Industries of Titan AMA #1 with Andy Nguyen

25th November 2020

Every Friday for the last few weeks, Industries of Titan’s Lead Designer, Andy Nguyen, has joined players in our Discord to answer all your community questions! If you have questions of your own, go ahead and leave them in the #titan-ama channel, and Andy will answer it next Friday! The date of this AMA was November 6, 2020.

Design Questions

How much has the vision of the game from the beginning of the project changed into what it currently is planned to become?

The original prototype was made in 2D, and back then it had a lot of minor differences. For example, there were no Citizens. Titan only had Workers. We split this into 2 groups during development because we wanted to tell the story about the peoples’ lives of Titan as well as the story about the workers you control. They are vastly different groups and they have different goals.

For the most part though, the original vision is maintained very closely.  Most of the changes we do are the result of having a better understanding of what Titan needs to be as we build it and watch people play it. For example, we didn’t have Advisors in the prototype, but we created them to help people learn how to play Titan. It was also a way to build out Titan’s lore better.

What’s your overall design philosophy for the gameplay systems in IoT?  What are your focuses in terms of making mechanics to create the experience you’re trying to create?

Titan’s goal is to have many gameplay systems, but also to have those individual systems be simple to understand. The goal is then to have the systems intersect with as many other systems as possible. For example, our Power System is used to power devices which are used to enable combat and buildings. Power requires Fuel to generate, which is dependent on the map’s generation. The intersection of these gameplay systems creates a string of dependencies, which we think creates emergent gameplay.

What has been your biggest development hurdle so far, and what do you think will be the biggest hurdle you’ve yet to resolve in the development of Titan?

Our biggest development hurdle is more like an ongoing process.  A lot of games in the simulation/strategy genre have either bigger teams or longer development cycles.  We only have 3 full time programmers, which limits how many features we can implement. Our art overhead is also higher compared to other indie games in this genre and we strive to maintain that high fidelity since it is core to our original vision. This means that features will come out slower than we want. With expectations for the genre being so high, it places a lot of pressure on us.

Fortunately, we have a strong idea of what we want as a team, and we will waste little time iterating. We know what we have to do and it’s just a matter of time till we do it.

What influenced your decision to choose Unreal as the technology to build Titan with?

The goal was to make a game that could match Antoine’s artistic vision for the world as closely as possible. Unreal was the best tool for the job. Check out his Twitter if you want to see examples of the kind of worlds he’s built in MagicaVoxel.

Future Gameplay Questions

What is the purpose for Factories once I build a City?

The Factories were always intended to have a primary purpose, but that purpose isn’t in the game yet. Their purpose is specific to a gameplay system that you will need Factories for. It has to do with the processing of resources.

When will we have to refine things and will there be more buildings for it?

We don’t have an ETA on it yet, but refining is what the Factories are for.

Will there be a way to place bridges?

We originally planned to have a system where you can choose where to place your bridges across roads, but we ran out of time during that milestone. The feature itself requires some significant considerations. For example, we need to have a system in place that notifies you where bridges need to be built, otherwise you can build situations where your workers get stuck with no bridges. We were worried about this increasing the occurrences of workers not moving, so we postponed it until a later date.  The current “auto-bridge” system is designed in such a way to prevent any instance of isolated workers. I think if we get to our Manual Bridge placement system, it would be something that advanced players will have to opt-in to, rather than being the default.

Will the ability to be able to bridge over crevices/sinkholes/lakes etc. be a thing?

Yes, we have talked internally about buildings that let you cross crevices, lakes, etc. We have also talked internally about methods to allow players to terraform Titan so they can craft the perfect city. These features are lower in priority though, since we are prioritizing other key gameplay systems.

In the future will it be possible to fill up crevices?

We plan to explore terraforming options at some point, but we also want to explore the ability to dump waste down the crevices.

Are there plans for different types of armed vehicles? Say, armored transport trucks or tanks or something of the sort.

The 2 types of vehicles we have planned currently are Population vehicles so Citizens can get to work faster, and Trucks as you see them now. Ground Combat vehicles are not on our current scope because our existing combat itself is missing several key gameplay systems we want to get to first.

Will there be other types of ships?

One of the ideas we have discussed is the ability to transfer Fuel from or to your ships. This would mean you could build a Fuel Fabricator Ship, fly it over a Crevice to generate high efficiency fuel, then unload it into a Fuel Tank in your City. Support for non-combat ships is being considered in other ways as well, but it’s too soon to talk about. We also have plans to let your ship explore outside your HQ area, but that would only be once Rebel Turrets work. Otherwise you could fly around freely and nothing would stop you.

