Other Projects Blog

## Shatterloop Update Log (Will be split soon)

Posted Over 2 Years ago by Xhin

This post chronicles all of the updates I'm making to the game.

My private development forum is here:
https://gtx0.com/forum/shatterloop
This isn't a game yet:

• You can't save your progress in a meaningful way.

• Bugs might appear and stay for weeks at a time.

• There's no help or documentation anywhere whatsoever.

• Various features that will be in the final game are missing or underdeveloped.

• I tend to have enemies disabled and cheat codes on for testing purposes.

Given all this, I've obscured the link for now. I'll bring it back when I launch something stable (which will probably also be advertised in some capacity).

• ## There are 132 Replies

@Xhin:
This sounds like it will be fascinating!
I’ll see whether I can try it out!

Over 2 Years ago
chiarizio

Animal behavior works pretty well, I've coded out all the basic movesets and the "random pattern" movegroup in general. I also implemented "move rotation" which has enabled a kind of "circle around something" pattern that all the animals are currently doing. It also paves the way for spin attacks.

I have some other more complicated systems I'm working on, but I'd rather get a skeleton of the whole combat system in place before I start adding more depth.

I did a bunch of reorganizing of my code too -- a single 2000-line javascript was waaaaay too unwieldy, so I have the project separated into 8 files now, and will add more over time. I've also got keys separated out as part of an upcoming keymapping update.

As far as hardcoded keys go, you can press i to idle in place -- good way to see what animals are doing without moving (right now they're circling around you, which is neat).

So up next, I'll be setting up a basic combat system and then I'll start doing some basic player attacks and enemy attacks as well. Whenever those are done, I'll flesh them out a lot more and maybe start trying to randomly generate enemies and particularly battles (for the next few updates, battles are going to happen all the time in dimension 0).

The end goal is to have:

• Some interesting combat mechanics that makes the procedurally generated terrain actually mean something besides just blocking your path to resources.

• Interesting player combat that encourages players to buy and/or craft useful weapons.

I can then maybe actually get started on towns or resources.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I've got some basic combat in place now. Here's a good seed to test things:
http://gtx0.com/projects/planes/?seed=1158871426
• Each animal has a background color, which corresponds to a section on the right that records their health.

Attacking

To turn on attacking mode, press caps lock. Now when you press a direction, you're attacking in that direction. There are also other things you can do here. To turn off attacking mode so you can move around again, press caps lock again.

If you press control and then a direction, you can attack diagonally:

• up -- up+right
• right -- right+down
• down -- down+left
• left -- left+up

Attacking mode will show your current weapon and its properties below the map, and will also give you a list of weapons on the left. While in attacking mode, you can press a number that corresponds to a weapon to change over to it (ex -- pressing 3 swaps over to the Staff Knock weapon).

Each weapon works a bit differently:

• Thrust -- This is a basic attack. Press one of the arrow keys (or use ctrl+arrow key for diagonal directions) and if there's an animal there, it'll hit it with 5 damage.

• Skewer -- This only does 3 damage, however it has a Ram of 1, which means if there are two animals in a row, it'll hit both for 3 damage.

• Staff Knock -- This doesn't do any damage, but it has a Knock of 3, which means it'll hit the animal back 3 spaces (provided there isn't anything solid there). This will also knock animals past other animals without issues.

• Shield Smash -- Similar to the Staff Knock (with a Knock of 2 instead of 3), except it has a Crush of 10, which means if there's a solid where you're knocking the animal to, it'll deal it 10 damage, which in this limited test run means it'll instantly kill it.

Random stuff

• I have the system set so if an animal dies, a new one is created to replace it.

• I've got animals spawning closer to you so they don't get stuck in walls as easily.

• Animal movement is the clockwise rotation pattern I made earlier, and their speed is randomly set to between 1-3 (meaning you get 1-3 turns before they get a turn).

• Animals move immediately after you take an attack if their speed is 1, so knockbacks might look kinda weird.

• It might make more sense to test close-range combat in a seed that's less open -- this is a good seed for that:
http://gtx0.com/projects/planes/?seed=468176744
• On the whole, I've got a pretty nice framework set up already so the other weapon types I've covered in other sections should be pretty easy to set up as well.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I added a few new weapons:

• Half Spin -- In weapons mode, when you press a direction, the attack affects everything within 180 degrees clockwise of that direction -- so for example if you press east (right arrow key), the attack will affect anything directly east, southeast, south, southwest or west.

• Full Spin -- Hits everything in all directions around you (north, northeast, east, southeast, south, southwest, west, northwest).

Both of the spin weapons have a knockback of 2 so it's easier to see their effects.

• Crossbow -- It'll hit anything within a range of 4 in that direction. Should be pretty intuitive, except for the lack of animations.

These properties are customizable already -- The "spin" property for example dictates how many other directions an attack will hit, and the crossbow's range can be tweaked as well.

I also made it so 9 animals are spawning at a time so these and older weapons are easier to test.

Animal colors are also fairly randomized -- I want to fix the text color thing before I make them universally randomized.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

A couple more weapons changes:

• Changed the "Range" property to "Max Range" and added a "Min Range" property -- crossbows now have a min range of two which means you can't hit anything immediately next to you.

• Renamed the "Ram" property to "Pierce", and added it to ranged weapons like the crossbow.

• Added Stun Arrows -- these are a ranged weapon that don't do damage but stuns the animal for 10 turns (preventing movement and also attacks when those start happening)

• Added a Grappling Hook -- a ranged weapon that pulls an enemy 2 spaces closer (or whatever the "Pull" property is set to). It's basically just a negative knockback.

I don't really have much left at this point:

• I want to add a "hammer" weapon where you strike the ground and reverberate damage through it.

• Thrown weapons and thrown weapon techniques

• Grappling and leapfrogging type moves

• An ammo property for ranged weapons and axes

• I need to generalize all the weapon functions at some point so they're easier to work with.

• I want to set up some kind of combo system for damage bonuses or other perks that chains together basic moves.

Anything past that point is going to deal with what weapons actually *do* rather than how they *act* -- something I'll save until after I build a skeleton for animal combat and possibly magic attacks as well.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

My advice to people making a game: Keep it simple. Eliminate bloated concepts that have nothing to do with the core gameplay, then simplify the mechanics you have already come up with even further until the game is comprehensive and fun.

Many first-time game developers make a vast mistake in that they try to make an overly-complex game. It's just not worth it when you're one person... You've got to keep your sanity!

Over 2 Years ago
Laxan

It's all written in javascript so yeah, you can either play it online or you can download it and play it offline.

Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Eliminate bloated concepts that have nothing to do with the core gameplay

Yeah I've done that a lot already. The core of this game is basically interacting with a big open world where everything is randomly generated -- but there's some actual depth and design here, for example:

• There's a lot of depth in the actual generation. I've already got the terrain to a point where I have no idea what the generation will do anymore. Ideally the whole game is like this -- algorithms so convoluted even I can't predict what will generate.

• Things are randomized, but they're also "palettized" -- meaning you get a limited range of things per area. Each dimension uses only 3-4 colors for example, but then there are also a limited amount of biomes, each with a limited amount of resources. You have to actually go to different dimensions to see different things. Similarly, enemies are extremely limited -- you get maybe 3-4 different types per dimension, which allows you to learn how to best interact with them. Towns don't contain every building type -- sometimes there won't be a Smith or an Aviary or whatever and you'll have to go to a different town to get what you need.

I'm trying to emphasize fun over grinding / inventory management / other traps these kinds of games tend to fall into.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I should probably check it out, send you some feedback.

Over 2 Years ago
Laxan

It's rough. Very very rough.

There shouldn't be any game-breaking bugs, but the user input/interface is the opposite of polished and most features simply don't exist yet, including saving. Don't get attached to anything!

That said, it's come a long way from this:

Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

So I have the townsfolk knowledge prototype working:
http://gtx0.com/projects/planes/?init=town_test
• Press up, down, left and right to go north, south, west or east respectively. This will send you to a different town.

• I removed the town knowledge thing because that would have probably made things too complicated. I also tweaked things a bit so there's always at least one person in a town who knows how to find people.

Here's a little mini-quest I did to find someone who knew about "Dooku":

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I did a *bunch* of stuff today.

Started out making a colors object so I could do something simple that needed to be done -- ended up creating a bunch of really cool effects instead.

So, some changes:

• There's a lot of lag right now. I need to address that.

• You can press b to go down a cave level. I've been using this for testing purposes, but it won't be around forever.

I've implemented water. Water generates a bit differently as you move around -- it's a kind of "shimmering" effect, and it's responsible for a lot of lag so I need to optimize it.

• If you're trying to move through water, you're not lagging out though -- it takes two moves to get through water. This is one of the things that can change by equipping different Armor.

• Water is a different color on each dimension.

• Caves now look like this. This keeps the view window from shrinking and it also fixes a big pile of bugs. In the future you'll have more of a gradient where you can see some things outside the view window but they'll be darker or you can maybe see mobs/cave holes. These systems tie into different properties of Torches.

Cave generation is also a lot different -- it's more actually cave-like now and it's a lot easier to find cave holes.

There's also lava instead of water. Lava is similar to water, except it sometimes isn't where it appears to be, and sometimes is where it doesn't appear to be. This kind of effect is known as a "quantum effect" and it's at least mild with lava.

In the final game though, touching lava deals damage. Since lava sometimes isn't where you think it is, you have to be extra careful around it.

I removed Troves, replacing them with "Quantum Dimensions" -- these have an interesting cyclical terrain generation pattern and also everything flickers with the quantum effect including the ground you're standing on, resources, anything you build, etc.

I also removed Cities, replacing them with "Entropic Dimensions". These again have a different terrain generation pattern and they also have something kinda random instead of water.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Okay, the lag isn't related to water/quantum effects at all. I'll go ahead and fix it then.

Also something I didn't add above:

• I fixed the palette generation so that the solid color is always at maximum contrast of the other two colors.

• Same deal with cave solid colors.

This was the original point of the colors object, but somehow that turned into making water and quantum effects.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Some nice changes here:

• Currency has been renamed to "Energy", and the names of everything have been changed, to "Platonic Solids", "Ajna", "Flash", "Joules" and "D-Branes". Probably pretty close to what will be in the final game.

If you press ] , you can switch between energy discoveries and materials discoveries, and what you pick up will also change accordingly.

Inventory

The inventory is now categorized and you can switch between different categories. This also sometimes completely breaks the game and looks pretty awful overall. It needs work.

Fishing

If you press f and a direction and what's in that direction is water, you'll fish in the pond there. All you're getting right now is JSON data.

Ponds are either:

• A big mass of water between 9-225 connected tiles

• If the mass of water is too big, it'll be based on 15x15 chunks instead.

Dimensions generate a limited amount of fish, and individual pools will pull out a subset of those, with some weight attached to them (to determine how likely that fish is to appear).

Tomorrow I'll probably work on the actual basic fishing mechanic, which will work something like this:

• You press f and a direction and wait, between 1-10 seconds or so (depending on which fish catches the line).

• The fish are weighted, so like if you have a "Grouper" with a weight of 5, it's 5x more likely to show up than a fish with a weight of 1.

• Each fish has a certain chance of catching it. This is based on the fish, and it's universal for the entire universe. Similarly, each fish has a wait time associated with it (or that might be based more on the pool / pool size).

• You can switch baits. There are several different bait classes, and each fish has a bait class that they prefer. The bait class will make that fish more likely to appear.

• The individual bait might make the fish easier to catch, or harder, or might decrease or increase the wait time. It'll tie into whatever other properties I add as well.

• Once you catch a fish, it'll go into your inventory.

• In the final game there will be fishing rod tiers but I haven't quite worked out how that works yet.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Fishing basically works 100% at this point, other than some random features I can't really add until I flesh out the resources system more.

• Remember, press ] to switch to materials discoveries. At the moment, all resources are bait, which makes things easier. You also get 1-5 of that specific bait, which helps as well.

• Press F and a direction. If what you pointed towards is water, it'll pull up the Fishing menu on the left.

• Lakes are named, for the sake of sanity mostly. At the moment they're just using the town name algorithm and a body of water title.

• You can change baits. It'll indicate the baits you have in your inventory and the amount of each. At the moment, there are three bait types, those being insects (like "Hornbeetle"), worms (like "Silk Larva"), and fish (half the fish you catch can become bait themselves).

• If you have no bait, it'll tell you as much and you won't be able to fish.

• You can also change your fishing speed. Fast will happen pretty much instantly, and will always consume bait, whereas Steady will take 1-10 seconds (depending on the fish) and might let you keep the bait afterwards (currently, a 50% chance -- in the future it'll be based on the Rod). Fast fishing is better for grinding, whereas Steady is better if you want to preserve rare bait.

• The fish in each pool are weighted -- some are more likely to appear than others.

• When you hook a fish, there's a chance you'll catch it or not. This number is currently indicated in the fishing status message area. If the fish has a preference for the bait type you have selected (Insects, Worms or Fish), it'll raise your chances a bit based on the actual bait. You can see the number in the fishing status area change accordingly.

• If you catch a fish, it'll go into your inventory.

• Below all that is some information about fishing -- you get a list of all the fish that appear in the pool you're fishing in, how many you've discovered out of the amount in the pool, as well as the amount you've discovered in the dimension as a whole. This, along with similar upcoming systems, will ensure that you're not fishing blind.

Things that will happen later

• The fishing rod itself determines the likelihood of using bait in steady fishing.

• You'll be able to craft Lures to make fish appear more often. Lures are crafted from materials specific to the dimension the fish appears in. Somewhere in your fishing menu (or hyperlinked from it), you'll get the crafting recipe, it just won't specify where the materials are -- you have to then explore / ask around in towns / send out birds/bats to find them.

• You'll be able to see what different baits do with different fish, as well as get more detailed information about each fish.

• There will be a kind of progressive tier system with fish/rods. I haven't quite worked out the details here yet -- it'll probably have to do with using fish as bait for other fish though.

• Obviously, more interface polish. Everything is rough as hell right now because I'm just trying to roll these features out.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I also got torches working.

When you're in a cave, press t to cycle between different torch types. Currently their properties are:

• The brightness of the space immediately around you (this isn't ever going to be dark, but it varies)

• The size of the space immediately around you that you can see perfectly

• The size of the "glow", or area outside the bright area. The glow will taper off over its distance.

• The strength of the "glow" -- higher values mean the glow will be brighter, though still not approaching the strength of the space immediately around you.

• Whether the stuff inside the glow has color saturation or not. Having it is pretty useful for distinguishing lava, for example.

• There should be properties for seeing cave holes inside the glow, seeing enemies or vague outline of them, and probably resources as well. There will also be a more general property for how many turns the torch lasts before you have to replace it.

• Obviously, the torch crafting system itself -- wood, fiber and oil are probably the basic ingredients, but the materials you use for each of those things determines what the properties of the torch actually are. Rendered boar fat might give you a bigger visible area but no glow, while Angelfish Oil gives you a big glow but a very small visible area. You could then use the free crafting system to combine the two with the appropriate catalyst and get an oil type that makes torches have both a bigger visible area and a large glow.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Well I hit the first couple steps to being able to generate towns:

I can adjust all the variables seen here as well as gap thicknesses individually. I've also got a nice little framework now for constructing other things. Additionally, I've got a system in place where everything I'm generating like this can be removed all at once -- useful for offloading stuff when you get far enough away from towns.

Anyway, this update allows me to construct both the basic layout of towns (seen here with four thick walls with gaps in them) and houses (1-tile thick walls, one gap somewhere for a door) to fill them.

My next step is to build a function that will fill some space with some set of structures. For now that'll just fill towns with houses, but when I flesh this thing out you'll have more "districts" to fill and there will probably be stuff other than houses, and house construction might be different as well. This update also paves the way for dungeons -- these were planned but didn't want to promise anything unless I could arbitrarily create rooms easily which I apparently can.

So, I'll probably flesh towns out some more tomorrow. I seem to be delving into each part of the game a little bit rather than fleshing out whole features at once. It's probably better this way.

Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Town generation is basically working at this point.

Basically with one easy function I can generate a town (including walls and entrances) as well as fill the space inside it.

These house entrances also "work" -- in the sense that they move you either inside or outside the house and know what you're doing. When I tie this in with the rest of the framework it'll mean that houses get generated as you go inside and get offloaded when you exit. It'll also pave the way for multi-floor houses, and as an added bonus the house shape doesn't actually get stored anywhere, so if you have weird house shapes the system will just know and generate stuff inside accordingly.

There's kind of a lot of framework to set up here and a lot of work to be done in general in a lot of different directions. Since shop stuff is heavily heavily reliant on resources, I'll probably take a break and work on those a bit more, or maybe go back to combat. My IRL is probably going to go nuts soon in one way or another so there might not be many updates after tonight.

Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

House interiors now work:

All I'm doing with the interior of houses right now is rendering random floor tiles and staircases, but the framework is all there:

• Houses don't load until you enter it

• Houses unload when you exit it

• Houses will generate staircases if the house has multiple levels -- ^ will go up a level and v will go down a level.

• Stepping on either staircase type will take you up or down a level respectively, and will regenerate the interior of the house accordingly. If you're not on the first floor you also can't exit out the door anymore (for obvious reasons).

• Staircases will change types, so the same staircase is used for both going up and going down.

• The floors are procedurally generated based on the house and floor so you get the same thing every time you enter the house, despite the data not actually being stored anywhere.

There's a lot of big under-the-hood updates here that are making all this possible, and have made it very very easy to render actual things and people inside houses, which I might do next (or switch over to resources).

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I've split these threads apart so that all the long complicated notes are going in here:
While anything related to the actual development of the actual game is here.

Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

So, a TON of updates to the actual game today:

Shops

Shops now spawn inside houses when you enter them. You just go up to the @ and touch it and it'll pop open the shops menu:

You can either buy or sell stuff in specific categories. At the moment I have two shopkeepers:

• An angler, who sells bait and buys fish and bait from you.

• A lumberjack who buys and sells branches, wood and fiber.

You click "Buy" or "Sell" to move over to that tab. The amount of money you have changes automatically, and you get a bit of a message too. You'll also get an error message if you don't have enough money.

Prices work much the same way they did in the old alpha demo -- they're the same regardless of where you get the item -- silk larva are just *worth* 15 ajna, and that'll be true regardless of which shopkeeper you go to.

Shopkeepers can have a markup -- this guy has a 150% markup so it costs more to buy his wares than they're actually worth.

I added a *bunch* of new materials and materials names. I also refined my notes quite a bit, the plants you can collect are:

• Branches, which you can make tools and weapons from

• Wood, which you can make furniture and specialized wooden stuff from

• Leaves, which you can make basic arrows, food and camo armor from.

• Fiber, which lets you make rope and other basic textiles

• Fruit/Nuts/Beans/Berries -- A type of food, bait, and could also be used for animal trapping

• Insects/Worms -- These are now in the same category. They're a secondary type of bait which fish prefer more often than they do fruit.

Branches, Wood and Fruit/Nuts/Beans/Berries all come from the same kind of tree, and each dimension has a limited amount of trees, which you can see above. There are duplicates at the moment and I do need to do some more work there (like ensuring that every dimension has at least one source of branches and fiber).

While everything has some randomized name that actually sounds like the thing it's supposed to be, at the moment the only names I'm 100% happy with are the Trees and Fiber plants -- the leaves are chosen from real-world leaf names and the insects/larvae are lacking. I'll fix these issues at some point.

Crafting

I got a very very basic Crafting system set up. It looks absolutely horrible (like the rest of the interface really) and I don't have any failsafes set up yet. Despite this, it works good.

I've got it on the left for now. At some point all the interaction stuff is going on the right and also the keyboard will be rebound to wasd instead of the arrrow keys -- that'll be disorienting as hell. Anyway, you click on the recipe category.

The back button works like you'd expect it to. This menu shows you all the recipes in the category and the ingredients (and amounts) needed.

When you click "Craft" you'll be brought to a menu that lets you pick which ingredients to use in the crafting recipe. Clicking craft will then subtract the appropriate amount of each item and stick the new item in your inventory.

Conclusion

Obviously, there's still a lot of work to be done here, but it's good progress. For my next project I'm going to set up a test recipe to create torches from maybe branches and fish and then tie that into the torches system to try to get the properties aspect of the game working.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

• I have a basic "alchemy" system set up. When you craft, say, a torch (from fish and branches atm), it takes on properties based on the procedurally-generated properties of both the fish and branch type. The names are also drawn from the names of the base materials, with some slight alterations (like putting vowels between consonants).

• The crafting system accepts material names (like "string") in addition to material categories (like "branches"). I also have a system in place for making crafting do things other than adding stuff to your inventory -- that'll be useful once I start getting Tools (like the saw, pickaxe, etc) in place.

• I have a very very basic "Equipment" system set up -- I've hooked this into the torch system, so you're able to craft a torch out of branches/fish of any type and then equip it in caves. This is basically how the game actually works, except the properties should be somewhat less random (basing it on "work" would be better).

• Rocks are working. The names are drawn from actual rock names and pared down to four types -- "Pebbled", "Sharp", "Broad" and "Smooth".

• Bit of an aesthetic/UX update here -- materials have a background color corresponding to their material type. The actual colors also stand out a bit more and there's more padding.

• I went ahead and moved the information stuff to the left and the interaction stuff to the right.

• In caves, metals are generating. This isn't in its final form yet by any means, but the names are at least happening right. While actual metal names sometimes generate, I've got it configured to generate things that *sound* like metals. The quality here will improve as I adjust language parameters over time, but it's pretty good already.

At this point in the project I have a good foundation for all aspects of the game. I'm going to start adding more depth, building towards my notes here (or whatever I simplify or alter them into).

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

• I got the final two weapon types installed -- a "Grapple Glove" that lets you take an adjacent enemy and throw it to the other side of you some number of spaces (basically equivalent to -2 or more knockback) and a "Vaulting Gauntlet" that lets you leapfrog over enemies, possibly doing them damage (or other effects).

Weapon Generalization

This is a huge update. Basically, I generalized *all* of my weapons code, which allows me to mix and match weapons effects to any weapon type. Here's a list of what *any* weapon type can do now:

• Knock enemies back a certain amount
• Pull enemies closer (I guess only really useful for ranged weapons)
• Crush enemies against walls for crush damage
• Stun enemies for a certain amount of turns
• Grapple and throw them behind you (this is pretty interesting to use with a ranged weapon -- it basically displaces a ranged enemy behind you)
• Makes the attack pierce through multiple enemies. Originally this was used exclusively with thrusts and ranged weapons, but now you can do it with slashes too which is pretty cool.

