Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- Suspending it for now

It is with heavy heart that I am now announcing the suspending of Colonial Sea Trader. I’m no longer going to be posting weekly updates. I hope to be back to it in the next month or so, but right now I need to concentrate on http://www.whereisroadster.com. Thank you all for your constant support, I really appreciate it!

Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- More thoughts on Economy, heading off to space.

First of all, a confession. I’ve been busy this week, but not with Colonial Sea Trader. I decided to take a week or two off to create a new website, http://www.whereisroadster.com , which tracks Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster and Starman though their journey through space. I don’t anticipate spending more then another week or two in heavy development there, but I do anticipate I will be there a fair bit more. The end result will be that I will have more funds to develop this game, and that is already becoming evident, so it will be a good thing in the end. Also, my skills at web developing are going up considerably as a result.

Before the launch happened, I spent quite a bit of time working on the economics of Colonial Sea Trader. I came up with a few ideas on how I might improve some of the economic models. I haven’t had any real time to implement any of them, however, so I’m still working out the details. Stay tuned for more!

I anticipate one more week where most of my programming time will be devoted to Where is Roadster. I will continue, however, to work though the details of the economic model.

If you haven’t yet, feel free to like me on Facebook, join my Google Group, subscribe to my Sub Reddit, or follow me on Twitter, where you are likely to get frequent updates! You can also subscribe to the Old Ham Media YouTube Channel, where I post frequent videos showing the progress of gameplay and more! Finally, follow me on Twitch, and help me develop games!

Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- Updated Supply and Demand curves

I’ve been giving it a lot of thought, and I finally have a new system for goods. I’m largely going to throw away some of the existing items, like needs, and switch to something that is easier to manage in general.

The key thing I’m going to do is supply and demand curves, modified by the types of modifiers that I’ve been doing. An example of what I’m working towards can be seen below. The demand curve follows an exponential type function, while the supply curve follows more of a piecemeal linear function. The quantity desired will be updated with time. I’m still working a few of the details out, but it is coming together.

I’ve coded up the supply/demand curves, and am now working on more of the aggregate curve functions that will be required to make this work. I’ve decided that, at least for the moment, there are going to be 6 categories of goods, food, spices, clothing, weapons, and vices (Alcohol, Tobacco, Opium, etc). I’m still trying to decide how I want to deal with labor (Slaves), but that will take a bit of time to figure out still.

For the next week, I’m planning on working on the aggregate supply/demand functions, and test the functionality of the demand.

If you haven’t yet, feel free to like me on Facebook, join my Google Group, subscribe to my Sub Reddit, or follow me on Twitter, where you are likely to get frequent updates! You can also subscribe to the Old Ham Media YouTube Channel, where I post frequent videos showing the progress of gameplay and more! Finally, follow me on Twitch, and help me develop games!

Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- Bios of Colonial-age civilizations

First, the work done. I added the missions display, and also improved the functionality of people transfers to include transferring population in addition to just people. The ship detailed information screen looks like below:

It’s nothing fancy yet, but I do plan on enhancing it once I’ve got a few other details continued. If nothing else, showing the direction could be helpful. More to come!

The bulk of this week was spent writing a number of bios for different countries. I ended up with 10 representative civilizations of the age. Note that I’m grouping similar ones together, these are all distinct from other civilizations in the world at the time. The locations were South/Central America, North American colonies, Caribbean Islands, Netherlands, Other Europeans, Middle East, Africa, India, China, and the Polynesian (Spice) Islands.

Just to give you an idea, here is the bio I’ve written for European nations. Desire rare goods, like cloth and spices. Powerful fleets, including merchant fleets. Wealthy. Makes linen, wool, grains.

I have a bio for each of these 10 groupings of civilizations. The things that I’ve commonly included are:

  • Desire for rare goods
  • Desire for cheap labor
  • Ability to produce goods
  • Desire for a class of goods
  • Access to wealth
  • Aggressive nature
  • Likelihood of pirates

I’m still trying to decide how I’m going to play all of this, but I do have a few thoughts. First of all, I’m going to get rid of seeds entirely. They will be replaced by the ability to grow things. Secondly, I’m probably going to significantly reduce the number of goods that produce other goods, etc. If I do it, I’m going to have something that is essentially an A + B= C building which is fairly clearly identified, or something along those lines.

