Building Jobs, Zone Overlays, and Playtesting

Hey Folks! A pretty productive day today. Including a playtesting session!

First order of business was to get my rendering fix branch merged with Michael's build queue branch. The merge was pretty smooth, and I was able to fire it up without any issues.

Once in the chargen station, I started using the F hotkey to designate walls for removal. Lo and behold, the AI took the hint and did so! I could even spawn the OKLG station with 6 crew walking around, and multiple crew would go to the bank of walls, each working away at a wall removal task. Cool!

You can see the walls flagged for removal in today's screenshot, on the left.

After testing that, I started working on the last rendering issue in my current to-do list: tile overlays. Having finally figured out how to fix those other rendering issues, I was anxious to see if I could crack this one. And I'm happy to report it worked! The right side of the screenshot shows the reactor room shaded blue, designating it as a crew spawn region.

It actually revealed a trick I think I can use for a lot of other rendering stuff. Namely, I had certain culling mask flags set on my cameras, and now that I'm reacquainted with those settings, I can probably get other stuff to render without the lighting affecting it.

Next step was to adjust the derelict-making code to shut-down the reactor, so I could playtest a derelict retrofit and repair scenario. It was pretty trivial to add, and I was soon off in my little salvage pod to dock with our standard "full ship" layout.

Docking went pretty much as I hoped, with the airlock on the derelict side showing partial pressure. And beyond that chamber, vacuum and darkness.

Walking around the derelict, my helmet light illuminated debris everywhere, holes in my floors and walls, and lots of decommissioned equipment. I made my way to the reactor, where I discovered a few lights were still active, drawing a trickle from the batteries. I'll probably need to adjust the ship layout so that the batteries cannot power anything if the reactor is set to power bus "off." But for this test, it was fine.

I started cannibalizing conduits from areas of the ship I didn't plan to use, and repaired broken sections of conduit from the batteries to the reactor. Enough to get it up and running again. Which switched on a few more lights, and revealed another conduit break closer to the HVAC and common rooms. Some more repairing later (including removing a wall to get access to a conduit behind a cooler, and using my only hull patch on a floor hole to cross it), I had the ship's common room lit, and HVAC systems running!

Alas, the common room still had hull breaches, so I started cutting walls and floors from elsewhere to patch the holes. All was going well until I patched the final hole between HVAC and common rooms, when the game crashed. I think there's a bug that happens when the room gets divided into two rooms.

Still, that was perhaps one of my longest playtests yet! And I was actually...having fun? Like, I was using tools to overcome obstacles, and figuring out the best way to get this old hulk running again. Far from GOTY or anything, of course. But it fills me with hope :)

Looking forward to continuing the test once that bug's fixed!

Tags: Ostranauts


Asthepanda2iscool2's picture

And it becomes more and more of a game...
I do think it will be a fun game to play casually, as odd as it might sound. Salvaging the wrecks of spaceships while listening to music, or even ambient sounds in the game.
That said, I wonder what kind of music the crew listens to while they do this, because they have to be pretty used to it, right? I hope it's some form of metal... if I learned anything from accounting, it's that accountants are a bunch of metalheads; i'd imagine that the nature of shipwrecking would bringing in much the same crowd.
"head-bangin" has to be a new line of descriptive text now.

Rar! Rar rar rar! Thanks for reading :)

tehflambo's picture

no joke: this sounds amazing, crashes and all.

I would *love* to get to the part of the story where the ship is jury-rigged to a usable state, while unbeknownst to the crew there are more subsystems close to failure, ultimately giving out at an extremely inopportune time...

Or, yknow, the crew kinda forgets how much of the hull was patched with sheet metal and bubble gum and just lets them stay that way... too long.

beep boop

dcfedor's picture

@Asthepanda2iscool2, I could see that. One does sort of get into a rhythm with the more repetitive tasks. Though, I would definitely have my ears open the first step I take onto a derelict. At least until you've ensured all the rooms are clear of lurking danger :)

@tehflambo, I'm hoping that'll be part of the fun (and challenge). Most ships are going to have years on them, and lots of stuff ready to fail. It'll only be that rare case when you get your hands on something fresh from the factory.

And either way, there are going to be problems. Kinda like owning a house. Old houses have stuff wearing out, and new houses have stuff that hasn't been tested yet. Always room for dramatic failure!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

tehflambo's picture

"Old houses have stuff wearing out, and new houses have stuff that hasn't been tested yet"

Never has such a mundane phrase gotten me so incredibly excited for the future.

beep boop