Devlog #18 04 Jun 2021

Hi friends,

First of all, welcome to all the new followers on Steam. Until now these devlogs were only released on the website, but moving forward they will also be available from the Steam Coming Soon page. My gut feeling tells me most readers will be accessing through Steam. If you can hit the like button below, to help me get an indication of how many readers each platform has, that would really be awesome!

Now, let’s focus on what’s been happening the last 2 weeks. It’s been great to get back focusing on the game and not so much on marketing etc. The team and I are now pushing hard to include as much content as possible for the upcoming alpha release. Our planned feature lock is July 16, allowing the alpha to be release at the end of July.

We might push it tho, there’s currently 81 outstanding bugs: https://github.com/hovgaardgames/bigambitions-public/issues

Enough talk, let’s see what’s new:

Insane wishlist numbers! 🎉

After being in contact with Steam, I got confirmation that I am indeed allowed to share these numbers. So for the first time, I can report how many wishlists Big Ambitions got in its first 2 weeks:

10,000 wishlists in 2 weeks! 😲

In comparison, my first game Startup Company generated just above 400 wishlists in the same period.

I am extremely humbled and thankful for how many of you have shown your interest in our work and project. Thank you! ❤

We’re still clocking in around 150 wishlists per day, which is way more than we expected. If we can continue this growth, the dream of adding co-op multiplayer post-release is suddenly much more realistic. Fingers crossed! 🤞

For pre-orders we have sold 127 copies. 92% of those were the Gold version! Thanks to all of you, we’re super excited to start working together with all of you once the alpha testing begins.

Building interiors at night 🌜

I talked about this so many times. We’re even wondering if we have the most sophisticated fake building interior shader out there 😂

This time we added two new features:

As you can see below, it looks absolutely stunning. I’m convinced that the night scene of Big Ambitions will eventually be the most impressive. We got much more coming on that front.

Screenshot

Businesses Competitors and traffic index 🛒

Businesses Competitors

Until now the city would only contain what we called “reserved buildings”, which contains core businesses that the player needs in order to play the game.

In the next update, the city will also contain businesses that directly compete with the player. The mechanic automatically spawns these businesses in strategic locations.

With this in place, I can start working on the algorithms that will make new business spawn, existing to shut down or move to bigger locations, all based on demands and activity in the city.

Traffic Index

With the above addition, I had to develop a way to determine if a location was popular or not. We now got a “traffic index” for every building which affects the number of customers, but also the market value and rent prices. The value is a traditional index, meaning 100 is the average. Below is less traffic and above means more popular. The index is based on the overall city level and not just the specific neighborhood.

Screenshot

New unified Purchase UI 🖱

As more business types have been added to the game, we slowly started to have too many ways to purchase stuff (one for retail stores, one for order-based stores, one for vehicle purchases, etc).

I’ve put together a unified UI, that can handle all business types.

Together with this implementation, I also implemented customer queues for all business types. No more jumping the line! 👮‍♂️

New building types 🌇

The team continues to add more variety to the different areas of the city. We’re now working on Flatiron-inspired buildings. Looks sick, right? Screenshot Screenshot

“Blocked out” areas and new building types ⬜

One big bottleneck in our development “pipeline” was unfinished buildings, mainly because it’s quite hard to define street numbers when you don’t know how many buildings are coming.

As the alpha testing (may) start in July, we come up with the solution to add temporary placeholder buildings. Screenshot

Updates from the 3D artists 🎨

As always, the team has some additional new and good-looking assets:

Screenshot Screenshot

That’s all for now. See you in 2 weeks!

Thank you for reading! 👍

All the best,
Jonas

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