• Lock *all* enemies down after the attack. Equivalent to stunning them all -- this is pretty useful for testing, and I could see techniques that let you grapple / leapfrog around a few times before the enemies get a move.

• An effect called "recoil" that moves *you* back some number of spaces.

There's a lot of possibilities here. I'm going to start playing with it and maybe randomizing weapons a bit.

• Any property in the above set (as well as damage) can be randomized in a range -- you can have an attack that has a 0-2 recoil for example, or might knock enemies back some arbitrary amount. At some point I'm going to expand the probability functions and incorporate it here so you get things like a pierce chance, a slight chance of a critical hit, etc.

• I fixed a bug where enemies would occasionally not despawn after you killed them.

• Enemies are showing up as the number that corresponds to them for now, just so I can keep track of things better.

Next update

I still have a bit to do here, but it's really just polishing/bugfixing at this point, so my next project is revamping the controls. I'll keep the caps lock weapon equipment system for now (very useful for testing purposes) but in the next update you'll be able to:

• Move with WASD. I'll keep the arrow keys bound too.

• Let you do thrusts by just touching the enemy.

• Use the mouse for directional attacks -- basically whatever cardinal/diagonal direction it is from the player avatar is the direction you'll launch an attack.

• Have a highlight on the tile where you're going to launch an attack, and if you're slashing, indicate the slash arc as well.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

• Movement can now be done via WASD. You can move with the arrow keys too, but this enables you to do other stuff with the mouse.

• The mouse position relative to the player determines the direction you're attacking. It doesn't have to be exactly one tile away -- any distance in the right direction and the highlight will change accordingly.

• Click and you'll attack with your currently equipped weapon.

Overall, way way easier than the old system (and easier to see what you're actually doing too).

This system works with arc attacks as well -- here I have my mouse somewhere to the south and so there's a whole area surrounding me that my attack will hit. If I click, the attack will affect enemies 6, 7, and 1.

Similarly, this system works with ranged attacks -- in this case you get to see the range you can hit, which in this case is between 2-7 spaces away.

I've played with the system a lot, and it's quite easy to use and inuitive. It would be nice to have more feedback (like knowing when you're going to hit walls or knowing when you've hit an enemy), but overall it's a pretty good prototype.

I've started the process for thrown weapons. Haven't actually built anything out yet (there's a loooot of hooks involved in this, I haven't even figured out which ones are vital and which ones aren't yet).

I tried several different "mouse sensitivity" options and honestly, having it be 1:1 with the actual tile feels the best. I might be able to make it some kind of option though -- I could see players wanting to have more precision or more freedom.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Update

All throwing weapon techniques work, with the exception of shadow weapons:

• If you throw a weapon and it hits an enemy, it gets "sticked" and gets a border around it which contrasts with the color of the enemy. It can also do damage, knock the enemy back, stun them or whatever else another weapon could do (throw weapons with piercing damage are pretty neat).

• If you throw a weapon and it hits the ground, you'll get a ( symbol with a black background.

Ground Effects and Techniques

"Effects" are things that happen automatically, while "Techniques" are things you perform as a separate weapon move.

• A "reverb" or "reverb stun" effect will deal damage or stun enemies adjacent to the thrown weapon as it hits the ground.

• A "tug" technique will pull the weapon towards you.

• A "jerk" technique will pull *you* towards the weapon.

• A "fragment" technique will make the weapon deal fragment damage or fragment stun, a bit like a controllable time-delayed reverb effect. It should eventually return the weapon to your inventory as well.

Sticked enemy techniques

• A "yank" technique will pull the enemy towards you.

• A "draw" technique will pull *you* towards the enemy.

Miscellaneous techniques

• A "recall" technique will return all thrown weapons, whether they're in sticked enemies or on the ground.

Multiple effects

If you have multiple weapons on the ground or sticked in enemies, then your techniques will affect *all* instances of that weapon -- yanks will pull all sticked enemies towards you, draws will draw you to one enemy and then the next enemy, etc -- if you stick a whole cluster and move far away a good draw might pull you all the way there. Jerks seem to pull you somewhere in between the line that the two weapons draw, or the shape if you throw more than two.

Eventual goals

• Shadow weapons and thrown weapon limits. This ties in too much with the equipment system though, so I'll need to incorporate weapons there first.

• Stepping on a thrown weapon will pick it back up, touching an enemy with a sticked weapon will pick it back up.

• Tugs/jerks/yanks/draws should optionally cause damage. This will require some work around enemies that get blocked by other enemies though -- at the moment you just *can't* pull them if there's an enemy there -- eventually there should be a kind of proto-physics engine, where knockback and pulls can make an enemy hit another enemy, and make them move, which can hit other enemies, etc. Will take some work in figuring out where they go if there's solids and stuff though.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Update

I took a break from combat to work on something else.

Biomes

I've added "biomes" to the game -- these are basically sub-dimensions with handcrafted terrain generation and color palettes. There's still some color variation and they're still infinite in size. They look so good I might rethink the way normal dimensions are generating.

Water Biome

Earth Biome

Fire Biome

Ice Biome

Wood Biome

Wind Biome

Plans

The plan here is to make entrances to these biomes appear alongside caves. Each dimension has one of these "elements" associated with it, which influences which of these entrances will appear.

In order to enter a Biome you have to collect something in caves (probably quartz and metal). The stuff you collect for this isn't dimension-specific, and it opens up that biome portal globally -- so you only ever need to craft one Wood Portal for example to access Wood Biome entrances from then on.

A lot of enemies in the game will be elemental, as will the combat system. I'm still working on the details of that. Biomes will exclusively spawn enemies of that element, while regular dimensions will have a mix along with "normal" enemies.

While you can still find Crystals in deep caves, you'll find a lot more in the biome associated with their element. Biomes will also render some different variations on basic resources as well -- like wood biomes will be heavy on plant products.

Unlike Caves or Towns, you'll be able to build bases in Biomes and connect them with your existing base.

Biomes are where Deep Castles will be. In order to enter a deep castle you have to collect stuff from the biome / go to places in the biome / craft something from biome resources. Haven't figured out what the progression system here is yet.

So your progression system now looks like this:

• 1. Collect surface resources
• 2. Fish and fight for animal resources
• 3. Build things for exploring caves
• 4. Explore caves for metal and quartz
• 5. Build biome portals
• 6. Explore biomes for crystals and some way of unlocking deep castles
• 7. Explore deep castles

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Towns Update

The wall size / entrance size / house size / house margin also varies between towns. Town size also varies a lot. Not a huge update, but is a little bit of variety at least.

Provided you're in dimension 0 (towns are specific to it right now), you can press  twice to go to the entrance of the town in whatever chunk of the world you're in. In-game there will be an item(s) and a spell(s) for this eventually.

Basically, every 500x500 chunk of the world has one town between 25-100 tiles in size. This town will generate somewhere within that chunk, except for a 10x10 space inside the chunk. To save space, the town doesn't actually generate until you get close to it. It'll also offload as you get further away from it.

This isn't the final draft for town placement, but it'll work good for now.

The last house inside a town (whatever is bottom-rightmost) will have a "Travel shop". This will show distances to adjacent towns and let you teleport to their entrances for a fee. This also isn't the final draft, but it'll work for now.

The distances are based on each tile being 1m. Interestingly, that puts the size of each dimension at 0.95 light-years, which is totally accidental.

There are a couple bugs that I need to fix (and I need to make towns work on other dimensions), but everything is surprisingly pretty solid otherwise.

Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I've been working on Provinces:

Not a flawless reconstruction, but it's pretty close and I'm pretty pleased with the results.

Basically what you're looking at here is a set of province maps, which would individually look like this:

This map shows where towns, cities and nexuses are and the travel paths between them:

• Black lines are for local travel and are the cheapest.

• Cyan lines are for "edge" travel and are a bit more expensive, but connect things around the edge so can be pretty cost-effective sometimes.

• Red lines connect towns to nearby cities if they aren't already connected to one. More expensive, but cities tend to be well-connected.

• Gray lines connect cities to nexuses. The most expensive, but sometimes the best way to get to the other side of the map.

This hasn't actually been tied into town generation yet, that will be my next project.

Provinces also dictate various other things:

• Where Guild halls are.

• Where non-town locations spawn.

• Probably something related to resource generation, since I'm moving away from the dimension-specific layout.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

As I pointed out in my Notes post, I've been working on a new generation algorithm to arrange houses better, build dungeons and more. Below is my first attempt at generating "hallways":

While there's still a lot of work and evidently some bugs, I'm pretty happy with how flexible the hallway system is already -- it basically just creates a stair-like pattern between two points with whatever amount of granularity you want.

I'm also quite happy with the generation algorithm in general -- I've implemented even spacing with as much variation as you want, which looks really good for houses and should be useful for dungeons. Meanwhile, it's flexible enough to make ruins or other things with it, perhaps even random structures if I generalize it enough. I don't think I'll have any problem coming up with unique things to find now.

Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

what’s your favorite thing you’ve coded so far? i tinker around with unity sometimes, and i love figuring out how to do something. it’s like solving a puzzle.

Over 2 Years ago
poptart!

I've reached a major milestone with the "ruins" project -- basically I can now generate all the different types of ruins with a lot of variety all around:

Dungeons

Mines

Mazes (aka "Ruins")

Shrines

Miscellaneous structures

What's done and what isn't done

In addition to generating these, I've generalized the loading object so I can easily hook these back in when I know where I'm putting them. There's also a templating system, since they're all running on the same engine.

I need to do some more work with coloring them -- I can change colors of whatever pretty easily but this code is hardcoded at the moment.

I also haven't put anything in them yet -- each of the larger shapes should be a kind of "room" potentially (on dungeons the large shapes are all rooms). This ties a lot into the loot / NPC / combat systems. I also want to have a kind of progressive key/door system, if it's not too much work. (dungeons at least should be easy here)

Dungeons in particular should generate multiple floors in their own space. Same deal with mines probably. Nothing here has been done, but the hooks are there (it's what's happening with biomes).

Lastly, nothing is actually generating in the world yet. This ties too much into the Provinces system and how ruins/etc are distributed across a province.

Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

what’s your favorite thing you’ve coded so far?

@poptart:

The ruin generation stuff (see my post above) was a pretty big achievement, particularly given how flexible it is.

Overall, the entire project has kinda been like this -- there's a ton of work to set up the foundations but I've ended up with a really interesting engine to play around with.

The whole thing's built entirely from scratch, so the work has been very progressive -- it's gotten easier and easier over time to build new features.

Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

It's been a while since I've worked on this project. Going to start updating it more regularly.

Today's update is pretty big.

House Interiors

House interiors now generate walls and furniture along with shopkeepers.

Items Update / Furniture

Furniture containers work how you'd expect them to -- you can take items from them or even take all. I also did a massive items update so that each piece of furniture has almost all of the items it's supposed to have (detailed in my Notes post), as well as a bunch of work in actually generating what the names are (though I'm not done yet here -- it'll be more interesting in the final product).

Shops

I fleshed out all the Shop types as well -- at the moment everything but the Trapper and Butcher shops are working and tested, including composite shops like the Zoo.

Moving forward

There are quite a few bugs and some things that haven't been 100% fleshed out yet. Furniture placement is also quite random, and interior walls sometimes block off pathways. Shop selling and Fast Travel also appear to be broken. These are things I'm going to be fixing moving forward. My goal is to create a kind of "Thief v0" update -- where you can at the very least take items from houses and then sell them to various shops, though there's no consequences to anything and nothing's particularly hard.

After that, I'll aim more towards an actual thief v1 update -- lockpicking, NPC movement, and the caught system. After that I'll probably work pretty heavily on the Provinces/town generation systems to make towns more interesting / more accessible, unless I want to switch gears to something else for a while.

Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Shop selling and fast travel are fixed.

A bigger update though is that I got the lockpicking system in place:

It works similarly to the Hand Game I posted a while back, except with EN's improvements, a variable number of "fingers" and it looks different as well. I'll probably make a stand-alone version tomorrow and post it here for those of you who were interested in the earlier version.

I also worked pretty hard on my thief v1 notes and will probably post that in the other post.

Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Lockpicking hooks are lined up, and I got all of the special abilities implemented:

There are a few lingering issues and I need to tweak more complex locks a bit so a couple of those abilities aren't too OP. I also have the backbone of the standalone version built, so that will probably go up tomorrow as well. Most of the actual game's hooks for lockpicking are in place now too, so that might also happen tomorrow.

I'm going to try to use the standalone version to figure out which abilities are better than others, and work that into the game. You should really only have one ability per lockpick unless you're working with alloys, and I'd like to make the better abilities rarer. Lockpicks instead are more likely to have noise / use / precision differences. I should really build weapons like this too -- at the moment you're getting ones that are totally random.

Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Been a while since an actual update.

• I got the new materials system in place, along with the extraction system.

• Ended up scrapping both the rock crafting and tools systems, as they were making the game way too complicated. You can extract resources at a 1:1 rate by hand, but you still have to choose which resource you want from each raw material.

• Bait generates as a world resource again, and you again get 1-3 of it at a time.

• World resources appear as a ":" which makes them a bit easier to see. The player character is also a "@" to fit in with other ascii roguelikes better.

• Fish and corpses are also implemented into the new extraction system. At the moment corpses are just generating as surface resources -- when combat is more fleshed out they'll drop from enemies that you've killed.

• The actual list of raw resources changed a LOT while developing this system:

Raw resources and their potential extractables

• (Tree Name) Brush -- Leaves, Branches, Fruit/Nuts

• (Tree Name) Trunk -- Wood, Sap, Bark, Tubers

• (Grass-like Plant Name) -- Fiber, Beans/Berries, Flowers

• Fish -- Meat, Bones, Fat, Scales

• Animal Corpse -- Meat, Bones, Hide, Fat, Wool/Feathers/Scales

The resources you can get depends on the raw material -- you won't always get, say, flowers every time you get brush. There are some that are universal though, such as scales for fish or meat for animal corpses.

Clicking "Extract" will extract the appropriate resource, however "Extract All" will extract that resource from *every* copy of that raw material you have in your inventory -- quite useful if you have a lot of stuff collected.

I'll probably add some icons when this system is more finalized -- I'm not sure if this is the final materials system or not.

My next project is either camping/cooking or scout/mount animals. Probably camping/cooking since it ties in directly to this update.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Doing combat instead. Needs to get done.

I now have a really solid engine for enemy movements. Some of the stuff I've tested leads to some really complex, emergent, and occasionally terrifying enemy behavior. They act like swarms a lot of the time, which is cool and very very useful for the tactical combat system. I plan to release a little prototype soon that lets you sort of program them and watch them move in real time, since they're interesting to watch sometimes -- a bit like cellular automata.

I have additional ideas for the movement engine but don't want to complicate things too much since I still have to figure out how I'm randomizing it.

Still to do:

• Have condition-based behavior, like if they're blocked or near a player. Might heavily simplify and just hardcode some common-sense rules.

• Would still like to do enemy communication. It's neat and would be easy to set up.

• A prototype life simulator thing for you guys.

After that I'll start fleshing out enemy attacks, finishing up player combat, and otherwise getting this system to a state where armor / potions / food / some magic is viable. That should really speed development along.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

First of all, enemies can sometimes generate interesting patterns if you set their behavior right:

This is one of the more terrifying patterns -- they're random, then bolt away from the player at high speed, then you think they're safe, and then they do this.

I plan on making a kind of life simulator prototype sometime so you guys can explore enemy behavior in more depth and I can also test the engine better.

I worked on the fishing engine a good bit, looking to roll out the features in my v1 notes.

• The naming scheme is a bit different -- if the water is bigger than the maximum pool size (255 tiles, iirc) then it gets named something more majestic or "lake". Also added some names to smaller pools.

• Auto fishing works -- essentially this will run through 10 bait and do 7 catches -- a speed of 10 and a wastage of 3. These properties will be based on the rod when I get to that update. Auto-fishing is definitely a useful feature for grinding, even though there's a lot of extra bait wastage.

Fishing for containers

This is a bit of a larger update to the fishing engine.

• There's a 10% chance of "snagging a container", which has various names. Each container name has a specific piece of furniture it imitates as well as a specific amount of items to pull from that furniture.

I added an option to the extraction menu -- containers get shown first. You can open each type one by one or open them all. Opening a container will remove it from your inventory, and then basically treat it like a piece of furniture that you're doing "Take All" to.

This update also paves the way for Wholesalers. I'd install them now but I think they're reliant on the Province system in some way.

Right now containers act like a random piece of house furniture. I'd eventually like to have a custom set of rules that they follow, as well as a different custom set for wholesaler bags. It'll still use the furniture system though, which appears to be quite useful.

Still to do

Kind of a lot. I've got a full page for updates to the fishing engine. I think I'll probably do Lures and Fishing Rods next. Or I might switch gears to some other system.

Despite how spread out the development is, Shatterloop is coming along very well -- I've got some kind of foothold with pretty much every system at this point.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Added a *bunch* of crafting recipes and made some improvements to the crafting engine, since it's required for fishing updates.

• You can craft with individual items as well as categories. I guess this was already working, but it was buggy.

• Various name-based issues fixed (random underscores and missing capitals)

• Recipes can have multiple things that can be used to make the same recipe -- for example cloth can come from 2 of either hide or wool.

• Names are universally generating via alchemy for all recipes.

• There's an easy framework now for generating properties via alchemy. This was the main update I needed, but a lot of things were broken outside of it.

• The crafting menu appears in a scrollable window so it's easier to scroll through it. IIRC that's true for extraction now as well.

• Lots of crafting recipes updated to their actual recipe. Pretty much everything early-to-mid-game is in there, with the exception of armor and jewelry which will be more complicated updates. The recipes might change over time for balance reasons, but the set of materials at least looks right.

Still to do

Really just UI/UX updates at this point:

• Make it look better.

• Get a preview of material properties / product properties before you craft.

• Maybe links to prerequisite crafting.

• "Unlock" recipes as you get the materials for them.

All of this can wait until the game's polishing step, though I might set up the properties web before that.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I don't know what my free time looks like anymore, but I'm going to try to spend some time with this project when I can.

Base Building Prototype

This update basically works the same as the original building feature, but has a better interface and a couple improvements:

• Click the "Building" tab.

• Change mode to "Get Color". You'll gain a white hover effect when you hold your mouse over any tile on screen. Click it to change either the "Solid" or "Floor" color depending on whether it's solid or not.

• Change mode to "Place solid" and then click any tile on the screen and it'll draw a solid there. Same deal with "Place floor".

• Placing a Door will create a vertical or horizontal gradient. This requires two solids on adjacent sides and at least one floor tile that you've placed on the left or right of where the door is. This has been improved to only require a floor on either side so you don't have to do something dumb like place a floor outside your base to make a door work. Additionally, the middle color will take the average of the two solids, so if you have two differently-colored solids on either side of the doorway it'll reflect both.

Known Bugs

• You can use Get Color to get water, cave entrances, or resources and then place them with the "Place floor" option. Resources placed this way are infinite. I'm going to leave this bug in for now because it seems like it would be very very useful for testing.

• There's not currently a way to get rid of the white highlight effect on tiles once it's there. This is an issue with combat right now too.

Planned updates to this version of the feature

• Clicking every tile individually is annoying. I'd like there to be a means of holding the mouse and dragging it to "draw" tiles. You can do it the other way too though.

• Erasing tiles you've built.

• Undoing held-mouse actions all at once.

Later stuff

• The energy-use system (1 energy for a solid on existing solid or floor on existing floor, more if you're altering the landscape)

• A kind of "dye" feature where you can mix together various colors to get new colors. You should also have every color you've ever scanned accessible somewhere.

• Base creation / determining whether a construction is a valid room or not. This set up of updates will happen whenever I start working on bases in earnest.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Shatterloop's development strategy right now is "do something prior to working on freelance projects". It seems to help with them, while also allowing me to slowly work on it.

Lockpicking update

I didn't quite get this feature to version 1, but it's pretty close.

• Lockpicking is integrated into the actual game now. This is based on the lockpick you have equipped (assuming you have one), which influences quite a bit.

• Not all furniture is locked. Each furniture type has a chance of it being locked, with more valuable types of furniture having a higher chance. Things that don't make sense to lock (like baskets or sack piles) will never be locked.

• Once you solve the lockpicking puzzle (via just playing the mini-game normally or using lockpick abilities), the container opens up and you can take stuff inside. It'll permanently stay open as well.

• Each lockpick has a lockpicking ability attached to it. In the final game, half of them won't have abilities at all, and some of them might have multiple abilities. These abilities work exactly how they do in the lockpicking mini-game.

• The lockpicking mini-game has more or less tumblers depending on the type of furniture -- more valuable kinds will have higher ranges of tumblers, though there's a chance they'll be smaller. Additionally, a lockpick's "precision" stat will decrease the complexity of the game.

• When you enter a house, a "Noise" bar appears. This will fill up according to various thief-like actions. In the final game it'll only appear once you start acting like a thief, but for now it'll always appear. Noise meters will reset when you leave the house -- that might not be true in the final game (not sure yet).

• Taking items from a piece of furniture will increase the noise meter some amount. Taking all will increase it by however many items are left. The increases here are dictated by the types of furniture -- things like shelves are a lot less noisy than normal, while weapon/armor stands make a lot of noise.

• When you're lockpicking, triggering tumblers, using an ability, and clicking "reset" will all add some amount of noise. The amount of noise for each action depends on the lockpick. 0 noise for any of those is possible, but rare.

• Lockpicks can be crafted from bones or metals, and they'll take on randomized properties of all of the above depending on what materials you used to craft them. Metals are found in caves and bones are extracted from fish and animals, so overall you have like ~30 different lockpicks to work with plus whatever you get in shops / find in loot. I might change it so that shops can only sell lockpicks you could have gotten via crafting, while loot will give you more variety.

• Lockpick properties are shown in the top left corner. Right now it's just JSON. In the future they'll be shown more verbosely in several places (the lockpicking screen with a toggle, the crafting menu for crafting lockpicks, an "equipment compare" screen or something, maybe a screen on the inventory).

