect the trade values of each market.


The last thing I want to show is the new Import Storage UI (ss above). Functionality-wise, this works essentially the same as the market storage did before. Bundles that are imported into the player market can be unpacked in order to obtain their items (chosen randomly). Do note that bundle value the player makes cannot be unpacked here.

Well, that should do it for this update. Sorry again for the delay and the long post. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know below.

As always, thanks for reading!

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