Official announcements and important news
In this thread we will inform you about the latest developements regarding Catan Universe. Special or short dated relevant topics will be posted in discrete threads.
The Early Access phase of Catan Universe has now been running for 5 weeks. We’d like to use this opportunity to summarize where we are standing now and what we are planning with regard to the next development steps
As mentioned before, Catan Universe is developed not as a successor to PlayCatan but as a completely new product. However, we understand that you’re still missing many features and content that you know from PlayCatan.
Furthermore, this new game – which is constantly being worked on and improved – does not yet meet your expectations with regard to both comfort and ease of use.
These two issues are inevitable during an Early Access. Nevertheless, we want to enable you to provide your feedback even at this early stage of development. The earlier we get in touch with you, the more of your ideas and comments can be included in the further development of the game.
During the next few weeks, we will focus on integrating many of your suggestions. As mentioned before, the most important issues are:
- Optimize the animations in order to accelerate the gameplay in general.
- Shorten the navigation through menus, as well as accelerate and improve the trading system.
Together with you, we will use the Early Access phase to continuously improve Catan Universe during further development. We’d like to use this opportunity to thank all players and testers for their valuable feedback via our forums!
As we want to invest some more time into further optimizations, and despite the progress we’re currently making, Catan Universe will stay in Early Access for some more time.
What we learned from your feedback as well is that many of you would like to continue playing your favorite game the way you used to do so far. We therefore decided jointly with our partners at Catan GmbH that we take over both operations and service and restart PlayCatan to run along the Early Access phase of Catan Universe. You’ll be able to play on PlayCatan until the official release of Catan Universe.
Over the next few days, we’ll jointly work with our colleagues from Catan GmbH to lay both the technical and organizational foundations in order to bring PlayCatan back online during this transitional period and under the new conditions.
We’re currently planning to restart the servers on February 18th, 2016.
From this day on, all PlayCatan users who are currently registered will be able to log in using their old account data and to access the complete content of PlayCatan free of charge until the end of the Early Access phase of Catan Universe.
The conditions of the recent extension period apply, i.e. new registrations for PlayCatan will not be possible.
In the Catan Universe forums, we will set up a separate sub-forum for PlayCatan.
We’re looking forward to getting more comments on Catan Universe over the upcoming weeks. Your feedback helps us bring Catan Universe into its next development stage, and create a great game based upon your input!
We’ve been busy the last months working on the game and adding new features as well as revising old ones, e.g. the new trade system.
You can read up about these changes here: https://forum.catanuniverse.com/topic/1504/new-trade-and-further-improvements
Or experience them first hand in the game!
We’ll continue to enhance the game experience of Catan Universe until we feel the game is ready for launch. Thanks to your and our test player’s feedback, we’ve identified other areas where will focus on in the next weeks:
We’re currently working on improving the build menu and process. For this we’re going to add a so called “Quick-Build” overlay that will allow you to build and upgrade context-sensitive directly on the game board.
In the meantime we’ll also continue to refine and improve the computer opponents. Also we are working on social aspects of the game like “Black-list” to keep the game as fun as possible for everyone.
Regarding platforms, we’re currently working on the updated mobile user interface and menu and will share some previews in the upcoming weeks.
For now we’d like to thank everybody for playing and providing feedback! The thousands of games played each day along with your comments really help us to improve and further develop Catan Universe!
In this post we want to present to you the biggest changes for the upcoming update_16. Our developers used the last weeks to implement new features that enhance the gameplay experience of Catan Universe. Games will be faster, more intuitive to play and the number of finished games should increase noticeably.
As mentioned in earlier posts, the latest changes to the building system were the first step to an overall redesign of the way you can build in Catan Universe. In update_16 you will be able to build directly on the game board without clicking on the single game pieces in your “building screen”. Depending on the location you click on the system will automatically give you every option there is, including the costs of these options. We had lots of fun with it during our test sessions and we are confident that Quick-Build will speed up the gameplay overall noticeable.
We are very eager to hear you feedback once you are able to test it yourself.
Please note that you will still be able to click on the single pieces on the bottom of your screen if you want to build something. Quick-Build is just another option to build something in the game.
Multiplayer games can be finished with one player left
We received a lot of feedback regarding the issue that players wanted to finish games even though all other human players had left the game. Starting with update_16 this will be possible. You are free to decide if you want to finish or forfeit the game once your last human opponent has left a game. If you decide to finish it you will be rewarded the same way you are as if you had finished a game against the AI. We will keep on observing the situation of abandoning games closely and are willing to tweak even more.
You won´t receive trade proposals by the AI in single player games if you cannot accept them
This is also a feature we included due to the feedback we got from you guys. On the one hand it is important to know what your opponents want to trade. This information is important for e.g. the use on a monopoly card or it gives hinds towards the strategy another player pursues. But on the other hand we understand that it can be frustrating to receive multiple trade offer by the AI you can´t even match. Therefore we got rid of them. Our internal tests have shown that this makes games against the AI much faster and it provides an overall smoother gameplay.
