All posts tagged with "Big cabbages"

Under the Influence (of Euclidean Distance Mapping)

First off, an announcement: customarily, we release new builds of CE (major ones) at the fifteenth of the month, or as close as we can get to that. This month’s build will be pushed back until next week, owing to the fact that we lost a week and a bit of development time in December due to the Fishmas Holidays; experimental builds will, of course, continue.

That said: Technical Talk Day.

Loosely speaking, this month’s patch is focused on doing spit and polish, maintenance on existing issues, and busting some bugs rather than new gameplay features (although we’ve done a bit of that). In terms of character behavior, you may have noticed that characters occasionally do things that are counter-intuitive; we are narrowing this down as development continues (Daniel has a huge and terrifying spreadsheet). We have received a number of bug reports of the following varieties:

“people wander off into the woods and die”

And, well, that’s about it, really.

Here's a tantalizing sneak peak at the promo illustration for this month's update.

Tangentially, here’s a tantalizing sneak peak at the promo illustration for this month’s update.

The solution to this is that people should calculate when they are, or are not, in the user’s colony. We previously did this with a notion of “civilization”, which computed (for each tile) the closest distance between the tile and any civilization in range. The problem is that the way this calculation was done was a) buggy (if a building was not within some radius of the square being tested, which was quite a small radius, we wouldn’t pick it up), and b) slow (using more than one square root per grid tile, which adds up on a 512×512 map.) I finally got sick and tired of this this week, and decided to look up the right way to compute distances.

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Sympathy, Violence, Consequences

A Fishperson raider driven to violence by the plundering of their young for food rushes from the fog to beat a colonist with a coral club. Their fellow Fishperson-raider, a few steps behind, fires a spikegun with a ‘pop’. The terrified colonist falls over dead. The Fishperson with the club pauses at this, then turns and runs from the corpse in horror, back into the fog. 

Attack of the fishpeople!

Watery vengeance!

I didn’t anticipate this, though I wrote the script that made it happen: Seeing the corpse they created by killing the colonist pushed the Fishperson over the morale threshold that flips a switch that makes the fleeing behaviour much more likely. I had thought to simply have Fishpeople become demoralized by seeing other dead fellow-Fishpeople, but it was triggered by any humanoid corpse at all. A small mistake, but a really cool effect because it implies that these Fishpeople are not merely “the goblins of Clockwork Empires” but people of a sort that may, in their way, sympathize with your colonists. — Just so, sympathy is the goal of the latest efforts to increase the complexity of Fishpeople to start becoming more than ‘enemies’. Once enough features are fleshed out enough, perhaps they can become friends, albeit creepy fishy friends with some funny ideas about how things work and a penchant for inducting their land-based friends into the ways of The Deeps.

No one’s perfect.

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