What about different types of defensive and offensive buildings?

100%. We have planned for an alternative to your Flak Cannon turret that will use the stored Energy in your batteries to destroy your enemies. The more stored Energy, the stronger the weapon (you may have seen this in WIP Wednesdays). We also have plans for a city version of the Shield Device so you can create a shield dome around your city. We have discussed other types of weaponry as well, but it’s too soon to talk about those. The goal is each type of weaponry or defensive building provides a different take on how you approach combat.

Combat floors pls.

Oh right, each HQ and Command Center has an additional floor called a Combat Floor, which operates similar to the interior of a ship.  You can outfit it with lasers and other devices to defend that area from enemies.

Will the energy usage for those turrets be on a slider to vary energy usage/damage? Or will it be a set input output?

If your goal is to manage the energy consumption of this turret, then you should split it off onto it’s own Energy grid, otherwise it will leech energy from everything it is attached to.

Oh, so it will just spew ALL connected energy out the front at some unlucky rebel…?

Yes, it fires until it has no targets or no energy.  So you might blackout your city if you are not careful.

Will we ever be able to create multiple cities and control them at the same time?

Currently, there are no plans to support multiple instances of cities. If we did do this, I don’t believe we could support simulating all of them simultaneously.  However, we do plan to have multiple cities within a given map, controlled by AI.

When are we going to be able to attack the enemy ?

Hopefully soon.  We are taking a break from Combat because we did 3 milestones with Combat, and recent polls have shown that people want more Quality of Life features and stability right now, so that is our current focus.  When we return to Combat, we will add Combat vs. Buildings, which would allow you to take over Rebel camps by destroying them, rather than annexing them as you currently do.

Rebels won’t be easy though.  They have turrets as well.

Are rebel camps going to get a defensive buff when that happens as they tend to only have 1 turret right now?

We will revisit Rebel camps to make them tougher, but we also want to make them grow over time. They currently stay static, but they should really develop alongside you. We also want to implement the basic systems requirements as well. So Rebel turrets will also require a Power Plant, Fuel Fabricator, etc. This means you can strategically approach an enemy city, much like how you do in combat.

Will there be something like an “Ongoing attack” window? 

This is a neat idea.  It is something we could consider communicating better.  If there are no Rebels attacking you, the game could be more clear about the attack being over.

Is there potential for some kind of large energy-hog device for ships that locates Min/Iso Nodes in the fog of war? 

There’s currently no plans for this, but if we did do something like this, we would make it be part of the system.  Like a device you had to outfit your ship with that requires Power and has a limited ping range.

Lore Questions

When will you uncover a new faction?

We will begin developing the new faction and revealing more of their lore once we feel like the Landfaller Faction feels complete.  This means all the Landfaller systems have to be in the game.  We are currently missing Population Simulation, and the consequences of when you fail to keep your Population happy.

What’s at the bottom of the crevices? And can I drop a worker with a go pro down one?

This is part of the secrets of the world that will come to light more in the future.

Any plans for internal strife among the Advisers á la Kane & Seth?

There’s plans for interactions and story for the Advisors. But in terms of rivalry, Bahar and Alexa (named after our QA testers) are on opposing sides.

Will be any big history with the old civilization and why they failed?

Yes, we have a history about the prior civilization and we know why they failed.  For now it is being kept a mystery, but more information will emerge once we implement more narrative elements into the game, like events and the ability to talk to your Advisors.

General Questions

Will the game eventually have multiplayer?

While this is something we are open to and have discussed internally, it is currently not part of our projected plans.  The reason is because the single player game itself needs more time to complete and we want to focus on making that the best experience possible.  Once we reach that point, if there is interest in multiplayer, we will revisit the possibility, but it is not an easy feature to add.

Please can you put modding support in?

This is asked a lot and we support the idea of modding.  It will take time off our plate to implement, so we are focusing on gameplay currently.  If we do support modding, it will most likely come in stages.  For example, supporting art modding before gameplay, or vice versa.

Will other languages be supported?

Yes, we have plans to localize the game officially. We even have a company that will work with to get these translations done professionally.  It will take time to get all the languages, as well as a lot of QA.  Additionally, not all the text is currently in the game, so we need to figure out the scope of translation first.  In the meantime, we have continued support for fan translations to tide you over, and there’s links to our forums to help find and support fan translations.

Any chance to translate the game into other languages?

Any help with fan translations is appreciated. There is a link on the forums about how to help and you can upload your translation there for others to discover. At some point, we will release official translations.