Wildcard Trade with AI
With the changes in the trading system we presented the Catanians the Wildcard trade. You are able to propose your opponents a trade with only one resource selected. Each player can decide what we wants you to trade that resource for. With update_16 the Ai now is able to react to those trade offers as well. This will speed up the trading process with the AI.
New arrangement of in game UI elements
We were listening to you Catanians and rearranged some of the UI elements in the in game Scene and optimized it for the use on a Desktop PC. With Update_16 you will have a chat window which that is always displayed on the lower left corner of your screen. You can switch between the guild and the in game chat there and you are also able to display the game log there to keep track of every single move of your opponents. On top of this window you will find the trade, the no trade offer and the options button.
The new arrangement will improve not only the user experience but also lets you more easily interact with your fellow Catan players.
More information about special rules and VP for the scenarios
We received feedback that Catanians often didn´t exactly knew what scenario they were playing and how many VPs they had to gain to win. With update_16 you will be able to look up this info in the Option in game and you will get an overview of special rules before starting the game by clicking on the “?” in the scenario browser. The special rules can of course also be found in the option section in game.
ELO lists and browsing ability
Update_16 will bring ELO lists for every expansion. You will be able to search for your friends, the best players out there and also the best guilds. We are very eager to see who is top of the list once we published update_16!
We also included many other different things into the game but these are the biggest changes to the game. We hope you will also like the other stuff you will find.
And no worries, we also did our fair share of bug fixing! Currently reported Bugs like the roadbuilding development card and reconnect issues should be resolved with update_16.
When will you be able to get your hands on update_16
Edit: The Update is now avaibale!
did you read the official developers Letter#1? You should check it out to get a sneak peak behind the scene:
A specials thanks to @The-Denz for taking the time and kicking it off!
check out the Developer_Letter#2 including the stories @The-Denz has to tell about the ongoing quest which is called bugfixing: https://forum.catanuniverse.com/topic/1994/developer-letter-02
You want to meet the people who are working on Catan Universe? You are by any chance visiting the “Spiel” in Essen? Just visit us at the Kosmos booth in Halle 3 Stand 3-B112. We will be there on Thursday 10.13.2016.
We are looking forward to meet our fellow Catanians!
Are you by any chance in Munic this week? Meet us at the Spielwies´n in Munich: http://www.spielwiesn.de/sw
On 11.04 we are at the Kosmos booth right next to the Catan area.
See you on the fair
Update_19 is now live. Check out the latest patchnotes here: https://forum.catanuniverse.com/topic/930/catan-universe-patchnotes_en/14
The report-function has been in use for a few weeks now and we’d like to give you an update on how we address reports and how players violating the terms of service (ToS) will be sanctioned.
Quitting and stalling the game on purpose will also be addressed by various measures in both matchmaking and the calculation of ELO and karma values shortly. We’ll explain these changes in a separate topic.
A similar approach is also used when dealing with players who are reported for quitting or stalling games. Due to the nature of online games (connection issues, real-life matters that cause players to miss a turn once in while etc.) , first-time violations will not be sanctioned right away, unless it’s evident from the report and corresponding game log that this was clearly intentional. Players abusing the system repeatedly, e.g. using quitting or stalling in a strategic matter or to disrupt the game or to harass other players, will receive a timed ban first and might be banned permanently if reported and warned/banned multiple times.
Last but not least please keep in mind that the report function is not intended to report players that employ a competitive playstyle or just a playstyle different from your own. For example it’s not mandatory to use the robber on the player in the lead. In fact it might be better to use it to try to steal needed resources if there’s a good chance to get them from other players. If someone does not want to trade, there’s no reason to report him. Please don’t misuse the report-function: Every time our team has to sort out reports like this, they could be dealing with more important reports that need addressing. So please ask yourself before reporting a player: Is this really something that the support-team should deal with? Is this something that I would deem fair if I would be reported for? If yes, please let us know. Otherwise you might just block the respective player and continue.
We hope this post makes it easier for you to understand our practice regarding the reports you file.
News about the upcoming update and the account reset!
We have entered the final of our internal tests stage for the long awaited update for Catan Universe.
For this update we refactored a lot of the game itself and mechanics that lie beneath the surface.
In order to let the new mechanics work properly we will have to reset the player statistics and the player progress. In this post we want to give you a heads up about what you can expect when logging in to the game after the Update is released.
Wiped Stats and Progress:
- Player level (you will be starting at Level 1)
- Karma and the Karma history
- Game Statistics (Games won, favoured expansion)
- Unlocks from the shop
- Avatar customizations
We do understand that this may raise some questions so we prepared a little FAQ about the reset:
Q: Will I be able to play the expansions in the latest update?