Lastly, and I’m still trying to piece together exactly how to do this, I’m going to change the way that a city feeds itself. I think I’m going to do some kind of a percentage of people farming, and a percentage doing other things. Farming will produce some kind of a multiple of food for the number of people working the food, something like every farmer can feed 2 people on average, depending on the climate and the type of good available. Still trying to decide exactly how this will work, but it is the way that I’m thinking about things now.

This week I’m planning on continuing to redesign the goods. If I can, I’m probably going to do a few modeling of these using offline simulations, to see if cities are actually stable, and do roughly what I’m hoping they will do. I’m hoping to have something to do this over the following week, at least to do basic testing.

If you haven’t yet, feel free to like me on Facebook, join my Google Group, subscribe to my Sub Reddit, or follow me on Twitter, where you are likely to get frequent updates! You can also subscribe to the Old Ham Media YouTube Channel, where I post frequent videos showing the progress of gameplay and more! Finally, follow me on Twitch, and help me develop games!

Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- Passenger missions now working!

With a bit of work, I was able to add in the passenger missions into the new system. They seem to be working well! Currently the number of passenger missions is set to the size of the cities.

Not a whole lot else to report. Still considering how to change the economy per my latest note. Will spend some time reflecting on this for the future, hopefully I’ll have a bit more to report for next week.

If you haven’t yet, feel free to like me on Facebook, join my Google Group, subscribe to my Sub Reddit, or follow me on Twitter, where you are likely to get frequent updates! You can also subscribe to the Old Ham Media YouTube Channel, where I post frequent videos showing the progress of gameplay and more! Finally, follow me on Twitch, and help me develop games!

Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- World Trade in the 1500s, missions functional!

Missions are now fully functional! I’ve updated the dialogs to process the new missions, highlighted the cities, accepted delivery of the cargo, and overall it’s just working well! I haven’t yet added passenger missions, but I’m quite happy overall with how the missions are working!

To help me out with some research, I’ve been reading a few books. The most interesting is A Spendid Exchange , which covers the history of world global trade. I’ve learned that, for instance, trade between China and Rome happened, although neither nation knew about the other.

The era that Colonial Sea Trader takes place happened between the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope by the Portuguese around 1488, and the discovery of the Americans by the Spanish in 1492. The period ends by the formation of the Dutch East India Company, done in 1602. The time period between these two events allowed for world trade, had goods that were distinct throughout the world, but was largely in the realm of individual traders, or possibly small fleets.

So how did the state of the world differ then? The key items transported in those days were rare goods, spices, silver, gold, silk, and other such items, largely intended for the elites, the royalty and such. There was some bulk goods that were transported, largely as ballast, but they were never the primary goods.

Okay, so how does that match the state of Colonial Sea Trader. Well, it doesn’t. I only have a few of the goods that were transported, and I really need to do quite a bit of changing to get things to work.

I’m still trying to decide exactly how to solve this problem, but the current thought is that I will have some traits that a given city will have, possibly with multiple levels. For instance, a city might have a “Desires Rare Good” trait, which will increase the price for rare goods of any kind. I’m not really sure how I’m going to make all of this work yet, but it is a thought.

The last thing that I’ve been considering is the quality of the goods. I’m thinking of adding some kind of a quality of the goods, and adding some traits related to the quality. For instance, there might be a trait where the people don’t care about quality at all. There might be another where the people will only accept goods of a certain quality, otherwise they will offer almost nothing.

For the next week, I’m planning on addressing a few remaining issues with missions, mostly to get the missions you have accepted listed, and possibly adding a confirmation dialog of some kind. I’m also going to add back in passenger missions, which should give a bit more variety. I won’t include the bring cargo here missions, those will need to be rethought after I’ve done my economy updates. I might add in a timed mission, where the goods will spoil after some time.

Going on further, I’m thinking of reevalutating the way that I do the economy overall. I think I’m going to do some kind of offline models, possibly even in a different language entirely. I expect that by next week I’ll at least have a bit more of a plan.

