New Signal Connections, and New AI Interactions

Hey Folks! Finally got this new signal system working. And was able to load Michael's new interactions, to boot!

The signal system took most of the day, as there were some edge cases involving the different game modes and other details. But after all was said and done, I think the new signal system is a major improvement. Just pop open the control panel for any item with signal support, click the input you want to adjust, then you're presented with a selection mode.

In selection mode, the entire ship dims to almost black except any valid targets. A blue line stretches from the thing you're connecting to the mouse cursor. And if you choose a valid target, it gets added to that input as a mini image of itself alongside the input. If you choose an invalid target, the input is emptied. And it saves/loads between game modes and game sessions!

As a result, I spent a chunk of time updating ship layouts to use the new signal stuff with air pressure alarms and pumps, and now the big sample ship, chargen station, and normal space station layouts all have breathable air!

After that, I resumed work on integrating Michael's work. He has a bunch of new social interactions, and one coffee machine/repair interaction, and we wanted to see how those worked in practice. Today's screenshot captures a few examples of it, and I like them so far!

There were bugs, of course. Some AIs getting coffee from a wall/floor. Or log lines missing for certain interactions. But others (most of them) seemed pretty natural.

It did highlight some shortcomings of the game, of course. One of the main issues was that crew needs a better way to have things like team or brand preference randomly assigned. There isn't a good way to make sure sensible combos get applied at "birth." E.g. you can be both a fan and a rival of the same team due to random chance. It should really deploy one or the other (or none).

Similarly, each of Michael's new interactions had to be manually assigned to crew so they could use them. This sort of thing should be auto-added to any applicable crew in the future.

And finally, we'll have to see how this feels in more long-term game sessions. It was fun seeing them in the test, but I did have to do a lot of manual clicking around to see them happen. It wasn't a casual browsing experience, and might be too much work to monitor. In other words, it should probably be more fluid and fun.

But still, it's great to have made some significant forward steps today!

Tags: Ostranauts