May 2016

  • Back To Business

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. We had spectacular Memorial Day weather, and did a sort of family/friends park and beach day. I think this was the first time I was at a salt water beach in...years? It was nice being back.

  • AI: Actually Intelligent? Also, OOO Monday

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! I think we're getting somewhere with the AI code. After another productive day of tweaking, fixing, and cleaning, I think the AI is starting to be both intelligent and predictable.

  • Uncharted AI Territory

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! AI work continues today, as I focused on the AI's ability to try new ideas if they don't have experience solving their current problems.

    Yesterday's work was able to get AIs to the point where they can scan their memory for interactions that could help their current priority, and gauge which other AI/items would help most as a target of the interaction. It turned out there were still a few bugs and improvements to be made with this system.

  • AI V2 Coming Online, Other Minor AI Buffs

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! Managed to get a lot done today, and I think I'm out of the "bug bog" that was slowing AI development down.

    First of all, I finally fixed the bug that was causing AIs to be able to use the same object simultaneously. This was a combo of cleaning-up the code and reworking the way "waiting" is ascribed to things during interactions. "Waiting" is more reliable now, and AI can better find things that are available to be used.

  • Cleaning-up AI

    dcfedor's picture

    Still working out the AI bugs today. I found quite a few minor issues in the AI code that was probably contributing to errors in their behaviors. Things like AIs clearing the wrong interaction when told to stop waiting, and reliance on a "TaskBusy" condition which was unreliable. There may still be some confusion between the AI's "busy" status and the presence of "TaskBusy" conditions. Probably the patter is redundant now.

  • Memory Matrix, and AI Bugs

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. This was perhaps our most normal one yet here in Seattle. Mostly household chores, errands, and even some family outings! We're looking forward to more like this.

    Back on the prototype today, I resumed work on the new AI code. By the time lunch came, I had it mostly doing what I was aiming for. Namely, it was keeping an internal record of which interactions had what effect on certain stats. That, and for each visible condition on the target of the interaction (a.k.a. "them"), it tracked the individual effects.

  • More AI Design

    dcfedor's picture

    Still plugging away at the new AI feature. The exact workings are a bit hard to nail down, but I'm starting to see a few neat opportunities.

    Right now, I'm trying to setup a sort of needs vs. interaction memory for each AI that helps them decide who to interact with, and how, in order to satisfy their needs. On one hand, I want it to help them discover new things to try, and on the other, I want them to remember what works so they can do it again if they need it.

  • AI Relations and Decision Making

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! I finally got the new interaction data format working, and was able to start testing again.

    The good news is that it seems to be working as designed. I'm now seeing the upgraded stat counter values change accordingly, including the poop relief of -25 units. (Basically, clearing a full day's worth of food from the bowels.)

  • Website and Business Planning

    dcfedor's picture

    Got side-tracked today with website stuff. The Jibe is starting to map out the new home and games listing pages for my site, so we're working on what needs to be a part of each of those. And I wanted to give that the time it deserved to make the new site more interesting, engaging, and effective.

  • Interaction Data Refactor

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! I had a whole day of dev today! It's been a while since I could say that, and it was a nice change. And probably a good thing, too, as the day involved a pretty major data refactor.

    I decided to move forward with the interaction refactoring. This meant changing the way interactions list:

  • Toilets Working, Data Rethink

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Ours was mercifully light on chores and errands, for once. We even socialized with outsiders. Almost like normal people!

  • Emails, Lighting, and AI

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! As some of you have no doubt noticed by the glaring red box at the top. We have (had?) an email problem.

    A short while ago, Hotmail users stopped receiving emails from both the site and my personal email address. No error messages. No bounced email warnings. No emails in junk folders. Just emails sailing unannounced into a digital black hole.

  • Emissive vs. Cookie Lighting

    dcfedor's picture

    Still running at half-speed today, as I had to head downtown for a meeting this morning. But during the time I had at the computer, I experimented with different lighting techniques.

    While looking into voxel meshes, I wondered whether it'd be possible for the user to set certain pixels on the surface to be bright colors, and have the game use those as sources of light. An example might be a computer screen, a neon sign, or vending machine front panel.

  • Non Game Dev Day

    dcfedor's picture

    No game dev today, folks. Sorry. Instead, I had a chat with my accountant, and then with some lawyers about the company. Nothing bad, just necessary business stuff to correspond with our move to the States.

  • Voxels?

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! Still digging away at admin tasks today, a lot of which involved phone calls with bank personnel. However, once that was done, I took a bit of a side trip today to look into another graphic tool.

    Voxels.

    So far, my ship pieces have been one of two things. The first is a flat sprite hovering over the floor with a rough column of mesh underneath to cast shadows. (Picture one of those single-legged cafe tables, or a really flat, wide tree.) This is for walls and other shadow-casters.

  • Business Admin Day

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Ours was a bit rough, as a nasty cold is sweeping through the family the past few days. It even has a hold on yours truly, though I'm waiting to see if I've got a weaker variant of it or if it's just taking longer to tackle me. Needless to say, the weekend was derailed a bit.

    As it turns out, work was thrown-off a bit, too. Though, thankfully less to do with illness, and more to do with general business stuff.

  • Beds, Toilets, and Physiology

    dcfedor's picture

    Still plugging away at some more physiological modeling in the prototype.

    In NEO Scavenger, I did a lot of research to come up with a simulation model for hunger, thirst, fatigue, and other bodily effects. I'd like to carry all of this over to the ship crew simulation in the new game. And I'd like to take that a bit further with things like waste management, hygiene, and other things which become critical in a closed system (i.e. spaceship).

  • Bugs, Beds, and Toilets

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! I tried focusing entirely on the prototype today, as I've been spread pretty thin on other business stuff lately.

    It was a slow start, as I think I was in another of those development ruts where one doesn't know how to proceed. My AIs were not correctly getting items from containers, and fixing it meant a slight architectural change to make it work.

  • More Visual Style Explorations, and Web Maintenance

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! Today was all about visual style brainstorming, with a bit of web maintenance thrown in.

    As mentioned yesterday, I'm still in talks with the contract artist about different visual styles for the game. To aid the discussion, I did some searching for games with compatible art styles that I liked, and made a document to show pros and cons. So far, we think we're on the same page as to what would fit, and he's going to mock-up a few more things.

  • Fixing Loot, and Graphics

    dcfedor's picture

    Hey Folks! A little bit of loot work today as I fixed the issue mentioned yesterday, and a lot of graphic style discussion.

    First, the loot. It turns out the issue I was having was that none of my Condition Owners (COs, basically all active objects in the game) had their containers setup when initialized. Any time I tried to add a CO to another CO's inventory, it would silently fail because there was no container installed. After making each CO have a container by default, I was able to spawn a fridge with a random number of yellow food packets inside. So far, so good!