Solaria - minimalist solarpunk city builder (WIP)

Hi all! Thought I’d share my in-progress city builder project, basically because I’m proud of myself so far. Introducing Solaria, the minimalist solarpunk city builder where the city builds itself!

This is my first time working with Godot (came over from Unity during Summer) and it’s been quite the learning curve especially since I ignored everyone’s recommendations and went straight in with Godot 4. I’d also only ever tried 3d once before, for a game jam, so naturally when deciding on a plan for my first “real” game a brand new engine and a 3d concept made perfect sense!

Here’s progress so far, as you can see it’s early days but I think it’s coming together nicely.

So far the biggest struggle was citizen navigation, I’d somehow avoided doing any AI pathfinding despite game devving for three years. But with a bit of help from Mastodon and a LOT of trial and error, we got there in the end!

Currently embroiled in the boring part where you have to take all the fun systems you’ve made, and actually string them together into a game. But it’s all planned out…perhaps a bit too much lol.

Hopefully I’ll have a lot more updates to add to this thread as we go, but if you prefer visual devlogs here’s the first one:

More videos soon although my plans got derailed a bit by catching covid. Such is life.

You can also find me on:

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Welcome! :slight_smile: I also started with Godot just recently and also jumped right into 4.x. I must say, I like it a lot. Only the Web-Export has some issues on iOS/macOS, but apart from that, I have a blast (mainly using Unreal or Custom Engines).

I’m not very familiar with Unity, so I wonder, are things very different comparing Unity and Godot? From my Unity-noob-perspective I had the impression that Unity and Godot are similar, but it seems, I was very wrong about that? Would love to learn more about the differences.

Your game looks super nice and I love solar-punk! <3

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Thank you!

I definitely like a lot about Godot in comparison to Unity but there are some major differences. Obvious one is I’m working in GDScript which is pretty different to C#, but I always hated C# so that’s fine by me haha.

One thing I always really appreciated in Unity was how easy it was to just see what was going on in a scene. The lack of live scene view in Godot honestly makes debugging a lot more difficult for a visual person like myself. I’m learning to work around it but still miss it a lot. The heavy reliance on strings and node hierarchy is also something that still feels a bit questionable.

Other than that it’s just a question of their different approaches really. When I realised you could only add one script per node in Godot it blew my mind a little bit but it just requires a bit of a tweak to your thinking :slight_smile:

Of course, as payment for missing out on the things I loved about Unity, I now have an editor that doesn’t randomly reload scripts for 40 seconds every time I make the tiniest single change. So I’ll take it!

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Oh, I didn’t know that in Unity you could add more than 1 script to a node. Sounds nice!

Hm…I’m not sure how equal it is to the live view, but in Godot you can move nodes around WHILE the game is running and you can see it 1:1. I used it to place things on parallax layers which is a pain in the editor as the parallax offset will move them to totally different places ingame. But I just had the game running, flew to the location where I wanted my node, moved it, done! I was very impressed that such live update was possible.

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Yeah it’s not really anywhere close in Godot but that’s ok. I will overcome, and you should never check out the Unity version in case you can never unsee how useful it is :wink:

Anyway. Plan is now to spend way too much time rewriting all the logic for my citizens, because the first version is precarious and crap. So no need to see anything at all for a while, I shall be living in code!

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The game looks very clean, I saw some updates in Mastodon and it got my attention. Keep doing this great work! Also, glad you joined Godot community!

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It seems a great Game! did you ever play SimCity? graphics from the game is well made! Games like that seems to be challenger! Hope for more pictures and details about your game! Happy a good day dev!

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Hey, yeah I know you! Have run into so many Mastodon peeps on here already lol, it’s a small world :smile:

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Thanks! I looooved SimCity as a kid, used to spend entire weekends engrossed in the SNES version. Sadly you’re right and a proper in-depth city builder is way too complex for a solo dev to make in a reasonable timeframe, but it’s a fun challenge to try and figure out what genre tropes can be scaled down, replaced or left out entirely to end up with a much more achievable scope.

Lots more detail coming asap I just had to finish getting over COVID first :sob:

I love the aesthetic of the game. Maybe instead of plain blue background, you can put some subtle texture like it’s done in Civilization games with fog of war

Love this concept!

Just checking this conversation, have you checked the @tool annotation? It makes changes in your code visible in the editor. Not sure if would work exactly the same as in Unity.

Thanks! Yeah I’ve tried a few things with the background and none of them have quite stuck yet but I shall persevere. Definitely do love the textured everything of Civ, so good shout there :+1:

(this very belated response brought to you by the holidays and super well-timed illness :tired_face:)

Well I am mostly recovered from Covid and finally getting life back on track*. Which means, the first full devlog video is out! With bonus random goats. (PeerTube version here)


And the most exciting part (for me at least) is that Solaria now also has a Steam page, which is making me feel like an actual proper gamedev with a real game on her hands. So that’s nice.


Everything on there is very early days but having it up probably won’t hurt, and if it does that’ll be an interesting thing to learn! We shall see :smiley:

Anyway. One of my favourite things about devlogs is seeing ideas develop right from the very beginning. So on that note I’ve been looking back at the first 31 days of commits on the project and how I got from essentially nothing, to deciding on an aesthetic and feeling a lot more confident about both my skill level and also the general direction of the game.

Some recommended resources from my journey so far:

In the next devlog I’ll be getting past my initial baby steps into Godot and able to dive more into the techicalities of bringing the world to life with citizens, which was a lot more difficult than I’d hoped it would be.

Onwards and upwards!

* Honestly this illness has been no joke. Mask up, kids.

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Super cool devlog. What’s the name of the little elephant? I also like that you post on peertube as well <3

Thank you! Of course, gotta support the Fediverse. Now we just need to convince more devloggers to mirror their channels over :smiley:

I expected to be updating this thread more often (not to mention more frequent videos) but I think that was the optimistic outlook plague-recovery-timeline-wise, alas. Still, getting there slowly but surely.

The elephant actually is unnamed, which now I say it is very unusual for me! Maybe I’ll have to ask people for their suggestions in the comments next time…hmm. Any ideas? :thinking:

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“phanty!” #CreativeOverdose :smiley:

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This was a fun dev log, I appreciate your tone and pacing. Thanks for sharing!

I always enjoy seeing how other developers approach and tackle things that I’ve navigated myself - hex grids can be an adventure! When I first tackled them, I went looking for other implementations to see how my first pass compared to what else was out there, and came across Red Blob Games’ super comprehensive article on the topic. It didn’t change my approach, but it gave me some peace of mind and helped me have better understanding of some things I’d end up needing to handle later in development.

Also, sorry to hear you’ve been unwell. I hope your path through recovery is as smooth and uneventful as it can be.

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Thanks for watching, and for the recommendation! I was actually pointed to that Red Blob Games blog a while back to learn about pathfinding and have devoured a ton of content since, it’s amazing isn’t it! Their descriptions are the absolute best. Definitely helps you understand the “why” of things.

Feeling a lot better these last couple of weeks, ta, I will not be defeated :slight_smile:

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