This week I’ve been able to work more on the Biochemical Plants, it’s great fun to get way out there in designing these visuals!
Here you can see the electrochemical plant risen from its shell during operation.
This week I continued on missions, primarily integrating a lot of the detailed designs back into the overview. Also worked on the modules where mission mechanics interact with the Astrobase!
This week I’ve finally gotten back to properly work on more sections or rooms. Specifically I’m working on the Biochemical Plants (power generators, not flowers and such this time).
It’s very nice to be able to work on something less interconnected than GUI for a while as those things (desk stuff for example) have a lot of dependencies that limit their possibility space as they need to do three things; fit well on the desk with the other components, look good, and perform their tasks in an intuitive and useful manner.
Since we are all used to working with computers we’re all very familiar with the powerful functionality you have with them. For example, File Browsers you can easily change the sorting of all your documents in a folder by name, date, type, or size just by the click of a mouse. This is something we easily take for granted and when working with papers on a desk in the real world we know that we can’t those tasks with such ease.
Now, when working on a desk in a virtual space you can do that but want to avoid doing it too much as it can remove from the physicality of working papers on a desk however tempting it might be due to the the added cumbersomeness of being limited to working with a mouse rather than with two hands and ten fingers as you would in the real world.
The Combustion Plant (or, as I like to call it, Stumpy) standing proud in its very own room.
This week I was deep into missions.
Basically it’s mapping out how character personality interacts with locations on a planet, both interacting with the things that can happen in the locations (every thing from weather and obstacles to minerals and alien life), and the things characters can do (survey the planet, explore, etc), or have happen to them (contract an alien virus, get shot at by an alien probe), interacting with the player objectives, and all feeding into the text generation system which converts the story into text. And then building in the balance, the mission structure, and all of that.
I spent the week gathering data to help us shape our social media and marketing plans. As a small indie team, we certainly don’t have the budget to hire large marketing firms to give us ready-made cheat sheets. Drawing inspiration from the immortal MacGuyver, I used some duct tape and pop caps to whip up a homemade analysis.
Without getting into mind numbing detail, I pored over information from Kickstarter, Twitter, Steamspy and Google Trends to paint a picture of what we have done in the past and how other projects have tackled the problem of gaining visibility. A note to all of you eager analysts-in-the-making: Google Trends is awesome.
This legwork, captured in an Excel spreadsheet (also worth becoming friendly with, if you haven’t already done so) and Powerpoint, has opened up a series of options we had not considered before, so it has proven a useful investment of time, even if it wasn’t directly related to game development.
Now I need to find some toad tongue, bonemeal, and eye of newt to see if I can cast the arcane website SEO enchantment.
This week I worked on figuring out how the filing cabinet should work. It’s a deceptive object as it could potentially be a quite powerful tool to manage a lot of information in the archives but at it’s surface just looks like a filing cabinet. We now have a starting direction to go in, this allows us to test the harder to predict issues as we do some prototyping during it’s early implementation.
In addition to that I’ve been getting back to working on the sections that remain to be made. Next week I should have some screenshots to show you guys.
This week worked a ton on missions. Not much more to say!
From the entire team: have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone! That means you too, gamedevs. Take some time to enjoy yourselves with your families!
This week I’ve finished up the work on the doors (last week I forgot to add blast doors, whoops) as well as doing some preliminary work on a side project that might turn out great, I’ll tell you more when it’s further along. Oh! I also made the new rolodex to go with the new rolodex cards from our big refresh of the ingame desk.
The new rolodex ingame, The portrait is still missing but it gives you the general idea.
Hey guys! This week I had a touch of the flu. But I managed to work on the mission state machine, and started tracing missions by hand in order to make sure it all logically works.
As (self-titled) Space Captain of Jellyfish, I’m still hard at work on plans for the future. As you’d expect, it involves a lot of thought, Powerpointing and leveraging synergy.
In all seriousness, we dove into Astrobase Command head-first and while that enthusiasm has gotten us this far, I need to take a serious look at our future so we’ll still be around in 10 years making games people love.
This has been another week of “other business” for me! What free time I’ve had left has been split between writing some small quality-of-life tech around running code asynchronously to make better use of multi-core processors and putting together a long-term plan for Jellyfish. We’ve got a lot of interesting ideas and I look forward to sharing some of them with you!
Hey guys, this week I began designing the Mission state-machine in excel. This will serve as the template for programming/implementation. Basically this is the second to last major step before missions are in-game.
Again much of the week has been me working more on the desk. Sadly we cant really show it off until it’s all implemented and making sense. This of course means we have many things for not just me to make graphics for but for Adam to make do the things they should in a nice manner. We’ll show more of that once it’s working and all neat and stuff.
I did however finally get around to addressing the module doors, they were originally made a long time ago in a bit of a hurry. This combined with the progression of work done on a project shifting the style and goal slightly (or severely, depending on the case) over time bit by bit had them looking “not great”. So I re-imagined them in a style more befitting Astrobase Command’s retro futuristic style.
Another busy day for the crew working on the station. It looks like they have already grown accustomed to the new doors.
We’ve started the process of reviewing our corporate presence in the vastness of the interwebs.
It turns out that in the process of launching a Kickstarter and experimenting to find an effective means of communicating with all of you, we took some initiatives that are no longer being sustained. We’re trimming away the dead branches to make everyone’s life easier.
Over the past several days, we’ve shut down some extraneous YouTube and Twitter accounts. To keep up to date with any future posts, follow the Jellyfish Games YouTube account and keep tabs on us Twitter at @jellyfish_games.