Ecologicated

Ecologicated

Hello, I am programmer kalin. I wrote the original prototype of PJ Inc long ago, and when I can find the time, do various gameplay design and prototyping in the current version.

Today we’ll talk about ecology!

Recently I added a simple ecological system and spent some time tweaking it. Ecology-related game objects are divided into Flora and Fauna – plants and animals.

Flora will continue to spread as long as there are sufficient nutrients around; be it soil or water or maybe even poison gas! Left long enough, it can get quite overgrown.

pj16-overgrown

Fauna will breed and multiply when they are well fed and happy. Usually they reach an equilibrium with their surroundings, but sometimes they can over-populate and eat all their food sources. Sadly this doesn’t end well for them… needs a little bit of tuning still!

pj16-overfish

So I wondered what would happen if I tagged the fauna themselves as a food source… started up the game, the fauna searched for the nearest food source… and found it – themself! All the fauna in the world promptly consumed themselves and disappeared in a puff of particle effects. Oops!

pj16-hungry

So overall the current system feels natural. Untouched areas grow thick with plant life, and creatures tend to gather around food sources – so be careful leaving your farming areas unattended!

ecobot

Split screen co-op rules

Split screen co-op rules

Title says it all really. :) Here’s a screenshot.

splitscreen

Here’s a pic of us hard at work for 3 hours after it went in.

splitscreenactionz

Of course online Steam co-op is the eventual goal, but this small step is important (and crazy fun). :) Enjoy some hatbots in split-screen. PC games need hats right? :P

hatbot

Research my broken heart

Research my broken heart

This week I’ve been plotting away, steeped in the design of our research & upgrade systems. I’ve come to an important conclusion: “Transforming buildings are awesome”. :)

I thought we’d share a design idea we’re probably NOT going to use for a change and point out some of the reasons why not. Here’s one of the ideas for research & upgrades we had:

You can unlock new building blueprints and levels with the money you make from exporting soup. Then choose which buildings you want to level up (also costing money). Seemed simple enough. Each building type (EG: my Generators) has a clear linear progression of power. Each instance of a building carries an internal ‘level’ and with an exchange of currency and labour you can ‘level them up’ by shooting them with a laser.

building_powerup_idea

So here’s the 2 main issues unique to Inc with this popular tower-defense style system:

  • It requires a lot of micro, jogging around to each building and ‘leveling it up’. In a pure tower defense game where that’s the ONLY thing you need to do, this might be fine, but you’re far to busy with other fun things in Inc to devote ALL your time to building maintenance and upgrading.
  • It’s impersonal. There’s no difference between my Lv2 Generator and yours. I want to tune for my playstyle and customise my base!

So that one probably isn’t the holy grail for research design we were looking for. We’re still testing a few different ideas yet for how research will ultimately play out. The end goal though is still to not have you bogged down in DOING research & upgrades but let you get on with ENJOYING them! :D
labot

Bend the world!

Bend the world!

Drink beer everyday,everynight ~♪
Good beer after work! One more please!

hello! I am drunk robotic artist Yamamura!

I am happy to announce PixelJunk Inc.  I tell to you something about new art style. Well, from the self-introduction, like last week Sawa, I am also Japanese! ! But I am single! Sawa envy… …there is only drink beer!

Beer-can mountain just grows like that, but, of course, I make the many art! This time, it is the story of the world’s distortion.

carve_40

carve_10

Although you’ve seen many other world, Inc. has been bent a little from the early days. We will get the entire screen distorted, give the atmosphere of a mysterious planet! I tried to create a sample that has a few different angle distortion, we tried among the actual game prototype.

40 degrees feels round planet, but I was feeling a little drunk. We think 3 degrees is good for play!

Tiles pop out, looks like paper texture of the screen? I will talk of something like that next time also.

ok! I finished work and I drink some beer with robot!

bendbot