Crab Spawns, Coloured Hair and Customisation in Alpha 17

Firstly, here’s a short video demonstrating some of the new features in the game. If you prefer to read, the fuller description is below.

Some work has been done on improving the balance and functionality of the different biomes. In particular the beach biome, where I’ve made adjustments to the spawning parameters of crab holes along the beach. Crab holes now only spawn once the tide goes out, and are destroyed as the tide comes back in. So your best time to extract crabs will be at dusk or at dawn.

20160609 CrabHoles

There are quite a few new tribe options now, the main ones being hair colour selection and trait selection. Much like tribe colour, hair colour affects foreign tribe’s relations towards your tribe. So you can have a foreign tribe that likes your tribe colour but dislikes your hair colour.

Traits give the player some customisation options if they prefer playing a certain way.

20160626 TribeOptionsSmall

As I approach the end of Alpha, I’ve added more visual effects to make identifying what’s going on easier for the player. You will see decay lines coming out of items and carcasses on the ground that are losing durability.

20160604 FoodInWater2

When a Pokian is wet and thus more susceptible to hypothermia, you will also see water dripping from their body. Older Pokians and other humanoids have their hair turn grey and shrivel up slightly as they age. Below you can really see the effect when the ageing process is sped up.

20160517 OldAge

The probability of new Pokians arriving or being born is displayed on the tribe panel. Previously there was nothing to tell the player how likely they were to arrive, and you would get a surprise visit from new Pokians without having time to prepare clothing etc.

20160609 PokianProbability

The charting functions have also been improved quite a bit. You can see foreign tribe’s prosperity over time on the statistics page once you have fully discovered the foreign tribe.

20160609 Chart

That’s just a selection of the changes in this update. I did quite a bit of game balancing and bug fixes as well. Here’s the full list below.


  • Selectable tribe hair colour
  • Hair colour turns grey as Pokians age
  • Pokians start shriveling as they approach old age
  • Added influence border selection for player
  • Added keyboard rebinding on Options page
  • Added options for Fahrenheit and imperial weights
  • Task panel and query panel now show name of object being crafted, harvested, extracted or stored
  • Added timeline events for main objective and tribe relation discoveries
  • Add probability of foreign raid in next 24 hours to diplomacy panel
  • Removed harvest growth speed option on world gen setup
  • Added craft panel categories for trinkets and components
  • Add option on world gen for number of neighbouring tribes and average prosperity
  • Add functionality for multiple datasets in one chart
  • Add foreign tribe prosperities on stats page
  • Add chart for tribe size on stats page
  • Add display for total play time to stats page
  • Added go to location buttons for failed tasks notifications
  • Added tutorial for object decay after main tutorial
  • Tribe panel prosperity breakdown includes trinkets as separate category
  • Added vfx to indicate items on ground decaying
  • Added vfx for wet humanoids
  • Crafting panel includes clothing needed by Pokians
  • Add probability of nomads and pregnancy in next 24 hours to prosperity panel
  • Added partner query item to query panel for humans
  • Added news item when a new family is formed
  • No food or no water flashes in panel summary

20160609 Dyes


  • Removed ability requirement for building monuments
  • Moved tendons into fibre category and changed crafting requirements
  • Hair colour has relations effect with other tribes
  • Modified animal kills relation so only accounts for kills in past year
  • Reduced chance of catching disease by 75%
  • Reduced magnitude of colour different effect on foreign relations
  • Implemented traits for player tribe that affect various aspects of gameplay
  • Every time foreign tribe attacks, reduces hatred by 20
  • Probability of a foreign raid is proportional to relations, with 100% chance of attack at -200
  • Limited maximum positive relationship to 200
  • Necklaces require any fibre for crafting
  • Added totem pole building
  • Added charcoal formation as fires burn
  • Removed weakness disease effect
  • Increased tendon output from butchering carcass
  • Re-enabled prosperity changes for foreign tribes
  • Change rain to snow if rain starts falling and temperature goes below 0 degrees
  • Decreased chance of getting hypothermia/hyperthermia when too hot or cold
  • Tribe possible requests stay up for 3 days instead of 1
  • Improved foreign tribe prosperity fluctuations to be more natural
  • Extracting herbs provides guaranteed herbs compared to harvesting
  • Increased maximum number of members per family to 8
  • Made monuments passable but with high move cost and low speed
  • Halved animal spawn rate in Tundra and Semi-arid biomes
  • Increased cactus fruit yield to 2
  • Changed maximum age of starting tribe from 40 to 26
  • Resources now take 3 days to regenerate instead of regenerating straight away
  • Added requirement for minimum water present for crab holes to spawn
  • Reduced rate of sea shell spawns
  • Reduced impact of night time on desire to sleep so tasks more likely to be completed
  • Rebalanced regeneration rate of all resources
  • Allow animals to sleep under bushes or on ground