Still to do

I have a checklist going here:
The main things left are:

• The durability system (which will also tie into weapons/armor)

• A pawn shop service to repair lockpicks. The underlying systems here will also allow for things like inns, banks, etc as well as pouring potions on lockpicks to repair them yourself, repairing weapons in bases, etc.

• All the NPC movement stuff, which is a bigger project.

• Eventually, thief perks will impact the systems here. Same deal with magic.

Might work more on this in the next update, might switch gears to something else (making good progress on the fishing and combat engines too lately).

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Lockpicking Update 2

• I have a general-purpose durability system in place now, which will be used with armor and weapons, potentially also wands/scrolls/pets if those systems are similar enough.

• I have a specific instance of this working with lockpicks -- lockpicks have a durability between 30-200 (for now), and every lockpicking action degrades it somewhat. Once it reaches 0 you can't use the lockpick anymore until it's repaired. There currently isn't a way to repair them.

• I set up an "always" system for shops -- this makes it so that shops will always sell certain types of items. Pawn shops also now will always sell lockpicks due to this.

• I did some work into shop services. This is a somewhat complicated project, and I have a checklist going on the other thread to track that. Hopefully it'll be done on the next update to this featureset.

Systems work

I also did quite a bit of work into various systems that are necessary for this featureset. These systems however are also laying down the foundation for various upcoming updates:

• Armor/Weapons durability system (Potentially wands/scrolls/pets too as pointed out)

• A better inventory view

• Potions and magic

• Fixtures such as Altars and Fountains

• Other shop services such as inns and banks. I've got this laid out so well that I might create some more interesting services to flesh the game's potential out some more.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Shop Services

• Added an item filter system -- should be very useful for the improved inventory update as well as this.

• Shop services work 100%. This system is extremely solid and each part of it is easy to modify as well -- I made some random weird shop services and they work perfectly.

• The lockpick repair service works -- pawn shops will restore your lockpick to full.

Services are currently free -- that will change as this goes into beta, but it's better for testing atm.

Portals

Portals are pretty close to 100% from my notes.

Changing Portal Type switches between these four different menus.

• Placing a window lets you click "Teleport" and you'll teleport to that attractor that you've placed, or the closest town if that's the option you pick.

• If you're placing an attractor or tangle, you click the tile where you want to place it and it will. It's similar to the building system.

• If you're placing a repulsor, you type in the X and Y coordinates and you'll warp there, unless it's above the limit for safe integers, in which case you'll teleport somewhere else (I'm working on this feature, it's a bit screwy but it shouldn't break anything). The limit is pretty high though so you're not going to hit it unless you're trying to push limits.

Here's what the portals look like on the screen. They look similar to caves -- might change cave colors somewhat to fix that. They reflect whatever color you make the portals.

With the modify menu, you click the portal on the screen (with a whitelike hover effect) and the appropriate edit menu will pop up for it.

Interacting with portals

I changed the behavior of Tangle/Attractor pairs a bit:

• Tangles only go one-way to the attractor.

• Stepping into an attractor will instead warp you somewhere close to it.

You can still make effective two-way portals, you just have to have an attractor and tangle on both ends. I like the logistical challenges of this method better.

An interesting bug that came up while doing this is that any trigger whatsoever for stepping onto an attractor will make you spawn close to it, including the displacement from other portals.

You can therefore create constructions like this one where stepping into any entrance of it has the potential of spitting you back out anywhere else on its surface. You can also run into time sink problems if you place entrance/exit portals too close to each other in a pair -- it's possible to bounce back and forth between them many times before exiting (and you might not exit where you want). This kind of thing also introduces some logistical problems and some interesting mechanics to experiment with. I like that the time distortion works similarly to actual black holes as well.

Still to do

• Nothing costs anything. It will in beta. I'm mostly waiting on the provinces system update for this.

• There also aren't any limits and you don't have to craft anything to access portals.

• Towns don't have a repulsor service yet -- that's waiting on the maps update, which might potentially be a ways off.

• No integration with bases, which makes sense because bases don't exist yet.

• There are some minor UI/UX things that I'll probably hold off on until later.

• "Networks" of interconnected portals where you can go from any of them to any other is definitely possible, but I'm not sure if I want to put it in the game or not -- maybe as a late-game feature or builder perk. I like the logistical challenges of the current system a lot better.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Bit of a smaller update this time, but at least my updates are consistent.

• I created a time system, which you can see in the top-right corner. Every time you move (or something makes you move, like a portal), the rightmost counter increases by 1. That counter rolling over will trigger the next one, and so on. The time system itself is very flexible, and can support earth time among other things.

I'm not sure what I want the time system to look like in the final version. Right now there's a 1s, 10s and 100s counter, which rolls over after 1000 turns. Somewhere around 1000 seems like the right length of turns for a "day", but I'm not sure how many counters I want or where they should roll over at. Making it Base-10 makes a certain amount of sense though.

• I fixed the surface-level and cave generation. For some reason they were running the wrong biome code. So now surface terrain is interesting again, and caves are quite cave-like.

• I improved cave hole generation inside caves. Will probably still need to tweak it a bit, but you are at least likely to see some again now.

• I made it so that seeing the entirety of a cave instead of being limited by your torch is just a variable switch -- this will make caves significantly easier to test on my end.

• Menus look better. Still not the final version or anything (Shatterloop might have a dark layout -- haven't quite decided yet. It's interface-heavy, but I'm very comfortable with dark layouts and they're also more familiar to gamers of old IF/roguelikes) but definitely an improvement.

• Menus are also modular -- I'm using the same menu system for the main menus and also the bases menu here. I also created a UI object where I'm going to start putting UI code in so I can reuse it. Both of these things should speed up interface development a lot.

• I added Building to the Bases menu, added the controls for creating a new base, and got the other base tabs set up. Nothing functional yet, this is just foundational work.

• I generalized the "magic tile select" function and hooked it back into the fishing engine. I need this magic tile select object in order for the bases system to see if a group of tiles is a valid base or not. The new version of this object will be highly useful in a number of future applications. It also returns a list of tiles that it has "picked".

• Due to this change, I modified the fishing function so you get to see the entirety of the "lake" that you're fishing in. Pretty neat. The coloring will take some more work -- needs to be cyan if the water is blue and blue if the water is cyan basically, but I'll get to that later.

• Due to that change, I also have a nifty function for highlighting various tiles with whatever styling I want, based on world coordinates rather than table coordinates. I was using it for combat (like showing the range of ranged weapons), but I could see it being useful for other things too in the future like pinpointing houses in towns or w/e.

I now have everything I need to actually create the "check if this is a valid base room" function, which will enable the rest of the base building updates. I'm pretty excited -- those are some of the most interesting updates and they really start to flesh the game out too.

I might switch gears at some point though. I'm looking at creating a checklist for caves so I can work on that set of updates at some point soon -- they're actually the easiest thing to program right now because of all the other systems I put into place recently. So if base building hits a major snag or gets to a good stopping place, I'll switch to that.

While I'm very close to finishing the thief system, the next set of updates is entirely reliant on generalizing mob behavior, and that really needs to turn into a finished system first so I don't shoot myself in the foot.

The other systems I'm working on also require a lot of work. I'll get to them eventually regardless, but I'm hoping that some of the other things I'm working on could make working on them easier. That definitely won't happen with Provinces, but I'm holding off on that because I want to spend a lot of time thinking about what gets generated in the world first and the progression of the game.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

March 14th update

• I added the "make sure this is a valid room" function. It will usefully highlight all the tiles it checks and display errors accordingly -- must be 9-255 tiles long, have no naturally generated floor tile in there, and must have at least one door.

• I did a bit of work on base creation more generally, but that's a big pile of foundational work.

• All weapon types are generating now, and bladesmith shops are currently selling one of each. Also for testing purposes, all non-travel shops are bladesmiths right now.

• For extended testing purposes, right now one of every type of weapon is automatically loaded into your inventory and you also get an absurd amount of money to buy new weapons with. These updates will obviously change.

• Bladesmiths, Armorers, Spelunkers and Geologists have an "ore smelting" service. At the moment it turns a metal or precious metal ore into a metal or precious metal at a 2:1 ratio, and leaves behind whatever it can't smelt yet. I'm not sure what actually determines the ratio in the final game yet -- maybe the shop, maybe it's a skill, maybe the metal itself. Maybe all three.

• Also, caves are spawning precious metal ores and metal ores rather than the actual resource -- so you have to smelt them if you want to use them for anything useful. Additionally, caves weren't spawning resources for some reason but they are now.

• All weapon crafting recipes are in place, however they're not using the same generation system yet. This will require some more thought because it ties into the alchemy system. If you try to craft weapons right now it'll probably also break the game in some capacity -- shouldn't crash it though.

• I integrated the mob generation function back into the game. Right now enemies will spawn every 10 turns (when the timer reads X:X:0) if enemies haven't already spawned. This is definitely not the final version or even the final v0 version -- I have the spawns turned way up so they're easier to test.

• I modified enemy behavior so that like you they can move on solids as long as they're on a solid -- once on the ground they can't climb over solids without the "flying" skill.

• Combat seems to be working but is probably pretty buggy in several different areas. Will need to fix it for sure.

• The enemies all have exactly one move pattern, and there's only exactly one type of mob group, and the enemy health is all the same (and low), etc. There's a pretty absurd amount of faking-out in the code that's happened just so *something* is working combat-wise. All of this will need to be upgraded before the feature reaches v0 though.

Moving forward

I'm going to get at least some of the bugs / functional issues sorted out before I move forward, but when I do instead of finishing those up I'm instead going to work towards player health / enemy attacks. I could then theoretically shelve combat for the moment and work on some of the systems that require combat, such as food or potions (which I really want to work on!). Overall though combat doesn't seem to have a lot of hard work left in it now though, so I should be able to slam out those updates pretty soon as well.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Major Base Building Update

The entire Base Building foundation works. It's now incredibly easy to actually add base room functionality as well as scope out what bases do more generally.

• Clicking "Create Base" actually works -- assuming it's a valid room it'll create the base, set its tiles/etc appropriately and make you "enter" the base as well as the room you just created.

• Doors work to move you into and out of bases, as well as allow you to move between rooms. This happens both from a data perspective (rooms can be very different) and in a physical sense -- you jump over the door onto the next tile like you do in towns.

• Once you've built a base room you can't place any more tiles inside of it by traditional means. The future of this will be a bit different, but that depends on things down the road.

• The room name definitely isn't going to stay what it looks like here, but it's good for testing purposes.

• Once you have a Base, you can then add rooms to it with this button. There aren't any limits or sanity checks yet but this does seem to work flawlessly otherwise.

• Base Interior stuff also works -- on the interior tab you can click the fixture type and place it on the screen accordingly. All I have here is sample data, but it'll be changed to whatever the actual base system ends up looking like. This also works flawlessly, and base room fixtures with various types of functionality are really really easy to set up.

• I have a rudimentary Saving / Loading system in place. It isn't hooked into everything yet, but it *is* hooked into all the base stuff (as well as your coordinates) so it makes it a lot easier to test those features.

• The way it currently works is you click "Save" and the textbox will spit out a bunch of data. You take that and save it somewhere -- when you want to reload that save file, you stick it in the box and click "Load".

• Obviously this isn't the final version of the save feature, although I do like the idea of having text-based savefiles as an option at least -- that would make Shatterloop 100% playable offline, which was one of the original goals. You'd also be able to mod savefiles easily.

It'll probably be a while before I hook everything into the save feature. While extremely useful (and obviously essential), it constrains development somewhat. I'll add it in when object names/data structures are more finalized.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

3/18 Update

Bases

• The Newflesh Node is hooked in and working. Touching a newflesh node sets your spawn point to whatever tile you were on when you touched it.

• The Atomizer is working. Touching it will turn "Atomize" mode on in your inventory -- click the button to atomize the item and gain base aether accordingly.

• Research stations can be placed but don't do anything yet.

Combat v0

Combat is now a full v0. There are a few minor things left in the original checklist, but every system is working in some capacity at this point.

• Spawns are less annoying -- happening every 50 turns now. Though this will probably change while I'm testing / tweaking things.

• There's a stats object handling player stats in general (which will include mana and satiety).

• Players have health and a death counter.

• When you take damage, if you go down to 0 the death counter increments, your health returns to full, and you respawn at whatever your spawn point is (the origin, or the last newflesh node you've touched).

• Health regenerates over time. I'm not quite sure what rate I want to see yet -- currently it's 5% of max every 10 turns (with 20 max health that's literally 1 health at a time, but it would go up as your max goes up). The systems here are quite advanced and make things like poison damage / mana regen very very easy to implement.

• Enemies are attacking now -- basically they have an "aggression" stat that determines how likely they are to attack if they're in range, and an "attack" stat that determines how much damage they do. Right now enemies are only capable of attacking you when they're adjacent or diagonally adjacent to you. The damage and aggro vary somewhat among enemies, but Herds (groups of all the same enemy) tend to be less aggressive and do less damage -- though they also have more life. There are also no animations or indications that an enemy is attacking you -- there should be something there when combat matures, but I'm not sure what yet.

Camping

• Camping's unique set of checks work. Clicking "Camp" will attempt to run them, and if you're wrong it'll just say "you're camping wrong". The errors here will improve -- would like to have visual aids actually. Essentially in order to camp you need to be bordered by a "corner" of three naturally-generated solid tiles (say, north, northeast and east) and not be on water.

• The system also tracks whether you have a water tile orthogonally adjacent to you. Having that kind of condition will allow you to make Potions, Stews, and Fish while resting.

• Sleeping works. Basically this makes you idle in place on a fast timer. I want to make it so that your visibility goes way down (like your eyes are closed), so it automatically stops when your health/mana are full, etc. Combined with the health regen update you can already rest in place to recover health.

Future Plans

Due to these changes (and the ones over the past few days) a lot of systems have opened up -- I can implement Armor, Jewelry, Potions, Food, Cooking, Stews, Summons, Fountains, Smelting, and Alloys. Plus there's a lot of work to do still on both the Combat and Base Building complexes. So I'm probably going to continue to be pretty scattered for a while. Will definitely be getting to Food and Potions pretty soon though -- I've been wanting to work on those systems for a while now. Will probably work on Crops a bit too for similar reasons. Might swing back to Caves or Pets just to round out all the systems that are in progress.

Overall, the game is finally moving towards what I actually want it to be, instead of just being a loose collection of disjointed systems and sprawling notes.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Update 3/23

I got quite a bit done towards the goal of Potions/Food, plus some other useful changes.

• I finalized what Potions and Food actually do. I don't usually count Notes posts as one of my updates, but in this case it was a lot of work and is pretty essential to the process.

• Mana is in place and regenerating. Currently it's quite slow -- 1 point every 10 turns. No idea what I want it to actually be.

• I altered the time system a bit -- it can now only trigger things at a certain time (rather than an interval). Events triggered either way can also expire. This is just foundational work for the Buffs system, but should be useful elsewhere as well (weather comes to mind, though I've scrapped that for now).

• I've set up a really basic magic system. Was going to just make a skeleton, but it worked really well so this is more of a v0. Basically to use magic, you open the menu, select the crystal, click "Use" and then place it on the screen accordingly like you were placing something from the build menu.

• Right now the only magic spell is an attack that consumes some random amount of mana and if it hits an enemy, deals some random amount of damage. Obviously a lot is going to change here, but this is just enough to get the Buffs system in place.

• Lava exists again below level 3 in caves. It doesn't seem to want to "melt" or change its appearance like it does in the fire dimension -- that's some kind of bug I'll have to fix.

• Lava deals lava damage. Right now that's 2 damage every time you move on to lava. This will definitely change.

• I altered the lighting system heavily, and the engine can now set torch-like effects independent of whatever torch you have equipped, as well as revert them. Will be useful for Buffs, but I plan to do some neat-looking effects when you're sleeping as well. Could theoretically implement Night/Day cycles too, but not really a fan of that.

• Shops all have a markup now between their buying and selling prices.

Item Dropping

• While in an inventory category, you see a "Drop: OFF" link. Click that to turn drop mode on or off.

• While in drop mode, you can click a "Drop" or "Drop All" button next to an item. Drop drops 1 of it and drop all drops the entire amount of it.

• Dropped items will appear in a special tile north of you. If you interact with it, you'll get the menu to the right.

• "Take" will let you take one of the item, "Take All" will take all of the item in the pile. Meanwhile, "Take Everything" will pick up the entire pile.

• If there's nothing in the pile, the pile should disappear. It currently isn't though because there's some missing core code that it needs to work right, so I'm holding off on it for now.

• You shouldn't be able to drop equipped items without first unequipping them. I'm not sure how I want to program this yet, so it hasn't been added.

Systems paved the way for

• Buffs, obviously. Which then paves the way for Potions and Food.

• Magic will be a lot easier to do now.

• With item dropping in place, that's really all I need to set up Item Weights, but I'm going to hold off on that feature for now.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Update 3/25

Got quite a bit done.

• I moved the combat stuff to the right. There's really no good place to put it, but this is better than having it on the left. Long-term, having some kind of health bar above the enemy might make sense, though that could get awkward with thick clusters, also would be a challenge to program.

• Enemies have animal names, which is displayed in the combat screen.

• When you kill an enemy, it turns into a "~" tile. Stepping onto that will add the corpse to your inventory. There's a weird bug where it won't get added until you move again, I'll look into it eventually.

• Given this change, I've removed corpses from ":" resources and decreased the amount of resources that spawn. Since some crucial resources are usually missing, I'm going to handcraft the types available a bit.

• I made enemies a bit slower -- individuals in a mixed group might still have a speed of 1, but a speed of 2 or 3 feels a lot more natural and isn't as ridiculously difficult.

Buffs

I added a Buffs system, which ties into some of the functionality I had built earlier. Buffs expire after some amount of turns, and are visible on the "Buffs" screen with an appropriate format.

I didn't get to all of the v0 Buffs on my list, but I got a good number done -- should be enough to build out basic potions/food systems. Here's a list of the Buffs that are working (and tested)

• Boost Ranged Attacks
• Boost Melee Attacks
• Boost Magic Attacks
• Thorns
• Night Vision
• Hazardproof
• Pacify
• Mana Soak (I made Health Soak too, but realized it didn't make sense so removed it)
• Haggling
• Melee Shield
• Stimulate

The ones I missed either need additional functionality or are somewhat complicated to set up. Like the other Buffs in my list, I'll get to them eventually.

Moving Forward

At this point I do at least have a Buffs system and *some* buffs, so I should have everything I need to make Potions and Food, which should be my next projects.

I'll probably continue to flesh out other systems as well -- I have kind of a lot started at this point that needs bugfixing or heavy reworking.

Overall, the project is going very well. It's getting to a point where the biggest amount of work I have left is playing around with the datasets and organization rather than programming. Still have quite a few systems to set up still though.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Update 3/27

Potions are basically 100% working. There are a few minor issues and some integration stuff that needs to be done, but this is now a fully working system that also works within the context of the game.

• Plants and Brush/Trunks have a 1/10 chance of instead dropping as their respective "Ingredient".

• Animal corpses also have a 1/10 chance of dropping as its "Ingredient".

• I have a basic ingredients naming system in place. Will expand it later.

• For testing, the system is automatically generating up to 5 ingredients when you start the world. This will be removed when I'm done with this feature, but it's pretty useful for playing around with the system.

• Right now I have a "Potionmaking" tab set up. In the future the menu will be more context-based.

• The basic way this interface works is you click the ingredient number up at the top, then click the item to select it in that slot.

• When you do that, the table down at the bottom will show the effects of both ingredients, and if there's a match, they'll both turn yellow. At the moment each ingredient can have 2 effects, but 3 or 4 seems the most likely when the rest of the Buffs are done.

• Clicking "Craft Potion" will craft a potion accordingly, updating the amounts of each ingredient accordingly. You can continue with your current setup as long as none of your ingredients run out -- when that happens the menu will reset itself and you'll have to re-select the slots again. It is possible to make a potion that has multiple effects, and those work accordingly.

• There are some various issues and UI issues to fix, but I'm pretty happy with the way this system turned out.

• In the Eat/Drink menu you'll get a list of all the Potions in your inventory, what they do, and are able to drink them.

• Drinking potions ties into the Buffs system accordingly.

Still to do

• Some minor bugs/issues

• Some UI stuff

• There are still some integration / upgraded features left such as making potion ingredients not initially visible, or restricting the areas where you can make potions. I'll probably work on these tomorrow.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

3/30 Update

Miscellaneous

• When you use the "Get Color" feature in base building on a natgen solid or floor, it'll give you something similar to it. This lets you make bases a lot easier and they should stand out better from the environment as well. Using "Get Color" on a tile you've placed will return the actual color of it though.

• I added a Shop Fixtures system. Basically this borrows from the Base Fixtures system and lets you use fixtures in it for a price. You can use that fixture as long as you're in the house -- when you exit you'll have to buy it again. This update should make Inns and similar shops doable now, but will also pave the way for other more complicated shop services like the ones found in Banks.

Potions v1

Potion integration / advanced features are also at 100% now, so aside from things I absolutely can't do right now, this feature is 100% done.

• I've integrated in the other non-buff potion effects, such as restoring health or teleporting. This system can tie into any non-targeted event whatsoever so could theoretically be expanded quite a lot later.

• The potion generator is generating valid potions now -- so potions you buy in shops or steal out of furniture will be actual usable potions.

• House furniture are also generating potion ingredients now with a pretty high likelihood in the furniture types that make sense.

Potion Integration

• I removed the "Potionmaking" link off the menu, since it's context-dependent.

• If you're at a valid campsite that's adjacent to water, you'll get a button to let you make potions there.

• I added an "Alchemy Station" base fixture that lets you make potions inside a base. For now it's always available since base room types don't work yet.

• Alchemy shops also offer an Alchemy Station. This is however a Service, and costs money (currently 300\$)

• Potion ingredients aren't immediately visible -- you have to craft successful potions to see what individual ingredients do.

• I added an "Analyzer" machine that allows you to research any ingredient in your inventory. Right now it's free and takes no time whatsoever.

• If you successfully craft a potion where 3 ingredients match, you gain a strength multiplier of 2. With four, 6. With all five, 16. Definitely a huge jump -- but the chances of doing this in the final game will be quite low due to there being more potion effects spread around.