A: Yes! We will provide every User with enough Catan Gold to unlock every expansion in the game including special customization options. Simply unlock them in the Shop.
Tip: Unlock the Big Bundle and the Avatar Bundle to get the best value for your coin
Q: Will my friend list be empty after the update?
A: No your friend list as well as your block will not be affected by the Update
Tip: Befriend your fellow guild members before the update since the guilds will be affected by the reset
Q: My Guild is gone after the update. What to do?
A: The privilege to found a guild is now unlocked when you reach level 10!
Tip: As a guild leader please contact us here in the forums via PM @administrators or via email@example.com and we will boost your account the required level to found a guild. Please also include in the request the Name of the guild. You can send your requests right away! (even before the release of the update)
We hope you will enjoy the next update, we are very axcitet to get your feedback on this
Our developers worked hard over the last moths to implement some Key features to reward players to finish games and penalize those who quit prematurely or stall games intentionally. These were by far the most requested or commented topics we received, esp. in the player reports.
In this post we want to present to you what these so called player specific penalties are and what you can expect with the upcoming update.
As soon as the update is available for you we will start a feedback topic to pick your brains about the latest improvements and changes.
Let’s start with the turn timer:
- The turn timer is now visible all the time during the turns. It is visualised around the button on the lower right side of your screen
- For testing purposes we have set the timer to 60 seconds in Auto and Free-Matches (we are awaiting your feedback on that in the feedback topic)
- If a player doesn´t react in a timely manner to actions in the game and the timer for this action runs up he/she will get a waring. After the third warning the Player will be automatically kicked from the game. He/she will not be rewarded with EXP and the ELO will be calculated as we will talk about later in this post.
- We also adapted the timers for certain actions like the time you have to answer a trading-offer by an AI in Multiplayer. The time limit here is now set to 10 seconds.
Updated and improved User interface (UI) and user experience (UX):
To avoid the turn timer running out because the player doesn´t know what or why he/she has to do something, we implemented various improvements of the UI and UX
The robber pop-up and similar elements were exchanged by new so called “badges”. These are prominent visual aids that will pop up (and fade out) automatically to let you know when for example the robber was rolled and if you are affected. We implemented badges also in other situations (e. g. city expansion bonus, barbarian attack and outcome, longest road and so on) to speed up the game flow.
We implemented the so called bubble system. This system will let you know what you opponent is up to if he/she has to act in our turn. E.g. you rolled the robber and someone has to drop half of his/her resources or if someone has to destroy a city an so on. Also it will indicate what you can do in your turn depending on the resources you have. This info will of course be visible only to you. You can find these bubbles beneath the player frame on top of the screen including tool tips for all the symbols.
Tip: Turn on the tool-tips in the options (main menu) to get the explanation for the symbols by hovering over them with your mouse. Also take your time in a Custom- or Singleplayer match to get used to them. They are quite helpful if you are starting to learn the game.
- If a development card is played that will need you to take action (e.g. Marriage or Saboteur and so on) it is now displayed on the left of the screen until every player made their move. This should give you a better understanding of what is going on and what to do next.
Automated player penalties for prematurely quitting and incentives to stay in the game:
If you finish a game (Auto-Match) - regardless of how many human players are still in the game - you will be rewarded with XP and it will have an influence on your ELO
If you are the last remaining human player in the match you will be rewarded (ELO) in the end as if you had won the game against your opponents
The first player who drops out (or gets kicked due to turn timer violations) will lose ELO as if he/she had finished last. This is regardless of the actual VP in the game at the moment.
If other players drop out of the same game their ELO will be calculated according to the order they dropped out
This means for a 4 player game: the first one who drops out will be in 4th place, the second one in 3rd and so on.
Please note: A drop out at any time will affect your Karma and you won´t get rewarded XP for the session. You will gain more XP if you win (100) but every other place will give you the same amount (50).
We are very excited to see all these changes in action.
Thank you very much for your patience on this update but as you can see we worked on some major changes only on this topic alone
Thank you very much for the feedback on the major Update_20.
Yesterday we deployed Update_21 on the early access servers. It includes various bug-fixes as well as adjustments to the turn timer based on your feedback.
Update_21 is scheduled to be the last update using the client version downloadable directly from our website.
This means that certain things will change in the next week: As we announced at the beginning of the early access, the client version of the game will be distributed via “Steam”. The WebGL version will be available the same way it is now. So if you are playing using your browser, nothing will change.
If you never heard of Steam before, please check out the following link:
What you will have to do to download the Steam version of Catan Universe:
The link to the Steam website and where you can download the Catan Universe will be available on our website as soon as the move is finished. Until the end of the early access, the client you know will work as you are used to.
In order to download Catan Universe you will have download the Steam software on your Windows PC and create an account for Steam. After that you can browse the Steam store to download Catan Universe for free. Or use the link from our website.