  • Fixed duplicate first names for bipedals
  • Removed some stats from win page and added others
  • Fixed large object images being unintentionally shrunk slightly
  • Fixed rare river generation crashing bug
  • Weight query displays in kilograms
  • Fixed dodge chance too high
  • Fixed Pokian names not assigned properly
  • Changed object collection tutorial to require object in influence area instead of in Pokian hands
  • Reduced variation in animal base weight to avoid extreme anorexia
  • Added info in tutorial about finding fibres for clothing
  • Snow shows on minimap now
  • Fixed query panel not remembering last selected tabs correctly
  • Fixed bleeding effect stopped showing
  • Fixed rare plant loading game crashing bug
  • Fixed chart mega slowdowns when played for a long time and lots of points
  • Fixed ambient sound volumes not affected by options when game already started
  • Fixed constant timeline printout of main objective
  • Fixed object stretching in hands from height differences
  • Fixed shaman making rain call lots of times
  • Fixed foreign tribe raids only spawning males
  • Fixed monument relations influencer counting large monuments 7x
  • Fixed Tundra biome can’t extract ground
  • Fixed new adult bringing spouse into existing family instead of creating a new family
  • Fixed children sprite not properly changing to adult sprite
  • Added check for potential spouse being an adult
  • Switched two starting tutorial notifications so they make more sense
  • Added check for processing designate tool tip only when mouse not over UI
  • Fixed horse carcass image is human carcass
  • Fixed crafting panel filter not recognising “any” name for materials requirement

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By |June 8th, 2016|GameDev|0 Comments

Digging Around, Coastlines and New Crafting in Alpha 16

Major changes to world generation this update means you can now dig into the ground for resources! The world is now composed of geological layers, which can be easily edited in the xml data files. If you dig through the soil layer, you can reach the clay layer, and then the gravel layer, and so on. It is different for each biome. Each layer has its own characteristics such as water absorption, fertility, hardness, movement speed, etc. The world looks much more natural with this new system, and I’m especially excited by the flexibility of adding ground layers for each biome with only several lines of xml!

20160513 NewGround

To dig into the ground, just use the extract button just like you would for extracting trees and rocks. As an example, extracting gravel can provide us with granite chunks, along with giving a chance to find some flint chunks.

20160513 TooltipExtract

Another exciting feature of this update is coastlines! I spent about two weeks working on refactoring and improving the water generation algorithm yet again to get this working. I think it was worth it, as now we have working tides! That’s right, the water level rises and falls over the course of a day in the new Rocky Beach biome. When the tide recedes, crab holes may appear in the sand from where you can extract sand crabs. But don’t set up too close to the sea, or the high tide will wet all your tribe’s belongings. This new biome requires some balancing, but it’s there to be played around with for now.

20160513 Tides

On the usability front, I have continued improving task indicators to help the player better understand reasons why something isn’t being done. In the task panel you can now see the reason a task isn’t being completed, whether it is missing materials or no Pokian available with the ability to complete that task.

20160513 TaskAssigns

With a task query panel open, you can also see arrows pointing to the materials that are assigned to that task. In the below image, we have a Spear weapon crafting task that required a stone knife, log wood and animal tendon as materials.

20160513 TaskArrows

Finally, I’ve done a major crafting rebalance so object values, required crafting materials and required abilities are more consistent. In general, crafting an object will increase the value of base materials by 2 to 3 times. Monument construction has also been split up to allow more Pokians to work towards building it at the same time. First you need to craft stone slabs and dyes, and then use those subcomponents as the base materials for a monument.

20160513 MonumentCraftFlow

There’s lots more in this update, but I’m not here to write a novel! Here is the full change list for Alpha 16:


  • Created functionality for unlimited ground layers
  • Major refactoring of land generation code
  • Added layering for ground types in default biome
  • Add functionality for digging into terrain using extract button
  • Added checkboxes to turn off ground extraction in side menu
  • Refactored abilities so they can be defined from xml without restriction
  • Refactored image reading to allow separate male/female children images
  • Added randomiser for tattoo and colour sprite on game setup
  • Added trinket collection mission
  • Hardness added to ground layers
  • Added reason for task not being performed to task panel
  • Map generation page includes option for coastline
  • Add tutorial for gaining diseases and viewing tribe status
  • Added arrows on map when query task panel open indicating materials for the task locations
  • Implement rocky beach biome
  • Added crab resource
  • Added object ambient sound functionality
  • Added task “cooldown” as reason for non-completion of task
  • Added bipedal height/wideness difference for individuals

20160513 Family


  • Tundra reduced daily temperature fluctuations, increased daily temperature fluctuations
  • Added movement cost modifiers based on terrain types
  • Gravel no longer extractable, will be replaced by diggable
  • Changed moss from resource object to ground layer
  • Extracting resources from the ground lowers terrain now
  • Rebalanced weapon abilities and effect on extract/gather/craft speed
  • Added water table for generating water below certain height
  • Added soil object from digging grass
  • Added more animal wandering when idle
  • Added Digging Stick object specialised in digging into ground
  • Implemented children sprites
  • Added burin tool with carve ability
  • Statues changed to require carve ability instead of chop
  • Reduced time taken to start a fire
  • River/coast height determined by water table height
  • River/coast direction on map fixed instead of random
  • Major rebalance of all object values
  • Major rebalance of object crafting time and crafting materials
  • Removed deep water alpha colour change
  • Reduced number of flint pieces available from quartz rock
  • Modified some tutorial requirements to streamline them
  • Split extract stone tutorial into two parts
  • Split monument construction to include crafting subcomponents slab and dye

