Update February [v0.0.19]

Hello together,

this time there were many improvements to the Basic Game Principle to meet the requirements of Early Access. We are getting closer and closer to the goal to get a stable version that includes the basic Summer Islands mechanics and can be extended with bigger updates in the future.
You can read from time to time how the Steam marked is flooded by unfinished Early Access games and how they don’t get done. This will not be the case with Summer Islands!

We have made many improvements in this version and implemented mechanics that should have been integrated for weeks.
The biggest internal finetuning changes have been in the BUILDING COSTS and in the calculation of the POPULARITY of the buildings. In addition, work was also done on the MAP CREATION.

A few smaller architectural restructurings were carried out, e.g.

  • We did this during the creation of the Minimap. Since the creation during the runtime requires a lot of resources, we placed them in the server that sends a PNG file to the clients when the game starts.
  • Each player now has the ability to customize the building colors according to flat or normal mode.
  • The maximum water depth has been extended so that a more beautiful transition from dark to light water is possible.
  • As soon as a bridge part is destroyed, the surrounding bridge parts are destroyed sequentially.
  • The starting year was set to 1990 for aesthetic reasons. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • A more complex insurance calculation was integrated.
  • A long required allocation of the buildings on the basics of IDs was realized and integrated into the individual areas.
  • A smoother movement was integrated, which gives the player a better assignment of the direction of movement.

In summary, a lot of work was done on smaller extensions and bug fixes. Many mechanics are already integrated in a stable way. A large part of the still needed work lies in the visual improvement of buttons, explanations or the missing tutorial. But let’s face it, who is still playing a tutorial these days? ๐Ÿ™‚
A knowledge database/help center with short explanations might be the better choice. But that will not be decided until the next few weeks.

Update log:
-SERVER: BUILDING COSTS improvements
-SERVER: POPULARITY FORMULA improvements
-SERVER: MAP CREATION improvements
-CLIENT: Minimap adapted with PNG.
-SERVER/CLIENT: Destoyed Buildingsfields are now taken into account in earth elevations and decreases and cannot be changed.
-CLIENT: Destoyed Buildingsfields uses earth fields as background
-CLIENT: Added more setting to distinguish color between normal and flat.
-CLIENT: added select mode without Cache.
-CLIENT: when demolishing a road we use a new Cluster calculation
-SERVER/CLIENT: dark water with -2 height
-CLIENT: Red font graduated, not so red anymore
-Server/Client: bridge deletion with delay.
-CLIENT: small ships inserted.
-CLIENT: Building manager rent increase/lower fixed
-CLIENT: Building manager scroll mouse offset fix
-CLIENT: Movables buildings adapt to colour of building
-CLIENT: Movables are always reintegrated into map.
-CLIENT: smoother movements with Keys AWSD
-CLIENT: Click on building to show building preferences by colors via ID
-CLIENT: Buildingsizecheck converted to ID
-SERVER: buildingsizecheck converted to IDs
-CLIENT: mapbasicfunctions changed to ID
-SERVER/CLIENT: Start year set to 1990
-CLIENT: finance menu: Yearly history saves 30 entries
-CLIENT: finance menu: month history stores 24 entries
-CLIENT: buildingfieldselection corrected

Update January [v0.0.18]

Hello together and welcome to 2019!

2019 will be the year. A year that will make the hearts of Summer Island fans beat faster! We have great ahead of this year.
We know the disappointment about the postponed Early Access date is still thereโ€ฆmore or less. But 2019 will be the year of Early Access.
Thanks also for all the emails and comments to our last blog entry!
Since the entry we have also received the news that GOG has no interest in Summer Islands. Maybe this will change in the future.
We also thought, through the comments of you, that maybe a beta phase is too much effort and you could go directly to the Early Access. Because Early Access is also going in the direction to improve bugs and do finetuning. As you can see a final decision has not been made yet.