• I implemented magical ingredients. Any time you pick up a potion ingredient (including through theft), there's a 5% chance it'll instead be a magical ingredient. They gain prefixes such as "Astral", "Hallowed", etc. Magical Ingredients will tie into the Magic system, letting you upgrade crystals without wasting other crystals. In this particular case though, you gain a magnitude boost of 3 and a duration boost of 2 for every magical ingredient you use in a potion, which can lead to some ridiculously strong potions.

I'll probably change the chance here, or the multipliers in general.

Scrapped Stuff

• Combining Potions together. There's really no point in it, and it's a bunch of extra work.

• Having a menu of "recipes" where you can pick the effect you want. This is pretty complicated to even come up with notes for. It might still happen but it's probably also largely unnecessary.

Next Steps

The Food System probably makes the most sense after this, or I might take a bit of a break and go elsewhere -- the Caves update or Fishing are looking like good candidates. I might also finish off Camping, since I'm pretty sure I have everything I need now.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

4/5 Update

• I installed the Tetrad mechanic -- for now pressing Tab will change the terrain without changing anything else whatsoever. Eventually this is how you'll be able to get around barriers when I take out the dimension-jumping mechanic.

I did quite a lot of work here.

• Underground rivers are generating. These things have "currents" that push you some direction and/or "rapids" that jostle you around when you try to move. Either way they're quite annoying to cross.

• I fixed lava -- it's no longer auto-blinking, gets rendered correctly in caves, and has the quantum effect as well. I'm keeping water auto-blinking though, it's a good way to distinguish the two.

• Cave resources are separate from world resources so the discoveries menu isn't awkward.

• Metals are generating in veins (well, squares).

• Cave generation "opens up" as you get deeper, and also adds more colors to the palette.

• Lava and water gets a lot weirder as you go deeper.

• I finished my Caves Notes post, and then finished my Caves Checklist post. I don't usually count notes/checklist posts as updates, but the checklist alone took two days to figure out. It does help that caves are a complex of systems rather than a single system though. In any case when that checklist is gone, it'll wipe off around a quarter of my overall checklist.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

4/8 Update

• Various tweaks to water and lava in caves so it gets crazier the deeper you go.

• A basic weather system with some interesting semi-random semi-cyclic patterns. I incorporated this back in with "quantum storms" that vary in duration and intensity. I'll probably be using the system in mana dimensions too, but I don't really want to have overworld weather for several reasons.

• On level 10 of caves, instead of getting cave holes, you get green "Quantum holes". If you don't have a Quantum rope, they'll teleport you some distance nearby. Otherwise you enter the quantum dimension.

• Quantum ropes are unobtainable right now, but they're in a special "key item" category. My thinking here is that these key items are crafted and open up the world in various ways, but aren't droppable/sellable and also don't weigh anything. I might change this to some other system, but making them items right now makes the most sense.

• There's a basic Cave Menu that appears when you enter caves and disappears when you exit them. I also have a system in place for context-dependent menus -- idk if that will be useful later or not yet (I could see them happening in dungeons maybe). This menu shows various cave-related things, and also lets you exit the cave.

• Gashrooms are generating. They're currently generating in veins. I have to do a lot of work on how resources are generated before I can fix that (along with other related tasks). However that work will also let me handcraft surface resource distribution, which I've been needing to do for a while.

• Torches have a fuel (currently represented as a "durability" stat). This fuel goes down every turn, and when the torch fuel runs out, the light level in the cave drops to the default until the torch is refueled or a different one equipped.

• Altars and Aether Lenses are naturally generating in caves. Touching them brings up their menus, which don't do anything yet. There was kind of a lot of infrastructure to set up for this because the natural terrain generation system predates more modular systems, but I got something decent set up. I don't see many other natural fixtures happening, but I have a framework for them if I need them.

• Lots and lots of infrastructure fixes. Some of the changes here have helped make item generation (shops, loot) and crafting run on the same systems, so things are easier to test but also loot is more functional automatically. Dealing with item properties is still somewhat weird and having 2-3 separate systems still makes sense, but this will at least streamline some of those issues.

Ropes

Big update here.

• Cave holes require ropes to enter them. Every time you go in one your equipped rope loses a durability -- if it goes to zero you can't use it. Surface cave holes also ask your permission to enter a cave, but one you're in one the level change and rope durability decrease happens automatically.

Ropes have a chance of also having one of three special moves:

• Up ropes can let you ascend to the layer above you. The level 1 only works on solids, the level 2 works everywhere but lava or water, and level 3 does everything.

• Grappling ropes let you point your rope at a wall and if it's in range you'll get transported to it. Very useful for getting past lava or water or fleeing enemies at high speed. This is also one of the few ways you can move diagonally through those kinds of barriers.

• Snagging ropes will let you pick up resources remotely. This can go through solids, etc. Useful for getting far-off resources without wasting a bomb or trying to find another way around.

These special moves are activated in the Cave menu, changing your mouse behavior accordingly. They all consume and require durability as well.

Still to do

I'm going to continue rolling out Cave updates because this section is still relatively easy and is going very well. Things that are still in progress:

• An upgrade to the Equipment system. Making it modular is required, but I might go ahead and upgrade its functionality too.

• Fixing cave resource generation. This would allow me to handcraft surface stuff as well (like making sure the starting biome always has a tree, plant, and rock) so it's definitely needed. But here it would allow for some fine-tuning in cave resource generation.

• A unified "Caves" menu that makes it way easier to track ropes/torches, refuel/repair them, use special ropes and bombs, etc.

• Bombs themselves. They'll be simple enough for now, but it'll be interesting to play around with their explosion pattern mechanics. See if I can't make them more interesting and varied.

• Some miscellaneous stuff

State of the project

On the whole, Shatterloop's development is really starting to come together. I've transitioned into a phase with the project where I'm really just building new systems on top of deeper systems. I also have enough of a foundation now to be able to work on pretty much any system in my Notes that I want -- no more dependencies holding everything back.

The game is changing a lot as I work on it. It's a hell of a lot less open and a hell of a lot more progressive than it once was, but there are sooooo many optional mechanics that it won't feel like that at all.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

4/10: Caves are at 100%

Caves are now at v1. There are a couple of areas left that I'd like to target at some point on a polish/balance angle, but all the major systems work.

I'm not sure how much I did in the last couple of updates, but it wasn't much compared to this update, so I'm going to just go ahead and stick all of the updates in this post:

• When you enter a Cave, you get this menu. This also adds a "Caves" tab that you can switch to while in other menus.

• This menu shows the Torch and Rope you have equipped, and lets you equip them from here. In parentheses you get the durability left in them (fuel in the case of torches). I've also upgraded the Equipment feature heavily, and added "Refuel" and "Repair" options. I'll get to all of those features in a bit.

• Below your equipment, you might have a button that corresponds to your equipped rope's special ability. There are 7 different types and I'll get to them in a bit.

• Below that you have a list of bombs and what they do. Clicking "Use" lets you place them in the world wherever you want with the mouse (with the exception of "Forward" bombs, which are directional). I'll get to those features in a bit.

If you click "Expand" you get this menu. Different items you can equip are color-coded and let you pick them and see their properties more easily. Useful if you have an idea of what your items do but have forgotten their specific names.

If you click "Compare", you get this menu. Now you can see all the properties of all the items you can equip, and compare them accordingly. Very useful if you don't know what your items do yet.

There's a "Toggle Fullscreen" button that does exactly that -- blows the table up over your entire screen (though there's still a scrollbar if you need it). I plan on adding that control to every menu that might need it.

This color-coding of items extends into the inventory as well. The point is to make unique items stand out from each other in some way so you can remember them easier. This game has a loooooooooot of item management, so having features like this helps.

Next to Torches and Ropes (and also next to Ropes in your normal Equipment menu outside of Caves), you get this "Refuel" or "Repair" menu.

The basic way it works is it says what your durability is at (out of its max), and then lists all the items you can use to refuel/repair it, along with a parentheses indicating how much durability they add, and how many of them they have.

By clicking any of these color-coded links, one of the item is taken and the equipped item's durability improved accordingly.

However, this can be time-consuming, so if you're in a hurry, there's also an "Easy Refuel/Repair to Full" button which will loop through your items and refill your item's durability to full. This system is faster, but it isn't smart -- it doesn't know what items you'd rather spare, and it can also waste items needlessly. Which system you use is up to you.

Torches

• Torches degrade their durability once every three turns. When the torch goes out, your light level drops to nothing, so at this point you need to either refuel or switch torches.

• Torches are all quite a bit different from each other. I haven't finished this yet, but 90% of the functionality is there. The materials you use to craft a torch affect what properties you get.

• Torches can be refueled with Fat or Gashrooms.

Ropes

On the surface, when you interact with a cave hole, you get a menu that tells you you need a valid rope equipped in order to go down. It'll say other stuff too eventually. At any rate, you have to manually click "Enter Cave".

When you're in caves, interacting with cave holes will let you automatically go down a level and lose a rope durability accordingly.

Ropes have a 50% chance of having one of seven special abilities -- these abilities will appear as buttons. With the exception of the "Up" button, when you click the button you'll then have to click a direction in the game to use the torch in. With the exception of the Up rope, the range you can place it can vary from rope to rope as well. Below is a list of each rope type and what it does:

• Up -- lets you go up a level. There are three levels of Up ropes -- level 1 you can only go up if you're on a solid tile, level 2 you can be anywhere but lava or water, and level 3 works even in those.

• Grapple -- If there's a solid within range, you'll pull yourself to it. Useful for getting over lava or water or fleeing enemies at high speed. You can grapple diagonally, which is one of the few ways you're able to move diagonally in the game.

• Snag -- If there's a resource in range, this lets you grab it remotely. Useful for getting resources if you don't want to find another way to them.

• Leap to -- If you're on a solid tile and there's another solid tile in between (with floor or water or lava in between), you can use this to leap to it. There are some advantages to walking on solid tiles, so this rope would help keep you on them.

• Jump over -- If you're on a floor tile and there are some solid tiles in your way and then another floor tile within range, this will allow you to "jump over" the barrier. Very useful way of exploring passageways without wasting bombs, though the range is limited.

• Escape from -- If you're in water or lava, and there's a floor tile in range, this rope will pull you to it. Water and lava are both hazards in different ways, so this rope type is helpful there.

• Propel -- An interesting shorter-ranged effect that will move you through passageways at high speed. Basically you need uninterrupted floor tiles to your rope's range, and then you'll move that distance as well as up to that distance again until you reach a solid, water, or lava tile. It's a good tool for faster travel or very definitely escaping enemies at high speed.

Each of these special moves uses a rope durability.

Bombs

Right now there are three bomb types. I'm going to work on a more robust bomb system later, but this will do for now.

Ignore the menu here since I formatted it into a table instead.

• Square bombs will create a square around the point you pick.

• Cross bombs will create a cross shape around the point you pick.

• Forward bombs have you pick a direction and then will blow up a line in that direction from wherever you are. These tend to have the highest size, so they're very useful for exploring off the beaten path.

The explosion will leave behind a tile that's definitely going to contrast with the solid color, but it might not resemble the other floor tiles in the cave.

Fixtures and Gashroom Bombs

At level 6+, you'll start seeing fixtures that look like this (or like an O with a cyan color). These are rare at first but become more common as you get deeper.

• The blue ones are Altars, and are used for Transmutating magic and upgrading magic crystals.

• The cyan ones are Aether Lenses, and are used for creating Summons and upgrading them.

Neither of those functions work yet, but the menu will at least pop up.

One of the resource types you'll run across in caves are Gashrooms. These can be crafted into Gashroom Bombs.

• In the altar menu, you have a button that will blow up the fixture and use a gashroom bomb. You'll then gain 2-5 Quartzshards.

• You can also place Gashroom bombs in caves on fixtures directly and blow them up that way.

• If you place a Gashroom bomb anywhere else, it'll instead create a cave hole.

• For now, I've stuck a gashroom bomb button in the Map menu. This will allow you to place gashroom bombs outside of caves, which lets you put cave holes wherever you want. This will be important when Shatterloop is an actual game because natural surface cave holes are otherwise hard to find.

Terrain Differences & Hazards

• At level 3+ you'll start seeing underground rivers. As you move through these, they might push you in a certain direction, a "current" effect. If they push you onto a solid tile you take river current damage (currently 2 damage).

• Below level 5, you start seeing lava. Lava has a weird lingering effect that makes it hard to see where it is exactly, and this gets worse the deeper you go. You can move through lava but your speed is slower and you take damage every turn.

• Below level 5, Underground rivers will also push you around randomly -- increasing the chances of you landing on a solid, landing in lava (which is worse), or just otherwise making it really hard to cross. Bringing Escape From or Grapple ropes is recommended.

• Below level 5, the passageways widen a lot, and the floor tiles will have some different subtle color changes. Unfortunately, lava also becomes more common as well.

• At level 9 and 10, the "lingering" effect that lava has will get worse.

• Also at level 9 and 10 you'll get occasional "quantum storms" that make everything have that lingering effect. These can be annoying but aren't quite as bad as they can be in the Quantum Plane.

• At level 10, instead of getting Cave Holes, you'll get these green Quantum holes. If you don't have the Quantum Rope key item, you'll teleport a short distance away (will probably change this to the same effect as walking into an attractor). If you have the quantum rope key item though you'll instead enter the Quantum Plane.

Still to do

This was a huge update, but there's still a few minor things left to do:

• Upgrade the bombs engine. Need to think this through a little more.

• Get enemies spawning in caves. Holding off on this until I improve the mobs/spawning systems.

• Changing the resource distribution and making sure you always have access to gashrooms. This needs some infrastructure changes, so it might be a while.

Next Project

At this point I have a lot of projects open. I'm not sure what I'll be working on next, but it'll probably be one of those. At some point though I definitely need to work on Provinces -- that's the last thing to do that's holding back other systems from being built properly, so that'll probably happen pretty soon.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

4/15 Update

I've been working on creating some kind of early alpha game from the systems I have set up already. Each time I play a game I make a big list of bugs and UX issues and fix them before my next playthrough. So I've made kind of a lot of progress over the last few days.

Here's what my last playthrough was like -- the menus definitely feel more responsive and user-friendly. I also had a nice little base established -- was a pain to make until I realized fishing line made out of frogtail fiber was worth 85TA.

It's definitely an interesting game to play through -- everything is different every time you play a different seed. I think the tech aether and potions systems seem to be the best working prototype of that principle -- I'm going to try to model the other systems around them somehow so they feel less random.

Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

4/27 Update

I haven't really been posting here but I've made a ton of progress in a bunch of different areas:

• Did a bunch of UX work and had a very basic alpha working. It should still be there, but I've changed some of the systems since then and idk what the difficulty will be like now.

• Camping is working 100% -- the Resting mechanic is in place, as well as sleeping, potionmaking and context-specific crafting. There are also graphical differences with resting and sleeping.

• There's five water colors now, and this alters the resources you get as well as the types of fish that are available. This has introduced some lag, which I plan to fix in a future update.

• Thanks to the water update, there's now 25 distinct resources you can get per province. Given this I've limited surface resources to 5 types and made the colors all distinct from one another. This is hopefully also going to make the Biomes update obsolete, because that would be a real pain to set up.

• I've worked a lot on the game's game progression. There's a new system that sort of ties into everything and also replaces all the "machines" in the earlier draft of Shatterloop.

• I have a basic Provinces framework in place. It's a bit buggy, but it is very definitely rendering towns according to the map it makes. I also fixed the map algorithm a bit so town spread is neater.

• I'm very very close to having the entire framework of the game set up -- the Provinces system was really the only obstacle to that, and that might be done tomorrow. After that I can build literally anything in my notes without a bunch of foundational work. I'll probably still be all over the place, but development will start to go very very fast.

I have a bunch of notes I'm working on simultaneously. In the next week or two I'll have usable checklists for Scouts, Mounts, Food, the Crafting Upgrade, the Manaflute system, Fishing v1, Bombs v1, and an upgrade to the Combat system.

There's really not much left beyond that and some systems that are already mostly done -- the only real projects left beyond those are Buffs/Debuffs v1, Summons, Enemy attacks/spawning, Armor/Jewelry, the Magic System, Quests, Ruin mechanics, Crops, and the late-game stuff.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I think I'm also at one year of development now.

Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

4-30 Update (Provinces)

The provinces framework is 100% complete. In addition to turning the chart I made a long time ago into a functioning province, it's also generalized enough that I can load ruins, outposts, mines, etc in as well at will.

• The map now has a place where you can see all the towns/cities/nexuses in the province, with clickable links that warp you there. These match the towns shown over on the "Chart" subtab.

• The town you've clicked on will warp you there.

• I changed town wall colors to reflect town type -- towns will be brown, nexuses will be pink for example. This isn't permanent, but it's useful for testing purposes.

• The Portal function for "Warp to closest town" works, as does the free ` shortcut.

• Town travel follows the Province system as well -- the three types of town transport types are indicated by the arrow-symbols -- black is town-to-town, cyan is "edge travel" and gray is to-city and to-nexus functions. These match the routes indicated on the Chart. I plan on moving those fixtures outside of a "Travel House" as well as hiding ones that the town doesn't have. It'll also cost something at some point.

• Ruins appear to be working inside the new framework as well. They're not yet randomly generating inside the province -- I set that one manually. Nonetheless everything is in place for that to happen.

The biggest part of this update are the framework updates.

• I'm now able to generate towns from a set of pre-known data rather than generating them on the fly. This ties into quite a lot of civilization-based systems.

• I can tell the system where I want to put ruins, outposts, farms, etc, and I also have the tools I need to actually make them. So this update is going to change the world a lot -- there will be actual stuff to discover. I could generate mana cracks if I wanted to, but that's been switched over to a different system.

• With the way I've set things up, multiple provinces are definitely possible. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to set that up yet -- my notes are changing again.

• Everything is very very generalized -- I could very easily change the number of towns, the distance needed for town routes, how big each section of the map is, etc. I'll be adjusting stuff like this over time for balance reasons. Will probably be randomizing a fair amount of it in "wacky provinces" as well.

Next steps

This opens up kind of a lot. I'm probably going to be working in one of the following areas next:

• Working on the manaflute -- this would give the early alpha another progression step, would integrate mana planes better into the game so I could finish those up, and is also somewhat crucial to ruins. This seems like the most likely next step.

• Ruins -- now that I have a framework to load them, I can start doing exactly that and working to get these functioning internally. This is potentially a big project -- I'm not quite sure what it entails yet. I also need to check my notes as I think I had some minor things left with ruins generation. Will probably do the manaflute first.

• Outposts, shrines, etc -- Not sure what I'm doing yet here, but between the make{} object and the ruins system I can make all kinds of stuff and load it in via the provinces system. I'd definitely like to make there be more stuff to discover.

• Towns -- Now that I can create towns before generating them, I can start working in this direction -- which will distribute shops better and integrate in the NPC system (which might let me finish the Theft system as well). This update would also allow for quests. I'll probably do the shops portion of the loose ends project first to make sure all the right shops are generating and see if I have any more shop types I want. Same deal with shop services. I have some ideas around improving town travel / allowing for in-town travel as well. Also some ideas for making towns look better, but that will have to come later.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

5/4 Update

A lot of stuff here.

Manaflute

• The Manaflute is working 100%. Basically you press / and then type in the commands given in the "Manaflute" menu, assuming you have that feature unlocked. Manaflute commands are different from world to world.

• The manaflute is hooked into the creation of Mana Cracks -- depending on the color of water you're in or if you're in lava you'll create 6 distinct mana cracks, which all have a "?" fixture in the middle that warps to one of the six elemental dimensions accordingly.

Mana Planes

• Mana planes have elemental shard items you can collect, such as "fireshards" or "earthshards". This won't be the final version by any means but it helps continue the progression of the second early alpha.

• A "Void Sea" generates naturally around the edges of the province. Entropic holes will be in there occasionally, and there are some other environmental stipulations -- you move faster, sometimes take damage, the void flickers a bit, there are huge swarms of enemies. It's really cool looking, and will be better once I have it set up to do the quantum-like "dissolve" effect again.

• Crafting together 10 of each shard type creates a "Platonic Bypass" which gives you a song called "Unfurl". This song allows you to turn quantum and entropic holes (quantum holes are at level 10 of caves) into active versions which will warp into those respective planes.

• Quantum planes have a "Virtual Solids" resource. I finalized the environment of the quantum plane as well. They're quite crazy -- you get storms of varying intensity with the two quantum effects (sometimes together) and also the color palette will completely switch sometimes (or rarer, the terrain generation as well). The terrain rendering can be one of four types -- they can resemble caves, the wind plane or the overworld. The amount of colors in the palette can vary as well. Lastly, the quantum plane is different every time you enter it.

• Entropic planes have a "Solid Light" resource. These shimmer sometimes. I've also altered the appearance of the plane -- it uses darker grays and the black has the same "dissolve" effect that the void sea has.

• Planes in general allow you to use the Caves menu to place ropes/bombs and exit the plane (by clicking "Exit Cave"). This will be its own menu eventually.

Misc Stuff

• I fixed a bunch of bugs with houses -- you'll no longer get a house where the shopkeeper or travel service or any piece of furniture is missing. I also have the framework now to do the full furniture update (well the framework of the framework at any rate).

• Towns have a Repulsor Service which allows you to teleport to any coordinate whatsoever. This will obviously be improved in the future, but it's important for the early alpha 2.

• I've improved the Fuel Refinery base fixture -- you can turn any kind of plant matter into fuel, with varying amounts depending on the category. Wood is still the best.

• Towns have entrances that look like doors used elsewhere. These update the title to reflect the town name, disable spawns (and despawn them) and also add more framework for town features down the line.

State of the project

I've pointed out in several earlier updates that the game is starting to come together, but it's definitely starting to feel like that now. I still have a lot of work left but virtually every system is started in some capacity and a lot of them are near completion. I have a lot of very useful framework as well, which will let me roll these features out a lot faster than they would in the beginning.

I'm still working towards the early alpha 2 -- this will essentially have the game be using all the mandatory systems up until the late game, though a couple of them aren't necessarily fleshed out 100%. My overall project checklist is starting to get a lot smaller.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

5/10 Update

Big update here.

Caves

Cave holes now only naturally appear in one region of the province. They appear as the circular gradients around the edge of these polygon-looking things. I recolored them to more closely match the "ruins" where they spawn. The actual shapes used differ depending on the seed.

