Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- Improved journal, more localization, improved speed of gameplay

This week, as I suspected before, was a bit slower than I would have hoped for. As I mentioned at the end of last week, I made a trip to see the total solar eclipse (More later), which took much of my game development time for the week. Still, I was able to make quite a few changes that are smallish, but quite important. I do also have a bit of exciting news to share with you all!

The only visible change was adding a bit more decoration to the journal, as seen below. There may or may not be a subtle Easter Egg included, I give full credit to anyone who can spot it;-) Likely I will add similar tributes to others who have helped me to make this game possible, it’s been quite fun to do so.

As with previous weeks, I’ve been localizing more text. Most of this week’s changes were relating to goods, I now have most of them localized.

The biggest gameplay change this week was I lowered the time to move by a factor of two. It seems to make a huge difference in gameplay! I’m hoping to continue to do exploration in this field to improve the gameplay further! Particularly with some news that will come later on;-)

As mentioned previously, I made a trip to see the total solar eclipse in the US last week. It was really amazing, I recommend that anyone who can takes the opportunity to see one! One of the stories I heard while I was there was one that I had heard before, that of Columbus using knowledge of a lunar eclipse to impress the natives, getting them to do what he wanted to do. It made me think about how I could use this in Colonial Sea Trader. I think I’ve decided that some random events will occur that include eclipses, and will have some kind of an effect, which I’m still trying to work out. It should be quite interesting.

And lastly, for the exciting news! I have been invited to present Colonial Sea Trader at the IGDA DC’s District Arcade this year, on September 16th at Bravo Bravo in Washington D.C. If you are in the area, stop in and say hi, I’ll let you test out the game and give you a chance to provide some very direct feedback.

With the upcoming public demonstration of Colonial Sea Trader, I’m going to concentrate on getting as many updates to improve the gameplay as possible. The first was making things run smoother. The next changes will probably ensure that I have a reasonable distribution of land types, and thus good types. Stay tuned for more!

Lastly, I did post a short development vlog this week, check it out below.

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!

Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- Improved journal, more localization

This has mostly been a behind the scenes kind of week, although I did do one graphical improvement.

I have a few more things that I will do with the journal in the coming weeks, but that’s pretty close to what I am aiming for.

Most of this week was spent continuing to improve the localization. I have come up with a few more things that I would like to improve further, but overall it is coming along quite nicely. I now have over 100 localized phrases, and am continuing to improve the behind the scenes system such that it will better work overall.

This week I will continue to improve the journal display, and add more localized text. I’m also going to rethink how I define some of the inputs, like missions, now that I have the improved localization. The current system isn’t working as well as I would have hoped for. Assuming that goes well, I’m going to start adding in price rumors to the mix.

No video again this week, as you might have noticed, I’m posting early. I’m going to see the total solar eclipse that is going on Monday. I’m considering as a result of this of finding a way to use such events in my game, but I haven’t decided yet exactly what I want to do with it. Stay tuned for more!

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!

Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- Improved localization support, start of the journal!

I intended to work only on the journal this week. It turned out that while I did this, I realized that I needed to improve my localization support considerably. The previous method only allowed for the translation of entire phrases, which works for some instances, but not for all. To remedy this, I decided to allow for the insertion of words in to localization strings, as I have seen done in other places. This allowed me to add in stuff, like where you docked, goods you purchased, etc. I also started to work on a journal display, which I will be working on to improve quite a bit.

There are a few other things you might notice from here. The first is that I now have an official date entry, showing the year, month, and date. I’m still going to be including that in more places, but it is a start.

The other thing you might notice is that I’m now using color icons for the bottom right bar. I still am going to play with them some, but I think colored icons are better than the old mono-color icons I was using.

Previously I had only the barest skeleton of localization support. I now am officially using it! The localization dictionary is actually the first modable item that I am supporting. The script will come in a folder that anyone can change, should they so desire. When I have done more localizing of strings, I will give this out for assistance in translation, but right now it is premature, if anything.

No video this week, up until the last moment I was working on just getting anything graphical to show up, but I should return with a video next week.

This week I’m going to continue to improve the journal display, both in adding more items to the journal, as well as improving the display itself. I’m also going to work on actually localizing all of the strings in the game, now that my localization support has made it this far.

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!

Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- Improved table layout, debugging low food

This week I did a lot of bug fixing from my last video, including ensuring that food can be directly purchased. I added the ability to use a number of interesting emojis, and have started using them. I made the goods table scaleable to all sizes, improving the look at full screen. I improved dialog to purchase goods as well.

One of the biggest things that I discovered when I added the good tables was that I have a pretty severe lack of resources available. Despite the roughly 30 goods available, I was only using maybe a third of them. Why might that be, I wondered? To solve that, I did some diagnosis of the number of tiles produced of what types, and what the cities that were produced were. By so doing, I found that I had almost no grassland produced, where many of my plants are programmed to start, and lots of jungle and rainforest type land. In a word, my land is too moist! Also, many of my cities are made on islands, and I currently consider islands to be a different type of biome, which I haven’t done a lot with. Bottom line is, I have a lot of things to improve in regard to the world generation. This will be high on my list in the coming weeks.

There was one bug I fixed in regard to the world generation. I had discovered that the poles were no longer showing as covered in ice, as had been done previously. To figure out what happened, I looked at images from this very blog over the course of the last month to determine when the bug was introduced. Knowing when it was introduced, I could more easily track down the exact problem, and had it fixed within 10 minutes. Keeping a blog can have many benefits!

The biggest improvement was to my price dialog introduced last week. I added some darker columns to improve readability, allow for it to be scaled, and removed items that aren’t actually available for sale anywhere. The bottom line, it looks like this now:

 

One thing the eagle eyed might notice is there is one icon that looks quite a bit different than the others. The sheep icon is new. I used the fonts from the Noto color emoji to the mix, and in so doing find a few nice icons for use elsewhere in my game. The sheep was one of the ones added. I haven’t decided on a final style for these, but more that I am looking for a temporary icon to give me something to think about in terms of the final style.

I did another video. I’m going to work on improving these videos overall, but these early videos are teaching me a whole lot, including what to include, how to make the video production work, and last but not least, showing me bugs in my game that I might otherwise miss.

All in all, it was a productive week! This week I’m going to start a new dialog, namely an activity journal to show what you have been doing, and what is going on in the world. I’m also going to give the procedural world generation a bit more thought, and possible start using that!

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!