But for now back to the ingame details.
We have been working hard on Summer Islands for the last weeks. On the whole we have
-improved many building arbitrariness calculations for costs/profits,
-the SoundFX extends for a harmonious sound culise,
-small discrepancies and bugs corrected for a better feel,
and the multiplayer mode from Australia to Germany and we were positively surprised how stable Summer Islands is and how much fun it is. That motivates you even more ๐Ÿ™‚

The biggest visible change is in the financial report. There the plan was not to have to calculate forever but to have all important information ready (as it should be with a financial report).

New finance report

You see now immediately the positive or negative positions with the individual building types. Thus you know directly with which building types you make a loss or you can make still more profit. Below that, there are also the individual expenditure areas such as marketing, insurance, etc.. With the other costs added thereby the annual total sum results.

What we also inserted at new textures are the building plots. Because every building has a construction time until it is finished and the buildings tourists can come. As long as the buildings are being built, this has a bad effect on the neighbouring buildings.

Buildingfields

Regarding the construction fields, as well as other areas, we have to say that we have considered/planned many further improvement updates. But for the beginning this should work.

Update log:
-CLIENT: SoundFX extended
-CLIENT: Texture Bug fixes
-Server: Buildingspopularity calculation improvements
-Server: Money calculation improvements
-Server/CLIENT: financial report improvements
-Server/CLIENT: efficiency improvements

Interim balance 2018

Hello together,

today there are some news that you may not be so happy to receive or that you may have thought you already had. WeHello together, today there are some news that you may not be so happy to receive or that you may have thought you already had. Unfortunately we will not get into our planned time window with the early access in 2018 anymore. We are very sorry about that and we know how much some of you were looking forward to it.

As you have seen, we have been trying hard over the last few weeks to get into an early access stage.
Now we’ve decided to stop all of it…just kidding! Our planning is as follows:
Early Access release in Q2 2019 at the latest.


Why so long until Early Access?
This has to do with the fact that we still have to integrate a few important things into Summer Islands and improve them.
Things like that:

  • When/how will new buildings be activated?
  • Create further textures / make them more lively.
  • Refine/expand SOUNDFX creation.
  • Memory usage / improve performance
  • memory/load function even with version differences.
  • And a lot of finetuning for insurance, advertising, repair, building costs!

Please don’t forget that we realize Summer Islands in our spare time and we love it too. But you don’t always have free time at your disposal.

Preliminary system requirements:
As the person responsible for programming, I’m constantly testing Summer Islands and working on a Surface Pro 2 with an HD4400. Even with this system (i5-4300U) I get almost constant 50-60 fps. I just wanted to mention that the system requirements for Summer Islands are not very high and you already have a rough plan.

Closed Beta in Q1 2019?
Regarding the fine-tuning on our todo list, we’re considering the possibility of opening up for our beloved fans, so that they can get involved before early access.
For us, early access is a way to expand/refine/guide an already playable game through the community. But a game like Summer Islands has to be playable. In the course of early access we will release further features which we hope to be able to improve with your help. Fix bugs, make changes to improve your feel.
So that Summer Islands doesn’t only work graphically but also challenges the player with the numbers. For that we see the potential of a closed beta to adjust the difficulty level optimally. We are still thinking about it and would like to hear your opinion about it.

Publications on other shops?
We are also gamers and buy other games. Therefore we see it critically if there is a monopoly in the games market place. To counteract this, we also want to publish Summer Islands on other game platforms. GOG.com and the new one that Epic store. On every shop Summer Islands will cost the same and we would try to publish Summer Islands everywhere at the same time. What do you think of that.

At the end of the announcement I ask the following questions to each of you:

  • How are you doing?
  • What do you think of a closed beta in Q1 2019?
  • How do you see the release on other game platforms?

send us a mail: mail@summerislands.de or go on steam: steamcommunity.com/app/731650/discussions

Thanks for your answers and your time!