There's exactly one region in the province that has these structures with their associated cave holes, so this makes finding them an important progression step, which will require visiting civilization. I'm doing things this way because Shatterloop has a lot of optional mechanics and I want to make sure there are in-roads to all of them.

Elemental Dungeons

Also on the ruins system, six elemental dungeons will spawn across the province.

Your "finder" manaflute song will allow you to find them -- just specify a direction and you'll warp to the closest one in that direction. This will be more important when I don't have the quick-travel map.

The outside uses the ruins system but is quite small -- however you'll see these color-coded paragraph symbols. Using your "activator" manaflute song near them will transport you into an elemental dungeon, which you can see in the far right image.

Elemental dungeons are long and twisty, and also somewhat buggy if you go too far atm (this needs to be fixed). They also don't have much in them. They do however have a music symbol which gives you the appropriate manaflute song. This is the end goal of ruins.

I'm going to flesh ruins out at some point, but this version (sans the bug) is pretty much what they'll look like in the early alpha 2.

Towns

• It took a looooooooooooooooot of work, but I cleaned up my town generation code a lot. Thanks to this, towns now always look good without weird big gaps.

• I made some other changes as well -- towns now have 4 houses, cities 9 and the nexus 16, like you'd expect.

• The big update here is that towns are now generating based on a grid of houses that I give them. This means I now know which shops are in a town beforehand, which will enable the information system that npc's use.

• I also did something similar with NPCs -- each town has a certain number of NPCs and it's known beforehand which house they'll appear in. This information also ties in with the NPC system -- you'll sometimes need to ask what town an NPC is in or where they appear in that town.

• NPCs are also rendering in the house. This really wasn't a big deal once I got the other framework stuff out of the way. They're also hooked into the NPCs object -- there just isn't any integration there yet.

Moving Forward

• My next steps are working on the NPC system. At least far enough so that you'll be able to find the location of cave holes eventually. This set of changes will lay the foundation for future things in the information system however.

• At that point I need some kind of basic mapping system for sanity, and a couple minor updates (well the crafting update might not be so minor) and I'll have a working early alpha 2. That'll be a pretty big milestone.

State of the Project

In addition to the above points, this update opens up Quests. I'm not sure how I'm going to approach that project yet but all the NPC hooks are in place now so it should be reasonably easy to program.

NPCs should be the last step I need for finishing the Theft system as well.

Shatterloop is starting to feel a lot more like an actual game. The world feels a lot more alive and interesting than it once did.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

5/13 Update

NPCs

NPCs are at 100%. There are several mechanics at play and everything seems to be working correctly.

I don't have much stuff hooked into NPCs right now -- just enough for the early alpha and also the shops thing because that'll make early alpha playthroughs easier.

Pricing

• Travel fixtures only appear if they're in use in that town.

• Travel fixtures are all priced.

• The repulsor travel fixture's price is based on distance.

• Using the manaflute costs Aether, provided it actually does something successfully.

• Manaflute errors are shown in the manaflute input placeholder.

• I have a better understanding of how dungeons work and the overall goal with mana planes.

• I got the last third of the game finalized. This plus the update above took several hours to figure out.

• I'm pretty close to having the game at a working early alpha 2. There will probably be some bugs to fix and probably a lot of UX work to do, but the last set of updates will expand the game length a LOT.

State of the project

Still have what seems like endless work left, but am getting a lot closer to having a full alpha. My alpha will look something like this:

• You'll be able to play the game start to finish.

• All core mechanics will be fleshed out and the UX for them will be polished.

• Optional systems will be in various states of development.

Moving towards beta involves fleshing out those optional systems and working on balancing / cross-pollinating / polishing the overall game.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Early Alpha 2

The game is developed enough now to be in its second early alpha form. I haven't tested a full playthrough yet, but it should be possible to play the game all the way up until you craft the Shatterlens.

Crafting v1

Recipes now split their generated properties by the materials in it. This is also reflected in a preview ahead of time.

Here you can see that depending on the branch you select you'll get different properties in the torch you craft. This is true for the cloth as well.

While there's still some things to iron out, this is how the crafting system is supposed to work so crafting is now a v1.

Maps v0

I have a very very basic mapping system in place now. This will at least show you areas you've visited before and their location relative to where you are. It obviously needs more work / more features, but this is a good start.

Dungeon Hint song

When you craft the manaflute, you gain a "Dungeon hint" song which tells you the direction that the song is in, its distance, and it even "points" to it with the system above. This action costs aether, so you can't just continuously use it. It should be helpful in the early alpha though. Once I flesh dungeons out more this functionality will be one of the functions of Quantum Mushroom items.

• When you ask NPCs questions, they'll use the above "pointing" system to point towards the house you're looking for. Very handy.

• Towns are no longer named "Town", "City", "Nexus", etc. You get some prefixes to cities sometimes though, like "Jewel of Faegh Ador" or whatever. This will be improved eventually.

• Fixed some bugs.

Moving forward

My next steps are testing the early alpha 2 all the way through and fixing bugs as well as UX issues as I run across them.

After that I'm probably going to push for a full alpha, which will look something like this:

• Making Inactive and Active dungeons more interesting. I have the notes for this.

• Getting the last third of the game in place. There's not actually that much new code here. I do have some requirements with the above, but there's also a lot I can do right now.

• Improving Weapons -- they need to be one tech only, and the UX needs a lot of work.

• Finishing off whatever the loose ends are -- torches, houses, shops, service shops, theft, the base building framework, province looping, potentially getting fishing to v1.

That'll tighten the base game up a LOT.

I might also switch gears and start working on the game systems again. Really need to take a trip back to combat and all the systems tangled in with it.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

5/18 Update

• Played through the early alpha 2 twice. Still currently in the "game-breaking bugs" stage of it.

• Fixed all of the bugs and issues from the first playthrough.

• Compiled an absolutely gigantic features list from my Notes/checklists/etc. Useful mostly just for reference -- the checklist and notes posts are more useful for me generally.

• House staircases have both of their orthogonal entrances always unblocked -- it'll even erase walls if it needs to. This should ensure that it's always possible to go up/down staircases.

• I added a "Push/Pull" system to furniture and NPCs -- you can move them around to get around procedural generation weirdness, but it should also influence the theft mechanic eventually.

• Camp has a "Camp Crafting" button if you're successfully camped -- a good way to show that there are other recipes available.

• A couple improvements to Shops -- you can see how many items you have of an item and sell all, you can also see the properties of items you're buying if there are any before buying them. These values don't necessarily look good just yet.

• When asking an NPC where another NPC in town lives, they'll also tell you the type of shop they're in. Should make tracking them down easier.

• Altered the player spawn algorithm -- you'll spawn within a band around the center. Shouldn't spawn in the void or too close to the nexus (although the first part isn't working in practice right now).

• Added a basic Journaling system -- basically just a big textarea where you can type notes to yourself. Pretty handy despite its obvious limitations.

• Your stats area is at the top left and looks better. Also removed the Deaths counter.

• You also now have a left menu -- you can hide or show various information, including your Journal. I'll probably be moving some menus there, or letting you move menus there and back at your discretion.

Moving Forward

I'm going to continue fixing bugs and UX issues with the early alpha 2. I have a few lingering UX issues from the first alpha playthroughs as well I can work on.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

5/21 Update

Zoom Map v0

This was an interesting tool I made because I was tired of compiling together screenshots. It basically generates a large section of the world (200x200 tiles) in a small area without borders, painting an interesting viewpoint of how the world/town/ruin generation looks.

The above image is one of the overworlds, with an inactive dungeon generating in it.

The bottom level of caves -- note all the lava and underground rivers.

Fire and Water planes.

Wind and ice planes.

A basic dungeon layout and a crazier layout

Me messing around with some of the other possibilities with the ruin generator.

World generation changes

Caves now look like this. The passageways/dense maze-like areas are now a lot more consistent -- the old generator was neat but made parts of the world unplayable. This one seems to encourage more exploration and make your Jump Over grappling rope type not nearly as essential, which is a good thing.

In the image above, the pinkish-white areas are floors while the gray areas are solids.

I altered the water dimension generator too -- you can see that in the zoom map image, but this is more of what it looks like on a smaller scale.

Void Seas have different spawns and are designed to be as nerve-wracking and terrifying as possible.

The Void Sea also goes around Caves and every plane as well, not just the Overworld. The only exception to this is the Entropic Plane, which is limitless.

Miscellaneous Changes

• Zones are running on a different system. They seem to be faster now, and it should prevent some issues down the road as well.

• Fixed a bunch of glitches. Not worth covering here.

• The Manaflute is on the left. This update makes finding dungeons drastically better, and also because of how the left menus work, the "direction" areas can stay open for pretty much the entire game, which is convenient.

Notes

• I played through the entire early alpha 2 without hitting game-breaking glitches. Took about three hours. I compiled a pretty massive checklist which I'll be working on this week.

• I figured out how Mana Planes work, and also figured out how much exactly is going to be in the full alpha release. It's not as far off as I thought.

Next steps

I'm going to try to deal with the large list of bugs and ux issues before doing another playthrough (including stuff noticed while the game was an early alpha 1). I want to make anything I put on that list be completely fresh.

After that I'm going to try to get the last third of the game in place and then slowly head towards a full alpha release.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

5/23 Update

I finished off all the remaining issues from the early alpha 1. I did some work on the bugs/ux issues discovered in the early alpha 2 as well.

As usual, minor issues and bugfixes aren't worth reporting.

• You no longer automatically know how much Aether something can be extracted for -- you have to extract it first.

• You can "craft all" -- which will craft as many of that particular item as you can with the ingredients you've selected. This button is a bit further down than the main craft button so it's hard to do accidentally.

• Bases are auto-named.

• Grappling hooks have less durability than normal ropes.

• Drop and Tech Atomize are mutually exclusive so that menu doesn't get crowded.

• Changed cave resources to 6, and made only one of those a precious metal. That should improve the balance somewhat, but if not I'll rethink things.

• Bomb explosions / Fixture destructions look more like the floor (not exactly to be distinguishable from it, but close).

• The inventory now has an "All" category which lets you see ALL the items in your inventory all at once, making it way way easier to atomize or drop them, as well as get a general idea of what you have.

• Fiber and Hide repair ropes for a lot less now -- you need more of those.

• Crystals are four times less common. It remains to be seen if I'll have to tweak this even more.

• Anything whatsoever that removes an item will unequip it first if it's equipped. This is more of a bugfix, but it should alter the UX somewhat as well.

• You can no longer atomize energy.

• I improved my debugging tools a bit.

Notes update

• You can now add notes to combat mobs

• You can also add them to recipes

• The notes system in general has been generalized -- it's easy to hook into whatever other features I want, which I probably will at some point. It'll also eventually be aggregated in the Journal.

Next Steps

Still have a big pile of updates to work through, then I'll probably do another play session with the early alpha 2. I would like to get back to working on new systems though -- the mana plane updates seem to be particularly interesting right now.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

5/24 Update

Got through another big pile of bugfixes and UX updates. All bugs that I know about should be fixed now.

• Windows now cost some Aether (I forget how much exactly, but it's cheap)

• Portal place modes tell you how much all the portal functions cost.

Terrain

• Void Sea enemies only generate when you're fully surrounded by void. This means you can definitely manually "void skip" as a fast travel method provided you don't go too far.

• Dungeon entrances have a "landing pad" where you go if you warp there or use the finder song to get there. The colors resemble whatever the type of dungeon is. This seems like a better solution than making the finder song ignore the dungeon you're in, which is potentially complicated to set up. Plus it looks good.

• The Leaping Latch (tab) has unique functionality in caves, the entropic dimension, the quantum dimension, and elemental planes. The quantum dimension one was originally a bug, but it makes the game better so I'm keeping it in. It also makes sense from a lore perspective.

Zoom Map

I fleshed this feature out. It's very usable like this -- will be a useful debugging tool and the generated maps might make their way into the game in some capacity (scout animals seem like a particularly good place to use them).

• Torches now have a "drain rate" property -- the higher this is, the longer it takes your torch to use fuel.

• The inventory has an "Atomize all" button -- basically just an "All" next to atomize. It does what you'd expect.

• Journals have multiple tabs -- you can add as many as you want, switch between them and delete them.

Next steps

I still have some UX updates left, and a maps v0 checklist. But I think I'm caught up enough to play another round of the early alpha 2.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

5/27 Update

UX Fixes

• Alchemists sell potion ingredients

• Potion ingredients are now extractables (with a 15% chance) rather than it happening automatically. This gives you a lot more control.

• Fish can now also contain potion ingredients.

• The fire mana crack costs 200 to lessen cheating. Probably won't be the final solution, since the fire song needs to be more accessible inside elemental planes.

• Repulsors cost 2.5x as much.

Entropic Plane v1

This plane is now at 100%. The whole thing is basically a big puzzle which should be fairly intuitive to figure out and slowly learn (other than finding your first voidcore -- I need a fix for that).

I removed the fade-in solids mechanic -- way way too annoying when you're trying to play this system.

It's a lot of fun, and will be even moreso as I polish it a bit more.

Post-entropic plane

• Getting a voidcore to infinity (aka > 999,999), allows you to "propagate" it, which will turn it into a void pivot, and also get void pivots to start spawning in the entropic plane, caves level 10, and quantum plane.

• Voidcores in the entropic plane will teleport you to caves level 10.

• Voidcores in caves will give you options to go back to the entropic plane, "nullify quantum fog" (which makes the cave fully visible and gets rid of quantum effects (including lava) for 30 turns), or exit the void if you're in it. All of these functions work and have been tested.

• Voidcores render in the same exact position in all three places.

Moving forward

I've got my checklists in place for the quantum plane v1 as well as the strange loop structure that's affected by it and ties into the late game.

I've also worked on the late game a bit more -- made the chimera song way way cooler and also removed one of the unnecessary mechanics. That'll probably be my next project after all this, which should get me to early alpha 3 status.

After that I'll probably work on fleshing out dungeons or mana planes so I can work towards a full alpha release. I do however have some civilization improvements I'm also concurrently working on the notes for -- that might happen first. It would be really cool to have the improved civilizations in the alpha.

State of the Project

Shatterloop is getting to be quite fun. There's a lot of learnable mechanics that combine together with all the procedural generation in interesting ways.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

5/29 Update

V1 of the quantum plane is at 100%. Probably not UX-friendly until I move buffs to the stats menu.

Strange Loops are in the world and working. The generation is really cool and changes over time.

Shattering works -- this basically turns the entire screen gray (with the exception of solids which are pitch black) and opens the chimera menu (which currently does nothing)

This is what the chimera menu will look like, or something similar.

Added energy bombs. These take 90% of your solid light and blow up a big chunk of solids. They'll probably end up influencing the behavior of cave bombs as well.

Red time tethers beam out in all four directions, making them extremely valubale and worth finding or creating the right terrain for (which is rare)

• I rebalanced the solid light mechanic so you get roughly 3x as much solid light. It still takes strategy but no longer takes needless grinding.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

5/30 Update

This is a major update, although it doesn't look like it.

The chimera menu is at 100%, and you can use it to go to any province in the game (there's something like 10^17 of them). These "addresses" have to be between 2 and 8 characters in length. Here I'm using it to go to transdimensional montana. The map title will usefully update.

Alternate dimensions are different in several ways:

• They're currently a different color palette, have different resources, mobs, and different towns/structures. They're basically alternate game worlds.

• They don't have a caves ruin, instead cave holes generate naturally on the surface.

• Instead of spawning Quantum or Entropic holes, they spawn these "Melange Holes".

• They'll randomly spawn three mana cracks, and you'll be able to ask townspeople how to get to them.

• These mana cracks, along with the melange holes lead to Melange Planes which have very random generation but also have very weird resources which can be anything, even really weird things like potion ingredients or paintings. Each alternate dimension has four of these -- three accessible from the mana cracks and one accessible from quantum/entropic holes.

• Provinces will eventually have different meta-rules as well -- different amounts of resources, different amounts of towns per province, different sizes, etc. This will be a lot of fun to flesh out, and alternate dimensions will be quite unpredictable.

• Provinces have different currencies, and items are also worth slightly different amounts. Finding trade routes with this system can be lucrative. All of this currently works by the way -- it's been in place since the original prototype of the game. New users will probably be confused by their lack of money -- some UX fixes will address this.

• If you're in an alternate dimension, your strange loop menu will give you the option to return home easily, and also gives you this in-road into the event horizon system, which is probably my next project.

Conclusion

This was a pretty big update given how much it expands the game world at this stage of the game. It's also what I thought would be the hardest part of the early alpha 3, so it's a good sign that it didn't take much to put in place.

I'm going to continue working towards the early alpha 3.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

5/31 Update

Event Horizons / Singularities

Event Horizon gameplay is at 100%. I haven't quite figured out what the symbols for "items" will actually be yet -- they're currently letters rather than chimera symbols, but I might end up using something else altogether.

I tested this feature out a lot and made a lot of UX updates and algorithm changes. It's a lot more usable and the mechanics are better as well.

Singularities work and look pretty cool as well. The naked singularity in the middle doesn't actually do anything yet. It also occasionally doesn't appear -- I'll need to look into that.

Towns Update

Towns look significantly better. This isn't everything I wanted to do with them, but it's most of it -- I finally found a good spacing algorithm, and the door placement is somewhat more natural as well. They also look way way better. Interior furniture colors are also designed to be better aethetically.

I set all of these colors up towards several goals other than just aethestics:

• All the towns in a province are similar to the dimension's solid color. It isn't exact though so it gives each town some flavor.

• House wall colors are similar to the town wall color, but not exact. Their interiors contrast with those colors (but not perfectly), while the interior walls complement them. This helps add flavor to each house, which is important if you need to find your way to a particular house again.

Next steps

I'm undecided on whether I want to set up what I can of the aleph naught next or focus on dungeons. Getting dungeons to 100% will allow me to push the aleph naught to 100% when I work on it. The aleph naught is a smaller project though, and also rounds out the early alpha 3.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

6/1 Update

The framework for the aleph naught is at 100%. None of these buttons works correctly yet but everything's routed correctly.

Additionally, you can legitimately get the Soul's Pivot now via the last mechanic, so the game is technically in early alpha 3. I won't finalize that until this system is actually done however.

Next steps

• Still need to get Ourobori integrated in and working.

• Need to flesh out all of the functions here -- this is potentially a large project, but it'll put me into early alpha 3 for real.

After that I'll probably do some more playthroughs/fixes and then try to get the game to full alpha. The only big things left there are mana planes and dungeons (and I guess magic, but I'm doing that at the end).

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

6/10 Update

Water Improvements

• Water colors fade into one another. Due to this, pools are no longer necessarily separated from one another.

• Blue water looks better.

• Water rendering is around 10x faster due to improvements in where different colored pools generate.

• The water color framework seems to be easily alterable and extendable, which will be important when I upgrade provinces.

Town improvements

Thanks to this set of updates (and the one right below it), Town generation is at v1 now. This and the last update are basically everything I wanted to do with the overall town layout.

• Towns have better "paving" -- the patterns/colors here are also distinct to each town.

• Water spawns as well, and it too has different patterns depending on the town.

• Houses have variable numbers of floors, based on the town average which also varies from town to town. This is currently a bit buggy and maybe needs some more work as well.

• In cities and nexuses, grayscale houses will occasionally generate. Like the rest of this update, the point of these is to make it easier to navigate towns and remember where things are.

• They'll occasionally have a random wall color as well. This kind and the grayscale kind each happen about half the time.

Town structures

• Town travel is now part of a town structure that looks like this rather than being in a house.

• Town travel can also be anywhere in the town, not just in the bottom-right corner.

• Cities and Nexuses generate "plane shrines" which are linked to one of the six elements. When interacted with, they show some of that plane's colors and display the name on the right. These are purely aesthetic.

• These "bubble" structures also spawn. Interacting with the pi symbol will tell you what's inside. There's a few different types.

Plane shrines and bubbles are purely aesthetic and serve to make towns more memorable / easier to navigate.

• I have a full framework now for town structures. I have a few more planned that have vague farming-like functionality. Should round out the alpha a bit. Will probably come up with more when closer to the alpha launch.

Aleph Naught progress

• All of Tier 1 is working.

• Some functions in the other tiers are done as well.

Ourobori

• All four Ourobori are working -- basically they're accessories you can get from a naked singularity. When equipped they give you superpowers.

Misc changes

• I completed my notes for the last part of the game -- this update will make Provinces more interesting and also heavily flesh out the aleph naught.

• Shatterloop will also have an early alpha 4 before it hits full alpha -- basically that'll be when all the core locations are fleshed out, but not necessarily all the core systems.

• Fixed a "blockade" bug I noticed in houses where furniture/npcs/shops can get surrounded by walls.

Moving forward

I have a few things left to do with the Aleph Naught, and I'll be at Early Alpha 3. After that I'll start working towards early alpha 4, which involves fleshing out the core locations like mana planes, dungeons, etc.

Might take another break from that and finish up towns -- that'll involve making shops/furniture match the items in the game, making sure each type of shop appears at least once per province, and fleshing out the various services shops offer. Also theft. That will at least kill a bunch of my main checklist and complete the overall Civilization project.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

6/19 Update

Framework

• There's an internal system for saving changes to houses, provinces, etc. This was somewhat complicated to program.

• I tied this back in with furniture/shopkeeper/npc movement, which is now permanent.

• I added a "Swap" button next to "Pull" and "Push" -- this one will exchange your place with the entity's place. Very useful for cases where you'd be stuck otherwise, which happens from time to time and also happens more now that NPCs can move towards you.

• There's a rudimentary pathing system in place -- it isn't perfect by any means but it's better and should improve mob pathing as well.

Aleph Naught

• All of Tier 2 works. This is essentially everything you could find in a house.

• All of Tier 3 works. The only things remaining here were house staircases and shopkeepers.

Still have some work left in Tier 4 (and one function in Tier 5), which will bring the game to Early Alpha 3. I've switched gears a bit though.

• Town entrances are now one of the four entrances to the town, not just the south one.

• Houses can have basements occasionally -- this tends to be town-specific.

• Floors (including basements) affect titling.

• Various bugfixes.

Theft

• Brought the Noise system back.

• Moving furniture/npcs/shopkeepers generates noise.

