All posts tagged with "the booze vat must contain some combination of kerosene artificial sweeteners and scumm"

A Simple Pint At The Pub

This post was originally going to be about Occult Inspectors but if we gave anything away that’d ruin the fun, wouldn’t it. So why not come down to the pub for a pint? By which I mean, we’ve been doing some iteration of the Public House (and related buildings, and games systems) and, while the trajectory we’ve set upon ourselves here is not yet finished, some interesting bits of design have come up on the path thus far traveled. By which I mean I’ll ramble about random stuff vaguely related to implementing Pub features which may or may not change.

Let’s start with the UI for the Pub, because this has implications through the entire game:


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The Great Building Creator Rewriting

First off, an announcement: we have decided to suspend development of simultaneous networked multiplayer for Clockwork Empires indefinitely. There are, simply put, technology issues and design issues that we don’t feel we can satisfactorily solve in the foreseeable future. Furthermore, we don’t want to devote time to addressing those issues if that time will detract from the single player experience, which people are currently enjoying and which is the major thrust of the game. Support will exist in engine for round robin “let’s play” games, and we will continue to build that out as we work our way out of Early Access and into a new stage of development, which we are tentatively calling, uh, “Access.” As always, we thank you for your patience and understanding of the harsh realities of game development.

That said, let’s talk about “Access.”

Somebody recently posted on Twitter that polishing a video game was a straight forward process: if it doesn’t move, make it move; if it moves, put a sound effect on it; if it moves and has a sound effect on it, add a particle system. That’s a pretty accurate guide, honestly. In our case, we went into Early Access with a few things that were not in the best of states, and one of the ongoing things that needs to be done in order to transition them from “Early Access” into “Access” is to address the problems that people have with them. In some cases, this is a question of making some changes, watching the feedback, and then continuing to improve the system or re-designing it. Sometimes, such as in the case of cults, or emotions, or what-have-you, we have to take a few swings at this particular issue.

Interior furniture concepts.

Interior furniture concepts, once interiors become A Thing.

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Strange Moods At Gaslamp Games

“Periodically, individual dwarves are struck with an idea for a legendary artifact and enter a strange mood. Dwarves which enter a strange mood will stop whatever they are doing and pursue the construction of this artifact to the exclusion of all else. They will not stop to eat, drink, sleep, or even run away from dangerous creatures. If they do not manage to begin construction of the artifact within a handful of months, they will go insane and die soon afterward.” – Dwarf Fortress Wiki

Strange moods abound in the office. It must be Autumn.

David screams "I must have steps!"

The programmer screams “I must have steps!”

I was seized with the strange mood recently after I got annoyed when implementing a new feature – more office code, I believe. Writing and testing my code required me to make a change to the Lua scripts, open the game, build an office, test the feature, see my stupid mistake, shut down the game, change the Lua script, open the game again, and continue ad infinitum. Uggh. Inspired by Casey Muratori’s Handmade Hero approach to hotloading – even though our approaches are totally, conceptually dissimilar – I decided to add the ability to reload Lua scripts on the fly to the game. The UI code is crude and nasty, but it looks something like this:

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