New Faces, and Context Menus

Hey Folks! A couple interesting additions today: new random faces, and context menus for clicked items.

The new faces are the result of Emily's latest round of face parts. She came up with a few more variations of each face part for the Asian female set, as well as some new layered parts for nose, glasses, and scars. There was a bit of development needed to accommodate the new pieces, since we had no independent nose, glasses, or scars before. Plus, the file naming convention needed updating now that we were getting more complicated. And, there was some spring-cleaning of old face parts to do.

But as you can see in today's image, quite a range of faces possible for that face type. And adding more should be a breeze now!

The other major change is to the UI for ship crew and items. Now, right-clicking on something in simulation mode brings up a context menu. Which, okay, big whoop. But hold on. It actually works!

If the current selected object is an AI, and you right click an object that supports interactions, you get a list of those interactions in a context menu. Then, you can choose one and the AI goes over and does the thing. This works for opening control panels on equipment, but importantly, also for social interactions. And this is a big step towards managing crew and otherwise playing the game.

I haven't done much more than just get it working and the bugs sorted, so I don't have a lot else to report yet. But the next thing is to start playing with these interactions to see if they have the effect they're supposed to, and generally, how they fit into the main gameplay loop. As a captain, this will be a fairly useful tool. It opens the door for not only socializing, but also initiating things like barter, hiring, dismissal, job assignment...even repairs and item usage?

I think this might be an area I'll dwell upon for a bit as I try out various abilities. Could be some interesting days ahead!

Tags: Ostranauts


Rovlad's picture

That's some very neat variety, and they all still look good. Great job on both you and the artist.

ra1's picture

If you are looking for more ship interactions, how about clearing out collapsed rooms, repairing breaches, and adding newly scavenged modules to the inside/outside of the ship? Presumably, the ship you have stolen is in really rough shape. Maybe half of the ship is completely inaccessible early game. During long missions, one of the activities for the players can be clearing out rooms. Maybe you have to acquire an aliens style loader to do the more heavy lifting.

Rovlad's picture

Considering you can design the ship yourself I doubt we'll get collapsed rooms.

ra1's picture

From everything I've seen, your first ship is a take-it-or-leave-it proposal. It would make no sense to let the player redesign the junkyard ship to spec before leaving. (Perhaps the player could add/replace a few extra scavenged parts, but I wouldn't expect much more).

dcfedor's picture

@Rovlad, thanks! I'm looking forward to getting more variety in the other face types, so it starts to feel like more than 3 people inhabit this System :)

Re: ship design/layout, it'll depend a lot on the circumstances. Some backgrounds will start with ships in better shape than others. There are chances you'll start with a fully-working, custom, experimental ship just as there are chances you'll start in a hulk that can barely limp to port.

Editing entire ships is something I haven't figured out how to integrate into gameplay yet, but I want players to have that fun, too. (The ship editor is kind of the raison d'être for the project. I wanted to design and build ships, then watch them go.)

One possibility is sort of what ra1 describes, where the player is modding and fixing a ship piecemeal as they go. Like Han Solo's Millennium Falcon. The overall shape is still the same, but there are a lot of "special modifications."

The other possibility is that the player starts with a blank schematic, and designs it from the ground up.

The former fits really well with day-to-day gameplay, and can even be done while you're in transit to another port.

The latter requires more special circumstances to make sense. You'd need a shipyard, materials, and labor to build a ship from your own designs.

The background story might be one such place for a player to do this. E.g. they were part of a Skunkworks-style career that results in stealing the experimental ship. Or there may be points during the game where the player has enough assets to commission a new ship construction.

Whatever the case, players are going to be doing both: clearing out/fixing/modding existing designs, and making new ships from the ground-up. That's part of the fun!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games