Still Alive Saturday #10: Loose Ends

Hey everyone,

This week was not a hugely productive one for actual development, so I won’t stick around for too long. However, Justin was able to finish up some rather large tasks that we’ve been plowing away at for a few weeks now.

As of today, all basic island art is complete and the entire leather armour set is complete. This allows us to tackle some other areas of development. We’re going to start getting into actual gameplay flow, so look forward to that.

 

See you all soon,

Chris

I Fold

Hey everyone!

Just a short post to let you know that we’re skipping SAS this week. We’ve been swamped with work and have gotten basically nothing done, so instead of attempting to conjure up some content to talk about, we’re just going to put this week off until next Saturday.

Just pretend the past 7 days never happened, alright? Cool.

See you guys next week,

Chris

Still Alive Saturday #9: Everything is Clear

Hey everyone,

This week we tackled a couple of specific areas of the game. In terms of programming, I worked on enemy HUD components, as well as the beginnings of crew AI and implementation. Justin continued to work on island chunks and equipment art.

 

Enemy HUD

In order to improve clarity in combat, your current enemy (the one you attacked last) will have a HUD in the top right corner of the screen. This is pretty straight forward, but helps greatly in understanding the ins and outs of your opponent.

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Crew AI

Crew members in the game will have two states. The first is inactive, when they are not part of your selected boarding party. This is the state that I worked on this week. It’s fairly simple, but it’s nice to see the crew members actually represented in game now.

The second state is active, where they follow you around, fight battles with you and so on. This will come later.

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These crew members automatically update with changed names and equipment.

 

That’s all for this week! See you guys soon.

Chris

Still Alive Saturday #8: We’ve got Clothes

Hey all!

We spent most of this week working on equipment and the underlying engine powering it. It’s not 100% finished, but it’s coming along very nicely!

Items

Items in Project Sky is divided into a number of subcategories. Today we’ll focus on character equipment. This means things like armour, weapons and trinkets.

Think about player equipment as coming in tiers. Each new tier is, for the most part, better than the previous. There are a few instances where that isn’t the case, but we’ll forget that I just said that for the time being. The equipment you’ll see in the gif below is from the leather armour tier. Equipping it adds one point to the character’s defence. It’s the lowest tier in the game, but it’s still a hell of a lot better than nothing.

If you’ve ever played the new XCOM: Enemy Unknown game, you’ll notice that this system is quite similar to theirs. They also have tiers that are objectively better. The only difference is that XCOM is based around a health system where armour adds health points. In Project Sky, we take the more conventional route of having armour reduce damage taken.

The necklace you see in the gif is a trinket that will alter the character’s stats in some way. This could mean increasing their damage, increasing their speed, or some other attribute. It could also be some sort of a trade-off of unique effect. Trinkets are important to the survivability of your crew and are best used in a way that will enhance the strong traits of the individual.

Weapons in the game work fairly similarly to equipment, except that they modify your attack power. There’s more to equipment than just this, but we’ll get to that when it comes up.

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As you can see, the Ledger isn’t completely finished yet, but we’re making great progress with it. Swapping equipment in and out is fast and easy, even with multiple crew members. Our hope is to keep the game as streamlined as possible in this area so that you don’t have to spend too much time managing your items. A large part of the game focuses on your crew, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend all of your time lurking around menus.

That’s all for this week! We’ll be tackling some difficult things this week, which means I’ll either have a lot to show you on Saturday, or I’ll be grumpy and have nothing to talk about. Let’s hope for the prior!

See you then,

Chris

Still Alive Saturday #7: Inventory!

Hey everyone!

Another busy week for all of us what with midterms and projects, but I did actually manage to get something accomplished!

 

The Inventory

This week I buckled down and got to work on the game’s inventory system. ┬áThe way that inventory/items work in Project Sky is slightly different from other roguelikes and games of this sort. In this game, items are not randomly dropped as you might expect. Instead, all items are either received as quest rewards, discovered in chests (read: rewards for random events) or purchased from stores. There are a handful of other ways you can get items, obviously, but these are the primary means.

Once obtained, these items go into your ship’s inventory, which can be accessed from your Ledger in the captain’s quarters. Within the ledger, you can equip your crew and yourself with improved armour, weapons and trinkets which improve their stats and keep them alive. Better equipment is key to surviving the later areas of the game.

Our goal with the inventory design was to create a very visually clear and easy to use interface, regardless of whether or not you’re using a controller. Due to this, we’ve settled on the idea of a virtual cursor, rather than allowing the player to use a mouse to navigate the inventory. Having a game where you never use a mouse for anything except the inventory is bad design, and would make even less sense for controllers.

Each inventory slot is a ‘card’ which can be picked up and moved to other spots. This allows for easy item swapping and equipping. The system needs a little bit of tweaking to be perfect, but it’s already incredibly functional and we’re very happy with it.

 

That’s all for this week! Stay tuned for more developments in the future.

Chris