• NPCs and shopkeepers have a line of sight function to you -- if they see you while you're trying to steal, you get caught, and a red indicator will show their line of sight.

• When your noise meter is full, NPCs on the floor you're in will move towards you.

• I have all the framework in place for NPCs to switch floors if there isn't one on the floor you are when your noise meter is full. Have one last thing to do before this is feature-complete though.

Notes

• I have a good idea of how armor and also attack magic work. My notes aren't 100% fleshed out yet, but they're close. These should both be in the alpha since they heavily impact core gameplay.

State of the Project

At the moment I'm working on finishing up towns. Fairly close to finishing up theft, then it's really just a bunch of data reorganization and a couple things where the systems already exist for them.

After that I might get started on armor/magic, depending on what my notes look like. Potentially food as well, which has similarities to those systems.

I'll probably swing back around and finish the aleph naught and early alpha 3 at some point as well.

My next major project is looking like it'll be dungeons -- all the notes are in place there and they're also somewhat impacted by the alternate province changes. They'll also help round out the aleph naught's missing features. Hopefully around this point in time I can flesh out my notes for Planes so I can get going on that project next.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

6/22 Update

Theft v1

Theft is now at v1. I covered a good bit of this in my last update, but finishing it up also adds:

• There are consequences for being caught and you also get told that you were caught stealing.

• If there are no NPCs on the current floor and your noise meter gets full, an NPC will appear near the staircase where you'd expect them to show up.

• Lockpicking when a shopkeeper or NPC has a line of sight to you will also trigger the caught response. Even just resetting the tumblers will do this.

• NPCs have a distinct color that doesn't change. This is more of a UX fix, but is also necessary for this system.

Shops Update

• I combed through the entire shops list and altered it to reflect the features that are actually in the game (or most likely will be). I'll probably be altering this as I go. There were a lot of changes so I won't mention them all here.

• Bakeries buy and sell all of the items that will be food in the alpha.

• I added some new shop types to take advantage of the new materials types: Butchers, Trappers and Botanists.

• I altered aggregate shops to reflect these changes as well. I added a new type, "Artisan", which helps compact some types that weren't otherwise compacted.

Notes Changes

The game sure has been notes-heavy lately.

• I got my notes in place for Trapping. This system should add a good bit to the game and looks fairly easy to set up as well, so I should be working on it soon.

• I decided to scrap elemental planes -- they were expanding the game way too much. However, I'm going to keep their generation in some kind of optional lore-based thing and the general concepts of their gameplay will be recycled elsewhere.

• On that note, I heavily improved the mechanics of the quantum plane -- it should be a lot easier to play through as well as funner and will probably end up matching the Entropic Plane in length.

• I've been working on three separate sets of notes -- jewelry/magic attacks, armor, and quests. I finally have a good idea of what I'm doing with all three, but am still working through the specifics. One of those notes will probably be done tomorrow.

State of the project

I'm going to continue finishing up the remaining stuff in the civilization project. That should tighten up the game a lot and make civilization do everything I want it to do.

Getting rid of mana planes has freed up the push for a full alpha considerably. I now have notes for virtually every single feature in it so it's just a matter of fleshing them out into checklists and pushing them through. This change also gives me the ability to build out more optional features that improve the game without feeling like the workload is too high for alpha.

Notes-wise, things are really really starting to tighten up. There are a lot of clear gameplay loops and interesting emergent content that come from the interplay of all the different systems. The alpha's going to feature a lot more of that central gameplay mechanic than I thought.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

7/3 Update

Been a while since an update.

Shop Services

The main part of this update.

• I added Analyzer and Altar fixtures to the appropriate shops that you have to pay for.

• Beds and Couches are both working and are in the appropriate shops. They also work in Bases.

• I added a "Water Records" fixture to the angler -- this will tell you what color the water is outside of a town -- this will be useful for the upgraded fishing engine and whatever I'm doing with mana cracks (probably making them some optional side quest).

• There are several different services for extracting materials from different raw materials that you might not be able to get otherwise (such as bones or nuts).

• The Repulsor Town Travel Fixture now has some additional functions like locating a particular shop or NPC in town. NPCs are usually better because they're free, but this service might be better in cities or nexuses where NPCs are rare. There's also a Newflesh node so you can set your spawn point to the town in case you die.

Misc

• I've removed items from furniture that are obsolete and nonfunctional. Still keeping around armor/jewelry/etc for the time being because they'll make their way into the alpha.

• I scrapped Collectors -- this mechanic would take too long to plan out and wouldn't really be worth it.

• I also scrapped Banks -- while cool, this mechanic is either useless or is too complicated and so impacts the core game too much.

• Water inside a town is all the same fishing-wise and is named "<Town name> Canal".

Notes changes

• I'm moving in a different direction for the alpha -- back towards getting systems in place essentially without necessarily fleshing them out all the way. With this kind of game it's probably better to just push for something more complete as a public release, then solve balance issues and UX as I head towards beta.

• There will definitely be a story and it'll definitely tie into the game progression but I'm not sure what it'll look like yet. I'm going to keep its interaction with the game to an absolute minimum -- you'll get pushed towards the overall game progression while getting text along the way, rather than anything story-wise happening in the game's engine. This seems to make the most sense.

• I finished my notes for a v1 of the Bases engine. Or at least an improved version -- there are clearly still some kinks to work out.

State of the project

I'm pretty close to finishing up towns completely -- just a few final tweaks to the data and some bugfixes essentially. I might be taking a break to work on Bases instead though.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

7/29 Update

It's been almost a month, and all I've really worked on are Notes. These do serve a pretty valuable purpose though -- the game loops have tightened up considerably and game progression along with story/lore make way more sense as well.

Some of these systems have gone through multiple drafts to either improve their core mechanics or to simplify them.

Programming

• Added Starshards to the world. That's really it. They blink like Crystals and they're quite rare, but they do at least appear on the surface.

• Checklist v3 -- Basically just combined my old checklist and the alpha checklist into what I'm actually trying to progress the game towards -- more interesting and tightly-integrated systems and less sprawl.

• Game Progression -- I've made a bunch of changes here to reroute around Mana Planes, fit the story in, and improve the flow of the game.

• Magic/Jewelry -- Made some necessary changes here to make magic a bit more available early on, add more uses to materials, make magic more flexible, and I also expanded on how the Upgrade system actually works.

• Armor -- Fully fleshed out my notes here. My new system here ties back into core gameplay and its emphasis on materials and choices, and is also a pretty decent simplifcation from older ideas. This post took like four drafts to get through.

• Backpacks -- This idea improves the inventory management aspect of the game to again tie into collecting materials. There's also a lot of choice involved. Probably still room for simplification, however.

• Food -- Ties into the learning aspect of the game, and also its emphasis on materials. Heavily simplifies all previous efforts at a Food system. Additionally, this gives another use to Potion Ingredients.

• Lore -- Fleshed out my notes here. The Lore of the game is a good balance between discoverable and reliant on player choice. The UI should be fairly easy as well.

• Crops -- I tried to simplify all individual mechanics as much as possible while still allowing for more interesting management scenarios to happen due to the way the individual mechanics are integrated together. Notes look very good at this point. The Mutation system also gives more purpose to Magical Ingredients.

Notes I've done work on

• Pets -- I've done a lot of work here. Pets require feeding, which ties into both the Trapping and Animal Breeding systems and again adds more use to collectable materials. Pets also make it easier to collect materials, so there's a nice loop there.

• Fishing v1 -- I've had notes mostly done for this for a while, but that system has gotten more complicated over time. This new update however heavily heavily simplifies it in a comprehensive way, and also alters fishing rods to tie in better with collectable materials. Should be done with these notes tomorrow.

• "Pockets" -- This is something that wouldn't be hard to program but improves the game a lot -- basically pockets where resources are more plentiful or rare things (like monster fish) more common. In addition to making the game more interesting, this would make Scout animals more useful and would also pave the way for Maps, which might legitimately be added to the alpha to some extent now.

State of the project

Actual programming work seems to be on hold for the moment while I get my notes in order. I need to finish the three above, as well as reorganize my Base notes, get Quests notes in place, and figure out what exactly I'm doing with terrain configurations (ties into several sets of notes).

With that big batch of Notes in place (along with the ones I've already done), I'll be able to start making the game really really interesting moving forward.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

8/6 Update

Have been doing more actual work lately.

Bugfixes / Minor Fixes

• Fixed around half of my big bugs list.

• Quantum Plane flying and Drake Ouroboros flying work the same way -- you press shift to toggle it on or off.

• Void movement works a bit different -- it'll stop you in front of anything that isn't void. This change fixes a bunch of glitches while still making void travel smooth.

• Made some changes to the way light rendering works, which should beef up performance a bit.

• I have a back button framework in place now -- this thing is actually context-independent and just works automatically. It's also easier to click and looks a bit better. The other back buttons still exist atm, so I need to go through and phase them out.

• I added an itemgen framework -- this is a debugging tool that lets me add random items to the inventory via point-and-click. Should speed up development a bit.

Dyes

• I made some changes to insects so you extract them for bait rather than having them *be* bait. They also go into your inventory as "insects", though I guess "raw materials" might work better in the long run. At the moment, fishing still uses the insects instead of the extracted bait. It doesn't make sense to change that when I'm changing the whole fishing engine anyway.

• Insects can be extracted for two different dyes, and other raw materials can sometimes be extracted for dyes as well (black and white are more common there). Dyes don't do anything yet.

• Raw materials can be extracted for materials in general. Probably won't use this for anything else though.

• Dyes have been added to Shops (the Botanist and Outfitter) and to furniture where it makes sense.

Base Coloring System Framework

This is still in progress, but I have the basic framework done and a bit of the functionality too. It can't fully replace the old system yet, but it's close -- and this new version will have way more features too.

Some useful changes:

• Instead of changing modes between solids and floors, you just click whichever color you want to work with. Should be easier to use.

• Placing doors is a button, and it shows error messages now.

• You have a starting palette which is a color similar to the starting dimension's solid and one of its floors. I fixed the algorithm here so you get something similar but not too similar every time (darker or lighter)

• The "get color" button doesn't work on resources and doesn't break horribly when you use it on weird colors like void or doorways. You get error messages for these.

• It does however work on water color now, including the cool fades you get when two water colors join together.

• Getting a color requires 10 Aether.

• Did some framework stuff for the next set of features.

Hopefully with the next update I'll have everything done here and can post some pictures as well.

Minor Notes changes

• Made some changes to the way the Aleph Naught v1 and Quantum Planes work -- should smooth out the UX and make the former easier to program as well. It also adds consequences to using the aleph naught, which is neat.

• Resource amounts gained are going to be based on the terrain. There are also bonuses like potion ingredient drops for heavily surrounded tiles. This encourages more exploration, especially around structures.

Major Notes Changes

• Finally got Fishing to v1 -- this new version integrates in all the old systems, all the new game changes I made, and also massively improves the overall experience to make fishing easier to use and more interesting.

• Got the base coloring system done as well as its checklist (which I'm programming). This integrates in the dyes system as well as some stuff I've thought about for a while for a more interesting coloring system.

• Currently working on fitting together my Bases v1 notes, as well as simplifying things where appropriate.

State of the Project

Should be done with the base coloring system fairly quickly -- it's a bit of a grind but everything in it is easy to set up.

My next project after that are Bases more generally, followed by Crops -- been wanting to do the crops system forever and finally have some useful notes for it.

While I'll probably take breaks to work on minor issues or loose ends, my main project right now is getting the notes for the systems done and actually programming them out -- so I'll probably be hitting Armor/Food/Backpacks/Fishing/etc pretty soon as well.

These systems add kind of a lot to the game and really flesh it out beyond its basic game progression. They're also more what I want to do with the game -- the game progression's really just there to progressively unlock systems and exploration targets.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Early Alpha 3 Reached!

The game has officially reached Early Alpha 3 now. This means you can play the entire game from start to finish. At least in theory -- there may be bugs. I'm going to finish up the last round of UX and bug issues before I try to do that.

Aleph Naught v1

• The last tier of the aleph naught is working. You can remove entire town structures. There are a couple of bugs remaining that I need to fix, but the main coding is done at least. This was way way harder to put together than it looks.

• I removed Tier 5 -- too much of a headache for me, too much grinding for the player.

• Due to this, the Soul's Pivot now requres 99,999 soulshards rather than 999,999.

• You can't use the aleph naught in your home dimension.

Precious Metals Change

Precious metals are now part of the actual metal vein. Their colors change a bit over time, which makes them more noticeable. This change makes them a bit rarer and thus helps balance the game, while also making cave-based scout animals more useful whenever I get to them.

Bugfixes / Issues Fixes

• Shop fixtures only appear on the first floor.

• Taking all items in a piece of furniture no longer causes multiple caught events, leading to multiple law penalties.

• The Fire manaflute song costs 35 again.

• Travel fixtures tell you the town you're in and how much money you have.

• The inventory scrolls.

Notes Changes

• I dropped Wholesalers -- they either require new systems or overlap too much with the rewards of existing/upcoming systems.

• I seem to have dropped Banks for the time being as well. Probably for the best.

• I did some work on my Notes for the non-town non-dungeon structures. In the alpha they'll be there but they won't really do anything, though you can collect unique aesthetic artifacts in them.

• I've been working on the Quests system as well -- this version of it has less tasks but has v1 features so is more interesting.

• I'm also doing a bit of lore work which I'll post over in worldbuilding. This seems to be essential for both of the above.

State of the Project

While I'm going to swing back around to the base coloring/bases/crops system soon, my main project right now is clearing up loose ends -- I'd like to get towns to v1, finish up the bugfixing and UX issues, and do some of the miscellaneous and game progression rerouting changes.

That should enable me to test the game from start to finish again. It's a bit longer than the last time I tested it since it's now in early alpha 3, and towns look and function a lot better as well. Some of the rerouting changes will make it easier to play through since the planes stuff is a bit of a grind right now. If I get to it, I'll fix the Quantum Plane as well, since the v1 version is an annoying slog.

Notes-wise, I'm actually pretty close to getting both Quests and Outposts/etc done, which is a big accomplishment since they were the last two items of my notes left where I really didn't know what I was doing yet. With those notes in place the entire game will be pretty locked in. They both tie somewhat fundamentally into the game world's economy, so I'm making a lore post for that.

Overall, I'm on the home stretch with the project as a whole. There's still a good bit of work left, but all of my notes are solid and all of the various frameworks are done. Plus you can play the game start to finish now, which is neat. I'm still on target to be in alpha by the end of the year.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

8/15 Update

I've been in the process of clearing up loose ends and miscellaneous changes.

Aleph Conduits

This is the big update of today.

Aleph Conduits are structures that only appear in nexuses. They have several functions, all of which currently work:

• They let you visit dimensions where you've previously activated an aleph conduit. This kind of warp will warp you straight to the other dimension's aleph conduit, which allows you to get around way way easier than warping to a strange loop (which tends to be disconnected from the civilization there).

• They let you rename alternate dimensions, which would otherwise just appear as the chimera symbols you entered to warp there. This name shows up on aleph conduits as well, allowing you to tag interesting ones for later use.

• You can also "forget" alternate dimensions to clear that list out a bit. This will eventually require more confirmation.

• You can "strange warp" which will warp you to the strange loop associated with your current tetrad.

Tetrad / Element / Strange Loop changes

This set of changes tightens down the game a LOT lore-wise -- it also improves some minor mechanics and makes things look a bit more alien, which is always a plus.

• The three tetrad names are based on the elements that occupy that space in the element chart -- it puts the two elements there together essentially. This improves the "Overworld/Overworld B/Overworld C" thing, and also puts the game's alien elemental/tetrad mechanics right in your face from the start.

• The three strange loops are linked to each of the three tetrad names. Strange loops are now a fundamental part of the world.

• Strange warping warps you to the next tetrad-associated strange loop in the series.

• The flow of both tetrad-switching and strange warping ties back into the elemental chart's "flow" -- you go from fire to ice to water and back again, for example.

• Strange loops let you warp to Aleph Conduits. They don't have to be activated yet -- that seems like it would be pointless grinding in a game where you can easily warp to the nearest town and use the fast travel system.

• Strange loops look like the off-gray tiles here if you're in the wrong tetrad -- strange loops only work if you're in the tetrad that matches it.

• To facilitate this, interacting with a strange loop will automatically switch your tetrad appropriately.

Misc stuff

• Aleph conduits look different from dimension to dimension -- they look pretty neat overall. The one guiding feature they have is a "backbone" of a special kind of void that acts like the entropic sea but never turns black. It should make sense lore-wise.

• I have a debugging tool that lets me switch alternate provinces arbitrarily at the start of the game. Probably not worth mentioning here.

• Strange loop warping puts you in the left corner of the middle area so you can access the strange loop's menu better.

• Mana crack centers match the color and elemental symbol of their respective element instead of a question mark.

Notes changes

• I got some notes in place that improve the Myriad mechanic as well as removing a couple cumbersome or game-breaking (in a bad way) mechanics. I'll work on this whenever I commit to working towards early alpha 4.

• I've done some Lore work about what Shatterloop actually is and what all the different symbols mean -- it's good stuff and really ties everything together in a concrete way. I've done work on the story as well, which is probably what influenced this. The lore, story, and my latest set of miscellaneous changes are all influencing each other in beneficial ways.

Conclusion

Overall, today was a pretty productive day.

I'm going to continue rolling out the miscellaneous changes and fixing bugs as I aim towards a point where I can test the early alpha 3.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

8/20 Update

Base Coloring System stuff

• You can now set the floor and solid palettes from within the "Improve Palette" menu. Given that the functionality is now the same or better than the old system, I've removed the old code entirely.

• The "Dye" menu lets you use dyes to alter a color in various ways. This isn't currently hooked into the actual dye items, that's next. You can use multiple dyes at once which will make subtle changes.

• The "Forget/Tag" menu lets you forget colors, which currently works. The tagging system is my next project here.

• All of this combined, you can create colors and start building with them immediately. This was a lot more work than it looks like, as opposed to the other part of the update, which looks like a lot of work but wasn't.

Miscellaneous changes

• Cave holes are back in the starting dimension. I changed their appearance somewhat so they look better than the old cyan ones and way better than the yellow ones.

• Potion ingredients are now a 50% chance of extracting them.

• Clothing can be extracted for twine or cloth, with 50% chances each.

• Paintings can be extracted for three different types of dye, again with a 50% chance of success.

• There's a whole new extraction/crafting framework update under the hood that's half working and half not -- it'll make the twine/cloth update actually useful, as well as some other things I've been working on.

• Aleph Conduits have 2-7 fixed trade routes, that warp you to the given dimensions and their aleph conduits. This works, but town deloading/loading is somewhat buggy at the moment.

• Void sea colors outside the starting dimension match the element of the dimension. This was planned for the alternate dimensions update but I went ahead and did it because it looks quite cool -- void seas can be variously tinted purple (wind), red (fire), blue (water), cyan (ice), green (wood), or brown (earth).

Unsorted miscellaneous

• Removed the quartz recipe. The manaflute recipe will be changing as well sometime soon.

• You can create Quartzbombs out of quartzshards and gashrooms -- these are special bombs that destroy all fixtures on screen, making quartz harvesting easier. They only cost 2 quartzshards apiece so it's well worth doing that rather than gashroom bombs (other than the first one, which is mandatory).

Notes changes

• I'm working on a complex of systems that adds depth/purpose to NPCs/shopkeepers as well as give the world more to explore. It requires some fleshing out of the lore, so I've posted some of that work in worldbuilding.

• The quests component of it is essentially a v1 of what I actually want to do with the Quests system which is neat -- it generates backstories, inclinations, friendships/rivalries, etc which are then used as the foundation for procedurally-generated quests and questlines. It's quite cool and doesn't actually look like that much work to put together.

• There's also a guilds component of it that makes player interactions with civilization more meaningful, integrates another set of generic quest types that I had already built, and also gives some sense of progression to questing. I also moved the trading mechanic into here because being able to make a lot of that kind of wealth yourself impacts your ability to make in other ways too much.

• The last component are non-town structures, which according to the lore play vital roles in the economy and distribution of political power/wealth, so I can recycle a lot of those kinds of systems while also giving those structures some kind of purpose and making their interaction with the quests system easier to design.

The end result here is something similar to other areas I've applied the recursive-seeding strategy to -- procedurally generated content that's actually interesting to explore and interact with, which is one of the goals of the game.

State of the project

I'm working on both the base coloring system and some random miscellaneous updates I've been wanting to get to. These are coming along pretty well, but the bugs are starting to stack up, and I also have some older bugs I need to get to. Whenever I finish these two features I'll probably do a round of bugfixing and then I'll try to do some playtests of the early alpha 3 since I haven't done playtesting since several major updates ago. I'm particularly interested in what it'll feel like to explore the new town/town systems.

Everything in the game is coming along nicely -- I have notes now for 90% of the game's features, the lore and story are starting to really come together, and the gameplay is tightening down into something a lot funner than it once was. I should still be on target for entering alpha at the end of this year.

My next set of projects looks to be pretty exciting to work on -- the crops system, or fishing v1, or the armor/food stuff, or the big economy/quests complex if I get to it in time. These are all things that I've wanted to build since day 1 but didn't quite know how they worked or I just didn't have the foundation to support them.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

9/1 Update

Game progression rerouting

The goal of this was to bypass the planes scrapping I did earlier, as well as to simplify some systems and add hooks for the story. As an additional bonus, this makes gives the game progression alternate routes without making it fully nonlinear.

• Created a Dungeon menu for dungeons.

• Renamed the Manaflute to "Byzantine Womb"

• Rerouted the dungeon hint system into the dungeon menu

• Added the character Asher and gave him the ability to warp you to any of the six elemental dungeons.

• Removed the old dungeon finder songs.

• Dungeons can be accessed without the dungeon activator song, which I also removed.

• Altered the ruins framework slightly so that margins can be a different block type than rooms.

• Dungeon rooms in the overworld are floors, while margins are solids. Probably not the final version of this (I prefer them being solids)

• Altered the dungeon song fixture so it's a triangle instead -- this gives you one of the three appropriate tetradshards.

• Crafting the byzantine womb with the appropriate tetradshards gives you a Manaflute and all six songs.

• Elemental songs don't require directions and always open to the east. This cleans up the manaflute menu a lot too.

