Update April [v0.0.21]

Hello together,

we made good progress in the last weeks and are already strong in early access planning. What still needs to be integrated? Which features will be implemented in the upcoming updates? Everything has to be tested again and so on. Due to the existing architecture it is sometimes very pleasant to make small changes and see the effects within a few minutes. You can see how the Early Access is going into the final spurt and it looks good how the individual components interact with each other.

We’ve been working on the rough timetable in many meetings over the last few weeks. A lot of work has been done on the textures and on small changes that make the game feel better.

I don’t want to go into detail because every corner is still being worked on. We still have one or two features that need to be implemented before Early Access. The rest, e.g. in the lobby we set better start values or changed some map settings that just made more sense.
The game statistics (mouse clicks, game time etc.) have also been removed for the time being, because the focus is simply elsewhere at the moment and it doesn’t reduce the game fun without the statistics.
The map editor has also been set to “coming soon”. For this we have to integrate other methods to implement terraforming in the larger radius. Because I think nobody wants to change a huge world with one click for every change. For the Early Access there will be almost infinite possible worlds with the random values and seed anyway.

We found the natural disasters far too gentle. Therefore we have extended the radius of destruction a bit. Earthquakes can also occur anywhere on the map where land exists. This can lead you to ruin. But with a good insurance you have less worries. šŸ˜‰

Of course I don’t want to withhold the textures from you. Therefore here now the new textures, as well as revised:

Beachhouse: Open for everyone and a dream at every location.


Beachhouse

Luxury villa: For the upscale milieu but also easy to place.

Luxury Villa

Luxury hotel: Also for the upscale milieu. However, the building is much more susceptible to false neighbours.

Luxury Hotel

Beginner hotel: The two middle hotels. The lower one was reworked and the upper one was rebuilt. Both have their pitfalls but cheap to build.

Basic Hotels

Swimming Pool: This must be for every sportsman and always popular with tourists.

Swimming Pool

Tennis court & training court: The training court is always well received and easy to build. The location of the tennis court is more difficult.

Tennis & training court

Market: A market is a good attraction that always brings you good money. But also not too much. šŸ˜‰

Market

I hope I could give you some anticipation again and I’m already looking forward to your fun at Early Access.

Update log:
-CLIENT: Lobby more settings added.
-CLIENT: Lobby default values and settings adjusted.
-SERVER: Added flat mode color field generation.
-SERVER: Minimap display at minimap fixed.
-CLIENT: Icons improved.
-SERVER: Natural disasters destruction radius extended.
-CLIENT: Credits inserted. šŸ˜‰
-SERVER/CLIENT: Map editor/game statistics first set to coming soon.
-CLIENT: option menu extended, tutorial menu added.
-CLIENT: Financial menu improved, if there is too little data no chart will be displayed.
-CLIENT: Pre-money display for building and terraforming newly implemented, bug fixed.
-SERVER: Construction costs of buildings revised.
-SERVER: Cluster calculation bug fixed.
-SERVER: Javascript stability/efficiency extended.

Update March [v0.0.20]

Hello together,

in the last weeks we have made good progress again and we are slowly entering the test phases where you can once again admire the whole project. Some problems with the multiplayer communication have to be corrected in the next weeks. There are small things that must not lead to crashes in the lobby or ingame. We are confident to be able to please you with some ingame videos in the next weeks.

The biggest changes this week are new SoundFX components which we have integrated. Like e.g. at construction works, at the disco or at shops for mobility. The difficulty is to calibrate them in such a way that they are actively noticed but immediately fall back into the subconscious. An atmosphere should be created with it and not a whistle concert. The positioning of the sounds in relation to the position of the viewer also presents us with a few problems in harmonizing this with the architecture of the game. But we work very hard not to have a mono sound at the end.

For the course of the game we also made some changes. The biggest change is in the parks. Before, roads were essential to connect two buildings. So to say that the tourists can get from the airport to all other buildings. We have extended this principle with parks. The parks act as an extension of the connection. One can build a beautiful park at the street and behind it the other building like e.g. a hotel. Because of the park the hotel is still connected to the street and therefore accessible for the holidaymakers. However, one cannot extend a street connection by a park. Parks only extend the connection to other buildings.

In the player colours there is also something new to announce. Previously we always randomly assigned the colors from a previously created texture file to the players. Since this of course does not correspond to the gaming standards, the necessary textures are now created at the beginning of the game on the basis of the colour preferences. This uses a bit more memory but it simplifies the whole color selection and texture creation process.

And last but not least we don’t want to deprive you of the new textures that have been created:

A whole series of new airports have been created. From small with low capacity to the largest airports for the big cities.

A new attraction was also added. The open-air cinema. More often to be found in sunnier regions, this building offers an exciting atmosphere for every film.

At the end I would like to make a recommendation for an interview (german) that we finally gave. Who would like to have some background information I recommend to read this here:
https://www.zippy-net.work/article/im-interview-summer-islands

Update log:
-CLIENT: Bridge Bug Fix
-SERVER/CLIENT: Building site review for building has been revised
-CLIENT: car/bicycle texture on curve corrected
-CLIENT: mouse wheel zoom with layers bug fix
-CLIENT: scroll function inserted for news window
-CLIENT: SoundFX integrated, architecture improved
-SERVER: Cluster calculation has been revised/improved
-SERVER: Parks integrated for Cluster calculation
-CLIENT: Selection building click in flat mode Bug Fix
-CLIENT: Lobby player colors integrated to players
-SERVER/CLIENT: Lobby Server/Client communication optimized
-SERVER: Savegames player ID is assigned when loading new player

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. šŸ™‚
  • 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? šŸ™‚
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 thereā€¦more 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 šŸ™‚

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