Monday, August 29, 2016

Green Algae: Game Development Update


It's been a while since I have posted updates on one of my old game projects. It has been slow going. I was particularly blocked on building a save file format. Finally decided to implement saving and loading via the remarkably light minimal-json library. I also had to take the time to convert the project to gradle so it was easy to pull in the libraries auto-magically. Also realigned the trees into the each particular tile and adjusted the number of logs spawned after chopping one down although the math is not working very well. I get either 2 logs or no logs for smaller trees. That needs some tweaking.


I still have not decided what style of game It will be. I've only been really working on small insignificant details at this point. As you can see an incomplete update of smooth transitions between tile types which should be finished soon enough. I've been toying with the idea of moving more towards a Dwarf Fortress / RimWorld type of game. My map generation algorithm will need to become more sophisticated over time. I have been working on a few ideas to create a more versatile and generic system so that different types of terrain are possible. But first getting the terrain transitions to be generic and easily definable is probably necessary.

I have removed a little annoying gameplay element where by chopping down a tree required that you continuously collided with the tree by moving into it. This sort of mechanism was a bit confusing when not knowing you had to collide with it. Adjustments to log pickup will probably benefit from not having to be moving while colliding with the log hit box. Although these types of adjustments are secondary to figuring out which direction the game will take.

I am definitely open to ideas and/or suggestions even cries for a released version for anyone who still reads this blog. I've only really been working on the code for years now mostly a bit of a pass-time effort slowly but steadily trying to move it forward to a playable version.

Apparently the bridge building mechanic was broken with a few updates to map and world objects as part of building a save/load feature. But that could probably be fixed, though a quick mechanic test world would be cool since the map generation is not that quick to run, especially on my old laptop since it's only a dual-core.

But please feel free to leave your comments concerns etc. It'd definitely be nice to know if anyone is interested since it's really just a personal pet project at this point. Though I feel pet projects are where some of the most in-depth games come from.

Short-Term Roadmap

  • Terrain
    • finish tile-type transitions
    • add dirt
    • add gravel
    • add random stones
  • AI Simulated Character
    • add basic decision-based model
    • add crappy path-finding method
    • add hunger, starvation, and death
    • add actions and event, thoughts and memory
  • Save/Load
    • Test, test, test
  • Build Scripts and release checklist
That should be more than enough to focus on in the short-term. It might take a bit of doing to refactor the code to convert from a character based movement scheme to one of an overview and direction based one. We'll just take it step by step and see what happens.

Another idea I've been toying with is cutting the size of the tiles in half going from 32x32 pixels to 16x16 still keeping the base image resolution at 32x32 but simply scaling to half the size. Which might significantly break things but would be flexible after fixing.

Anyway that's it for this update. Just needed to write down some thoughts and try to create some semblance of interest as well as a place to hold myself accountable for plans.