Monday, May 22, 2017

Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- Improving the look, continuing to work on the town layout, starting a website

This week has been an interesting one. I'm continuing to work towards getting it ready to show off. To do so, I improved the look of the mountains and terrain in general, I started working on a website, and continuing to work on the town layout that I've been working on for a few weeks.






Looking at the terrain, I realized that I had made it too flat in appearance. I fixed this, as can be seen above.

I also have started to replace the city layout, as I've mentioned a few times before. You can see how it will roughly look, although I'm continuing to improve it. The next version the buildings will look different, and the city label will contain more information, slightly. I'm fairly confident I can have a fully working version of this by the end of this week!

As mentioned, I started a website. I have a host, and will be continuing to work on improving things further, although I'm still trying to decide exactly what it will look like. Stay tuned, I hope to have something in the next week or two. It will result in a new blog location, and I'm going to try to import everything from this blog to the new one (At least, all of the dev blogs for this game). My Amateur Radio following group will be happy to have this return to it's original purpose!

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! 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- Building a city layout

This week I've continued to put together pieces for my city layout tool. I finished building design, and started to layout the city. In the process, I learned how to do something I've long wanted to do, but haven't gotten to yet, namely how to do custom inspectors!


The city layout still isn't quite as I want, I want to do more bitmasking instead of the current layout that I have. I've started work on it, but I just haven't gotten to it yet, I'm hoping to have that done pretty quickly. Assuming I can finish that, I will then add the buildings to the layout, and hopefully have a functioning town!

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! 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- Button improvement, Reworking the cityscape

The first thing that I  did this week was to improve the buttons.



I started working this week on improving the dialogs, but I quickly realized that my current ways just weren't cutting it. My first poor attempt ended up as follows:

This just looks hideous, and I started thinking, there has to be a better way. So I thought about it, and made the following sketch:





I showed it around to a few people, and generally they liked they idea. I then started playing around with how to make it work, most notably looking at Kenney's graphics.

I think that kind of style will do. I'm still working on generating these automatically, this one was a bit of a manual pain, but when it's done, I'll have procedurally generated building using Kenney's artwork. I will then decide at a future date if I want to keep going with that, or improve it further. I've toyed with doing some kind of a 3-d model similar to how my world scene is generated, but for now, I'll go with this, and see how it looks.


This week I'm going to work on setting up the city, allowing one to visit places by clicking on them instead of the small buttons that are currently available. I will continue to improve the dialogs. If I have any time beyond those two items, I want to fix the tooltips, that can sometimes appear behind items, and the size is too variable.

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- Theming the UI, adding support for localization, lowering reflection

This week I had two major accomplishments. The first was to add localization support. Note that I'm not fully localized yet, but it's coming along. The second was to add a theme system to my game, to allow for easily changing large sets of items to have a particular theme, allowing me to tweak the look of the game. I also toned down the reflection, which was mentioned by many people to be a bit too high for most people's tastes.


So, why localization support? One of the things I decided to do was to change the font in my game. If I was going to do font, I might as well change everything to a Text Mesh Pro. When doing that, it seemed natural to do two other changes that would require touching almost every box in the game, localization and theme support. I added both of these, and have been gradually changing the fonts to support these changes.

I'm content with most of the buttons, although I'm still going to re-work the ones in the lower left, which currently just contains a single button. I haven't decided what I want to do yet with that, which is why I haven't bothered theming it.

The themeing was accomplished by using Scriptable Objects, which I allow for picking a background, font style, font color, and image color.

I'm still trying to figure out exactly how I want the dialogs to look. I haven't figured it out yet, but I'm getting there, slowly.

For this week I'm going to continue to work on the changes from last week, mostly focused on dialogs. I might then take a break from all of this to figure out a website, now that I have a name and am approaching the minimal threshold that I can consider seeking out Steam Greenlight or KickStarter or generally speaking to get the name of my game out there, although a website is really needed to take that next step.

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!  

Monday, April 24, 2017

Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- Yes, it has a name finally! Also, UX improvements

Well, I've been talking about it for ages, and it's finally happened. This is no longer the unnamed Sea Trading Game, it has a real name! And that name is Colonial Sea Trader.

Still working on the artwork, of course, but there it is!

And there's more! I've been working on improving the UI considerably. I've reduced the amount of things on the screen, showing just the important stuff. I've also done the start of an effort to improve all of the dialogs. See the start of it below. Note that there will be tweaks, but it should be something like what you see below.

Other improvements include the start of keyboard shortcuts, which can be expanded easily further,
improvements to the map edges, studying some of the edge cases to improve the display, and starting to do work to improve some of the artwork.

This week I'm planning on continuing the UI updates I did last week, and in general will be working on the polish of the game. I might also improve the tutorial, world creation, and other such things, I haven't decided yet.

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!  

Monday, April 17, 2017

Dev Blog- Sea Trading Game. Let's give it a name, and fix UI stuff.

Well, I've decided to finally give my game a name. Right now I've been floating two titles, "Colonial Sea Trader" and "Columbian Exchange". Perhaps not the most original names, but, hey, it's better than "Unnamed Sea Trading Game" that I've been floating for over a year. I'm quite interested to hear what you have to think of, let me know.

In conjunction with the naming decision, I also released a new video. This will probably be the last one from this channel, I'm going to work on a dedicated channel soon for this game, but I'd like to get it named first.


A few other things that I did:

  • I upgraded to Unity 5.6.
  • I improved the way the layout changes with resolution, I think it should be more consistent now. I'm going to be improving a few other of the displays as well, but overall...
  • I've now made it so the entire screen is visible, and not the the small portion visible before.
  • I fixed a number of bugs.
  • I have a new camera system in place that I think will take me to the final system. Lines are no longer visible, although I need to improve the cloud system a bit to get it perfected.


My goals for this week are as follows:
  • Improve the image display slightly.
  • Make my final name decision!
  • Numerous bug fixes to make the game feel more like a game.
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!  

Monday, April 10, 2017

Dev Blog- Sea Trading Game- Making rectangular worlds, larger worlds

For most of my development process, I've been making square worlds. I've long wanted to play with rectangular images, but I haven't had it happen yet. This week, I worked on making that change, as well as improving the overall speed! Finally, I improved the rendering of the worlds to look better for large worlds.





There are still a few things that I'm adjusting, namely the behavior of the minimap, some of the world layout, etc. I also temporarily reduced the number of cities displayed, to make the rendering quicker.

This week I'm going to fix a few of the issues I'm still seeing with world rendering, and work on speeding it up as well. I'm then going to work on some balance, and if all goes well I'll work on re-making the main UI, although I'm not particularly confident that I'll make it that 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!