20160513 Chunks


  • Fixed some query items not disappearing when updated while filter is on
  • Fixed timeline scroll not working on win page
  • Fixed timeline event for gaining sickness repeating too often
  • Reimplemented ice forming similar to snow forming
  • Smoothed tundra and semi-arid temperature fluctuations
  • Fixed missing edible lichen image
  • Fixed item abilities not being read properly in task panel crafting tooltip
  • Reduced saving/loading time by 80%
  • Tweaked human sprites so outline colour retained
  • Reduced saturation of humanoid skin colours to look more pleasant
  • Fixed clothing position on children
  • Refactored extract/gather/craft tooltip to standardise format
  • Fixed construction required abilities not being taken into account
  • Tweaked ground saturation to reduce “pulsing” water
  • Major optimisation of water flow
  • Fixed crafting bone statue incorrect material names
  • Fixed plants growing on non-fertile terrain
  • Fixed starting fire ability not being taken into account
  • Fixed bug with selecting attack targets
  • Fixed mammoth unable to cross river
  • Fixed diplomacy panel priorities alignment
  • Add tooltip when trying to assign stockpile hex without selected stockpile
  • Fixed starting fire task failing instead of waiting when twigs being stored
  • Tweaked effect of exposure and wetness on human internal temperature
  • Replaced first names with more easily pronounced names
  • Fixed animals not aging properly

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By |May 13th, 2016|GameDev|0 Comments

Graphical Improvements and New Resources in Alpha 15

In this update we have lots of changes, including graphics replacements, more visual effects, a new tribe name generator, user experience improvements, more tutorials, I could go on and on!

20160409 RiverCrossing

Firstly, graphical updates. The Pokian figures have been replaced with proper characters. They match the rest of the game better now. You can still select their tattoo and colour, and foreign tribes will still be generated with a random tattoo and colour. More of my lingering placeholder UI has also been replaced with visuals that match the game better, like the weather and season sprites. Finally, the terrain transitions have been improved so there are no more sharp divides between hexes.

20160323 NewSprites

Fish have been added as a resource that can be extracted from rivers (requires water to be flowing to spawn fish). Also, mosquitoes spawn in areas of the map when the humidity and temperature are high enough. They can give your Pokians malaria if they hang around infested areas for too long. To accommodate these two “resources”, I’ve made some underlying changes to the resource generation system, so you might notice resources spawn slightly more/less than in the previous version.

20160405 Fish

There were some parts of the tutorial which needed improvement, in particular the stockpiling tutorial. Stockpiles are a very powerful tool and I don’t think that came across clearly enough, so I’ve modified it to better show what you can do with them. There’s also a tutorial for the task panel, where you can now set the priorities of different tasks. While I was looking at this, I also improved task assignments. Tasks are now done in order of assignment after they are sorted by priority.

20160409 TaskPriorities

The last thing I’ll talk about is the epic tribe name generator! It picks a random word from three lists and combines them to give tribes their names. You can still rename your own tribe of course, though foreign tribes will now be more memorable with names like “Crimson Foot Lovers”. I might have to come up with a similar system for human names.

20160405 Name Generator

Here’s the full change list for Alpha 15.


  • Add shivering visual effect for anyone who is cold
  • Display total change of relation/discovery effects on diplomacy panel
  • Added sound for human dying
  • New task request created an icon notification on task button
  • New relation influencer creates an icon notification on diplomacy button
  • Add current human abilities to status page of query panel
  • Human query panel stays on current tab when switching between humans
  • Add stockpile button to side menu to replace map menu stockpiling
  • Added average durability of food to charts
  • Added epic tribe name generator
  • Added items hair string and flax fibres (no use yet)
  • Add temperature/humidity/water range functionality for when resources can appear
  • Added gaining/losing a sickness to timeline
  • Ability requirement added to tooltip for extract/gather/butcher
  • Implemented new human sprites with colour changes and tattoos
  • Added tracking of certain player inputs
  • Added objective descriptors to xml file
  • Added tutorial for storing objects and material collection
  • Implemented better transitions between terrain tiles
  • Added changeable task priorities from task panel
  • Added tutorial for task panel
  • Added tutorials for building materials requirements
  • Added functionality for events panel closing triggering next tutorial

20160409 WeatherUI


  • Make plants/resources much less likely to grow on influence hexes
  • Disallow children from performing any tasks
  • Balanced tribe relations effects so will no longer have all good/bad influencers
  • Made most items decay in water
  • Foreign tribes select random homo species and name when generated
  • Removed restriction from extracting from deep water
  • Added fish spawning as resource
  • Added mosquitoes with malaria sickness
  • Removed restriction requiring large area for meeting point
  • Changed stockpile tutorial so need to create a pile that stores wood
  • Modified task queuing so less frequent shuffling of jobs in queue
  • Added current pregnancies to prosperity check for future pregnancies
  • Massively reduced the number of checks per day for getting pregnant
  • Implement hourly and daily temperature fluctuations from the average
  • Added extra cost modifier to Pokian pathfinder for water

