Main Menu Update, and Save/Load Works on Chargen Now

Hey Folks! As you can see from the image today, new art to show! Saving and loading working now, too.

Emily's latest revision is looking quite good, and I think we're just about where we need to be now. She spent some time cleaning-up a lot of the perspective lines, rendering surfaces, and generally smoothing out the distracting kinks in the older versions. She also detailed the rest of the scene and background. And improved visibility of the manual.

I'm probably going to hide the face and hair of the man a bit more, so it could be anyone. And also make it look away from the viewer, so it's more like they're on break instead of regarding us. But apart from that, the setup here is pretty much good to go.

The next step will be slicing it up for use in the game, assembling the layers to "float" in parallax a bit. Adding button labels and animations for on/off states. And maybe some visual effects for coffee steam or similar.

It'll be nice to have a real main menu soon!

On the code side, I finally got the save/load system to respect chargen info. Now, all of the background and social info created by chargen is stored in save files, and will be restored when loaded. And as far as I can tell, you can even save mid-chargen and continue later, which is nice.

I fixed a bunch of other loose threads, too. Things like invalid timers on load, some more null pointer issues, things appearing/disappearing because they weren't added the right way to the scene. (E.g. adding a social contact to an off-screen station, or forgetting to hide a new ship spawned as a new contact's home)

I think the next step is going to be just dumping the player in their chosen ship for now. I'm going to skip customization since I know it works (I use it to make ships for use in the game). I can add it later, but right now the bigger risk is in-game fun factor. I need to figure out if flying around for hours with crew is fun. And if not, why that is so I can fix it.

And I think first order of business there is to shore-up existing systems to ensure they still work. Fix the toilets, make sure moods are affected by actions, etc. Then, it wouldn't hurt to have oxygen and hunger fully working, instead of letting everyone run around with critical hypoxia and starvation. That would also give me some additional resources to burn over time, necessitating the player do something to replenish them. (Likely in the form of earning/scamming/stealing cash to refuel.)

That, and maybe some item wear and tear that can be repaired periodically. (And cause dramatic failures.)

Here's hoping this effort wasn't all for naught :)

Comments

ra1's picture
ra1

You could also animate people (shadows) walking past the door intermittently. Gives a sense of being in a dynamic environment of which you are a small part, vs looking at a statue.

Respawn's picture
Respawn

The console is quite neat, but do the main buttons have to be as brightly colored and stick out so clearly off the control panel? It come off as a bit too retrofuturistic at best, and almost like a children's toy at worst.

Mind, that's my only gripe. The art is already fantastic!

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dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

@ra1, yeah, that was my thinking, too. In fact, I could probably randomize whether the doorway is empty, the figure is there, or figures cross the door.

@Respawn, they do need to stick out since they're important and should be clear. But they don't need to look like children's toys.

What you see above are placeholders, since I'll eventually have to add functional button art to them later anyway. And my first instinct is to make them look like the buttons on NEO Scavenger's main menu. Still 90's retro-futuristic, but more technical-looking than childish.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games