It’s only been a short week that has brought us to the end of our Earth year (yay for self-centre of the universe time keeping methods! :D). We managed to squeeze in damage for the poison gas, so it now brings swift death along with its funky smell. To mitigate the gaseous threat we’ve also added a regen building to let players heal (for a price). Neither of these are terribly pertinent yet though, as there is still no method for removing of “fixing” your gas problem, which is where the real fun in the gas will be. That is one of our first tasks for next year!
Yamamura has made a New Galaxy Year wallpaper for everyone! Guess what my current desktop background is… :D Enjoy your break everyone, and we’ll see you on the other side of the holiday season! Looking forward to Earth 2013! :D
hello! it is a Artist Yamamura.
I Got a Christmas presents from SOUP company!
Soup and chocolate is a mystery!!!
There were three types of soup.
Monstro flavor, Greenplanet,and Creamysausage!
So what exactly is inside?
The world is my kitchen! And it’s full of poisonous gas! Wait what!?
So last week’s underground test convinced us that building underground was pretty fun. You get a cool ‘secret base’ feeling and the dirt provides natural shape to your tunnels. There’s still going to be a lot of tweaking required for many buildings to make them functional but, we’re hyper-aware now of building underground with each new thing we think of.
We wanted to further explore ways to make trips to the surface dangerous with good risk-rewards. Something requiring a certain amount of effort to get up there and maintain a presence. Time for some more extreme prototype testing! We’ve filled the entire atmosphere with poisonous gas to see what it would be like. :)
Immediate differences were all the plants & animals which grow & live on the surface suddenly became super valuable. Also, the warehouse still needs to be built with clear sight to the sky to allow the company ship to pick up shipments, so heading to the surface to store soup was initially impossible. We anticipated this much though and made some airlocks to go with the poison gas. They also clean the air inside them before opening the doors. Gas currently doesn’t do any damage, but we’re using our imaginations while playing :P The goal would be to have it kill you fairly quickly while touching it.
Gameplay gains have been on two fronts. Venturing to the surface has become more of a journey, but ensuring your base is airtight has also become critical. Enemies that affect the terrain around them now apply indirect pressure when letting gas in from the surface, or puncturing an underground gas pocket. Players will have to run and repair any holes plus safe guard their base in new places you didn’t even need to build towers previously.
Some interesting risk-reward situations have sprung up now which are kind of cool. Staying safe turtled in your base farming mushrooms will let you sell cheap mushroom soup, but venturing to the surface can get your something more rare and exotic… like grass! It also encourages intelligent base design with decent fall backs.
Current problems though include how to “fix” the gas (IE: your base network is now filled to the brim with gas and there’s a gaping hole to the atmosphere. Watcha gonna do?). Threats and disasters are only fun when there’s a solution or method to “fix” the damage done. We’re currently still testing a variety of ideas on how best to clear out the gas and patch any holes.
We’ve gone underground! As a test, we trialed a self-imposed a rule of, “you can only build underground” just to see how usable everything would be. Turns out there were lots of things that were annoying or just didn’t work when you try to build a subterranean base. :/ Most of the buildings were designed to work in open air, but digging tunnels and having dirt packed everywhere was choking usability. Its made us reconsider how interaction with a few things is being handled.
For example, the power plugs on the side of buildings. Normally you can plug/unplug power cables into them easily but, underground there’s dirt everywhere blocking their use. Caves-ins are also a problem unique to building a subterranean base. We’ve put in some simple strut columns for now you can build to prop up tunnels and caverns so your base doesn’t get crushed (much).
Self imposing limitations often forces a different playstyle out of your game. Thinking from a different angle can help make sure everything works regardless of how the player chooses to “play” your game. In our case, it’s also helping discover fun new areas of gameplay to build on! I built a sky-base shortly after and struggled to stop everything plummeting to the ground. >< Maybe a problem for another week… We can’t anticipate ALL the ways players might try to build bases, but we should try to support as many designs as possible!
Hi everyone. Many of you have asked “will PixelJunk 1-6 be on Platform X!?”. I’d love it to be on Platform X! It’s my favourite! :) We wanted you guys to hear the discussion we’ve been having on how to make it easier to potentially port in the future.
So there are a few popular libraries out there that can make porting your game easier. Recently, we’ve been looking specifically at SDL. SDL and similar libraries float ‘between’ your game and the OS (whichever it may be) to help unify lots of OS specific things and make it easier to write your game. So instead of worrying about how to play a sound or open a window in Windows & Mac & Linux, SDL just takes care of that for you. Some developers using a less cultivated engine might even find SDL a bit sparse and prefer to go with something more feature rich like SMFL. To implement SDL requires parts of existing code to be re-written and wrangled to explicitly use it. Once you’re done though, you can just write to SDL and not worry so much about what platform the game will float on at the end.
The problem is, the longer you wait to implement it, the harder it gets (you’ll have more stuff to re-write and hook up). The plus-side is it would be a relatively small time offset now for a huge time gain later in the event we did go to other platforms like Mac, Linux or beyond. A port might be doable in just 1 month rather than 4. However right now, it means that game development would stop for 1-2 weeks while our lone programmer implements it. Unfortunately, our current team size means this doesn’t really feel possible at the moment. >_< If we can find some extra time or an extra programmer, it is definitely something we’re considering though. It would mean more people could play PixelJunk 1-6!