Installing Works, Old Part Cleanup, Airlock Fixes

Hey Folks! Pretty productive day, today. I managed to get part installation working, as well as some fixes and cleanup done.

It turns out I was actually pretty close to a working system yesterday. I just needed two things.

First, I needed to make sure the installation interaction kept track of the old vs. new installed item correctly. Second, I added a new field to interactions for "mode switching" the target instead of the subject. It was a pretty simple addition, and more of a convenience feature, but it meant the moment we swap the placeholder out and real (loose) object in, it can mode switch the loose object for the installed object right away, saving me a step.

With those in place, it worked! There was, however, a problem: I wasn't able to install a "loose" part back into it's original spot, since "loose" items have different placement rules than installed items. Loose items sit on the floor, for the most part, while installed items can go over walls, in the air, etc. This wasn't too hard to fix, either. I just changed interactions from having a boolean "install?" flag to a string instead. That string could specify the future part we were installing, so the ship editor could use those placement rules instead of the current loose item.

After a few minor fixes for selection, record-keeping, etc, I was able to uninstall a conduit junction from my ship, see things power down, then reinstall it at the same place and have power restored. Cool!

Once that was done, I added the same set of install/uninstall data for regular conduits. And I'll probably do the same for some other parts next.

However, there were a few other outstanding issues I wanted to tackle.

First, double-airlocks were causing trouble for pathfinders. And it turns out this was a simple bug. I was adding extra pathfinding penalties for open doorways that put the opposite airlock just out of reach, even thought he AI was right there next to it. Since open doors shouldn't really slow walking, I yanked the penalty, and all seems well again.

While I was in there, I also made the open airlock more visually clear, since it was hard to tell if open before.

There were also a few old parts that no longer made sense in the game. 4x1 conduits, 3x3 floors, 4x4 struts, and L-conduits. Since these were either too macroscopic or redundant, I removed them and patched-up the ship and station layouts that used them to instead use the more granular/up-to-date parts.

As of now, we're probably ready to continue making parts uninstall and install. Some additional features that might be useful here include:

- making uninstalled parts appear on the floor nearby instead of exactly where the installed version was (e.g. for disassembling items into multiple loot items)
- making sure uninstall/install actions can be gracefully interrupted and/or resumed.
- adding some new data for large parts that can be broken down into components and rebuilt again later from components. I.e. complex ship repairs!

We're starting to feel like a very early NEO Scavenger now, which is exciting. I can see myself spending longer amounts of time in-game looting, selling, fixing, and staying self-sufficient. This is a good sign!

Tags: Ostranauts


Rovlad's picture

Just a thought here, are you planning on making it possible to repair a derelict ship and switch to it from your current one? Or maybe even a possibility to sell repaired/old ships. I'm sure you don't want player to commandeer a fleet, but maybe it could be a long term investment to gain money in the end.

Well, except if the story has you on some kind of time limit, then it would probably make no sense. :)

dcfedor's picture

Yeah, I was picturing the player being able to revive a derelict. And in fact, that was sort of the intent behind the OKLG origin story.

Players who finish chargen eventually will start in one of several different scenarios where they begin their life as a ship owner. Maybe by inheriting a ship, maybe by mortgaging it.

OKLG is a shipbreaking facility with a graveyard of derelicts scheduled to be cannibalized. There's a hefty backlog, though, so always more ships to be done than people to do them.

In the shipbreaker case, the player would piece a ship back together in the junkyard, and then make off with it, drawing the ire of the harbormaster. (But only a little ire, since it's basically stolen junk they'd never get around to cannibalizing.)

And mid-game, I expect the player to change ships when it suits them (or tragedy befalls them).

I don't, however, know what I'm going to do if a player manages to accumulate a fleet. They might end up owning a bunch of ships, but only being able to fly one at a time.

DannyB asked a similar question, though, so I might have to play with the idea :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Rovlad's picture

I just assumed the same thing you answered in that tweet: that you want the whole thing to be a little more personal than a fleet management "spreadsheet simulator". :)
But anyway, that's probably a goal as long term as they come right now. Thanks for answering!

dcfedor's picture

Yeah, if players aren't enjoying their single-ship experience, not much point in adding more ships to the mix :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games