• While I was there, added error messages into the elemental songs so you know which water kind you're in and which kind you should be in.

• Rerouted the game progression so you get the Unfurl (now named Monad) song for opening three mana cracks where the elements form a triad.

Town aesthetics

• City and nexus colors vary more from the solids of the world, which nexuses particularly pronounced. This should help them stand out more.

• Cities have a procedurally-generated title, like "Fir" before their name. Nexuses have this with an addition, for example "Firar". This makes cities/nexuses easier to find in a dimension.

Organizational stuff

• I separated out my useful notes posts from my brainstorming / archived ones. This should improve development a lot, since I currently have around 7 notes posts that are ready to be put in the game.

• Additionally, I tracked down old shatterloop posts and stuck them in the archive post.

• I made a new Game Progression post, as well as one for the eventual alpha. Hopefully this won't change again, but you never know.

Combat v1 Notes

I finished my Combat v1 notes. This took several days -- it's pretty thorough and revamps a bunch of systems to make them more intuitive or simpler.

Like the rest of the game, the combat system is both simple to get started with and has a bunch of more complicated optional mechanics, which is the right balance for this game. There's still a good bit of learning involved, but it shouldn't be overwhelming.

State of the project

I wasn't expecting to get my combat notes done anywhere near this early, it just kind of came together while working on some other set of notes. Could potentially build it pretty soon.

I still have several sets of notes I'm working on, but with this combat notes update virtually every system has notes for it now. Other than finishing up my notes, the only things left on an organizational level are coming up with terrain configurations for various systems and doing something with maps. Maps seem to rely on what I'm doing with extracurricular structures. Once all the notes are locked in, I can genuinely start working on the lore and story -- I've made some progress here already, but I'm being conservative until all the systems are in place.

Programming is about where it was last update. I think the next update will be mostly programming, however -- my notes are at a point now where what's left are multi-day projects and I'd really like to get back into the actual work here.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

9/2 Update

Today was a productive day.

Materials changes

• I finished up the improved extraction framework. This is purely a programming thing that enables other features.

• Thanks to all this, I fixed a bug where materials that were extracted couldn't then be crafted into anything.

• Thanks to this, you can now craft with materials that aren't explicitly named that material. So things like extracting cloth from clothing and then crafting a torch from it works.

• Gashrooms no longer have a unique name in each world, they're just called "Gashrooms".

• The crafting menu allows recipes to have an "or" qualifier as far as materials go. Another framework change I guess.

• The Byzantine womb can be crafted with Quartzshards -OR- Starshards.

I made several upgrades to caves ruins since they're no longer a required part of the game:

• Cave ruins spawn gashrooms, up to 25 of them. Really good way to stock up on those and get yourself down to the bottom level more easily.

• They spawn yellow/orange/red cave holes that go down 3, 6 or 9 levels in the cave layer respectively. This is indicated on the cave hole menu accordingly.

• I heavily improved the symmetry framework. This is currently tying into this update and the entropic plane, but it'll eventually be tied into quite a few systems.

• You now get different numbers of materials depending on how many solids border a resource. This applies to all resources that appear in the Discoveries menu but not things like gashrooms, precious metals, etc. This also applies to solids placed by dungeons, towns, or ones you've placed yourself.

 tiles pickup 0 1-2 3 -4 5-7 8 50% nothing 1 1-2 2 4

This update makes the procedurally generated terrain more useful, especially areas that are harder to move around in. This in turn also helps balance the game more.

Still to do

I have a few miscellaneous things left on my misc checklist, and a big pile of bugs in several places. I'm going to aim for finishing up the misc section and starting with the bugs tomorrow.

After all that, I'll probably get back to the base coloring system and other loose ends before my next major push, which is for the v1 version of bases.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

9/12 Update

Been working heavily on Bases v1. I'm about a third of the way through it and know the overall plan moving forward, other than a couple new notes that I'm working on to simplify or rebalance things.

• Base building, the manaflute, and portals are now in an "Atomizer" menu. The former is unlocked by the atomizer bypass (which unlocks the atomizer tab in general), while the latter two don't initially appear in this menu.

• You also see your aether up at the top, which links together all three features.

• The manaflute no longer requires / and both the input box and the commands are in here. Given all the changes to this feature I'm probably going to scrap it completely and replace it with buttons.

• Crafting the manaflute (via the new byzantine womb/tetradshard recipe) unlocks this tab.

Bases

• The Bases tab has only functional (or future-function I guess) features in it.

• The Bases tab is added when you enter a base and removed when you leave one.

• I've removed the Research Station -- instead, you have a Research section of your Base which makes more sense and helps keep things progressive.

Game progression Change

• You can't do anymore research until you both research and place down the Explorer Lab, and since the only fixture or feature you have access to before it is the newflesh node, this heavily constrains bases and forces you into interacting with that one (which progresses the game further).

Research

• The entire research system works -- you can research placeable labs, packages that unlock whole groups of features, specific fixtures, etc. Right now everything costs aether.

• The Potions package has been moved from the old system to this one.

• The research system is modular enough that I'll be able to expand it very very easily if I make changes to systems or add new optional features to them. Given the research system's function and format this means that optional features will no longer impact core gameplay negatively.

Fixtures changes

• This menu has been heavily improved, since there will probably be a lot of fixtures in here by the end.

• Fixtures will only appear in this menu if they've been unlocked through Research or Lab Research.

• I altered the symbols of the bed and couch to look more like the actual thing. The symbol system in general is probably going to change heavily between alpha and beta (or get replaced with sprites), but it bugged me having ascii letters in there.

Labs

• At the top of this menu you can place Labs by selecting the Lab you want, clicking the button, and placing them in the world.

• Labs take on a unique color depending on the type of lab -- this is currently seed-based so it's yellow in this game but won't be in a different one.

• Interacting with the lab brings up all the research associated with it. This is essentially just a generalized version of the research object. Over time it'll look a bit more distinct.

• Everything crucial to Game progression has been routed through the Explorer Lab -- the Caves crafting menu, the Portals feature, the Fuel Refinery/Forge fixtures and the Altar feature. Additionally, I added "Smithy" and "Aether Lens" fixtures. The former is blanked out while the latter hits the same endpoint as the one found in caves (currently blanked out as well). Tl;dr you now have to research stuff crucial to game progression individually, which will introduce you somewhat to the advanced materials system in an incremental but not-too-in-depth way whenever I get that system done.

Portals Changes

• The Portals package also unlocks the Portals Lab, seen here as the green A-looking fixture.

• That lab lets you unlock the Attractor and Tangle portals features which are no longer always available.

• You can also unlock the Repulsor portal feature which has existed for a while but has been hidden.

Misc update

• I randomly found and fixed a bug that was making terrain patterns less interesting. They're a lot cooler again now.

• I got my checklist done for the third base update. I also have a general idea of the rest of the bases update, which will have three other updates after that one.

• I'm working on improved notes for the storage mechanic. This update requires backpacks, so that feature will be installed as well. The improved notes will simplify things while still allowing for you to optionally make things less annoying for yourself.

• Backpacks are switching over to the other crafting system because otherwise you can't access every part of your base.

• I'm working on a set of notes for advanced materials -- it ties in some older Industry notes, the work system, and a procedurally-generated recipes system I've wanted for a long time. It should significantly deepen the game in several ways and ties into several upcoming features (including part of the Bases v1 update).

State of the Project

I'm pretty deep into the Bases v1 project, which I'm going to work on until completion. It's a pretty big update, but it heavily improves large amounts of the game.

Since it hooks into some other systems, by the end of this project I'll have a working procedurally-generated recipes system (ties into fishing and archery), a v0 of the Jewelry feature, and the Backpacks system.

Whenever I'm done with this project I'm going to work on the agriculture v1 project, as that's my actual goal here (it just made sense to finish bases up while I'm here). Will probably deal with some more bugfixes / misc changes / loose ends between those two projects, as they're stacking up.

After Agriculture, I'm eyeing the alternate provinces / melange planes update.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

9/25 Update

Jewelry v0

I have a v0 version of the jewelry system in place -- jewelry doesn't actually do anything yet but can be crafted, is named appropriatealy, and all the hooks are there.

Pylons

The Pylons system is at 100%.

• Placeable pylons are based on the jewelry in your inventory, and their color takes on the jewelry's color as well.

• Pylon stats are based on the number of pylons on the current screen.

• This currently affects building costs constructively. You can see the new amounts needed for each type of build in the Stats menu as well.

• Pylons can be reclaimed for the Jewelry that composes them -- simply click the item associated with them. Hovering over these will show you where they are on the screen as well, if it isn't immediately obvious by their color.

More Bases stuff

• I have a basic base storage framework in place. This will enable the next Bases update.

• I got my Base Storage checklist in place. I don't usually put in update points for checklists, but this one went through several drafts to make it both simpler and more useful. This update also adds inventory limits and backpacks, which are core features.

• I scrapped Labs having research "trees" -- overcomplicating that system and unnecessary.

• I had an idea for Pylons to work on the Manaflute and Portals, but I scrapped it because of balance reasons -- if that was in place aether would become increasingly useless. I do like the idea of having permanent upgrades to portal costs however -- might add that into the portals lab later.

Loose Ends / Bugfixes

I've been working lately on clearing out my giant list of bugs and some older checklists. Will probably do more of that today before maybe hitting some other loose ends. The base building project is in a good place and can wait.

• The atomize buttons have been changed to something like "Atomize (4)". This makes them fit into the window better.

• Pond colors are rendering correctly now. This was a pretty big project to figure out, even though it was only a couple extra lines of code by the end. Corners between four different water colors still aren't rendering correctly but they're not usually visible so it probably isn't a big deal.

• Shop buttons are on the modular button system now -- this fixes one bug I had for sure (switching inventory categories while shopping) but had probably fixed multiple bugs overall.

• I added a "black or white" function that returns either black or white when given a color so you get optimum contrast for text and stuff. I can't put this where I wanted to put it originally yet, but it is now in place with base building so it's obvious where the checkmark is.

• If you get an error from solid light, it'll automatically open the entropic plane menu so you can actually see it.

• Event Horizon "items" are chimera symbols instead of letters. These should be the correct color, but aren't yet. This fits in better with the lore around them.

• Resource pockets occasionally spawn in the overworld. These are pretty rare, and the algorithm for their rarity is somewhat weird so it was hard to find an example. Will probably do some more work with them.

• I started a project of making all functions and object names constants -- this is a lot of work so I'll do it over a long period of time. It should however fix a lot of bugs, both known and unknown. I do at least have the list I need now.

State of the Project

I'm going to continue to work on loose ends / bugfixes for now to try to pare those lists down. Long-term I'm still aiming on finishing Bases and getting into Agriculture and then moving onto Alternate Provinces / Melange Planes.

The game should still be on target for reaching alpha by the end of the year. The only thing I'm really worried about complicating that is whatever the quests/guilds/outposts system is, since I'm still working on the details with that. Dungeons and Combat are potentially large projects, but my notes there are solid at least.

I've done some more work with the story, which is actually a lot more developed than I expected for this kind of game -- there should be 3-4 characters now in addition to the main one, and the main character's story is a whole lot more developed than "amnesia, lol" now -- you have actual motivations and stuff. There's some potentially interesting post-game content that hooks into that if I get to it. I'm still trying to avoid doing major work here until the rest of the game is done, but so much of the game is solid at this point it probably doesn't matter.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

October to 11/6 Update

It's been a while since an update and I haven't worked much on the game, but I would like to get some of the checklist points cleared away at least:

Loose ends

• When looting furniture, there's a button that shows the properties of the item. All properties are shown and they're all literal for now, but this will change to something more user-friendly later.

• Shops also let you see properties of the item you're buying.

• Magic attacks have been moved to the combat screen.

• In a town, when you ask where a specific type of shop is, if there is one in the current town, you'll get its position like normal but also where other shops of that type are if appropriate.

• NPCs have conditional knowledge of topics again. Idk when I changed that, but I never reverted it.

• Town offloading works again. Aleph conduits still seem to have some issues, but I think I know what went wrong there.

• You can push/pull/swap shop fixtures.

• Interacting with base fixtures will close all menus. Additionally, interacting with base fixtures is now a common endpoint, which will be helpful in the future.

• Misc bugfixes that aren't worth mentioning.

Early alpha 3 changes

• You now no longer have a chance of getting 0 resources when you pick up one that isn't surrounded at all by solids. I think that would be too confusing to new players and it also forces you to be strategic when you walk around, which decreases game flow.

• Geologists always sell metal and precious metal now.

• Aether costs for research is a lot lower. Probably a pointless fix since it'll be on the materials system soon.

• Potion ingredients atomize for more. They're rare and useful so this makes sense.

• More misc bugfixes not worth mentioning.

WIP Work

• I've been working on the crafting system's prop-splitting functionality. Going to keep that checklist up in its current form until it's done.

• Same deal with the backpacks update -- having checked-off portions is helpful if I'm intermittent with working.

• I came up with an algorithm for making Trade Routes two-way. This works better and also fits in with the lore more. I have a checklist for this and will get to it at some point.

• I made my final checklist for Towns v1 a lot simpler -- should be able to get through it pretty easily now whenever I get around to it.

• I made a "Game Feel" post -- this is going to describe what the game should feel like to play and help guide my decisions moving forward.

Notes

• I figured out how a lot of Base Automation works -- it isn't 100% but this is a good foundation.

• Similarly, I came up with some ideas for a better version of the Building system. Definitely won't implement all of it, but certain parts I'd definitely like to get in there. I ran some sample code and microtiles work in theory, but lag when there's a lot of them on screen.

• I have notes for Mount/Scout animals. These were heavily simplified but still do a lot of useful things.

• I have notes for some of the fundamentals of guilds. This and the NPCs/quests project have both gotten kind of complicated so I'm probably just going to heavily simplify them and be done with it. There are some ideas in there that are worth playing with but aren't hard to code, so I'll probably be focusing on those rather than making a believable world simulation.

State of the project

I have three main things I'm working on now:

• I have a loooooot of loose ends -- I'm trying to get these all sorted out. Some of the fixes here are tricky or in-depth though so it's been slow work.

• I'm going to push forwards with the 4th part of the Bases v1 update -- it's going pretty well and I almost have the notes I need for the 5th part as well.

• The main one I'd like to do (today probably) is a heavy simplification of the guilds/npcs update. I want something that makes those systems work in a useful procedural generation way but isn't too complicated to code.

The game is definitely not on target to be in alpha by the end of the year -- been way too distracted by IRL and other projects to put the kind of work into this that I need to. Early alpha 4 seems like a pretty reasonable goal for the next two months though, with a spring release.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

11/19 Update

• I've altered the Trade Routes algorithm -- they're now two-way and between 0-6 will exist per dimension. This was a pretty tricky algorithm to figure out -- essentially they're generated blindly but they still manage to be two-way.

• As part of this update, I fixed the way dimensions generate according to the chimera symbols so they don't repeat and there aren't gaps. This will be pretty important when I implement dimension-scanning features.

• Additionally, while going through this I tabulated an exact number of accessible dimensions in each game -- 11,019,960,576. The actual technical limit is a lot higher but I don't want to overcomplicate the chimera system -- it works exactly how I want it to work. Besides, 11 billion still fits into the "can't explore every dimension within your lifetime" thing.

Organizational work

Most of my work lately has been organizational. I came up with several major updates that heavily improve the game and tighten its systems together. I've been working through all the changes to my unprogrammed Notes that these entail:

• There's a big resources upgrade that's spearheading a lot of the latest changes -- basically the resources that generate depend on the terrain that surrounds them, which makes exploration a lot more useful and deepens the immersion a good bit as well. This was in my original notes in the untitled game from 2015, so it's nice to see it coming back. This update has full notes and is also a great foundation for other "terrain pattern" systems like quantum planes v1.

• The Trapping, Mining, and Agricultural systems are getting merged together into a single "Farming" system. This system heavily simplifies all three of them and unites them into a cohesive whole that also ties into the core gameplay of identifying and working with terrain patterns. Also uses the same definitions as the above, which is neat.

• Alternate dimensions will be freely accessible again (provided you can get to an aleph conduit or strange loop). While I like the limited resources thing, it makes sense to play to this game's strengths and core gameplay.

• The exotic materials system is getting an upgrade since materials outside of the standard 5 will be in use with a lot of systems using the procedurally-generated recipes system. There will be some specific resources to be found near structures, in voids, in specific-elemental dimensions, etc. These are property-free, might be procedurally named/distributed in some way (why not) and mainly serve as a way of making upgrade recipes harder to fulfill.

• Some smaller updates that I'm still working through.

The overall result of all of this is that large sections of my "done" or "unfinished" notes need to be reviewed and maybe rewritten. This has had wide-reaching implications like the mana planes scrapping update. Various systems are being rewritten or thrown out completely.

Completed notes

I've completed three new sets of notes:

• Materials v3 / Discoveries v2 / Rocks v2 -- This is the big update that caused a lot of cascading changes in the project.

• Food -- This has been simplified again to something that makes intuitive sense, doesn't introduce any complicated mechanics, but still has that element of immersion I wanted originally.

• Mining -- I got my notes here done, which once again puts my features notes into the "some notes for all projects" stage. This update made me seriously re-evaluate the Trapping/Agricultural systems, so I've been rewriting them (which will probably be done today).

State of the Project

The new features are all spun so tight around each other now that an early alpha 4 / early alpha distinction no longer makes sense. So instead the next major update will be a feature-complete game (though not necessarily a full alpha -- could still require some integration work).

My main project right now is fixing my notes -- this push will probably get 90% of them up to a full Notes Done status, due to large amounts of integration and simplification and some foundational updates I've made recently.

Programming-wise, I'm going to continue to focus on loose ends and smaller projects. The fifth update of the Bases update is probably going to have to be postponed until after the resources updates which I'll probably get to actually programming soon.

Overall, the project as a whole is in a lot better shape than it used to be -- the complex satellite features are all getting integrated back into the main core gameplay loops without losing anything. The game is starting to turn into more of a solid game concept rather than a loose collection of systems.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

11/21 Update

Fixed a bunch of glitches and UX issues:

Bugs

• The town repulsor service works correctly again.

• Fixed the 'M' debug tool (shows every single resource in the current region). It's been broken for a while.

UX Stuff

• In a town, when you're asking where a certain type of shop is, if there's one in the current town, the NPC you're asking will always know the answer.

• If you're in the shop type in question when you ask that question, they'll tell you as much.

• The snag function of grappling ropes can snag now gashrooms, precious metals, etc.

• When you're extracting a container you only get the "Open All" button if you have more than one of that container type.

• Tangle portals no longer have the "Portal Name" input.

• When NPCs give you directions and "point", the highlighting uses my new contrasting function so it's always visible, regardless of what the house's floor color is.

• Tetradshards are key items so you don't accidentally atomize or drop them, and so there aren't inventory limits (eventually) on them.

• Key items can count as materials to the crafting system (this is really just a technical update so the manaflute recipe works, but might prove useful elsewhere later).

• Items in the inventory have less padding -- you should have the "Atomize" and "All" on the same line in 99% of cases now.

• You can no longer atomize equipped items -- you have to unequip them first. This is indicated in your inventory. Should be very helpful when I get around to doing a full game run again.

• The byzantine womb now requires 6 starshards/quartzshards. Purely a balance thing.

Organizational

• I cleared up anything ambiguous in my useful notes post -- everything in there is either active, reference, or under review. Archived a couple of smaller projects that got completed.

• The above fixes should clear out large sections of my general checklists post -- I plan on compiling a grand list of trickier fixes to simplify things even further, and then maybe do one or two per day so I don't get stuck again.

Notes changes

• I'm going to be combining the Mining, Trapping and Agricultural systems into a environmental terrain-based Farming system based mostly on my Mining notes. The notes here might be done tomorrow. This is a pretty big change, but it heavily simplifies all three systems and fits them into the game better.

• I'm considering reviewing the combat and fishing posts to see if I can or want to make them work in a similar way (terrain patterns). Probably not, but you never know.

State of the project

• Programming-wise, I'm doing pretty good at clearing up loose ends. Hopefully I can clean out the general checklists so it's just my main project and a couple of smaller ones again. It's going pretty well.

• Notes-wise, things are pretty crazy due to all the changes from my Big Update post and also now because three major systems are fitting in close together and I'm considering reviewing other systems to see if they can fit too. Basically it's just a lot of review and maybe tweaking or simplifying.

Although it's more Notes work on systems I've already got solid plans for, the work I've done so far has really tightened the game down to some core concepts. I feel like it's reached another milestone, where it's no longer a game made up of multiple systems with their own mechanics but is instead a game where the different systems build on and reinforce core concepts. It's pretty great -- I definitely wasn't expecting that with how many different things I'm doing with this game, but I guess working on it for as long as I have has made some kind of central game emerge from it.

In any case I have no idea what the ETA of the project is anymore -- my changes are definitely going to make it reach alpha faster, but it's hard to tell by what degree. Hopefully another round of notes edits will make that more clear.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

12/24 Update

This update has very little actually in it. I'm just mentioning it mostly so I can give a state of the project update.

• I fixed a bug where house interiors weren't being rendered.

• I'm working on a new checklist for the Food system, which I'd like to implement soon just so I can put some kind of full project in place to help accelerate the rest of the workload.

• I'm only a couple hours out from having notes for a Farming system that obsoletes the Agriculture, Mining and Trapping systems while also simplifying all three. This new system also ties into the core gameplay very very well. Was hoping I'd get it done tonight, but that didn't pan out.

State of the Project

The last month was the worst time to interrupt the game's development, but it had to be done so I could get the new GTX0 up. I'm focusing on shatterloop for the time being to try to make some more sense of it (while still doing small things for GTX0), but I'll go to more of an even split whenever I'm back on the right track.

A lot of notes are getting shifted around because of the materials update and some other miscellaneous ideas.

The game definitely isn't going to launch at the end of the year -- there were two month-long gaps that prevented this. It should however be on track to launch in the spring.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

2/3 Update

• Fixed three major bugs around aleph conduits -- these are now working 100% and the world has "infinite" towns again. This was a heck of a project.

Organizational

It's been a while since I've worked on this project, so I've been trying to get a handle on it. I have a lot of open projects, but it seems sanest to hash out some of the updates to the base game mechanics so I can more easily integrate my notes back together. So, I'm going to make a separate post for that and just do it sequentially until it's done. I might clear up loose ends as I go, but those aren't the focus.

