Stat Reveals, World Sim, and Audio Work

Hey Folks! A lot of activity today, though not a lot to show for it just yet. I spent a good half day or more working on stat reveals, while Chris and Bjørn talked next steps.

Also, big news on the publisher front: we signed!

Even though we announced our partnership a while back, we were still finalizing contract stuff over the past few. But we officially signed the paperwork this morning, and we can now move on to great things together.

Hopefully, this means I spend less time doing admin stuff. And in fact, I'm already feeling the relief, as I can now pass the buck to Modern Wolf on any marketing, distribution, translation, QA, or other partnership email offers I get. (I get a lot.)

Most of the work I did today was invisible preparation for the stat reveal feature. Still laying groundwork for that.

A big chunk of it involved some rework of the social relationships code to support storage of revealed stats. Stat reveals are sort of relationship-specific, in that revealing anger to me doesn't mean Abner down the hall saw it. And if I'm going to allow players to directly control crew, that means they'll be able to initiate social combat, and see different reveals than the captain.

This may also finally give me an excuse to add some "relationship overlay" code, since I'm now halfway there. This is basically a feature I wanted to try where an AI remembers how each other AI made them feel, and those feelings are applied anytime those AIs deal with each other. When Jayne speaks to Simon, for example, Simon is on edge. But if Kaylee speaks to Simon instead, he should be more comforted.

This should hopefully be the beginning of more visible relationships on the ship.

Chris and I chatted about his JSON parser experiment. So far, it looks like he can speed up the loading times pretty substantially. (From 4ish to 1ish seconds.) However, the boost he was hoping for was more milliseconds instead of seconds.

So we decided to put that on hold for now, since we can probably live with it for a bit longer. And instead, we're going to try a more game-programming style task: world simulation!

While the player is doing their thing, I'd like for the game world to feel like it, too, is living and breathing. NPCs should travel, form and break relationships, and generally make things interesting for the player to either watch or participate in.

So as a first test, he's going to put together some code to generate activities and future histories for NPCs. Once we get a framework of events for an NPC, I can start pointing out which game systems relate to each part of the story. And hopefully, we can then translate that framework so it uses actual game hooks.

Can't wait to see my first space traffic, or get my first phone threat from an antagonist!

Finally, Bjørn contacted me to let me know he's ready with his first audio tests. We'll need to get him setup with git so he can check-in his code first. But I similarly cannot wait to hear my first in-game audio. I bet it'll really transform the experience.

Anyway, a very busy day! Not so much visible work, but work nonetheless!