Update begin of december [v0.0.17]

Hello together,

this week there was a lot of restructuring but no big appearance changes. This week was completely in the spirit of memory and calculation management. But let’s start all over again. As I mentioned before, the client of Summer Islands is based on a Javascript engine called createJS. An engine that is really outstanding in terms of HTML5. It’s not a grinding advertisement but the efficiency and freedom is really great. On the server side we use NodeJS which is perfect with speed. The problem with a HTML5 game is mostly the browser’s limitations in terms of security. So you don’t want the Javascript in the browser of a website to simply access your own files in the computer. Thus any creation/access of files must come from the server. This week we have put the focus on the creation of the exe. This means that we have files that should not be stored in the Exe and when loading the reference must be loaded from the server to the Client. So we have reduced the loading time of the Exe strongly. Because everyone who wants to play has no desire to wait long for it.

To sum it up you have to say that the most important thing in a HTML5 game like Summer Islands is the architecture. You also have to constantly make new efficiency changes and optimize storage space.
For example, we have exchanged arrays and maps that you use by default in INT8Arr. You have to make some architecture changes but you can improve the memory usage by 95%. With such ideas you are always busy to get a constant 60 fps.

I am a bit embarrassed but I found the Javascript declaration let in the last week. If you have learned to program with Java then you are already automatically set that the location of a declaration of a variable is at the same time the definition whether the variable allows a local or global access. To avoid mistakes we now change all variables to let!

An additional increase in efficiency we have managed with the Minimap. Before that, the client painstakingly created each pixel and stored it in the cache. When opening the minimap for the first time in the game, you often had to wait longer due to the size of the map. Because all pixels had to be displayed from the cache to the screen for the first time. An alternative that we are now using comes from the server. The server already creates an image of the map during the map generation which we can reload in the client. Thus we have no more waiting time with the client.

But now also to a few further textures which we have integrated. As you saw a few days ago in the last tweet we integrated a cinema.
The cinema belongs to the attractions and earns a little more money than other attractions. It doesn’t have any special features regarding the location. So a building that always brings money in.

A souvenir shop was created as a smaller shop. This is small, not expensive and always runs well with tourists. A must for every holiday island.

The car business was not new but reworked. The quality as a more upscale building for the luxury segment has remained the same.

We hope you also enjoy seeing Summer Islands come together in good steps. We could see that on Steam already about 1000 people have Summer Islands on their wish list. That makes us really happy to see so many people interested in Summer Islands. We are working hard towards early access.

Update Log:
-Executable: Data outsourcing with reference
-Executable: faster loadingtimes
-SERVER: create Minimap image
-Server/CLIENT: efficiency improvements

Update from end of november [v0.0.16]

Hello together,

the last days we have been working on the financial menu to increase the ergonomics and to insert the first architectures for consultants. For the early access we leave it with the repair manager. This makes it easier for you to work on the constant repairs that occur when the buildings are being used to capacity. Provided you hire the repair manager and can pay him monthly. Other settings include taking out or repaying a loan, advertising for the buildings and taking out insurance for the buildings in the event of the destruction of a building. There are different settings for advertising and insurance. Depending on how much money you want to pay.

Additionally we have fixed many bugs this week. Last week’s news banner needed some minor improvements. Also some buttons and some restructuring of variables were necessary.

A little help in the game we also realized. The event history records the past events. So you can see at a glance which messages came last. E.g. if you load a savegame and first have to look at which events came last. In the course of the game you probably won’t use the news history often.

Also this week we have created new textures. As another building in the sports category there is now a jet ski rental. This building is designed for the masses of holidaymakers. You don’t get rich with a jet ski rental. But it will be nice to see that near one of these buildings you will see jet skis on the water. This does not bring any advantage for the player. But it will improve the atmosphere.

Update log:
-CLIENT: redesigned financial settings menu
-CLIENT: Eventhistory window integrated
-CLIENT/SERVER: Consultants architecture implemented
-CLIENT: Bug fixes: slide buttons, news banners

Update from mid november [v0.0.15]

Hello together,

also this week we have made a good progress with new features so that we came to a version. For all those who are longing for early access. We have created a good todolist with basics that should be bug free implemented for the early access. We are already working through the list intensively.

