Monday, November 28, 2016

Dev Blog- Sea Trading Game. Selling goods, adding more possible types of cargo holds, updated graphics

I'm almost at that functional state that I promised, I'm still hoping to be there by the next blog post, if not sooner. I've got selling goods working again, meaning that buying, selling, and taking on missions all work with the new Cargo Hold system! Here's what selling goods looks like thus far:

I also did some work on improving the graphics slightly. Specifically, I made the ocean and ice shinier, and did some tweaking to the colors in general. Check it out below!

I'm planning on doing a system of designing holds. I think for now I'm going to allow for a number of configurations per ship, but the actual hold configuration will not be free form, at least not yet. Will experiment with this custom configuration before I go any further.

As always, let me know what you think!

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Dev Blog- Sea Trading Game. New Hold Design in action, fixing viewer

This has been a busy week, mostly in making the following dialog work again, with it's new format. This involved finishing the code rewrite I was working on last week, adding a bunch of new stuff, and making sure the barrels somewhat fit the locations given. I'm working on a new selection system that you can see a very early prototype of on the right hand side as well, more to be coming on that soon. I'm also likely to change how the ship is oriented.

The 3 items on the right are there for testing purposes, but eventually they will be selectable options on what type of cargo to take on. This will most apply to passengers, who will be placed in cabins of various types, although it might apply in other locations as well, I haven't fully decided yet.

Just to give you an idea, this is what the ship currently looks like when completely full (Without the pretty background added for the above, sorry!)

It's rough, but more than adequate for my needs at the moment. I'll improve the ship background at some point in time, as well as improving the placement a bit, but for now...

I also set in motion a few behind the scenes things that will allow me to do a rotated camera view. This is an example of what it might look like, but I'm not finished at the moment.

So, what do you think? In particular, what do you think about the new dialog to put goods in the ship? Any other feedback?

This week my plan is to get buying/selling goods fully formed, and then try to get the camera rotation fully working. I should also start adding goods again. I'm also going to work on improving the current "lovely" diagram for selecting what goods to buy. I'm also going to improve a few object placement issues, where certain objects should be on top of other objects.

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!

Also, see Old Ham Media on Facebook for a chance to win Ben Tristem's newest course, a multi-part series on building an awesome RPG!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Dev Blog- Sea Trading Game. UI changes at long last! Working on a new trading interface

As I mentioned last week, I'm going to spend a few weeks working on UI type changes before I go back to doing hard core behind the scenes changes. Well, I half followed through on that this week! I did make a number of UI changes that I've long wanted to do, but I haven't been able to for one reason or another until now. In the process of making one of those changes, however, I realized to support it I needed to re-write a fair bit of my code behind the scenes. Bottom line, I divided my time pretty equally between the two tasks.

Most of my time was spent working on a new system for storing cargo. The current system is, well, confusing and not really workable. I've made a few improvements to it over the last few months, but it's time to scrap it in favor of another system entirely. What I've decided instead to do is to have all of the goods in to a single hold, including passengers and supplies, with some configuration items possible to make it all work a bit smoother. Here's a concept art for what I'm aiming for:

There will be a number of slots where goods can be stored, if there are goods, they will appear there, otherwise an empty spot will appear. I'm sure this will need quite a bit of work, and the artwork isn't the best, but hey, I've always said the plan is to get the game to a point where it is fun without the artwork, and then find an artist at that point.

Another thing that I'm quite pleased to inform you of is that I successfully fixed a long standing bug where the name of the city was sometimes hidden, or blocked out a ship's name. Here's an example of it working correctly!

Lastly, I added a display showing how many days it will take to get to a given location. It's a huge improvement for sure!

Bottom line, there is definitely a lot of progress still to make, but things are coming along! I'm expecting to have most of the UI things fixed that have been driving me crazy by the end of November, after which I will continue to add more core game features for a while.

This week I'm planning on getting the new cargo hold system in good shape, including re-configuring holds, buying/selling goods, and taking on missions.  I'm still considering if I want to do the same fishing system that I've had in before, most likely I will continue to do it, but I'm not 100% sure at this time.

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, November 7, 2016

Game Dev- Sea Trading Game. Promo Video, improved graphics, new path forward!