Civilization v2

I've revived this project -- I found a way of doing it that isn't too complicated but still keeps in the emergent gameplay that I want. Towns are pretty empty right now, so this will help a lot.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

2/27 Update

Once again, haven't worked on this project in a while but trying to get a handle on things and get back in the groove. Right now I'm fixing bugs and doing smaller projects, which I'll probably be doing a lot of in the future (since they're on the sanity checklist).

• Aleph Conduits let you warp to the home dimension easily.

• Aleph Conduits tell you the local currency.

• Shop markup has been improved -- you still can't buy and resell items for the same amount, but inter-dimension trading is a viable gameplay mechanic again.

• The extract menu tells you the base value of the product you're extracting.

Misc Improvements

• Fishing/Weapon crafting is no longer tied to the camping menu. Having it there made sense from a gameplay progression angle but is very annoying over the long-term.

Towns v1 stuff

• I have some infrastructure in place now that lets me see if generated item types aren't in any furniture, or vice-versa.

• Furniture can give you a specific amount of an item inside of it now. This will be very useful for dyes, potion ingredients, food, etc.

• Money is on the above system -- you can get money directly in a viable way now.

Organizational

• I'm going to revamp furniture a bit so shop types are more distinct and random furniture is a thing.

• I'm also going to be doing some work to get all item generation distributed among furniture, or if too powerful, at least maintain a list of things I don't want being potentially loot.

State of the project

I honestly have no idea anymore. I've had a bunch of interruptions from when I was developing it actively, and a bunch of systems have been changed, as have a bunch of notes. I'm going to keep working on it (trying to do daily work moving forward) and hope for the best.

I'm getting close to two years of development (IIRC that's around April).

• 11 Months ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

2/28 Update

• Furniture is now weighted so more valuable pieces of furniture (like glass shelves or safes) are harder to find in houses.

• Inns always appear in cities and nexuses.

• Towns have a 3/4 chance of generating "aggregated" shops like trading outposts or artisans, while cities and nexuses have a 3/4 chance of generating "specialized" shops like botanists or jewelers. The other type in the respective city type is rare.

• I made a separate checklist for distributing shops in the home dimension -- this is way more involved than predicted.

I wouldn't normally put in an update with this little work, but I did manage to get through a whole post. I plan to do quite a bit more tomorrow.

• 11 Months ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

3/15 Update

A bunch of smaller updates, as I work my way through miscellaneous tasks:

• All location-based menus are mutually-exclusive. Should make things a bit easier to manage bug-wise.

• There's a surface menu -- this lets you place gashroom bombs, camp, and fish east. I ditched the camping menu and the "F" fishing shortcut.

• You can also fish from the caves menu. I'll add it wherever it makes sense later -- dungeons maybe?

• The manaflute mechanic has been obsoleted completely -- it's now a bunch of buttons.

• There's a help tab on the info menu -- there's absolutely nothing in it yet.

• The surface cave holes entrance lets you equip ropes here directly.

• Got rid of the "Flip" ability.

• Lockpicking no longer generates noise. (too immersion-breaking)

• I came up with a long list of new lockpick abilities -- these should be more balanced and more interesting to work with. There are a couple of smaller lockpicking improvements on that checklist as well.

State of the project

I've gotten through around half of the miscellaneous updates -- this should improve the game a lot and also clear out a lot of oddball notes.

This is a part of the "Sanity" project -- hopefully these updates will make the project make more sense and build out the final foundation for the new core of the game.

• 11 Months ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

3/17 Update

Programming

• The current dimension's money is shown in the stats area. It's still an item, it just has more integration now when you gain or lose money (or switch dimensions).

• If you have any buffs, they also appear here, and disappear when the buff expires. Clicking on one will show you how many turns are left for it.

• Alternate dimensions are always available now -- the chromodynamo instead lets you access the event horizon minigame.

• I took shatterloop threads (except this one) out of the site feed -- was probably really annoying, and I seem to be making a lot of new threads lately.

• I started working on a "patterns" system -- this thing is going to show all the visual help for terrain configurations, but should also be useful for documenting combat and base building.

Organizational

• There are checklists now for the remainder of the miscellaneous updates. They shouldn't be too hard to implement.

• I went through my notes and cleared out everything deprecated and revisited anything that needed to be revisited. This took several hours, but my notes are a lot cleaner now.

• I greatly simplified the Armor system, and have notes for it now.

• I also simplified the relevant parts of my old old Bases v1 post -- this now has pretty much complete notes as well. Some changes were made to Combat and a couple other areas of notes to make them simpler.

• I moved the automation post into the notes post and revisited it as well.

• I put out some notes for the Civilization v2 project that heavily simplifies it, and also probably makes it way more interesting. This project almost has a full set of notes, which is exciting.

State of the project

I still have more organizational work to do, but my work today gets rid of a big chunk of it. Development should be a lot saner moving forward.

Will probably start focusing on programming again -- miscellaneous updates and whatever's in the general checklist post.

• 11 Months ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

4/6 Update

Back on the project finally, hopefully for the long haul this time.

Lockpicking update

• All the new lockpicking abilities work -- I must've pulled these from my checklist without realizing it. There are 10 in total, with 3 from the old generation of abilities. The new ones are a lot more balanced.

• Fixed a bunch of bugs related to the new abilities. Not really worth mentioning.

• Fixed a major bug that was keeping menus from disappearing correctly -- has partially fixed one of the lockpicking issues and also seems to have fixed the base coloring palette issues, and probably other stuff as well.

• Lockpicks can be equipped from within the lockpicking menu. Additionally, the durability goes down from within this area (simplifying the area a lot) and letting you equip new lockpicks very directly. Additionally, all of this can be done without any part of the puzzle changing, so this will be useful when you have multiple lockpicks with different abilities.

• When your lockpick breaks, the lockpicking area kinda greys out, you get a message, and can't do anything related to lockpicking. The puzzle is still fine though, and you can still equip a new lockpick. Major improvement over the way the old system worked.

Equipment update

• You can equip a new fishing rod from within the fishing menu

• You can equip your left and right hand from within the combat menu

• The ourobori functionality is independent of jewelry, all of that has been renamed/reworked, and this is now an equip area in the aleph naught menu (which makes more sense since doing aleph naught stuff and getting ourobori happen around the same time).

• Given all of these changes (and some others done around mid-march), the Equipment menu has been removed completely -- all equipment is context-dependent now, and future uses for the system (like armor) have been heavily reworked. This should improve the UX a lot but also simplify the menus some more.

Organizational

• I've started the actual detailed notes work for terrain configurations -- surface resources are about half done.

State of the project

Sanity goals are going very well -- I only have 3 smaller fixes left on my lockpicking update checklist, which is the final checklist for all of the miscellaneous updates. Next project are terrain patterns and the systems that support that -- this forms the foundation for 6 of the remaining features.

Project is coming along nicely, hopefully this trend will continue and I can actually work consistently this time until completion. The game's systems have been heavily simplified, integrated, and there's notes for pretty much everything now.

• 10 Months ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

4/17 Update

Finishing out the lockpicking update

• Changing equipped lockpicks doesn't reset the puzzle -- this means you can use multiple lockpicks on the same puzzle which is highly useful

• When lockpicks break, the puzzle greys out rather than displaying an error -- this will let you equip a new lockpick.

• Lockpick durabilities in the equipment area go down when the lockpick durability goes down -- this obsoleted the "durability" area.

• If you don't have a lockpick equipped, you still get the lockpicking equipment menu.

• Fixed some glitches related to the expand and compare menus -- should go back to the lockpicking puzzle again properly now.

• Lockpick ability statuses are shared by all lockpicks -- if you use a "Jam" for example you can't use a different lockpick's jam ability. This resets when the puzzle resets.

There was a lot of infrastructure work that made all of this possible.

• To finish out the update, lockpicks are item-generating properly again.

With the end of this update, all the new miscellaneous tasks are also done.

Surface Terrain Configurations

I have full Notes for Surface Terrain Configurations -- this ties in directly to the materials v2 update and also that component of the Farming system.

Notes

• I made some changes to Civilization so that that set of systems tie back in with the core game. This set of changes is going to be heavily reliant on what I'm doing with Quests/Guilds, but at least now that cluster of systems has an actual purpose in the main game rather than being a random extra.

• I've started working on a basic outline of the procedurally-generated crafting system. This is a tricky project, especially before the mid-game materials update is done, but I'd like to lay out some of the basics ahead of time.

State of the project

At the moment the current sanity projects are notes-based -- terrain configurations and the procedurally-generated crafting system. Both of these tie in heavily to what the core game has become so I'm working through them carefully to make sure they're neither too easy nor too difficult to understand.

Reintegrating civilization into the core game is a huge change -- not in terms of programming work (which is the same), but in terms of just how much it impacts the core gameplay loop and brings all of the game's systems together into a cohesive whole. The new core gameplay looks something like this:

• Do civilization-based systems to get new feature unlocks and recipes.

• Gather materials through the terrain configurations system or the farming system that builds onto it. Can also gather materials through combat, fishing, and dungeon exploring.

• Materials that are hard to find can also be learned about in civilized areas. Additionally, possible locations can be learned about from Cartographers or Scout animals.

• Process materials in your base via fixtures and recipes which are largely procedurally generated to actually obtain those upgrades.

Tl;dr every single isolated system is now a part of the main gameplay in some way, which is also where the main quest/story is going to take place.

• 10 Months ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

5/1 Update (Melange Update)

Towns v1 Stuff

• Furniture is no longer running on the open/closed/alcove system. Not really groundbreaking or anything, but paves the way for better furniture types.

• Items stolen from a house can't be sold to the shopkeeper in that house -- instead of getting the "sell" button you get a "Stolen Here" prompt. This change makes intuitive sense.

Melange Cabinets

Provinces outside of the home one spawn 3 random types of furniture which contain a very random selection of items. This should give alternate provinces more flavor, and potentially make them a lot more profitable with theft mechanics.

Melange Planes

Provinces outside of the home one have 6 types of "melange planes" associated with them, represented by these specially-colored "Melange Holes". Melange Holes can be found anywhere entropic holes or quantum holes would spawn, although probably over the long run only 1-2 melange planes will be accessible that way, and the rest will be discoverable through naturally generated mana cracks.

Melange planes have truly random terrain generation, the algorithm of which was based on generalizing all the planes biome codes together and finding patterns and variations. Some of them look pretty neat, and have hazards like randomly-colored lava. I'll probably need to tweak some of the settings over time.

Melange planes don't have a void sea, and can themselves contain melange holes, which allow you to go to other melange planes.

Melange Planes have truly random item assortments, based on the same functionality as Melange Cabinets. They can therefore be very interesting ways to gain resources.

Misc

• The quantum plane no longer has a void sea.

State of the Project

Nothing really new to report here, just working through the sanity checklist and general checklists.

The melange update paves the way for the myriads/lattices update, which are less useful than they once were but are still required to some extent.

• 9 Months ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I still lurk here!
I like the look of your 5/1/21 update but I have to read it more carefully to begin to understand it.

9 Months ago
chiarizio

5/5 Update

Melange Plane Update

• A bug was preventing melange plane terrain generation from working correctly -- they now look significantly more interesting:

• The title's been changed to the name of the dimension, and the element symbol associated with the plane. Has a neat alien feel to it, and is also lore-friendly.

• Actual elemental planes have also been changed to use their elemental symbol. Additionally, the quantum/entropic planes are actually titled "Quantum Plane" and "Entropic Plane". Minor change, so not worth having screenshots for.

• In an alternate dimension, quantum holes will always spawn as one type of melange hole, and entropic holes (found in the void sea) as a second.

• The other four melange entrances appear in naturally-generated mana cracks that look like this. The colors used actually matches what the melange plane looks like. Melange holes are scattered throughout the structure, which provides several entry points into that melange plane.

• Melange holes spawn more rarely inside of melange planes, meaning that finding mana cracks is generally a better strategy than going into one melange plane and using it to get to the others.

• You'll rarely come across a door-like gradient in a melange plane -- this will warp you to a melange plane in a different dimension.

• I added a debug function for warping to melange planes, one for going to an alternate dimension's melange plane, and one for going to a random alternate dimension in general. This (and the framework for it) should speed up development time a good bit.

• I fixed some minor melange planes bugs that aren't worth mentioning here. The discoveries tab is also currently broken in melange planes, but that's irrelevant as the materials upgrade will make it obsolete.

• A minor bug unrelated to this update, but for the first time in a couple years of development I ran across a situation where the solid color and one of the resource colors was the same. That has like a one in two million chance of happening -- anyway it's been fixed.

Notes Update

I did a lot of work here.

• Updated my Advanced Materials notes to streamline them.

• Added a Void update set of notes -- this covers stuff I didn't do when I first made the void sea, as well as added some unique materials to flesh out the game some more. I also had a post of void biomes, but those were mostly pointless and would have added extra complexity.

• I would like to extend the Zones feature to caves, melange planes, etc, and set up some notes for that. If so, this would be a better way to handle void biomes. This is potentially a rough project though, and I don't yet know what I'm actually going to put in there. Hopefully that will come to me as I do more work on other structures.

• I heavily modified my set of notes on dungeons -- the new version use more of the engine, are nonlinear, and have more emergent puzzles than grind-y linear puzzles. I'll probably be working some more on this soon -- they're going to become a pretty core part of the game. Dungeons also have their own specific set of materials, which once again ties into the advanced materials system.

• Updated my set of notes on magic -- simplified a few things and made the change of magic spells coming from jewelry rather than crystals.

• Got a general set of notes up about the procedurally-generated crafting system which has kind of taken over the entire project.

State of the project

I have a pretty solid foundation now for the terrain/materials/crafting system, including a lot of advanced materials and things I didn't consider at the time like dungeon materials. I'm probably going to dive into that project sometime soon. Should probably round out the terrain configurations post first.

Going to continue to work on loose ends as well.

Not much more I can do with my notes at this point -- need to revisit combat at some point (maybe simplify some things -- I have an idea for how to make battles way saner to track) and flesh bombs out. The only real project left here is civilization v2, but even that is mostly conceptualized now.

Continuing to integrate systems together and simplify (or scrap) things that don't fit into the new core game.

• 9 Months ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

5/11 Update

Void Update

• The Void Sea has this colorful "barrier void" stuff on its edges (about 200 tiles out currently). It's hard to capture how neat this looks while playing -- it's similar to strange matter but changes suddenly, and the void effects make it kind of linger.

• At the edges, the world actually wraps back around seamlessly -- both the generation and the movement are working correctly now. Enemies are on a separate system -- whether they wrap, glitch out or just avoid the barrier void is irrelevant, the lore can account for all three possibilities (avoiding the barrier void makes the most sense -- this might draw players to the center as well).

Turning the game into essentially a sphere took a heck of a lot of work to get working right. There are still potentially some minor issues with it, but given that it happens in the void sea, they're probably irrelevant.

• The little "o"s you see to the right are Voidshards -- these have some neat animation-like generation too that's again hard to capture in a single picture.

• Voidshards are a new type of advanced material, and also are the first use of the new materials v3 system -- where you collect a voidshard and in which type of void determines which resource you get -- you can get ones that are Stable, Unstable, Melange, Fire, Ice, Water, Earth, Wood, or Wind depending on those conditions.

• Where the barrier voids connect (aka the antipode of [0,0]), you get this circular structure. Not sure if this will be an easter egg for adventurous players or will be more explicitly in the lore, but either way it isn't required in any way.

• If you interact with it, you get a pretty cryptic printout of 15 dimensions and the element associated with them. This is an early version -- the final version will have other random information about the dimension attached. It will be equally cryptic and alien-looking though.

Terrain Confgurations

I fleshed out the terrain configurations for Caves resources and Fishing in both the surface and Caves. This didn't take long, but it's pretty mentally-intensive work, which is why I've been procrastinating it. I'm going to try to go ahead and knock out the other two updates of it tomorrow just to get that annoying project out of the way.

• Did another round of miscellaneous simplification -- armor is probably going to be scrapped, as well as genetics. Going to work towards simplifying combat as well. Will probably be making some changes to the aleph naught as well since things it targets are integrated too close with other systems now.

• Came up with some modifications to base building to make it easier and more intuitive for new players -- while still allowing lots of freedom if that's what you want.

• A set of notes that improves the survival aspects of the game without making the game stupidly difficult. There are some changes in here that manage to both simplify Food mechanics for most players and also deepen it for more invested players, which is always a good thing.

Story

I did a LOT of work on the game's story and the lore surrounding it over the weekend. Finally got my ideas on paper and started to really flesh them out. There are six characters (including you), they're a pretty even mix of genders and moralities, and they all have some very complex motivations for their actions. There's a lot of misinformation, betrayal and plot twists throughout -- I really like the way everything came together.

Still a work in progress obviously, but it's coming along good.

State of the Project

Still working through the sanity updates and trying to roll out the Materials update, as that ties into a heck of a lot of the new core game. Doing work on the story when I think about it -- might even build out some dialogue parts of it soon.

No idea when this project will be done -- I'll have a better idea when the sanity checklist is done and I start in on the projects that run on it. I've been doing a lot of simplification and integration as I go though, which is changing things a lot, so it's still hard to tell.

• 9 Months ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I am impressed!
I’d have gone with a torus rather than a sphere.
...
How do you deal with three-dimensional effects?
Subterranean or submarine? Burrowing or swimming?
Or atmosphere— flying?
...
Or do you don’t?

9 Months ago
chiarizio

@chiarizio: it's a faux-sphere -- you still have cartesian coordinates, they just wrap seamlessly on both axises. Things like distance calculations don't yet account for the world's spherical nature, so it probably just makes the most sense to not allow certain systems out there. Basically very rudimentary.

Oddly enough making it a torus is actually possible in the engine -- you just make the boundaries of the y axis scale along the x axis (or vice-versa). I don't want to complicate the games programming too much for topology that's never directly visible though. Similarly, making dimensions have different sphere radiuses is *very* easy but that may lead to some integration issues, so I'm not sure about it yet.

9 Months ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

@Riven:
It’s all better than anything I’ve ever done!

9 Months ago
chiarizio

5/14 Update

Not much to actually report here -- have put in an absurd amount of work but it's all framework.

• The remaining two terrain configurations posts were made -- Overworld Nests, Caves Nests, and Quantum Plane configurations.

• All functions in the terrain configurations thread have been generalized into code -- there's 52 functions, some of them can have some complex inputs, and they're all pretty unique -- tl;dr this is a pretty big project.

• Additionally, I got the framework set up for the hooks into this project -- while there isn't any actual code done yet, I know what my objects look like and where they hook into different game systems.

• I also have a testing suite planned for this that will also be useful with prospecting (part of farming) and scout animals. Definitely need a sane way to test things though -- there are a heck of a lot of inputs to test whenever I'm done.

State of the project

I have around 35/52 configurations coded, but what's left is somewhat complicated to set up, then I need to get the help engine and the generators set up. Then I need to build out the testing suite to make sure everything actually works.

Tl;dr this might take a while.

• 9 Months ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

5/17 Update

Again, not much to report, but I did get all of the terrain configurations coded out. I haven't tested them all yet, but I have tested a good bit of it -- I'm going to need an actual testing suite to do that. There ended up being 49 functions in total, plus a bunch of variations. Framework's solid enough to add more if I want to, but I don't want to make things too complicated for the player. The ones I'm keeping are all pretty basic and understandable, especially once the help framework goes live and players can actually see what terrain configurations look like (and rotate them at will)

Notes

• More integration notes for whenever I finish the terrain configurations project -- I'll basically be fleshing the generators out completely prior to hooking it into the systems that use it. Will make the Farming project really easy, and potentially improve the usefulness of the theft mechanic as well.

• I did a bunch of work on the procedurally-generated crafting system -- this is the other major update that ties into almost everything, and my notes there are done now. I don't think it'll be that hard to program; what'll be hard is getting every single update defined in its framework.

• Similar to that, I have a set of notes built around the materials tiers used in that system, and also covers all the advanced materials that need to be programmed (which is very very easy with the terrain configurations framework).

State of the project

A good tl;dr of all of this is that development makes sense again. I have a pretty clear roadmap for the new materials and crafting systems, which ties into almost everything else and also heavily enforces the "everything is randomized, but interesting" core mechanic.

• 8 Months ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

5/21 Update

• Got the testing framework up. This lets me see what terrain configurations are on a coordinate, as well as highlight all coordinates on screen that match a definition. It's been a tremendous help in testing the terrain configuration functions, and parts of it will probably be used in scout animals and farming as well.

• I also built out all the variations for all of the functions, which was a necessary step for this, and other things.

• 78/113 of all the different variations have been tested and are working 100%. The remaining ones belong to three groups -- "Clifflike" configurations, which are variations of the same 4 kinds of patterns; Quantum patterns that use more than one color, and "Wet" patterns based around having adjacent water tiles.

This is a long slow project. Will have a few more updates that are like this. I'll be working on the materials v3 and/or quantum planes v2 updates soon though -- those updates will be more tangible.

• 8 Months ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

78/113 of all the different variations have been tested and are working 100%. The remaining ones belong to three groups -- "Clifflike" configurations, which are variations of the same 4 kinds of patterns; Quantum patterns that use more than one color, and "Wet" patterns based around having adjacent water tiles.

This is interesting. What are the categories for the 78 you have completed and how do they affect gameplay? Is this like minecraft where you can mine for different resources depending on terrain?

8 Months ago
Prewton

Yeah you get different materials depending on the terrain around the resource, where it is in the world, what's on screen, etc. Also ties into fishing (to determine which fish spawn there), and animal nests (to determine which enemies spawn from it).

There's a limited amount of these in each dimension (around 10, iirc). Having over a hundred variations is just for the sake of overall variety.

The terrain is split into 500x500 biomes which are pretty unpredictable. I showcased some that I found here:

8 Months ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Yeah you get different materials depending on the terrain around the resource, where it is in the world, what's on screen, etc. Also ties into fishing (to determine which fish spawn there), and animal nests (to determine which enemies spawn from it).

Have you coded the variety of enemies and fish, yet? It sounds interesting that you're putting so much thought into how the biomes work.

Also, I see in this post's URL that the game's in an open alpha... can I try it out somewhere?

8 Months ago
Prewton