## Dev Update #25: Karma, Notifications, and What's Next

Published on April 04, 2019 by Vas Vasinov

Build 0.17.0 of Eons of War is out on Steam with minor game mechanic changes and some polish work. Let’s dive right in!

### Karma

Prior to this update, the game didn’t have a negative feedback loop meaning that players with a stronger initial position and economy would likely come out on top at the end. The fundamental positive feedback loop—more locations mean more resources—is very similar to chess in the sense that the more pieces (or, in our case, resources) one player has the better off they are. It’s fine to have in some games but it could result in a pretty frustrating grand strategy game experience: being crushed by a stronger opponent often feels unfair after you’ve spent hours expanding and building your empire.

This update introduces a negative feedback loop called karma. Here’s how it works: when the player builds structures their karma goes up and if they attack or use weapons then their karma goes down. If karma is above 50% then it’s more likely that a positive random event will happen instead of a negative one. Higher karma also affects how much of player’s population survives during battles. If your karma is at 100% then you’ll get only positive random events and the maximum possible population will survive in all battles. The opposite is true for when your karma is 0%. Thus overly aggressive players get meaningfully handicapped and disadvantaged players have an opportunity for a come back.

### Notifications

In order to make the game more immersive we added overlay notifications that come up during some important events like the start of the game, discovery/colonization of new locations, and when the game is won or lost. Overlay notifications work as alerts in order to convey important information and engage players on a different level.

I can see this mechanism being used more in the future when we implement story-based missions. For now, the most useful application of this new UI mechanism is the ability to display short summaries about newly discovered locations with location and race descriptions as well as several key location properties like mass, the amount of minerals, luminosity, and attitude.

### What’s Next

Over the next two weeks we’ll be focusing on rewriting the AI engine from scratch and doing more balancing. This is an exciting development that will contribute to the success of beta 2.0 starting at the end of April. I will post another announcement with the beta launch date at some point soon.

Now, back to work! :)