This week was one of planning and design discussions as a result of the internal playtest. We’re trying to knock the key sticking points with the desk design first to ensure that things are clear for players and, more importantly, feel great.
I also took the opportunity to knock out a bunch of important admin tasks to get them out of the way for a 2-week blitz on new tasks. As much as I like touching different parts of the business, I also look forward to being able to pay someone to take care of these aspects for me! See you all next week!
For me the week has consisted largely of long discussions, paperwork, and a little bit of creative time. Not much fun to show from that, but it’s stuff that needed doing.
When we were looking over our interactions with you guys we realized that we are doing a few too many things that aren’t really having significant returns on time investment or are splitting our online presence in an undesirable way.
Due to this we’ve decided to put our public IRC channel on ice for now.
We originally started the @AstrobaseComd Twitter handle a little over 2 years ago as an experiment in social media outreach. After much consideration, we’ve assessed that it will be more effective for us to consolidate our Twitter presence to our @jellyfish_games account. This will simplify our job of keeping tabs on whatever’s on your mind, and it will make it easier for you to keep a view on everything we’re up to.
The @AstrobaseComd account will remain active for another 48 hours, after which it will be jettisoned out of the nearest airlock.
This week is again a bit unusual. Since we spend last week doing internal playtesting we had a lot of things to talk about. So that’s what most of our time has been about this week. The results are awesome! We now have a comprehensive list of everything we need to do before we put ABC in front of actual humans and much of what remains after that.
Now all we need to do is everything that remains to be made!
The Astrobase Command Team
This week is a little bit different. We’ve been hard at work getting features and content into the game for quite some time now. Last week, we reached an important internal milestone, which felt great! After delivering a bunch of new features and solving a ton of bugs, we were way overdue for some feedback.
With the prospect of releasing it to be tested by people who aren’t us looming over our shoulder; we decided that we’d best do some more focused playtesting on our own before we have others spend their time testing it.
Making this week Internal Playtest Week.
So far it’s going very well. We’re running into a lot of bugs, issues, and annoyances. Things which we will turn into tasks for bug-fixes, changes, and new features to get through. Some before we have our first external testers get their hands on them, some for later depending on how important they are and how they fit into our overall schedule.
This is great as the more things we can figure out need fixing on our own the less rough and unintended edges the early testers will get snagged on.
The Astrobase Command Team
This week I wrapped up the last bit for missions with a placeholder mission reward system, yielding resources on return. I spent the rest of the week wrapping up the current milestone by knocking out a bunch of problematic bugs and minor features. This should allow me to incorporate personality traits into our crew AI as well as station events like reactor fires.
This week I worked on the big design doc that covers traits and their inner workings. Hopefully it will result in a clean/presentable spreadsheet I can hand off to Adam for the station events.
This week I finally finished up the section lights. Check out the video to see what it ended up looking like.
Demonstration of some light states for the Astrobase modules.
I spent the better part of the week wrapping up the mission planning program. This allows us to plan the different components of a mission as well as navigate active and complete missions. Not only do we get the basic details of the mission (planet, start time, mission leader, mission controller, etc.) but we also have a full list of mission reports received from the mission leader on the ground.
With this in place, ABC is finally looking like a full game! I’ll be back on AI over the next few weeks so I look forward talking some more about that!
This week I’ve worked more on the Section Lights. I finished most of the programming (theres one more feature in it to figure out) but I needed to go through and populate the existing sections to cover the already implemented features in order to figure out how to best make the last one. This had me lighting every section several times, which for just one section isn’t too much work but when you start multiplying it by 40 or so you end up spending days getting through them all. With that done it really does feel pretty sweet to for example turn on the emergency lighting, not just as in “cool it works” but it drastically changes the mood of the station.