Just came back to Universim after about 18 months away (now that it's finally in a state that makes it playable for more than a few hours)
My first playthrough has been reasonably successful. Upgraded Farms, Fisheries, Hospital and Water facilities (pumps, wells and reservoir) Three upgraded Engineer huts finally starting to keep up with building repairs. No problem with running out of food or water, plenty of building materials. Population got to around 180 or so with regular births and a steady stable growth. Looking pretty good.
Around year 80-90 things have started to go wrong.
Old age is kicking in for the early generations and I'm losing a few nuggets every year. This is fine and easily outpaced by population growth, my problem is the bodies. The damn things always die in the middle of thoroughfare's or buildings, so infection spreads rapidly. The Gravedigger is super slow to collect bodies (incidentally is the red ring around the Graveyard when placing it, the radius of effect? Is that the area the gravedigger will collect from or will they go anywhere there's a body?)
The only solution I can find is to launch the bodies into orbit, but my "god points" are so slow to regenerate and I receive so few that I am unable to keep pace with the deaths. My population seem reasonably happy, the temple/alter/godspire thingy is tall and green and looks like it's pretty far evolved so I think my people should have decent faith. The bodies zooming into the sky give people the white shock/scare face icon but this seems to do little or nothing to increase faith. Healing miracles are also doing nothing for my faith accrual.
It hit a feedback loop last night where the corpses caused too many infections, the infected started dying, which caused more bodies and infections and it got to the point where I lost about 30 nuggets over the course of a few minutes. I don't have enough God points to move them all, the gravedigger is useless and the hospital can't keep up with infections. Likewise not enough points to heal the infections myself. I can see this spiraling into a major dieback pretty quickly, if not complete extinction.
I'll let it play out a bit longer and see if it stabilizes. Otherwise my previous save is about 10 years prior so I may load that and buid a couple extra graveyards and hospitals (I only have one of each) see if that heads it off.
Questions (both specific and general):
1 - How do you increase Faith and accrual of God points? (I've only had two quest-mails: one to "find my lost child" which I screwed up by accidentally dropping the kid from a great height, and the other to "punish my enemy" which I skipped as I am going for a benevolent path) Random miracle healings seem to do little for inspiring awe, telekinesis just uses points without seeming to generate more... whats the trick to this God business?
2 - Whats the best way to manage the dead and diseased? Do you need multiple graveyards and hospitals? With a huge population I have lots of nuggets working as labourers so I can easily afford more facilities, just need to upgrade the water supply. Do they need to be scattered around to cover a wider range? Do graveyards have an area of influence?
3 - Unrelated but curious - are the oceans the only source of water? They are large but I can see them running out long before I would reach the modern age. My oceans average from 1.5 - 3 million and I've already drained at least 500,000 from one of them after less than a century. Will the devs be implementing a water cycle or similar so that rain and storms refill the oceans? I mean a planet is a closed system so you shouldn't actually run out of water, it should eventually return to the oceans.
4 - Do stone and or wood re-spawn or are these fixed resources? I would assume wood is renewable with proper management. Surface stone would run out and then you'd need mines/quarries? Hopefully quantities of these non-renewable resources (and metal, oil and gas later in the game) are high enough to last through to the eventual space age? If the ultimate aim is to manage multiple planets in a Nugget Galactic Empire, there' needs to be sufficient resources to last the long time frames, or options for recycling etc.
5 - Is there any plan to improve the tech tree? It seems very haphazard that you only get to choose from four or five random research topics at a time and there's no path or plan to follow. It would be great to view a tech tree and get some idea of where research is heading.
6 - Any plan to streamline the menu's and tooltips and pop-ups - make them a little smaller and cleaner? I love the look of the game with the cartoony feel but when a nugget's status window takes up 1/4 of the screen it's a bit distracting. I really like how Banished played this, allowing you to resize and relocate status windows and pin them to the view - it made population and building management a lot easier to keep track of.
7 - While I (again) like the cartoony style, the build area for structures (at least in the stone age) is rather large and huts in particular take up a lot of empty space. That combined with Nuggets randomly building wherever they want leads to very sprawled out settlements. Hopefully this is either streamlined in future patches, or maybe in later ages, buildings get smaller and allow for more crowding and modern population squeeze.
8 - Finally I would love the opportunity to control time a little better? The slowest/default speed is still pretty fast, especially later when population grows and notifications begin to spam more frequently. It's would be nice to slow things down a little for better micro management. Even more so, the inability to do anything when time is stopped makes this even harder. You're unable to queue buildings or upgrades when time stops, and you can't sufficiently manage all the little tasks as time moves on so quickly. Either a super slow option, or the ability to pause and still interact and "do things" when paused would alleviate this, especially in late game when complexity arises and you end up with large populations, complicated settlements or ... eeek... multiple planets!!
Really enjoying the game, it's a nice cross between Banished and Black & White. Development is proceeding well and I can see it getting better and better.