This week has featured a number of internal working updates that don’t really show, but make the game easier to maintain, and will eventually lead to a number of cool updates, including the ability to extend the game. What I’ve done is put the configuration of the in to a config file. A separate config file is used for the tutorial as compared to the main game, and I’ll likely add one for debugging to make that easier as well. Bottom line, this should add quite a bit of flexibility to the game development, and hopefully save me some time going forward.
One interesting thing I did as a result is to make the cost of goods to be more realistic. There are a number of factors that go in to the cost, but it’s much more realistic now. No more will gold be half the price in cities a few squares apart! Also, the difference in the buy/sell price within a city for different goods is related, and regional as well. I’m not quite sure how it will all play out, but it seems to be working well.
I’ve also started to make more realistic randomly generated maps. This is still very much a work in progress, but things are starting to come together. I’m looking in to two different methods for map generation, I’m working on getting the prototypes together to see how these look before I move on to incorporating them further. I don’t have anything to show yet, but hopefully by next week I will have something.
So this week added a few features that don’t at first glance seem huge, but definitely make the game feel nicer. The most noticeable thing is that the graphics have changed for pathfinding to be something more curvy, as seen below. I had quite a bit of help from this article, thanks Catlike Coding!
The other changes are more minor, mostly in trying to load things easier, with one notable exception. Resources can now be seen via the map. Right now it only works for Fish, but the same thing should apply to other areas as well.
I’ve also been tracing through some Unity issues.
On the plate for this week is continuing to improve the look and feel of the world. I’m going to do a bit of behind the scenes work to make my testing easier, and then start making the world feel more realistic with things like labor costs, regional resource costs, and maybe even a more realistic map.
This week I’ve made a lot of progress! I started out by making the ships easier to manage, which allowed me to add some fun features, such as a wake moving behind the ship.
I also updated the right panel considerably. The goal that I’m working towards is to have it include more information in a way that is easier to digest. Here’s an example of a city (Note that I’ll eventually include images for the various items, instead of the blank white boxes currently included)
Here’s what it looks like for a ship:
The last thing I’ve done is to make the edges a bit easier to notice when dragging
I also started a menu system, which is very rough for now, but it will bring me in to the desired game mode. I’ve also released a new preview of the game, as I’m getting to a transition phase, I want to get some more feedback from the public to see what you all think of it. Check it out at this link. I suggest you choose the tutorial mode, the game mode is still under very active development, and doesn’t really do much so far!
Overall it’s starting to come along, I’m finally getting beyond the proof of concept stage, and in to the real meat of the game!
Goals for this week are to improve some of the graphics, and to have a way to show resources on the map like fish densities. Maybe I’ll even get to my long desired name for the game, which still eludes me.
This has been another productive week. I started by putting in a pattern for the wind patterns, that follows a few circles around the center, making it easier to test out new algorithms. I started the process of procedural generation by putting the fish count per tile. I did remove the “Drunk Sailor” effect, replacing it with a more subtle error generation, that I will be tweaking in the short term future. Overall, the game is really starting to progress!
The biggest change I did was to add in realtime path generation. The graphics for it aren’t great, but the effect does work well. Notice the path that will be taken updates as I move the mouse around.
I also changed the way the ocean was displayed slightly. I’m still not perfectly happy with it, but it is coming along, and I’ll probably leave it alone for now.
The most exciting thing for me personally was that I started the process of procedural generating a world. Specifically, each tile now has a psuedo-random amount of fish, so certain areas will tend to get more fish than others. I haven’t set it up yet, but I intend to have the areas near the poles have fewer fish than those near the equator.
The next few weeks are back to working on UI elements. Two areas that I primarily intend to focus on are improved graphics for the realtime path generation script, and improving the display of information, including city, captain, ship movement, and other related items. I will add in a few plugs that make using a real ship model easier, and depending on the time, I might even put in an improved ship model. I also want to break out the “tutorial” mode from the main game play mode, but I’m not sure if I will get to that. Should be exciting, in any case!
This week has been a behind-the-scenes work, while I’ve been adding new features, they aren’t as showy. Specifically, I’ve been focusing on the abilities of the crew. These have proven to be more challenging than I thought they would be, but have resulted in a more robust system overall.
The first thing I’ve focused on is the ability to fish. This falls under the attribute “scavenge”. Scavenge simply put is the ability to use the resources of the land to make ends meet. What will happen is the food will occasionally be increased as one moves. Eventually some tiles will have more fish than others, but for now all tiles are the same. Eventually there will be a land scavenge ability, which will primarily be for water, some for food, and possibly even for goods, but I haven’t gotten there yet.
Next I added a crew salary. No longer can one take a ship around the world without some consequences. There is no penalty for negative cash, but it is possible.
Lastly I’ve focused on the navigation ability. In doing so, I found a few bugs. One was that there was a memory leak such that after moving around for a while, the game would slow to a crawl. That issue has been addressed. Next I’ve added less than perfect navigation. I’m still tuning it somewhat, but the effect is comical. This is one of the better examples, I’ve seen instances where the ship essentially goes around the complete board just to go a relatively short distance.
In adding this feature, I noticed a small bug in my pathfinding navigation that was compounded by the abuse that I added in my navigation code. I’m still working on resolving that issue, but when it’s done I expect the pathfinding to be smoother. I also plan on adding a preview of the path the ship is expected to take prior to starting the pathfinding. Lastly I added the ability to traverse over land, although it takes a considerable amount of time. This is realistic, as ships are sometimes ported across land to maneuver a small channel.