I ended up doing a number of things differently this week than I expected, but overall I'm quite happy with what I was able to achieve. I created my first simple video play-through, updated the ship graphics (Thanks Kenney!), added more goods, spent time thinking about the goods that I do need to add, and overall prioritized my plan. But first, my demo video!

I'm planning on doing another version of it soon, with a lot more thought put in to it, but I'm going to work on some graphical improvements first. Which brings me to my second point, I've decided to change how I'm doing updates to the game. Specifically, I'm going back to a para-dime that I had some time ago, namely that of spending a few weeks working on UI improvements, and a few weeks working on behind the scenes changes. At this point in time, I'm going to work on the UI changes. I'm still going to continue to add goods, I have quite the list of them, but I'm going to save those to a few per week, focusing more on the other items.

I also added a ship graphic at last! I took the advice of Rick Davidson and using graphic assets that are out there already. I'm also going to make a few differences in how things are displayed, see the previous paragraph.

Lastly, I added a number of goods, as I have been doing for some time. Potatoes, Cucumbers, Onions, and Carrots are among the items that have been added.

The biggest thing on the plate for this week is updating the way the ship stores goods. I've been thinking for a long time that I really don't like the way that goods are stored on the ship. I've decided on a few changes. First of all, I will change the holds store goods. The primary unit of reference will be barrels. There will be an above deck portion of the ship that larger goods can be stored, as well as animals, and smaller unit space goods will be stored in the hold.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Dev Blog- Sea Trading Game- Seeds now being produced, demand now prioritized

The main goal of this week was to improve the seed functionality, to ensure that seeds are being produced. I was in fact able to get that functionality to work, and seeds are now being produced! The other goal was to better allocate unused productivity, basically producing goods when nothing is needed. I have the logic in place to do such, and am currently testing it out.

One of the first things that I did was to improve my "secret" developer panel to let me know how many goods were being produced of what variety. I learned a lot from these, including what resources are being produced, and that some of them were not being produced. I also learned that there were lots of idle people, which indicated problems in my system.

Figuring out how to properly prioritize demand was difficult, to say the least. What I ended up doing was thinking about what characteristics would be in an ideal demand prioritization system. Of these, some applied to a specific need, and others applied to maximizing the benefit of the city. I set up a separate priority queue for the latter case, and it's all working out nicely!

This week I need to finish debugging things put in last week, and then I'll be back to adding in lots of goods! I'm planning to add in crop building first, and then I'll be able to start working on other types of goods, including resources and manufactured goods.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Sea Trading Game. Improving sell/buy pricing, producing goods at "factory" locations, and starting to manufacture seeds

This was another week with relatively few easily visible changes, but those changes are quite critical! The changes include manufacturing at "factories", which previously did not work correctly, manufacturing "seeds", which will allow one to make seeds if there is not sufficient raw goods to form an object.

Seed production was the biggest change, and the most complex one. They are required for situations in which a city wants to make cotton clothing of some kind, I will need Cotton. In order to make Cotton, I need to plant it, which will produce "raw cotton", and that "raw cotton" will then be converted to usable cotton, by removing the seeds from the useful fibers. Previous to this week, I could only produce goods that directly satisfied a need, now I am able to produce the materials required to manufacture such goods. I am still not completely done with this, while I have seen it work somewhat, it doesn't work as well as the other good production works. In addition, there is no demand for seeds, which seems to not be realistic. I'm still working out exactly how I'm going to do all of this, stay tuned!

One of the most positive changes was improving how goods are sold. Previously, it was possible to have even valuable goods that aren't in demand at the moment to sell for 0. This isn't realistic at all. I was able to fix the system. Buying a good and selling it in the same port will lose you some money, but not everything you originally invested.

I'm still working through how a lot of things are going to work out. I think I'm going to re-design the ship hold system sooner than later, as it's becoming more of a pain, although I can't promise I will work on that this week. The critical thing I believe is to finish the systems I added this past week, to get them working as expected.

Lastly, I'm starting to think about putting together a promo video. I would be interested in any tips that anyone out there might have. Thanks for all of your support, you guys are awesome!