20160409 SeasonUI


  • Fixed raids being launched from two different functions
  • Fixed Pokians fleeing from foreign raids instead of helping fellow tribesmen
  • Fixed selection box jumping around sometimes when objects moving
  • Fixed query panel can’t scroll list of thoughts
  • Fixed flashing when snow melting
  • Fixed animal sound effects when fighting not playing occasionally
  • Fixed the long-standing malformed characters bug for random text (finally!!)
  • Fixed hut request counting already constructed huts, instead of only newly constructed ones
  • Fixed pregnancy news item keeps reappearing and making noises
  • Changed out of stamina thought bubble to be animation
  • Fixed activating renaming Pokians textbox causes shortcut keys to stop working
  • Added preventative measure to avoid phantom sprite bug for objs outside FOV
  • Refactored resource spawning for more flexibility
  • Added initial image randomiser for animated objects
  • Fixed certain variables in spawndata not being saved
  • Fixed Pokians losing skin colour when underwater
  • Made default food stockpile more obvious and apply to all new storage buildings
  • Refactored starting fire and placing buildings functionality
  • Fixed tattoo scroll buttons so they are more responsive
  • Fixed objects in left hand not facing correct direction
  • Fixed clicking outside game window assigning tasks
  • Fixed charts not scaling properly with UI
  • Fixed loading game sometimes crashing due to visual effects
  • Fixed allowing butchering and stockpiling carcass at the same time
  • Fixed cancelling task from taskpanel causes priorities list to double-load
  • Tweaked hunger and thirst algorithm for better AI when both values are low
  • Added check for number of Pokians before automatically creating store object tasks
  • Fixed bug with animals navigating to wrong hex sometimes

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By |April 9th, 2016|GameDev|0 Comments

Tribe Of Pok on Steam Greenlight and Alpha 14 Update!

Along with this month’s update, we are also launching onto Steam Greenlight and would appreciate votes! Spread the word! Here’s the Greenlight Trailer:

I’ve been spending a lot of my time working on promotional materials for Greenlight and polishing the user experience this month. This includes adding keyboard shortcuts for certain UI elements, which actually helped me to make a better trailer since I could hide the UI but still interact with the game. There’s no interface yet for changing the shortcut keys, but they can be modified via the xml files.

20160224 TribeFull (Medium)

Some game functions have also been moved around to be more intuitive. For example, the crafting menu can now be accessed from the side UI menu, rather than from the Task button at the top UI menu. To me this makes more sense, since all the other assignments/building construction are made from the side menu.

20160202 CraftUISideMenu

The Stone Henge monument has also been completed, and you can now build it in-game from the various pieces. There’s still a display issue where the pieces overlap incorrectly if built in the wrong order and it looks a bit funny. It doesn’t affect gameplay, but it’s one of those things that keeps me up at night.

20160202 StoneHenge

Tribal tattoos have also been improved. The placeholder images are replaced with about 30 different characters from the Vinca Symbols. The Vinca Symbols are a set of symbols that were found in Europe, believed to be from the Neolithic Era. I thought they looked pretty cool and would make good symbols to stick on Pokian’s chests. You can also adjust the colour of your symbol separately from the colour of your tribe members!

20160202 TattoosDifferent

Here’s the full change list for Alpha 14:


  • Move timeline from tribe panel to win page
  • Improved colour selection for tribe members
  • Added functionality for resource regeneration
  • Added crusty lichen and green moss to Tundra biome
  • Include time taken for extract/gather in tooltip
  • Added keyboard shortcuts for side menu
  • Added filter on craft panel for only showing objects we have materials available
  • Add base animal spawning rate to xml to biomes
  • Add hide/show UI functionality into keyMap
  • Side menu shortcut keys can be modified in xml
  • Allow access of crafting panel from side menu
  • Added Stone Henge alternate images
  • Tattoo colours are now adjustable
  • Added about 30 tattoos to list
  • Added separate cooldown functionality between weapons and fistycuffs


  • Changed Bunch type objects to Grass type
  • Changed some object crafting requirements from Grass Bunch to Any Grass
  • Foreign tribe relations are influenced by hue instead of rgb colours
  • Changed available map sizes on world generation page to be more sensible
  • Rebalanced all relation and discovery modifiers
  • Rebalanced tundra resource spawning
  • Axe, bow and spear cooldown time increased from 20 to 30


  • Modified tribe panel display to be more informative for each tribe member
  • Fixed two objects of same type but different category not being used correctly
  • Fixed craft tasks being assigned on top of existing buildings
  • Fixed multiple craft tasks on same workshop hex
  • Fixed keyboard shortcuts working while textbox is active
  • Fixed combat music not looping when in combat mode
  • Fixed combat mode selection not registering humans correctly
  • Fixed super lag in combat mode when sending Pokians to unnavigable position
  • Fixed diplomacy panel ??? colour changing when switching from known tribe to unknown tribe
  • Fixed misaligned saved game page when too many save games
  • Fixed deer not fleeing when attacked
  • Fixed cooking meat on fire poles when no camp fire available
  • Fixed unable to assign fire task when no material available
  • Fixed rare crashing bug when assigning tasks while game was not paused
  • Fixed cloud effects using wrong image when game loaded
  • Optimised building layer drawing
  • Fixed godray movement for main page
  • Updated tutorial for Crafting
  • Fixed assigning stockpile from stock panel not selecting side menu properly
  • Fixed ticking/unticking query panel filter not sticking between panel changes
  • Fixed sand texture red border sometimes appearing when scrolling map
  • Fix gather time in tooltip not displaying properly
  • Fixed crashing notifications when moving to the front
  • Fixed discrepency between diplomacy panel relations display and actual value changes
  • Fixed occasional crashing bug when loading game with weapon in another object
  • Fixed scrolling crash when applying filter on second page

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By |March 8th, 2016|GameDev|0 Comments

Colours and Tattoos in Alpha 13

Continuing on from my last video, here is a new one on prosperity, influence and crafting in Tribe Of Pok:

This update is mainly about adding functionality and fixes rather than gameplay changes. You can now select the colour of your tribe members and give them a tattoo to distinguish them from other tribes’ members. They can be any colour you want simply by adjusting the RGB values on the World Generation page. The tattoo can be selected from a range of presets (currently using placeholders).

