Interview, Food Stats, and Item Layout Research

Hey Folks! I had a Skype interview this morning, which should be online in a week or so. In it, we discussed some of my career history and discoveries about gamedev, as well as tips for aspiring devs. It should be online in a week or two, so I'll let you know once I see it!

I resumed work on the food stat today, and so far, so good. It wasn't too hard to setup, now that I've figured out sleep, and before long, I had it working pretty much as designed. I even tried a ship layout with 5 beds, 3 fridges, and 5 crew, and it seemed fairly accurate! The crew seemed to sleep according to their schedules, and eat when they needed it.

Some interesting side-effects of the system: crew quickly developed their own favorite bunks, and always returned to "their" bed over the others. And it was cool seeing the whole crew asleep, and upon waking, making their ways to the fridge room for some breakfast. Even though the stuff under the surface is still a bit empty and arbitrary, it seemed like they had lives and knew what they were doing. Off to a promising start!

After a few more tweaks to adjust the hunger scale to be more realistic, I turned my attention to item layout.

As of now, it's possible to put beds and fridges around the ship, and it works fairly well. It doesn't, however, care if you overlap items that shouldn't. It also allows placing beds in walls and space. Not ideal.

What this means is that I need to figure out how I want to control item layout. What are the rules for placing items? What tiles can they go on, and next to? Can items go on other items? (E.g. what about lamps and desks?) And how do I differentiate items that are part of the ship (beds) vs. carried (coffee mugs)?

And while I'm at it, how do I want to handle the visual representation in-game? Right now, I just have a bed and fridge drawn at a certain orientation. Is it sufficient to simply rotate that item, like in NEO Scavenger? Will the lighting look weird if I do? Do I want to see about dynamic 2D lighting? (e.g. normal-mapped sprites)

There are some really cool effects being done out there with 2D games these days, and I'd love to be able to use them. But it may or may not be possible in HaxeFlixel. (Even though it could be done in Haxe/OpenFL.)

More on that tomorrow. For now, time to call it a day. Have a good night, all!


layarion's picture

i'm confused, i'm guessing this is for another game your making?

could you make a sub-forum with links to these kinds of post so that i can follow the past of the topic easier?

also, i thought awhile ago i read something like you were just sort of doing this for kicks, nothing serious type of thing...or did i make that up in my head

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dcfedor's picture

Hey layarion,

Yeah, I decided to start working on some new prototypes while my contract dev works on the tablet version of NEO Scavenger. This isn't a guaranteed game project yet, but it could become one if it shows enough potential.

Regarding following these posts easier, unfortunately this CMS doesn't have tagging setup yet for news posts. But that's an interesting idea, so I've earmarked it for later. In the meantime, you can find most of these posts pretty easily by clicking the Monthly Archive on the right side of the homepage. The majority of recent posts are about this prototype, with minor NS and NS-Tablet bits here and there.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games