Hi and welcome to this development update!
Before I start I want to give a short update on what I was working on the last few days.
- First I settled for itch.io as my patcher and hub during the pre-alpha and test phase. It is super easy to setup, reliable, free and I like the philosophy behind it.
- Then I implemented an in-game bug reporting tool with screenshot, console log and bug description. This drops the effort to report a problem significantly.
- I switched my automated build system to unity 2018.1, now using .Net 4.x and IL2CPP
- I’m now also on Instagram.
- And now I’m in the process of setting up the first test server.
I can’t wait until the while system is up and running as it marks the moment where the game really becomes a multiplayer game for the first time (beside smaller local tests).
But now back to this new “closer look” update about engineering 2.0. This time I’ll go over several systems which deal with goods in various ways.
Building a wall
Engineering 2.0: Compound Model System
This is a very relevant part of the whole engineering concept. It allows to construct bigger models out of smaller elements which are smartly chosen and aligned. This does not only cover the ability to build walls, pipes and alike but also allows communication between the connected elements. And this ability makes it very relevant when we look at the next topic:
A dwarf on a conveyor
Engineering 2.0: Transmission of goods
In my opinion a mayor gameplay fun-factor is to try to find the best way to connect your whole production network together. Therefore a system is required which is capable of exchanging very different types of goods. We need to send various forms of energy around, fluids, gas and solid objects like a pile of wood. They all have to be send from one point to another over some kind of a connection. And here the compound model system becomes very handy.
All types of pipes, lines and conveyors use it. Rules can be set how elements are allowed to connect. Conveyors can only connect horizontally while pipes, for example, connect in all directions.
The transmission system is capable of simulating an ‘omni present’ network like a power grid where changes on one side practically immediately have an effect on the other side. And a decoupled system like a conveyor where the sender and receiver have no immediate contact and maybe don’t even know from each other.
Engineering 2.0: Warehouses
Warehouses are kind of a key element of the whole engineering system as they hold not just goods like a chest but they can also supply them. This means two things: When you’re close to a warehouse you can automatically use it’s storage for construction. And bigger warehouses can be connected to a conveyor network which allows them to send goods to specific positions at a specific rate. Still, conveyors aren’t required everywhere.
Engineering 2.0: Trading
Well, trading is one of the new features I’m most exited about. Primarily because it features vehicles. Again something I worked on in the last few month and certainly a topic of its own. But what I also really like is how it connects your small settlement with the big picture, the ‘invisible’ world around it. Like a harbour makes you feel there’s more out there than what you can see: other harbours, other cities, other countries.
Anyway, trading is based on simple rules. You can trade a certain amount of goods you own against a certain amount of goods you want. The rule defines how useful a certain trading option is. One rule might be to trade a specific amount of whatever you want against something else you can choose. Of course that would be a very handy rule. But usually rules only allow to trade a specific good into another. Finding or unlocking better rules might be one reason why you head out into the wild.
Of course all these systems need to be fleshed out by playtesting.
So that’s it for the moment. Thanks for reading!