The next development cycle is under-way - the next play-test currently planned for the end of August. Due to the shorter cycle this time around - the feature list includes far less time-heavy work; and will instead of focus on fine-tuning the issues with the core game-play loop.
One of the major changes will be moving towards a new way to build your nation - starting with villages, and expanding into larger cities with districts. This has a two-pronged benefit - the first being it eases the player into the growth, requirements and expansion of larger cities, and it also provides a more believable feel to the way the nation expands and grows. Together with this - new structures will be added, together with new resources, all to help encourage a different approach to solving various problems faced within the game, and also tackle new obstacles.
Warmth and health are both planned to be within this next build. Simplistic versions of the larger systems - but it will help gauge the effect of these systems on the game itself, until slowly expanding them to become more enticing and engaging, in relation to planning and consequence. Nation Traits - one of the features which has been planned from the very start - will also begin to be implemented. Nation Traits can be seen as the nation's general understanding of a particular field. As Farming is done more and more in the nation, your people will learn more about farming - unlocking new benefits, structures and ideas. This will help give both a feeling of progression - as well as an indication that the new budding nation is finding it's footing in it's new land.
That more or less tackles the more in-depth and complicated features that might give rise to unexpected issues. Some are prioritised over others - however, they should all fit within the allotted time-frame. Finally - a number of less work-load intensive, more convenient features are planned - such as the ability to view the composition of the workforce in a menu to know how many people are doing what - to an event tracker which will help inform the player of any issues that might be arising, or any events of note.
Much of what's been decided has been based on the feedback generated from the play-test - it was both a motivating and highly insightful experience, which I plan on hopefully replicating more and more as the game progresses forward.
Until next time,