Brass Watch Games

Shipyard Development News 20 June 2015

by Jonah on June 21, 2015

Okay, I’ll admit that I didn’t get straight to coding after I posted my outline for Alpha 1.0. That’s because, at the time, it was nearing the end of the school year and teachers were doing their very best to cram as much busywork as they could possibly into that last month and a half. Now, however, the school year is over, and I’ve got no shortage of free time–some of which has been spent working on Shipyard.

If you read–or even skimmed–my rambling, essay-length outline, you’ll know there’s a lot to get done before Shipyard is ready to go into alpha. So, I figured I’d start at the top with free-form systems. Before I wrote the first line of code, it took a lot of thinking and scratch work to figure out how I was going to implement it. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say it took a several sketches in and a considerable amount of math to nail down. Once that was done, I was ready to start coding. The first system to get the free-form makeover was the humble corridor. While not the most exciting system in the game, it is the simplest, which made it a good starting point to get the concept locked in.

Here’s a short video demonstration of the new free-form corridors:

So how do free-form systems work? Well, I’m glad you asked! Behind the scenes, free-form systems are actually discrete 1-by-1 systems, which change only in appearance when placed next to neighbors of the same type. This is especially easy for corridors, which have no stats, no hitpoints, and no crew or power requirement.

But what about systems that do have a crew and power requirement? Nobody wants to individually allocate one crew member or power unit to thirty separate tiles of the same system! The solution: tie crew and power to types of systems rather than individual tiles. Once implemented, this means you only have to allocate crew to weapons, engines, etc. in general, and the game will handle the rest.

Well, that’s it for today! Check back soon, because I plan to be doing a lot of work on the game this summer.

2 thoughts on “Shipyard Development News 20 June 2015

  1. pomelo777 says:

    Wow, nice work! How long do you think it will take before you begin add free-form/paintable weapons? (I like weapons, sorry if I sound narrow) Also, most importantly, will there be other ways to earn credits in Alpha? Shooting pirates and looting them for salvage (I wish I could salvage other items too D:) feels tedious, and I usually end up giving myself currency inside the debug console.

    I wish you good luck in making this great game! (at least I hope.. XD) I feel there is a lot that needs work but you have done a good job making everything feel complete, and hopefully eventually this game will be complete. 🙂

    I want to request more features, but I feel you have enough to do.

    • Jonah says:

      I doubt there will ever be free-form weapons the way there will be with systems. Unlike systems, which are essentially just rooms with stuff in them, each weapon is a distinct unit, and just making them look good in free form would be enough of a challenge. Additionally, weapons can be rotated in 8 directions (middle-click, if you didn’t know already), which adds an extra layer of complexity to both visual design and actual behavior. To make up for the lack of fully free-form weapons, I intend to add a much greater variety of weapons as I continue developing the game.

      As for making credits, I definitely plan to add more ways to do this. At the very least, I plan to include a questing system whereby you can make money by performing tasks for various factions within the game. There will also be a planet exploration component, which will allow you to mine resources that you can sell to merchants. I can’t tell you when these things will be implemented, but it’s definitely on my to-do list.

      Thanks for the support! I know I have a long way to go–that’s why I gave myself the entirety of alpha and beta to get the game… shipshape. (badum tss)

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