The Battle of Polytopia: Moonrise, or simply Moonrise, is the Unity game engine port of The Battle of Polytopia. Moonrise was initially released on Steam on August 4, 2020. Moonrise is expected to be released for mobile in the months following the Steam release.

Previous mobile versions of Polytopia, going back to the initial release, were developed in the Adobe AIR engine. The final update for the Adobe AIR version occurred on July 1, 2020. The developers made the decision to port the game to Unity in order to make future development and updates easier. However, the port to Unity caused a lengthy delay in the release of the Steam port and resulted in an unprecedented hiatus in gameplay and content updates.

New Features

Notable new features of Moonrise include:

  • Moonrise new game

    The menu for starting a new multiplayer game on the Steam port

    A new multiplayer server for online multiplayer games:
    • Lobby for random matchmaking.
    • Player avatars (players choose from randomly generated options).
    • Turn time limit options ranging from 5 minutes to 7 days.
    • Every move is uploaded to the server in real time, preventing players from "turn resetting" (where in online multiplayer games, players could undo the actions they had taken that turn or reset the game's spawn if hosting the game, given that the player had not saved the game by returning to the main menu).
    • Players can see opponents' moves in real time instead of having to wait for their turn.
    • Players can add opponents by their Steam username (friend codes are not used in the Steam port).
  • Larger maps with up to 900 tiles. (Larger maps were known to cause performance issues in the Adobe AIR version.)
  • Map customization options (“Dryland,” “Lakes,” “Continents,” “Archipelago,” and “Water World”).
  • Mirror matches where multiple players (or bots) can pick the same tribe.
  • A new world generation system that eliminates island spawns, among other changes.
  • General bug fixes.

Additionally, using Unity makes it easier for the developers to hire programmers, as Unity is a more common game engine than Adobe Air, which will speed up future content development. The developers have also since hired a team of dedicated Unity programmers for this purpose.

Gameplay Changes

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Some of the gameplay changes (excluding those considered "new features") introduced in Moonrise are listed below. (This list is incomplete.)

  • The push order for force spawns was changed. In Moonrise, friendly units that previously moved will be pushed in the same direction of their movement, e.g., a unit that previously moved north will be pushed north. Enemy units that previously moved will be pushed in the opposite direction of their movement, e.g., an enemy that previously moved north will be pushed south. If a unit was not previously moved, it will be pushed toward the center of the map. Compared this to the set push order in Adobe AIR mobile.
  • Units with 0 attack, namely the Mind Bender and the Mooni, are allowed to capture enemy cities in Moonrise (they previously could not). This made the 0.1 attack of the Ice Archer redundant.

Mobile Release

The mobile version of Moonrise has moved past the alpha stage into a closed-beta phase, with a public release scheduled soon after the Steam release.

When Moonrise is released on mobile, all preexisting games and purchases will be ported over. (The update will not delete or invalidate previously existing multiplayer games.)

However, the developers of Polytopia have stated that there is no planned support for cross-platform multiplayer between mobile and Steam, even after Moonrise is released on mobile, although this may be reconsidered in the future.

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