20160117 TribeColourChange

At this point I thought it would be interesting to turn this “tribal colour” into another layer of gameplay. When your tribe meets a foreign tribe for the first time, the tribes know nothing about each other. They make judgements based on first impressions, which is where their colour comes in. Diplomatic relations are affected based on the difference between the two tribes’ colours. The larger the difference, the larger the penalty. For example a pure red tribe would tend to dislike a pink tribe, but not as much as they would hate a pure blue tribe. Of course, you can overcome these natural relations penalties by performing actions the foreign tribe likes, as I discussed in the last update.

20160126 ColourEffect

Lastly, let’s talk about charts! I enjoy looking at numbers and statistics when playing games, which is why this game itself is so simulation-heavy. Now I’ve added history charts that track food and prosperity so you can see how they are changing over time. You can access them by clicking on the small panel at the top that shows your current water, prosperity and food supply. I should be able to add more charts e.g for tribe relations without too much trouble in the future.

20160126 ProsperityChart

Here’s a full list of changes for Alpha 13:


  • Add cactus tree to semi-arid
  • Implemented statistics page
  • Added tracking for objects used/created by humans
  • Added chart for prosperity history to stats page
  • Added query box for quick ground details
  • Added categories in crafting menu
  • Added colour picker tribe members
  • Added functionality for tattoos on bodies
  • Added tattoo selection to GenWorld Page
  • Added functionality for relation effect based on colour
  • Added foreign tribe member display to diplomacy panel
  • Added sprite indicator for where craft tasks will be assigned on map
  • Can access statistics page by clicking panel summary
  • Added chart for food history to stats page



  • Foreign relations affected by tribe colour differences
  • Foreign tribe colour and tattoo slowly revealed as discovery level increases
  • Increased jaggedness of default map



  • Major optimisation of snowing effect
  • Fixed snow not loading straight away when loading game
  • Fixed various variables not loading correctly when loading game
  • Change task panel materials to read from owned objects instead of nearby objects
  • Fixed animals slightly lagging behind their clothing when drawn
  • Fixed not all bodies displaying clothing at start
  • Fixed crashing bug when loading game due to VFX vertex positions not reset properly
  • Tweaked day/night shader for a bluish hue at night
  • Fixed tribe colour changing when night/day changes
  • Fixed unable to extract herb bush

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By |January 27th, 2016|GameDev|0 Comments

Tundra and Semi-Arid biomes in Alpha 12

I’ve made a gameplay video talking briefly about getting started in the game, specifically getting water, extracting and gathering resources:

New Biomes

In this update I’ve focused on adding new biomes. This means refactoring some of the world generation algorithms to support a wider variety of features. Rivers can now experience daily and seasonal flooding. For each hour we can increase or decrease the level of water entering the map. For example, we can increase the water level during spring to simulate ice melting upstream and flooding the map. There’s a lot of flexibility in this system since these numbers can be set and tweaked in xml data files. In future when simulating coastal areas, I could use the same system to simulate hourly tidal changes.

20151225 River change

One of the new biomes is the Tundra. This is a very cold, flat biome where plants find it hard to grow. This was implemented by adjusting the daily temperature variations, height levels, resource distribution, etc in the data files. Then I experimented with the world generation until the numbers produced some nice looking maps.

20151225 Snowfall

One issue I had was with snow. In this cold biome, snow was a lot more frequent and it also melted in spotted patches. This constant snowing/melting didn’t look very nice in the previous version, so I had to rework the graphic effect to make it nicer.

20151225 Snowmelt

Besides tundra, I’ve also created a semi-arid biome. In contrast to the tundra, this one is hot and dry most of the year. They will each have unique animals and plants that make surviving a different experience. For example, in the tundra there are very few trees, so you will have to rely more on hunting animals for food and construction materials. Both of these biomes probably need more balancing in terms of resources and weather. This is a first pass at getting the functionality in for that.

20151225 Tundra

20151225 Semiarid

Extracting Resources

Speaking of functionality, I’ve made a slight tweak in the way resources are extracted. When you extract a resource, there might be different outcomes depending on the type of resource. So for example, extract a granite rock and there is now a 20% chance of getting a piece of flint instead of just a granite rock. The beauty of the system I’ve created is that I can apply this to almost any other action when designing the game! I can make starting a campfire have a 20% chance to create an uncontrollable wild fire (I won’t do that – but I could). Or maybe extracting a tree could have a 5% chance of spawning a Giant Sloth who was sleeping in it! The possibilities are endless.

