Hey Folks! Nothing too fancy to show off today. Most of the work was invisible groundwork for what's next in the prototype: containers and loot.
As mentioned earlier, I've been working on getting all items and crew in the prototype to be a bit better organized. I've now got everything refactored, and my item/crew objects have their visuals in one data file, while their game rule definitions are in another. This allows me to define things like starting conditions and AI preferences in the entity. I'm calling them "Condition Owners" or COs for short.
NEO Scavenger is now officially updated to v1.14! Since the test builds have been relatively stable, I've just finished updating the default builds to 1.14 on all sites. The "test" links are no longer necessary, and have been removed for now.
Good news, everyone! NEO Scavenger Mobile has a new dev!
As some of you know, I've had NEO Scavenger Mobile cooking on the back burner for a while now. Steve was porting the old NEO Scavenger Flash engine to Haxe so it could run on iOS, Android, and many more in the future. However, due to scheduling conflicts, Steve had to step down, and I've been looking for a replacement.
Continuing work on AI today, I managed to fix a bug that caused AIs to interact with other AIs that were currently busy doing something. For example, an AI trying to get some sleep might try doing so on the same bed another AI is currently using. Funny, yes. But not really the target behavior.
Once that was fixed, it was time to sit back and get a big picture of the AI system. So I built a new ship layout for testing, and added two crew members per bed (since right now, each AI starts with a high chance of sleepiness). Here's the result:
Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Ours was still chock full of bureaucracy, but we did manage to squeeze some fun in here and there. Plus, pizza!
Today, I tried to keep the forward momentum on last week's crew speech bubble UI elements. So I took some advice and skipped reinventing the wheel, instead using the existing NEO Scavenger encounter items to show AI interactions. Here's a preview:
Hey Folks! I was looking into AI interaction icons again today. I started working on some icon speech bubbles, and they were working out alright until I ran into some of the more action-y/gesture-y interactions:
How do you show "throws hands up" with a word balloon?
Certain non-verbal/non-thought interactions just didn't seem to be covered by the above. And when I reached out to folks for ideas, Matthew Glidden reminded me that I kinda already did this:
Hey Folks! More good news: I continued to do game development today! It's crazy that this is something to get excited about, but it's been so long since I've had time to focus on my job instead of things like banking, insurance, and other general running-around. It's almost like things are getting back to normal!
Hey Folks! Today was a much more productive day, as I was able to spend most of it working on code. And so, I focused on making the AI and its feedback UI better.
The first thing I did was to shore-up the dialogue UI a bit more for better debug output. I added some activity timer info to it so I could see the countdown as an AI was acting on something. And after a bit of watching and stepping through code, it turned out there were a handful of bugs in there that made the AI behave a bit strangely.
Hey Folks! Sorry for yet another late news post. It was another one of those days of running errands to get family established here. Today we opened no less than 5 accounts! And the scary thing is we still have a few left to go. Health insurance is the next big one, and we are not looking forward to picking apart that knot of confusion.
The work I did manage to finish was one part debugging UI, and one part art discussion.
Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. We ventured out into the city for an indies meetup yesterday, and met some really nice people! Let me tell you, it is so nice being in a place with other game professionals. I forgot what talking shop felt like after 4 years in the woods :)
Today, I turned my attention towards the crew interactions. I've been having a bit of trouble telling what's going on when my crew interact with things and each other, and I finally decided to start working on a UI to show feedback on their current status.
Hey Folks! Running a bit late today with the news, so I apologize for the brevity. But to make up for it, I'm including a mockup from the new artist I've contracted to help me with defining the game visuals:
After several days of life interrupting, it was good to be back in a code editor and Unity again. I still needed most of my morning to catch up on emails that had piled-up, but I finally dug back into the crew animations today.
Ugh, I am bagged. The saga of getting life straightened out here continues today, and it took pretty much everything we could muster. But the good news is that I think we were able to get a lot off our plates.
The bad news? I basically got nothing game-related done today. A few emails about stuff, but I pretty much had to write off my whole day dealing with banks, government, or salespeople.
And now I'm empty of anything resembling a soul. I think it's time for maybe a beer, and not thinking about anything important for the next 14 hours.
Hey Folks! Today I managed to get some non-administrative work done. Yeah! I mocked-up some quick-n-dirty normal maps for my rigged crew sprite, and hooked them up to the materials to see how they looked under lit conditions. Here's how they turned out:
Today was largely spent on a rendering issue, but I did eventually get a rigged crew member running around.
The rendering issue has to do with Unity's editor vs. the generated binary of the game. For some reason, the editor renders my PNG sprites without issue, but the generated binary does not. I get missing alpha channels in the binary, so everything looks wrong.
Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Ours was productive, as we continued our epic unpacking extravaganza. Yard work, unpacking boxes, finding storage for endless things, and buying emergency furniture like a living room lamp and doormats. We did get a nice afternoon in the park, though, so not all work.
Today, I had to sacrifice much of my working time to the tax gods as I finished up some account reporting and updated mailing addresses. Exciting, I know!