In the hopes of getting something more concrete done, I’m going to go with the “Naked Development” model. Every day I’ll upload whatever I have, no matter how minor, for people to try out.
I spent some time today working on a new game, sort of like a space based “Oregon Trail”. You construct your ship by selecting parts that effect the happiness, productivity, and population cap of your crew. After that, you launch it into the unknown!
After taking a small break for the holidays, I’ve come back completely recharged! With the Kickstarter for Habitat looming only a month away, in mid February, I’ve contracted Ian Earle (@OogalaBoogala) to chop together a cinematic trailer for me. He’s the same person that’s been providing me with wonderful music, like this:
While I’ve been excited to start work on Star System and Planet Surface generation, it’s also a bit scary. Having zero experience in this sort of stuff means I don’t know what to expect, but at least that’ll keep things interesting. I started/procrastinated by working on the System Scene interface, where the player selects a planet to travel to:
The past week I’ve been really chugging away, knocking off these features from my to-do list:
Particle Systems (finally put an end to that)
Save and Load games
Working life support systems (this one was easy to finish if you consider none of the actual art assets for them are done!)
The feature I’m currently working on is Planet Generation. This means randomly creating worlds, and by extension, solar systems. The problem is that until now, the game started out on the surface of some random planet, so I’ve had to change what happens when the game starts up. Now you’ll see something like this:
Hopefully it will get a lot prettier once I add procedurally generated planet icons and such. Anyways, I don’t have time to say a lot else, but I’ve been making steady progress nonetheless!
So it turns out making your own particle system is fun and easy! While I’ve wasted more time than I probably should working on the particle system, it did help me uncover a few bugs and missing features to the engine.
Living and working in Long Island has been wonderful, until Sandy hit. Fortunately, other than a few fallen trees, the only damage it’s done has been to my productivity. We lost power for about 8 days, and then for a few days after the power kept flickering. While the power didn’t go out again, the flickers were just long enough to restart my computer, which is almost infinitely more frustrating than losing power. The anxiety of the power flickering lead me to purchase an uninterrupted power supply (or UPS). Now everything is all good!
Except I’ve come down with a horrible stomach ache. Currently waiting to see a doctor, hopefully it won’t affect my work too much…
Since I completed the silhouettes last week, I decided to just finish off some of the detail work on the astronaut. Since I’m lazy, the tricky part was coming up with designs for the odds and ends that don’t look awkward when mirrored. Not having to manually go through each cardinal direction saves me a massive amount of time, both now and in the future. Also, the orange color for the suit and the red stripes on his helmet and backpack are going to be customizable, you’ll simply use a RGB slider to select your desired colors.
After spending the last couple months fleshing out the engine for my isometric space game (still nameless), I’m beginning to find it difficult to show off its features in any meaningful manner. Unless I’m talking to another programmer, it’s nearly impossible to give people an idea of what I’ve been doing each day. Just last week I added some simple atmospheric simulation, but all it really shows is a bunch of blue blobs (the tiles with atmosphere) jittering around until they find a breach in the hull and escape, disappearing into the planet’s “global” atmosphere. A better way to show this in action would be to have an astronaut walking around inside a building, remove one of the walls, then watch them as they suffocate and die (wow that’s disturbing when it’s written out). Even if the viewer doesn’t understand the technical parts of how an atmosphere is simulated, they’ll understand that I have it working by watching the astronaut suffer their unfortunate fate!
Now, the problem is, I don’t have an animation for the dying astronaut. In fact, I don’t even have a complete idea of what the astronaut will look like! So, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and spend this week on art assets for the game.
I’m also redoing my previously unfinished player animations from scratch, focusing on just the four cardinal directions in game. The reason being, is that once I started adding more details to my Astronaut sprite, I noticed that the “projection” of him wasn’t quite so isometric.