I have a cold today, and I’m feeling a bit weird. Also, the office is a little quiet.
We’ve been working on a number of new features for the next build which are hopefully notable. A small feature, requested by our user base, is a way to designate an airship mooring tower location – the idea being that colony drop-offs (immigration, supply drops, criminals, vicars) will all happen in a controlled area, and that you can then stop them from being dropped on your colonist’s heads. David checked in his code commit for that on Monday, but he wasn’t in the office this morning so I don’t have any screenshots. I asked Daniel what was going on on Tuesday, and he replied, sarcastically, “We have an art director?” So I dunno, not sure what’s going on there.
Someone sent a fruit basket last week. That was nice. I guess I should have some more fruit; it’ll help with the cold.
We’ve also been doing some UI changes. We now have a factions window, which will display information related to various factions (bandits, cultists, fishpeople, the Empire, etc.), including historical policy decisions made when dealing with them. There is an interesting meta-question here: do we give you sliders *in* the factions window to control policy? In line with our normal policy of avoiding micromanagement, we have elected not to do this right now; instead, you will continue to get opportunities to make policy decisions in the event system, which is sort of in line with our notion of “reactive policy-making in the bureaucracy.”
Somebody from the IGDA e-mailed us. Apparently, as one of three indie developers, they found our name on a list somewhere. I tried to show it to Daniel, but I couldn’t find him; it’s a little bit weird that the IGDA is now sending out e-mail which has “Help me, is there anybody out there? PLEASE?!” as the subject line. I sent them an e-mail back and I haven’t heard back yet, so I had some more fruit and got back to working on my ongoing project: containers.
Mr. Triolo originally suggested stacks of objects, like fruit, but the problem in CE is that (unlike Dredmor) every object has a history and may be uniquely referenced in multiple places. We can’t just merge five apples into “stack of apples ”, because each apple may have historical significance or be involved in memories, or whatever; this leads to the solution of containers. The idea of containers is that you will have a way to cut down on the amount of hauling that goes on: people will bring a container to their work sites (probably spawned out of thin air; we’re not… uh, who made Dwarf Fortress anyhow?), put all their work in the container, then lug the container back to a stockpile. Containers want to be in stockpiles; items want to be in containers, and then stockpiles if there are no good containers available. There is an interesting problem here: characters in Clockwork Empires can’t really do “forward planning” (I want to do this; therefore I will do things A, B, and C and record that as the list of things I need to do in order to do this); so one of the ongoing pieces of AI improvement is adding just enough forward planning to make that happen.
As part of this logistical overhaul, I am also adding the ability to link stockpiles to workshops:
Workshops with output stockpiles will now automatically try to put goods in their output stockpile. Workshops with input stockpiles will attempt to automatically draw from their input stockpiles first, before getting goods from anywhere else. Hopefully this will make .. uh, forum user “Mister SATANIC PENTAGRAM” happy.
It’s very quiet in the office this morning – I’m sort of regretting getting a space this large for just me, but it comes with free fruit so that’s great, and I haven’t seen the landlord lately… well, at all. It also feels really weird making a game for just three customers. I hope you guys like it! I’m still committed to keeping this blog going every Wednesday.
Hang on, the power’s gone out again. Thank goodness for the UPS. Does anybody else see the weird swirling thing in the air outside the… uh… oh boy, that’s a big purple swirly thing. Hmm. Well, I’m just going to have some more fruit and I guess we’ll see you for next week’s blog!
Please send help.