20151225 Extract Tooltip

Anyway those are the main points for this month. Below is the changelog for the Alpha 12 Update:

Alpha 12


  • Added exclamation marks to Stockpile panel when nothing allowed in pile
  • Added first pass of tundra and semi-arid biome
  • Improved snowing animation appearance and disappearance
  • Added fluctuating river heights over a year
  • Removed scenery colour changing in Autumn and Winter
  • Added spawn density for resources in xml
  • New sand ground type
  • Add ability to choose seed on world generation page
  • Harvest % chance success displays in tooltip
  • Added increase rainfall chance reward
  • Added random generator for world seed and tribe name
  • Added vsync to options menu


  • Animals move adjacent to water instead of on top to drink from it
  • Water flows downhill faster
  • Soil saturation flows downhill slower
  • Adjusted quartz rock spawn variables
  • Bear, tiger and mammoth carcass have specific butcher remains
  • Improved gravel generation
  • Height shown when placing meeting point
  • If snow present on cell, extracting task is slower
  • Improved river flow speed via teleportation
  • Bushes slow down movement
  • Sand slows down movement
  • Humanoids can swim over deep water
  • Extract now has probabilities for extra materials


  • Major optimisation of fight or flight AI
  • Fixed great hunt achievement asking for too many animals
  • Fixed hut objects not registering in Stock panel
  • Fixed selection box not following walking human
  • Fixed humans not finding food inside huts when not already inside
  • Tweaked plant death animations
  • Fix not scrolling properly through tribe member list
  • Optimised water saturation
  • Optimised water flow calculation
  • Improved river generation algorithm
  • Animals no longer immediately drown in deep water
  • Fix resizing window causes loss of framerate limit and vsync
  • Fixed weather patterns starting on day 2 instead of day 1

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By |December 25th, 2015|GameDev|0 Comments

Tribal Relations and Alpha 11

For this update I’ve been mainly working on a major overhaul of the diplomacy system. I think it now fits in better with the direction the game is going, I’ll talk more about that in a moment.

20151122 GroupSleeping

In the previous system we had sending scouts off the map, and buttons to perform “Actions” like taunting or attacking other tribes. It was becoming very complex from a programming perspective, and I found it wasn’t very engaging from a gameplay perspective either. Sometimes you would order a person to go scout, they would have another more urgent desire along the way (like being attacked by an animal) and it would cause edge case AI problems that took ages to troubleshoot. The interface required for diplomacy missions would also have required a lot more work as more Actions were added. It started to feel like a separate system from the rest of the game, rather than an integrated part of it.

20151122 FightBear


So I threw that away, salvaged what was still useful and built a new mechanism for diplomacy with neighbouring tribes. It’s a two-stage system that I think is pretty unique. The first stage is Discovery. This is when your tribe doesn’t know about the existence of other tribes. You have to do certain things within your tribe for these foreign tribes to notice you and increase their discovery level.

Each foreign tribe has a set of ‘influencers’ that affects how quickly they discover your tribe. For example, one tribe might have smoke from fires as an influencer, so the more fires you start, the faster their discovery level increases. Another tribe could notice there are less animals in the area due to your overhunting and decide to investigate (well, they don’t actually investigate but their discovery level increases).

20151122 DiscoveryPanel

Note that all these influencers are tied to things you can affect on the game map. It builds on the core game mechanics like starting fires, hunting, etc which I think works way better than the previous system.


Once a tribe’s discovery level reaches 100%, the second stage commences. This is the relations stage. The influencers that previously affected a tribe’s discovery rate now affect how that tribe feels towards you. For example, let’s say the number of fires is an influencer in the Discovery stage. Does that tribe feel inspired by your control over such a force of nature, or threatened by your pyromaniac tendencies? This will affect whether they like you more, or hate you more.

20151122 RelationPanel

So that’s the big change in this update. I’ve also made various balance changes, visual improvements and the usual bug fixes. A full change log is listed below.

Alpha 11


  • Added x button to close management panels
  • Sort stockpile panel by most to least stuff
  • Add sleep vfx
  • Added flashing for notifications when they appear
  • Separated building menu into groups of buildings
  • Added raindrop animation
  • Added close window button to query panel
  • Add movement speed increase reward
  • Change blood layer into animation that slowly fades away
  • Number of relation influencers increases as discovery level increases

20151122 RainDrops


  • Achievement massacre wood requirement scales with prosperity
  • Achievement Great hunt scales with prosperity
  • In satisfying hunger, human will immediately seek food again if not fully satiated
  • Reduced food supply contribution to prosperity from 5 to 3
  • Reduced rate of influence shrinking when prosperity too low
  • Added ability to deconstruct buildings using extract button
  • Wild animals now avoid larger area around human influence
  • Cooked meat provides much more hunger revival than fruit
  • Overhauled foreign tribe discovery mechanics
  • Foreign tribes have 3 randomly selected discovery mechanisms
  • Overhaul relation modifiers with foreign tribes
  • Foreign tribe relations based on likes/dislikes from discovery
  • Improved raiding party AI behaviour

20151122 Sleeping


  • Fixed placing buildings task being cancelled by humans
  • Added cooldown for failed tasks so not constantly reattempting them
  • Properly space Objectives, active and news on right side depending on window size
  • Fixed various problems with notifications
  • Fixed if clicking on same notification twice, will not create another one of same type
  • Fix stockpile panel scroll button not working and add columns
  • Fixed human standing in water when idling and getting wet
  • Fix multiple humans going after the same piece of food
  • Fixed button array scrolling issue when over > 2 pages
  • Fixed crafting objects even without required materials
  • Fixed non-humanoid mammals not burning when on fire
  • Fixed great hunt objective completion not triggering
  • Fix not cooking some meats randomly
  • Fixed incorrect image for vfx when loading game
  • Fixed same reward choices all the time appearing
  • Fixed make object task failing due to unset position
  • Fixed crafting objects reset after Pokian abandons task
  • Removed redundant scout profession
  • Moved blood layer to between ground and object layer

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By |November 23rd, 2015|GameDev|0 Comments

New trailer and Alpha 10!

