Here is the current main overview screen, which shows the six key areas:
There were 9 common areas for a player to move around (Overview, Kingdom, Fleet, City, Church, Tavern, Army, Subterfuge, Combat). While we accomplished our overall goal to compartmentalize the game into sections where like actions lived, it also introduced a navigation issue. For example, loading troops onto ships meant going from City, to Army, to Kingdom, to Fleet. We did add "jump" buttons to help but that was more of a bandaid as we could not add them everywhere.
We liked the overall structure, where like actions were grouped together, but we wanted to make it easier and more intuitive for players to move around. For 2.0 we grouped all functions around 2 areas: Kingdom and City. And we moved from "flat" buttons to a 3-D overview.
One interesting problem I discovered was after I added a certain number of prefabs to these new screens, the scroll speed of the map became unplayable. Using Unity's profiler, I discovered the CPU was thrashing on a task called "WaitingForJob" under the CanvasRenderer. I spent days on this issue, trying all of the suggestions. I was almost ready to chalk it up to a bug in Unity but by chance I tried one final suggestion: static game objects. From the official Unity manual:
Information about a Static (ie, non-moving) object can often be precomputed in the editor in the knowledge that it will not be invalidated by a change in the object’s position. For example, rendering can be optimised by combining several static objects into a single, large object known as a batch.
Finally, reducing the number of seasons by one had the desired effect of minimizing the time commitment required to play Conquest!. Jj conquered the Age in 18 days, which is about the right amount of time.
Sign up for the Conquest! mailing list here and follow the journey on Facebook or Twitter. Until next time, I hope to see you in the game.