To our new features. We’ve made the biggest change in the news display topic, we’ve implemented a news banner. So a band at the bottom of the screen informs you about the news from the game world. If there are important news this band turns red and there are additional buttons. By clicking on the buttons you jump directly to the current natural catastrophes. So you always stay informed about the current important events. If the banner takes up too much space, you can of course hide it.

With the news banner we have implemented the natural catastrophes so that they can appear now with a certain probability distributed on the map.

Furthermore we have extended the sabotage menu with cockroaches and the bribery of construction time. As soon as you sabotage an enemy building with cockroaches the condition of the building decreases drastically. This loses the building to arbitrariness and the enemy loses his source of income. The construction time bribery doesn’t only work with enemy buildings. If one of your buildings is still under construction, you can bribe the construction manager to reduce the construction time. Conversely, it works for enemy buildings. With these the construction time is extended. The opponent loses more money because of the constant costs and because the neighboring buildings don’t want to have a construction site next door, they lose popularity again.

With the buildings we got also some new ones implemented. A shopping center was designed and integrated under the category Shops. The building is one of the larger buildings and is designed for larger numbers of visitors.

Update Log:
-CLIENT: EVENT BANNER architecture Basics integrated
-SERVER: Event system connected with catastrophies
-CLIENT/SERVER: Catastrophies playable integrated
-CLIENT: News Buttons for catastrophies implemented
-CLIENT: NewsBanner & News Buttons with differents scalling & resolutions
-CLIENT/SERVER: Sabotage: Cockroaches & Buildingtime bribe included

Update begin of november [v0.0.14]

Hello together,

WHHHAAAATTT, already after one week a new update?!
Yes, this time we have already integrated so many new features and fixed old ones. So we already had to create a new version.

At the beginning the biggest visible feature. This week we have some new cars that make the roads unsafe. For bicycles there is a bike rental and for cars we have a car rental. For the cars we had to adjust the movements of the moving road objects a bit, especially in the curves. But the result is quite nice.

Furthermore we have looked at the CPU/Memory load. How maybe some of you know there are two ways to get to a target on a system. First, you can do all the calculations every time and get the result. Or you can save the result in memory and save the calculation. To avoid unnecessary calculations and too many objects on the screen at Summer Islands we have already created some static objects as spritesheets. Thus we could keep the FPS number at 40-60 fps with an intel HD4400. So you can imagine what the system requirements will be.

Another topic we tackled was the menu if you want to start a new match. What we already had was basically the basic structure. Based on that we integrated a few choices to give every player the possibility to create infinite worlds.

We’ve also restructured the options menu to make it more ergonomic for players. A bigger and unfortunately not really visible change was accompanied by many corrections at different resolutions. We tested Summer Islands with different resolutions and still had to find some bugs. We were able to solve them successfully with a little time.

We made some other changes directly at the game. On the one hand we removed the road construction button from the construction menu and placed it as a single button at the top of the screen. Because you are more often building roads and therefore you don’t always want to get to the road selection via the construction menu. Another change is the preview of a building. In order not to constantly click on buildings we have changed this. Now you only need to move the mouse over the building and get the information displayed. To change the settings for the building just click on it again.

Update Log:
-CLIENT: Car added
-CLIENT: Auto curve corrected
-CLIENT: Layer to Spritesheet performance boost
-CLIENT: New game menu has been provided with options
-CLIENT: Options menu restructured
-CLIENT: Street Button again on Screen
-CLIENT: Resolution corrections
-CLIENT: Mouseover buildinginfo

Update end of october [v0.0.13]

Hello together,

in the last two weeks we have concentrated a bit on bug fixing again. So that the basic functions work flawlessly. We have been implementing the Save and Load functions for some time now. But as time went by more and more Feytures were added so this had to be updated again. This time we could also integrate the AI which now, as expected, continues to build after loading.

Furthermore many bug fixes were added to correct unreadable objects or apparent elements in the background.