Please note: Catan Universe Account data of existing accounts won´t be affected by the move to Steam. Your Catan Universe accounts will still exists after the move!
Please note: Your Steam Account will not give you access to Catan Universe. Your Catan Universe and Steam account are not connected to each other. If you should run into trouble while creating your steam account, please contact the Steam support team.
Why did we choose Steam as our distribution platform?
It was clear to us from the start of the production process of Catan Universe that we want to make the game available via Steam.
Steam is the largest platform for digital distribution in the PC gaming market. Millions of users log in daily and play their games with each other. In a way, Steam is a platform similar to Google Play and iTunes, but for PC games and software.
Since Steam is such a large an established provider, Catan Universe will profit from many thing Steam has to offer. Among them are:
For one there will be a Catan Universe community Hub available (imbedded in Steam) to share your favourite moments, get support, give feedback and meet other Catan Universe users.
The distribution of updates to the client version of Catan Universe has always been a major time sink when deploying an update. This will change with our move over to Steam.
From your point of view: Once you start up Steam on your PC, it will automatically look for updates and start loading them using the steam cloud service. (No more long waiting times while downloading the new client from our servers )
The install process will be fully localized thanks to all the different languages settings available for Steam.
From our developers point of view it is also much more convenient to update the game once it is embedded in the Steam environment. It is way less complicated than to manually distribute and update Catan Universe like we did with our “hand-made” client we used for the early access so far.
If you are not familiar with Steam yet, this is the time to get to know it Check out the official Website and create your account to get ready for our move.
Up until now we are pleased with the performance of the latest versions of Catan Universe after the last two updates.
We will use the upcoming weekend to analyse the data you produce while playing the game as well as the overhaul performance of our servers.
The following days will give us the final information we need to decide if we are ready to officially release Catan Universe next week!
What you will have to do is simply play the game, enjoy the early access and give feedback.
We will let you know on Monday how the weekend went on our end and if we are ready to publish. And what the next steps will be towards that.
This means that the Catan Universe early access is coming to an end quite soon. We want to thank you all for the feedback and all the support we got!
We´ve come a long way which will not end with the termination of the early access!
There are major tasks to tackle and there are a lot of improvements and new content to come. We are looking forward to keep working with you and an even larger player base in the future.
After the analysis of the past weekend we are optimistic to be able to release Catan Universe in the very near future.
Our developers already addressed the issue with the “master merchant” progress card and the fix will be implemented in the next version of the game.
At the moment we are quite busy to get all the wheels in motion to manage a release in time before the Easter holidays.
But as usual there are some uncertainties when getting ready for a release, especially one of this scale. If we and our partners (backend and distribution services) shouldn´t be able to get everything going on time, we will extend the early access for one more week to make sure you can enjoy Catan Universe over the holidays!
Apart from these uncertainties, here is what will change during the release process:
- Once again the player stats will have to be set back
- If you used the client from the website before, you will have to download it from Steam after the release
- We will activate the payment systems for the game and from then on access to various game modes and extensions will be subject to a fee. Please see here to get further info on that: https://forum.catanuniverse.com/topic/2635/catan-universe-pricing-and-in-app-purchases
- During the transition the servers won´t be available for some time
- The website will get updated as well
We are doing our best to make the transition as smooth as possible for you but we will have to ask for your patience during the process.
We are getting closer to the release of Catan Universe! As we already said earlier this week: the wheels are in motion! We are very excited to finally present Catan Universe to a broader audience in the near future!
Since the switch from Early Access to the official release includes some technical adjustments on our servers, we need a little bit of time to get everything done. Unfortunately, this can’t be done as long as the servers are live.
This means that there will be a short gap between the Early Access and the official release in which the servers won’t be available for you.
Since Easter is coming up and we want to give you the opportunity to play Catan Universe over the holidays, we decided to start the process next Tuesday at 12:00 a.m. [CEST].
So please enjoy the Early Access until Tuesday, 04/18/2017, at 12:00 a.m. [CEST]. Settle the islands, fight off those nasty barbarians, and become Prince (or Princess) of Catan one more time during the Early Access!
Starting on 04/18/2017 at 12:00 a.m. [CEST], the servers won’t be available in preparation for the release. During this period, you won’t be able to login or to play Catan Universe. The forums will stay live so that we can keep you updated about the process.
We are expecting the downtime to last a few days.
We know how much all of you enjoy the game, and we do our best to keep this period as short as possible.
Please note: With the release, the current client you can download from our web site will be replaced by a new client that you can download via Steam.
The browser version won’t be affected by the release. You will be able to play this version via our web site.
The Early Access was a great experience for all of us both here at USM and at Exozet! We want to thank every single participant of the Early Access for their time and feedback. You are awesome!
We hope to see you on Catan once the game has been released!