Item Functionality

Today was a pretty productive day. Since the baby decided to poop pants and flip-out at 5:30am, I decided to just stay up and start work early. As a result, a got quite a bit more coding done today.

The main thing on my plate was getting items more fleshed-out in the prototype. Namely, I wanted to make sure items were reading from and writing to data files appropriately. This meant some more JSON handler code, and discovering that built-in JSON functions don't like Map classes in Haxe very much. They seem to write out okay, but cannot read-in. So instead, I did some conversions to and from string Arrays for the affected data fields.

Once that was done, I did a quick test to make sure the ship-building mode was still working, and it mostly was. I noticed a few bugs with the way items cloned and their lights rotated, so I had to fix those. And I also made the lights' position offset apply to both the source of light and the sprite appearance of the light, since the latter wasn't being affected by that offset yet.

Then, I decided to add buttons to the editor and ship-builder screens so I could switch between them without restarting the app. If I can keep this working, it might mean the players can load the data editor from within the game if they want to rapidly mod/test/edit/test.

Finally, I got started on adding a rudimentary inventory to each item and crew class. This meant methods for adding, removing, and getting references to items in each inventory.

With those in place, I started adding code to add/remove/transfer items when an interaction is performed. I think I have the code ready on Crew, and I just need to copy it over to Items before I can test it out. My first test will be interacting with a food packet vs. with a fridge, to see if the crew will get stat changes and inventory changes, accordingly.

Actually, I'll also need to add default inventories to items so the fridge starts with food packets inside it. This might mean I need to tackle treasure specifications sooner than later. But I might be able to squeak by for now by just specifying items' contents directly.

Feels good to be coding game stuff again, instead of editor stuff!


ZoneWizard's picture

Thinking about your space game project. I have several suggestions you may want to consider.

Check out these games via emulation or youtube "lets play" videos.

Mines of Titan
Pretty simple over head game that gave a good amount of depth with options and how to play the game. I view it like a pre-Ultima 7 science fiction romp =D

Space Rogue
Very simple looking at first, but pretty interesting that you have here a 3D space sim.

PC/DOS/Sega Genesis
Star FLight


Buck Rogers- Countdown to Doomsday

These 2 games are especially interesting because they seem like what you may want to design. Maybe not...BUT! If you cross breed all these with Neo Scavenger...well...who the hell knows what monstrosity may come of it. However I think it would be pretty nice to see what you come up with.

On a side note; I was curious if you have any interest in our(the community here...erm, I and the other travelers to your site) story and plot ideas?

That said I can't get back to the internet to often. If you could PM me with a link to your response(assuming you respond >_>), that would be very nice.

Plus I'd start drumming up ideas for story & plot.

dcfedor's picture

I'll have to check those out, thanks!

I've played the hell out of Star Flight back in the day. That was one of the big inspirations for this game. I loved that it had things like planetfall with variable gravity/weather, ore prospecting and mining, ship upgrades, and crew management.

I played a fair bit of Buck Rogers, too, on the Genesis. I don't remember it as much, though.

Some of the inspirations for this prototype include:

  • Traveller The New Era - Pen and paper RPG about space travel. Lots of attention to science and spaceship logistics in this RPG, and in particular, the Fire, Fusion, and Steel supplement was a treasure trove of sci-fi tech explanations.
  • Firefly - Especially for the crew dynamics, but also the attention to detail like no sound in space, long voyages (allowing for crew drama!), and constantly struggling to make ends meet.
  • Alien(s) - The tech and tone of the game will probably match the first two films. Alien: Isolation is a good reference, too. Blue-collar sci-fi, functional hardware, hard life in space.
  • Cowboy Bebop - The universe I'm planning is a lot like this one. I.e. just the Solar System, Earth is a mess and avoided by most. Also, crew drama and struggling to get by.
  • Star Flight - For reasons above.
  • Elite II: Frontier - planetfall, Newtonian physics, realistic systems, keeping your ship fueled, used shipyards, fawning over new ship exterior
  • Prison Architect - Planning foot traffic, security zones, creature comforts
  • Orbiter - ultra-detailed UI (levers, knobs, orbital projections), antero/retrograde burns, and realistic physics

Also, some relevant things I've discovered after starting work on the prototype include Rimworld (similar Prison Architect mechanics, except focused more on survival and on a planet) and Leviathan Wakes (Expanse series features similar Solar System civ and hard science).

As for whether I have any interest in input from the community, I do! Though, I don't want to open the flood gates too soon. I want people to have a strong idea for what this game is, and importantly, what it is not so their suggestions are more focused on areas that are helpful. (Similar to what I did with NEO Scavenger, where it was a playable beta before I solicited public feedback.)

That said, this daily devlog is the place to chat with me about what I'm working on. Each day, I post the stuff I'm working on and thinking about, and I am totally interested in people's thoughts on that.

Unfortunately, the topics are rather boring lately, since it's still early dev stuff (adding foundation code, plumbing, etc.). Still, there are some interesting and far-reaching decisions being made by this low-level design. So if you have any feedback on the day-to-day stuff (possible solutions, implications of choices I'm making), do tell!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games