To inform you about a major change towards early access: In the last weeks we have managed to shrink our Javascript files (50%) and make them unreadable. Now one of you thinks that Javascript can only be made unreadable pseudo. This is partly true. But at least we try to prevent with it a “fast” intervention into the game code. It’s all about protecting our work and preventing unfair gameplay. Mods are a completely different topic. We try to support them. But until we have a working mod support it will probably still take a while.

To also present some pictures to you we want to introduce some new buildings in this update:
On the one hand we have designed another restaurant in the last weeks called Mega Grill. A bigger restaurant for the masses in the rustic wild weststile. A must for every saloon lover.

Another building which was finished in the last weeks is under the category attractions. The zoo, a highlight for the whole family. It is more difficult to build because it is a larger building.

In the next weeks we try to concentrate on efficiency and error solutions. In addition, our graphic designer creates additional content for the individual building types

Update Log:
-CLIENT/SERVER: added Minfier
-CLIENT/SERVER: added Obfuscator
-CLIENT/SERVER: added new Buildings
-CLIENT/SERVER: renewed Save-/Loadingarchitecture
-CLIENT: Bug Fixes

Update from mid october [v0.0.12]

Hello together

in the last weeks some great features have come together in Summer Islands which we want to present to you in this update. These are not all essential for an Early Access. But since you want to suggest a certain atmosphere in early access, which the players can adjust to, such features are indispensable. We are also getting more and more into a certain planning phase in which we work out which future updates there will be and which functions represent a basic basis that we absolutely want to integrate for early access. So in early access you have to re-evaluate Summer Islands after every update because the feel of the game is constantly redesigned by the new features.

Now we come to our updates of the last weeks. On the one hand we used some stylistic means to improve the atmosphere. In short, we have integrated clouds that float across the screen from time to time. This subconsciously creates a much more lively game world.

Furthermore, we have added a new natural disaster: Earthquake.
The player is informed that a natural disaster is approaching and the earth is already shaking at a certain point with a certain radius. Of course the buildings can be destroyed and the terrain changed.

In the next weeks we will focus on improvements of the basics so that a basic game process can develop and these game functions run without bugs. Thank you for your patience and we hope you will be so excited about Summer Islands like we are.

Update Log:
-CLIENT: clouds integration
-CLIENT/SERVER: earthquake integration
-CLIENT: bug fixes
-SERVER: AI improvements
-CLIENT/SERVER: javascript efficency corrections

Update from september [v0.0.11]

Hello together,

it was again a longer break since our last update. We’ve been working on new content for Summer Islands for a couple of weeks now, but only now are we going to publish it.

On our Steamforum there are a lot of questions about the release date in relation to 2018. Before I come to the new content I wanted to go into it again.
We know that the year is almost over and Summer Islands is still not in early access. We have to thank you for your patience. We still have a lot of features for Summer Islands which we haven’t mentioned yet and which we still want to implement. There isn’t anything worse than a half-finished game and unfortunately this is becoming more and more normal nowadays just to generate more sales with more and more games. The good thing for you is: because we program Summer Islands in our spare time, we are not financially tied to a schedule/fund donor. This allows us to realize the features Summer Islands needs and makes Summer Islands even better. The bad news is: We are only a 3 person team, spread over different continents, that Summer Islands creates in our spare time. With that we always have a full schedule and believe me, it’s already scratching your conscience if no new update has been created for you every week.
So in summary we would like to appeal to your patience. 2018 is still our plan, but game projects are always difficult to plan because of their complexity. ๐Ÿ™‚

But now to our smaller update: we have redesigned our building construction menu in the last weeks. Ergonomics and clarity are especially important to us in Summer Islands. We try to make every aspect of the game as familiar as possible. So that there is no irritation during the course of the game. We want to create a natural game flow.

So we adapted the building construction menu with all buildings rather to the well-known touch menus and equipped it with more icons and pictures. The advantage of the new design is the larger space to present more information about the building to the player and the easier comparison of buildings with each other.

Update Log:
-CLIENT: Building Menu redesign
-CLIENT: smaller BUG FIX’s
-SERVER: Eventmanager for AI
-CLIENT/SERVER: javascript efficency corrections