If you haven’t yet, feel free to like me on Facebook, join my Google Group, subscribe to my Sub Reddit, or follow me on Twitter, where you are likely to get frequent updates! You can also subscribe to the Old Ham Media YouTube Channel, where I post frequent videos showing the progress of gameplay and more! Finally, follow me on Twitch, and help me develop games!

Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- Missions now can be loaded!

In theory missions are completely working, although I haven’t had a chance to fully test everything about them out yet. I still need to add other types of missions, do some sorting of stuff, and properly figure out the number of missions to have, but it’s really coming along! Still a few minor bugs, like the missions list not refreshing, showing the wrong number of barrels, etc, but…

I’m hoping this week to have at least the one mission type fully functional, including refreshing the mission list, showing the right number of barrels of goods, etc. I think it will be doable! If I can accomplish that, then I will try to get the other types of missions working as well. I’ll also try to get levels and the proper numbers of missions created!

If you haven’t yet, feel free to like me on Facebook, join my Google Group, subscribe to my Sub Reddit, or follow me on Twitter, where you are likely to get frequent updates! You can also subscribe to the Old Ham Media YouTube Channel, where I post frequent videos showing the progress of gameplay and more! Finally, follow me on Twitch, and help me develop games!

Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- Goods now working again!

I’ve been working at it for a while, and now I can say that my goods system is working reasonably well, although I still have a few parts that I need to test out! I’m content with it for now, however.

I’m still working on my missions upgrades. Now that I can load and unload cargo using a simplified system, it is much easier to work on figuring out exactly what it is that I need to do to improve the current system. Bit by bit it is coming together. So far right now I am able to create a mission, and while I’m still working out a few details, it is starting to come together.

My goal for next week is to finish at least one of the types of missions, and hopefully start working on some of the other types!

If you haven’t yet, feel free to like me on Facebook, join my Google Group, subscribe to my Sub Reddit, or follow me on Twitter, where you are likely to get frequent updates! You can also subscribe to the Old Ham Media YouTube Channel, where I post frequent videos showing the progress of gameplay and more! Finally, follow me on Twitch, and help me develop games!

Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- Finished Cargo Hold updates, working on loading/ unloading dialog

I’ve been fairly productive this week, finishing my cargo hold updates. It’s not the most visible of updates, but it is required, and it is working now.

The biggest thing that I am working at the moment is getting the buying/ selling to work with the hold updates. This is requiring a  bit of a change of the dialog, which is what I am working on at the moment. Once this is done, the game should be playable again. And then finishing up the missions updates should be fairly easy, and I can get back to adding new features instead of just updating them.

If you haven’t yet, feel free to like me on Facebook, join my Google Group, subscribe to my Sub Reddit, or follow me on Twitter, where you are likely to get frequent updates! You can also subscribe to the Old Ham Media YouTube Channel, where I post frequent videos showing the progress of gameplay and more! Finally, follow me on Twitch, and help me develop games!

Dev Blog- Sea Trading Game- Refactoring Hold/ Cargo addition

While going through the Mission improvements I’ve previously mentioned, I found that my cargo hold just wasn’t cutting it. The system was very complex, has had frequent problems in development, and overall has just been causing me some headaches.

While pondering on this, I realized that I could improve the system given what I know now. I have decided to go ahead and do it. The result so far is looking much better so far, although it still needs quite a bit of work. Thus far I’ve managed to save a bunch of memory, make the processing and use much simpler, remove dead code, and overall improve the system considerably!

While I’m going through this, I’ve been adding unit tests to make sure that I get it right. While I have done some unit testing, I haven’t done enough of it, and I always remember when I do this that it starts to improve.

The bottom line is, the mission updates can’t really work until I finish the hold updates. When the hold updates are finished, however, everything should work much smoother, and overall just be better.

I’m hoping to have these updates done by the end of the year. My available time to work on this has been going up recently, and I expect to make good progress!

If you haven’t yet, feel free to like me on Facebook, join my Google Group, subscribe to my Sub Reddit, or follow me on Twitter, where you are likely to get frequent updates! You can also subscribe to the Old Ham Media YouTube Channel, where I post frequent videos showing the progress of gameplay and more! Finally, follow me on Twitch, and help me develop games!