Introducing the first trailer for Tribe Of Pok:

Trailer Production

It’s amazing how long it takes to make a one-minute video. You have to plan out each scene, then go in-game and shoot it. Then you realise you need special debug functionality to capture the scenes you want, so you have to program those in. Luckily a few of the scenes happened naturally in the course of gameplay (and I happened to have a recent save handy so I could replay it over and over). Add in effects and overlays, and you end up with a good chunk of time taken.

It was an enjoyable learning experience, I think I might create a few more tutorial-type videos showing how to play the game. As for trailers, I probably won’t make another for a while unless an awesome idea grips me.


Of course this month wasn’t just spent making videos, there’s also been a few substantial changes to the game.

What’s New?

Animations have been improved using the animation system I implemented last month. Animals push and shove as they fight. Trees sprout into existence and fall over when they die. The good thing about this system is I can stretch, shrink, offset and transform existing images to create the illusion of movement/action without having to create lots of separate sprites. I can use mathematics to bounce, wiggle and shake objects which I’m more comfortable doing rather than blowing the budget on animations.


Some work was done on the new player experience as well. Tutorials pop up now to ensure the player doesn’t miss them, and I’ve also added more tooltips. One fairly big addition is tooltips for extracting, harvesting and butchering. When you hover over a hex with a designation active, the tooltip will tell you what the output will be if you assign a task there. E.g. click on the Extract designation, hover over a tree and it will list wood and twigs as the product. Once you’ve cut down the tree, hover over that same hex again and if there’s fertile ground, it will list grass as the product. The tooltips are context sensitive. Here we have an example of hovering over the same tree when Extracting vs Harvesting. You can see the different outputs depending on the context:


Here’s a full list of updates:


  • Added animation for living thing maturing
  • Added first pass of ruins on map as a resource
  • Animal spawning is now biome-specific
  • Added automatic settings for first time playing
  • Added scrolling and zooming acceleration
  • Added cloud particle effect
  • Added tutorial for stockpile window choices
  • Added tooltip when in extract and harvest mode for materials produced
  • Added tooltip for required materials to start fire



  • Implemented different species for foreign tribe members
  • Player can choose reward after completing objective
  • Changed displaying animal cooldown when fighting to displaying health
  • Replaced pierce, slash, blunt with just damage
  • Replaced individual protection with just armor
  • Reworked sprint and movement speed
  • Reformulated attack/defense calculation
  • When fighting on same hex, added goal for animal to move off cell if lighter than opponent
  • Change default starting families to 3
  • Add butcher button to sidemenu and remove from querypanel
  • Raw meat now produces two cooked meat
  • Flowing water increases plant death chance



  • Set up blackouts on diplomacy panel for tasks that can’t be done yet
  • Tutorial now pops up screen all the time
  • Fixed tooltip hidden under mouse cursor
  • Added cooldown for animal noises so not so repetitive
  • Fix gaps between tiles when zooming sometimes
  • Fixed constant sound repeat for news items
  • Fix fighting news report appearing and disappearing really quickly
  • Fixed camera slightly offset when zooming to locations
  • Blackout speed buttons when no meeting point set yet
  • Fixed mid-navigation path recalculation off by one
  • Smoothed out volume changes from scrolling around map
  • Fix combat arrows not following humans smoothly
  • Reward events panel now pops in front of normal events panel
  • Fixed animal leaders jumping around when they should be idling
  • Fix human getting distracted by animal when not actually scared of animal
  • Fixed navigation to adjacent square not possible in certain circumstances
  • Make save icon stay on screen longer
  • Fixed animal not drinking water when on top of it

By the way, the game is now also available via!

Twitter – ParsleyPWG
Website –

By |October 23rd, 2015|GameDev|0 Comments

Alpha 9: Huts, Objectives and Animations

New demo available!

The most exciting change in this update is the introduction of huts! You can now build huts out of wood or bone, depending on what is more readily available. Huts take many resources and a long time to build, so they are not essential to your tribe’s survival. If you want to play as if your tribe is nomadic, you can do so. However, huts have a large storage area and your Pokians will sleep in a hut if there is room.

20150914 Huts

Last update I introduced the first pass of an objectives system. In this update I’ve improved upon that. Requests can come from either your Pokians or foreign tribes (once they are discovered). If you complete the request, you gain a minor reward. This can be for example, everyone crafting faster for the next 48 hours. My favourite request at the moment is sacrificing an animal carcass at an altar.

20150914 Sacrifice

I’m always trying to think of new, fun objectives to implement. Also, I’ve changed the way fires light up the surrounding area so it’s softer and looks better. Wild fires also spread up to two hexes away, which means more FUN when things get out of control!

20150914 WildFire

Finally I’d like to mention animations! When plants spawn or die there is now a short animation that plays.

