Weekly Dev Update – November 28th, 2014

Posted on November 28, 2014 by Adam

Dave

This week, I spent some time hooking up outcomes to the happenings in a subplot. Note my test location was a Frozen Lake, and the subplot defines what happens when characters explore that location on a planet for an away mission. There are an asburd amount of unique paths through the location story (think: millions), including how it starts and ends. For example:

Chief Blahuta began to worry he was getting lost out in the middle of the frozen lake. He started to reprogram a portable probe to act as a locator beacon, but the circuits couldn’t handle the power differential and it caused a minor explosion. (2 Energy Damage) (Character has died)

Crewman Zezelic neared the completion of his journey through the frozen lake. He paused to admire a shimmering effect and realized a fine powder of naturally occuring ceramics was storing heat from the red sun. His mood changed for the better. (Collected 1 Ceramics)

The above is actual code output. It’s built sentence-by-sentence, and in some cases phrase-by-phrase by the storygen system.

After running a couple of stories, I decided upon some improvements to the system. This includes:

1) Improvements to how events that optionally happen near the beginning of the story better are tied back into it towards the end.
2) More optional paths leading from each plot point depending on specific criteria
3) Custom story paths that take character “outside” the main arc of the story, and bring them back in.

The main challenge is that these are nothing like traditional RPG quests, because everytime a character runs the scenario vastly different things will happen depending on his or her personality traits, skills, abilities, and other RPG statistics.

So right now, I’m working on the Forest location which is really v3 of the system and incorporates the above improvements. Everyone I showed v2 (the Frozen Lake) really liked it and thought it was cool. But I’m really going for the WOW OMG factor, and I’m hoping v3 nails it 🙂 . Also with the Forest location, I’ll be testing out how combat gets called (in code) from inside a story.

Daniel

Greetings Earthlings, this week I have designed and modeled the 3D UI. This of course is more involved than what one might initially believe since you have to design the objects and layout while keeping usability in mind. And then of course you need to make sure it actually supports the technical requirements to ensure they work when implemented fully (in code/game).

After that I got to spend some time having fun making the hydroponics lab where players will be able to grow their crops.

Adam

In anticipation of releasing a playable pre-alpha, Dave went through the build and gave me a list of bugs to fix and features to polish some rough edges off of.

After that, I was able to start integrating Daniel’s 3D GUI elements and the tech behind it all. I basically had to find a way to leverage our 2D GUI tech (manages buttons, scrollers, text, etc.) and project it on 3D geometry in a dynamic fashion. This way, players will be able to look at reports and applications on 3D sheets of paper and on a 3D desk, that they can then sign/stamp/interact with in some fashion.

I’m really excited to get this stuff working because it definitely pulls your into the game universe. It also just feels really good. I’ll post some screenshots once I’m done with the most important components.