Just a quick update that will inevitably turn into a comprehensive one because historically in blog posts I’m incapable of brevity. First of all, the title. The Move is about two moves; the one Mike is currently suffering through and the other is a recent discussion we had to move the game away from idle game tropes and give STL the unique persistence other idle games rarely follow.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Mike has been in the process of moving and the only thing more fun than moving is doing it in 100 degree heat, so that’s pretty fun. He’s mostly settled in but hasn’t had a lot of time to hit the punch list we’ve been building but he will be in the near future. The punch list covers almost everything mentioned in the aforementioned post with the exception of a new concept we’ve been throwing around recently regarding upgrades: they’re dumb and we don’t like the way they work.
Upgrades is one of the oldest systems if not the oldest system we built, which shouldn’t be surprising considering one of the defining characteristics of an idle game is an upgrade system. It was based on a simple loop: drive for cash, use cash for upgrades, drive faster to earn more cash.
While this works on a fundamental level, the problem is once you level up aka ascend, earn prestige, etc you lose your hard-earned cash and your upgrades reset. This is very common with idle games and while it made sense in the beginning it no longer flows with the rest of the game. You maintain your parts, paints, scrap, scrapyard upgrades, badges/badge points, crates, fleet status, and everything else, but your cash and upgrades are just gone. This requires a newly leveled player to earn a few bucks all over again, stop at the truck stop, upgrade their truck, and get back on the road. It’s just not fun. It feels like a chore and losing your progress feels like a kick in the lugnuts, especially if you leveled up with millions (or billions) in your wallet.
With that in mind, we’re going to make cash and upgrades persistent. Every upgrade and cent you earn should be persistent/permanent and once we discussed the details it immediately felt like a huge improvement over the current system. We want players to feel powerful, accomplished, and like every investment or earned currency is theirs to keep and reap the rewards. With a cash/upgrade wipe every level, it’s antithetical to that goal and the one system in the game that doesn’t follow the overarching STL philosophy: winning. There’s no gas meter. Your parts don’t have durability. We put in a recycle bin instead of a trash can. Paints don’t slowly peel off your truck. Buffs are nothing but positive. Weather doesn’t slow you down. Your truck doesn’t explode every 10 minutes. Every system has a reward. Even rewards have rewards like badge points accumulated for earning badges. We put idle progression inside of idle progression with the Fleet and Scrapyard. It’s idleception. You level up and you unlock new recipes, buffs last longer, you go faster, better parts appear, your paint inventory is getting ridiculous and seriously can you just like smash some of them you’re killing our servers. But the point is all of that feels super rewarding and then all of the sudden f*ck you your upgrades are gone and you’re poor as shit. Not fun.
Granted, that means that upgrade accumulation will slow down since you’ll be keeping upgrades between levels. The trade off of course is that they’re yours forever, and your truck will never get slower even if temporarily. Upgrades will feel more valuable and worth the investment. Cash will become a savings account instead of a temporary voucher that expires when you level up.
Anyways, updates will keep coming and the game will keep improving. Mike is even working on an offline version of the game but I probably shouldn’t have said that because it’s in its infancy and we don’t even know for sure if it’s possible and now it’s too late because my delete key is broken and Mike is mad at me I hope you’re happy.
Dan & Mike