Greasy Food, Encounter Fixes, and Video Streams

I finished up the encounter item art I mentioned yesterday. Behold, baskets of greasy food!

IMAGE( Not pictured: fried grease over a bed of pan gristle.

These are the food options at a new urban location, with a slightly different vibe than The Red Gnome. Whereas The Red Gnome is one of the few places left that serves real soul food in the DMC, this location specializes in easier-to-obtain foods. Things that grow easily in vertical farms via hydroponics/aeroponics, like cabbage, soy, and sprouts. Or things which can be manufactured without farmland, like donair meat.

There may also be a "special" on the menu :)

With those items done, I went about hooking them and other encounter choices up to the editor. Branching conversations, bypassing obstacles, and making decisions all require items be provided to choose from.

I've started testing the various paths, bug fixing along the way. But I'm going to need more time to test all the permutations.

While I was at it, though, I also did some reorganizing on the starting encounter. I cleaned up the structure to be easier to maintain in the editor (using a hub and spoke structure to allow the player to examine each clue, rather than many-to-many connectors). I also found a few instances where the image or text didn't match what happened (e.g. showing/mentioning the dogman when the door was closed before Philip saw it)

And I also noticed and fixed a bug in the cryo facility when revisiting it, which prevents visiting the bank later.

Apart from encounter work, I also stumbled across a new YouTuber/Twitch streamer today. Mathas did a YouTube video this morning, and as always, it was very educational to watch. Hard to believe that I considered myself a UI expert once :O

While I was watching that, I noticed that he subsequently started a NEO Scavenger stream, so I popped by for a while. And also as usual, it was good to interact with both the host(s) and players. Kind of like a chance for visitors to read developer commentary and "ask-me-anything" while the host plays.

Also, I say "host(s)" because his channel was brimming with colleagues of his, including several other big streamers. In fact, even Lemmy from Project Zomboid stopped by! Quite the post-apocalyptic party going on in there :)

I've been getting pretty lucky lately, with PR ramping up despite my feeble efforts. I'm very thankful for the positive reception and spreading popularity, as awareness is usually the biggest barrier for indies.

Plus, with Steam Early Access looming near (t-minus 40 hours?), we may be in for some interesting days ahead. I'll have to set aside some "offline time" each day to make sure development momentum doesn't get clobbered.

Again, though, I don't think I could've asked for better results so far. I seem to have hit a niche that was underserved at just the right time. Despite NEO Scavenger's clunky UI, bugs, and other shortcomings, it's something many say they've been waiting for.

With any luck, there are many more players like us on Steam, and enough to help me continue making games like this for a long time to come!


Maklak's picture

Come to think of it, why is movement displayed as 5.00/4 or 5.00/5? For me, it would make more sense if it was always displayed as 5.00, then different actions took different amounts of time. Barefoot would modify all movement costs by *0.25. Athlethic could lower movement cost. A vehicle could increase it (or decrease, if powered). Terrain already has different movement costs, but it could be more diversified. Anyway, it is somewhat confusing to have different numbers for hexes per turn and crafting.

Another thing is ending turn. If I have no movement points, it should end automatically. The only downside is no inventory access before the end of turn, so maybe have an option for it.

If I try to move into a hex without having enough movement left, I should stay in the same hex, my movement should be zeroed and the next turn I should be in the new hex, with movement decreased. (For example moving into a forest with shoes and 1.50 movement left would end at the beginning on next turn, leaving me with 4.50 movement). Encounters would treat PK as being in the old hex in the old turn and in the new hex in the new turn. For NPCs there should be something indicating their movement direction.

I think hiding tracks and hiding shouldn't cost 1 movement each, but instead be togglable setting that eat up some movement when toggled on (to reduce exploiting), then add some cost to movement, say 0.25 each. So you can move armound with stealth, it will just take longer to get anywhere.

Malacodor's picture

As long as important things like food consumption and medication don't require time (and I don't think this should be changed) auto-ending of turns is a bad idea.

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

dcfedor's picture

I agree with the movement system being a bit weird. In fact, I think I had a similar discussion with Kaaven over PM about this, and his feelings were similar. Namely, it might make more sense to only mess with movement/crafting costs instead of moves remaining. That way, we don't end up with 5/4, 3/1, etc. (There are some related bugs with crafting times caused by this, too.)

Coupled with tooltips that show the movement cost for different hexes (e.g. marsh = 2 moves, plains = 1 move), it'll make navigation a bit easier for newcomers. And it opens up the possibility of better vehicle/shoes bonuses/penalties.

As with many things these days, it's on my list. The trick is finding time to do it. Though, I'd say this change has a higher priority than some others, since it seems like it'd clean up and reinforce an already existing system.

As for ending turns automatically, I'm sort of with Malacodor. There are some important things that can be done with 0 moves left before clicking "End Turn." E.g. your last move reveals a dogman, so you want to unsling a rifle in case he enters your hex. Or you stumble, starving, into a hex with items in it, and want to eat the blinkies snack cakes before you end turn and starve to death.

It's a little less realistic that way, but I think it's more fair, particularly since map travel is somewhat abstracted (i.e. hexes, not free, detailed movement).

I've definitely made extra notes about the movement costs, though. Thanks!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Rovlad's picture

>ending turns automatically
It's counter-intuitive and frustrating for anyone who has ever played turn-based games. Why would you want to prevent players from assessing their situation and thinking about their next move at the end of their turn? Not to mention that you might want to juggle your inventory before, say, going into combat. Advancing game time should always be left to player's discretion.

>If I try to move into a hex without having enough movement left, I should stay in the same hex, my movement should be zeroed and the next turn I should be in the new hex, with movement decreased.
If there's no automatic turn advancement, it's kinda pointless.
Also, imagine clicking on a hex to move there at your next turn and then having 3 raiders walk into it just as the turn ends.

>Encounters would treat PK as being in the old hex in the old turn and in the new hex in the new turn.
Very bug prone.

>For NPCs there should be something indicating their movement direction.
There are red footprint track icons for this, and in cases they're just at the edge of your scouting distance, there is "spy" action which shows their heading.

Maklak's picture

> > ending turns automatically
> [...]
OK, now I see some problems with it. Even games that have automatic end of turn, usually have it as an option.

> If there's no automatic turn advancement, it's kinda pointless.
The idea was to speed up movement over large distances by preserving fractional movement, but I think the current system lets me walk into difficult terrain 3 times per turn (ignoring that I have 5.00, not 6.00 movement), so it wouldn't help.
A better idea is to just carry over up to +-1.00 actions to the next turn. If you move into a forest on your last action points, you get less action points next turn. If you end a turn with a surplus of time, you get to do slightly more next turn. Think of it as preparing or resting, then doing things faster for a while.

> there is "spy" action which shows their heading.
Spying costs 1 full movement. To be viable for the amount of information it provides, it should take maybe 0.1 turn, but definitely not as long as moving to a new hex. I mean for how long would you need to watch someone (especially with binoculars or somesuch) to determine their equipment and direction? 30 seconds? 5 minutes?