Audio System, Social Combat Thoughts

Hey Folks! Tomorrow's Thanksgiving here, and I hadn't had a chance to post yet this week, so I wanted to get something out there to keep everyone in the loop before I was off.

It's been a crazy amount of admin work lately, and unfortunately that means little new stuff to show. Most of the fruits of my labor include conversations, spreadsheets, PDFs, and chat logs. All important stuff that should hopefully yield cool stuff in the future, but not much to look at right now.

I did manage to get a whack of audio work done yesterday, though. Bjørn was online during my morning, and we chatted a bunch about how to get some of his test audio hooked-up. It resulted in a list of additional things he'd like to be able to control via json data, so I exposed all of those and uploaded a new build. (Today's screenshot is a peek inside some of those things.) With luck, we should be able to start hearing our first audio assets soon!

Chris, Michael, and I are also hot on the heels of a social combat update. I finally got tasks like installation to not only have longer durations, but to be resumable if interrupted. So we can now have wall construction take, say, hours of game time if you're unskilled. And 30 minutes if you have the relevant construction skill.

Once that's the case, players have to be a lot more selective when assigning their captain to a task. Your food, water, O2 levels, and other stats now depreciate at rates that are significant during those types of tasks. Do you take the relatively easy route of just collecting loose scrap metal for meager reward? Or do you risk running out of O2 dismantling a complex nav station, to get a bigger reward?

This also means crew has more value. If you have one or more crewmates to help, now one of you can collect the scrap while the other works on the nav station.

That, in turn, leads us (hopefully) to the real goal: we need to keep these crew happy and healthy, or at least obedient, for this benefit to materialize. And that means managing their psychological status.

We've already decided that we'll have some universal social "battle moves" that can be used anytime, but are limited in value. And some others which appear more rarely, or only when you've earned them. And in some cases, they disappear when used.

A parallel effort by Michael recently involved getting some more life events pumped into the career kiosk, and Chris and I really enjoyed the latest round of those. So much so that I think we've basically allayed any fears we had whether it would help us build a captain we've emotionally engaged with.

Finally, Chris has made some additional UX polish changes to the inventory UI and camera movement/tracking. This thing's getting more like a real game every day :)

Anyway, we've been busy. So busy, in fact, that I haven't been posting here as regularly. Sorry about that!

But I wanted to assure you development continues apace on Ostranauts. Just with some scheduling conflicts that make daily news hard to do sometimes.

Anyway (for real this time), I hope everyone has a good rest of their week. And I should see you again Monday!


Maximus79's picture

Will there be any crew traits that have an influence on morale or social combat ? Stuff like charismatic, courageous and at the other end of the sprectrum things like coward etc.. ? I know it's planned for the captain but will it also be in place for the crew ?

dcfedor's picture

I was assuming all characters in the game would potentially have these character traits. So captain, crew, NPCs, shopkeepers, etc.

How much mechanical effect they'd have is still to be determined. But I'm hoping I can use them to make everyone interesting!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games