20150914 PlantAnimate

A full list of changes for Alpha 9 is below:

New Features:

  • Spawnable resources and plants is read from xml for each biome
  • Added huts and altar buildings
  • Reintroduced twigs object in wood category
  • Stockpile settings applicable to buildings
  • Tribe requests from Pokians are now in a panel under Tasks
  • Notification buttons darken when they have been viewed
  • Add tutorial for tribe requests panel
  • Added trading objective with foreign tribes
  • Added News section to the UI with various news items
  • Added option to limit framerate to 30 FPS for slow computers
  • Added news item when Pokian is fighting
  • Added functionality for rotating objects
  • Added animations for plants dying and sprouting


  • Humans will seek hut to sleep in if available
  • Add limit to how much huts can store
  • Allow plonking buildings without all required materials
  • Fuelling fires uses twigs now instead of logs
  • Include buildings in influence area in prosperity calculation
  • Added timer to objectives so they can expire
  • Improved resource deposit generator
  • Created herb bush for gathering edible herbs
  • Increased range of wild fire spread to 2 hexes
  • Halved flammability of plants
  • Burn carcass mission needs to be done at an altar
  • Reduced volume of carcasses by 2.0
  • Modified effective speed formula so heavy carcasses easier to carry
  • Added “Great Hunt” objective
  • Removed alert text from UI
  • Added object status ‘dead’
  • More dynamic calculation for plant deaths
  • Massively reduced tree growth in winter
  • Increased deterioration due to old age in all living things to 75%


  • Fixed human unable to get off hut once built
  • Changed map menu button for building to yellow
  • Added image icons for query panel action buttons
  • Humans can drop objects from adjacent cells now
  • Fixed humans exiting huts from incorrect cell
  • Disable deleting ability for primary objectives
  • Refactored object statistics in xml for better organisation
  • Added extra check to prevent duplicate possible requests
  • Fixed large building selection in building menu
  • Water transitions smoother
  • Fix loading game drawing clothing for off map humans
  • Fixed cancelling task while Pokian off map makes them disappear forever
  • Fixed human returning from trade mission dropping objects on edge of map
  • Fixed loaded game not remembering task’s required materials
  • Fixed scout going off map when not even on map edge
  • Fixed animations looking the same when game loaded
  • Fixed drawing clothing on animals twice
  • Fixed secondary light sources not displaying unless first light source displayed
  • Fixed cancelling stored object task not stopping Pokian from storing object
  • Fixed bed not recognised as building
  • Fixed changing meeting point causes bits of old meeting point to be left over
  • Fixed can’t bury humanoid carcass
  • Fixed rain noise volume was scaling based on humidity
  • Fixed disease symptoms sound effects playing when zoomed out
  • Reduced animal decision making frequency by 66% to improve performance
  • Fixed snowing and raining stopping every hour in winter
  • Fixed loading game food pit with unassigned stockpile reassigning stockpile

If you would like to support development you can purchase and play the Alpha or sign up to the newsletter

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By |September 15th, 2015|GameDev|0 Comments

Alpha 8 Update – Movement and Sprites

This update features smoother transitions for animal movements, changes to the way objects are displayed, an improved system for constructing buildings and a new plant generation algorithm.

The tough part in making smoother animal movements was in the way I was calculating movement. Previously if an animal decided to switch directions mid-movement, it could do that straight away. Now the animal needs to complete any movement it’s already started before it can change directions.

20150724 SmoothMoves

All objects placed out in the open now show up on screen at the same time. This makes it easier to see objects at a glance.

20150812 Objects

You can now select from multiple images for a single building where available. For example, building walls you can choose the orientation of each piece. The behaviour and underlying properties of the wall pieces will be the same.

20150803 Walls

Finally I’ve implemented a new plant generation algorithm. For each hex there is a chance of a tree or bush growing, which is checked regularly. If the check passes, then an allowable plant grows on that hex. The probability is affected by factors like amount of soil, fertility and water saturation of each hex. I’ve found this creates an interesting dynamic where plants are much more likely to grow right after it rains, when the soil is most saturated.

20150808 PlantGeneration

New Features

  • Custom mouse icon with option to turn it off
  • Items on the ground are smaller sized and randomly placed
  • Animals now move smoothly instead of jumping from one cell to another
  • Added ability to select different sprites for building walls
  • Task panel shows object sprites instead of only names
  • Added tutorial for diplomacy panel and foreign tribes
  • Tribe panel scrolling support for lots of tribe members


  • Added more mini-objectives
  • Animals now must complete movement to hex before starting movement to next hex
  • Removed teleporting water which was too CPU-intensive
  • Constructing walls now properly pushes other objects out of hex
  • Rebalanced water evaporation/saturation so puddles stay longer
  • Humans will not procreate unless there is enough prosperity relative to tribe size
  • Turned tree and bush growth calculation into fixed probability
  • Ground water saturation has greater effect on plant growth, massive growth after it rains


  • Fixed bug with task progress not set properly when halfway through task
  • Fixed starting game clicks on something immediately
  • Improved layout of diplomacy panel
  • Fixed direction switches partway through movement
  • Doubled default framerate to 60FPS
  • Fixed animals with unassigned factions not attacking eachother
  • Fixed crashing from adding task with no available materials
  • Fixed trying to build when not enough materials and added tooltip
  • Fixed infinite loop when scout going off map
  • Fixed human not disappearing when going off map
  • Fixed failed build task message appearing when actually successful
  • Fixed buildings not orientated properly when game loaded
  • Major optimisation of water calculations
  • Fixed task building not unreserving materials when not all materials found

If you would like to support development you can purchase and play the Alpha or sign up to the newsletter

Twitter – ParsleyPWG
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By |August 13th, 2015|GameDev|0 Comments