Twitch Stream, and Ship Item Prototyping

Hey Folks! If any of you were on Twitch today, you might've caught me on Outstarwalker's NEO Scavenger stream for GOG today. For two hours, we watched Outstarwalker chase dogs, beat up Bad Muthas, and debate the merits of cannibalism. All in her stylish dogman coat!

Once that was done, it was back to the prototype for me. I finally wrapped-up the refactoring I started yesterday, and now the game can pass shid data cleanly from one state to the other. There were quite a few gotchas in this transition, as many of the objects had to be protected from clean-up during the transitions. In other cases, data had to be forced to clean-up since they didn't make sense (e.g. removing crew when switching back to build mode)

With that done, I was able to resume working on shipboard items. My sleeping berth is now in the game, and I added the ability to choose it from the builder menu and place it around the ship. And with the data I added to it, crew will seek it out when they're tired! Pretty cool.

There are still many details not working yet, of course. For one thing, I need to verify that the sleep actually behaves like sleeping. Right now, I think it lasts forever, and that's no good. I'd like for sleep to work like NEO Scavenger, where there are such things as difficulty sleeping, full-night's rest vs. minor nap, etc.

I'll probably also need to think about things like interruptions (both from events and other crew). It seems likely that longer tasks like sleeping will be interrupted frequently by the goings-on around the ship.

There are also quite a few minor details that'll need solving. There is no sleeping animation, for example, because the walk cycle is 32x32 pixels, and sleeping would require 32x96 pixels. I may have to restructure crew spritesheets to allow for non-square sprites. Ship items also don't block pathfinding, which for beds is okay, but might not be for other items (like a sink).

And the build mode doesn't care where items are placed. They can overlap walls, go in space, or even overlap each other.

These issues are, of course, minor until more important things are sorted. Like having fun. Still none of that going on. (Though I'm starting to see potential!)

Comments

matsy's picture
matsy

That last line of this blog made me chuckle!

dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

Then at least someone's having fun :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

ra1's picture
ra1

As a fellow developer, I consider much of the fun to be the design an initial development. Once you figure out the logistics, the gruntwork of final implementation and debugging is mundane by comparison. So I would be having a blast, and am enjoying vicariously at least.

matsy's picture
matsy

Also as a fellow developer who finds himself reading your blog daily during lunch. I thoroughly enjoy keeping up to date with your progress in both NEO Scavenger, and the Prototype. It has in part inspired me to think about a game I would like to make, however I haven't acted on this impulse just yet!

I also meant to reply to a previous comment you made in reply to 'confidence'. Which I thinking about it, ended up being longer than the original post!

dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

I think you're right: early system design can be fun. I especially like coding when I can see the results pretty quickly, allowing me to do rapid cycles of tweaking/testing.

Filling-in all the data and due diligence later is where it can get tedious.

As for having an inspiration and not taking action yet, that was the case for me for a while after NEO Scavenger launched. I probably delayed prototyping more than necessary because committing to a new project is scary. Especially one I've been thinking about for so long. What if it isn't as cool in practice as it was in my head?

But then again, I'll never get to play it if it's only in my head :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games