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thepaulhoey

[RELEASED] In Space

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It's released, at least a super janky version is(we're having the best summer in years here, I couldn't bring myself to stay inside working on this all day). People come and go and you can build stuff but there's no game loop yet. Also the pathfinding needs optimisation so expect occasional 1 or 2 second hangs when lots of people arrive in one go. Instructions on the controls are on the page and in the README.

 

https://thepaulhoey.itch.io/in-space

 

 

In Space is going to be a management sim set on a space station. I'm not totally sure the direction it's going to go in just yet, the current plan is that you will be operating vending machines and food stalls at a space station with the goal being to grow your business.

 

Features I think will be fun:

  • Bidding on new units/space for vending machines, so there's a cost to operating them and having good spots.
  • Some sort of lobbying system. For example the space station is refurbishing an area, there's 3 possible areas so you want to lobby for the area you operate in to be refurbished as people will want to be in that area more. Other things I think it'd be cool to lobby for would be which space flight operators get the various gates, so you want to try to get an airline that caters for the type of creature you cater for.
  • Employing market research teams to spy on competitors and discover trends in the market.
  • Staff to restock vending machines, repair them.

 

What I'm making it with: MonoGame Extended(https://github.com/craftworkgames/MonoGame.Extended) and Paint.Net.

 

So far I have a bare bones map with people who can walk around and got to a vending machine to get a drink, although I've written it in a way that now it's fairly simple to just pile in different types of vending machines and then instill into the people the types of food they like. 

 

Capture.thumb.PNG.b5c561ab2367f03a52d2bba700a3c90e.PNG

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I dunno.  I feel like using various forms of consumer-brainwashing seems like an pretty valid Thumbs style topic as well.

 

I think if you can't (or don't want to) change that behavior, you should just make all vending machines Boston Dynamics branded.

 

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What do you mean by that? Force the trends on consumers via advertising etc rather than discovering what they want?

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Sorry, maybe I misunderstood.  I thought:

Quote

 I've written it in a way that now it's fairly simple to just pile in different types of vending machines and then instill into the people the types of food they like. 

meant the player could basically influence the meeples' behavior by placing certain things.  (Like a supply-driven economy.)

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OK I get you, I was talking purely from a technical point of view but I think it's a cool idea to have an element of manipulation to get the people to want what you're selling through brainwashing etc.

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As an update here are the two commit messages from today.

  • Lots of work on the dispensers and how people interact with them.
  • More adjustments to person behaviour, they now get bored and can kinda handle a failed request e.g. there are no dispensers available. They just stand there and don't do anything else...

Did some testing with lots of people using a single dispenser and it running out of stock. Probably not going to bother refining things like multiple people on the same tile while waiting for the vending machine, there's bigger fish to fry.

 

Here's an image with 100 people using the vending machine, performance is fine aside from at the very start when everyone is trying to calculate paths. I'll add a proper manager class at some point to stagger that on load.

 

Capture.thumb.PNG.b62b042ca39ebca200ebaec1d8708733.PNG

 

Next up is expanding the vending machines and implementing a way for the people to find one to use based on its stock and distance.

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Small bit of progress today, started working on some basic graphics more inline with how I plan for the game to look. Made a bunch of changes to the speed of the peeps, I want it to appear as if it's running in fast forward(hence the blurring, looks nicer in motion and when there's less wide open space and more differently coloured peeps on top of one another I think it'll work well) so a full day passes in a few minutes etc. Made some changes to path finding and there's the initial crowding around a machine waiting for it in there. I'll probably add some logic for the peeps to give up if they're waiting too long and find a less busy machine. Given the time to complete this I'll probably scale it back to vending machines and adverts you can place in the Space Station. Then maybe some options on bidding on ads etc. I want it to be a relatively fast paced game.

 

Capture.PNG.6c79b04ff478bb6a600ddce05928eb49.PNG

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I created a gif of the effect in motion: https://j.gifs.com/KZoEOR.gif

 

Having some weird issues with the peeps not doing anything after a while, could be any number of things that's blocking them from doing something. Next up I want to implement them arriving and leaving the space station, I did some work on spawners to spawn them at specific locations, after that they'll have a location and time to leave at and while they're there it's your job to convince them to use your vending machines.

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git commit -m "Lots of work on loading the map and having different tiles. Work on the movement system for the peeps. Need to rewrite the update logic and how they 'do' things, it's a broken mess."

 

Some progress and a frustrating evening of trying to work out bugs in the peep's AI led to this realisation. Ah well, probably won't take too long.

 

Starting to look more like something now though! All of this is loaded form some json files, super simple number array stuff but it gets the job done.

Capture.PNG.cb31772be4f6e58e77ee26f2df6f02ea.PNG

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I forgot that making games can be tough! :) Haven't had much time the past few days to work on this, spent some times yesterday tidying up the peep update loop so it's not buggy anymore and this morning I reworked the movement code to play nicer with the pace of the game. Given that there's a week left I'm trying to figure out the best way to reign in the scope a little.

 

Decided to finally put into place some code to make the peeps more varied. Quite happy with how this is looking now(the blur effect looks really neat), also doing a test with 1000 of them milling about to make sure it's all working OK, so far so good.

image.png.54d2e72d59815ff4bc1d5d30e2144500.png

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Video update! Really pleased with the peep movement and the way they use objects is working really well(the half size vending machine is a seat) and is super easy for adding new types in. :) The chunk system mentioned below is where I have some hard coded arrays to define rooms, then I can tell the map to put one in a particular location. I plan to expand it by having it then had corridors as needed, if there's time. Otherwise I'll just hard code a map to play on using the different room types.

 

It looks odd that they're all moving to the next chair placed but literally all they can do is seat or go to the vending machine and if they're no thirsty they don't do that. I plan to add things like Departure Boards, TVs, Computers etc. for other activities for them to take part in when "bored" as well as expanding the types of vending machines.

 

There still isn't a lot of game there though :/ Current plan is that you'll be placing vending machines in busy areas and adjusting the stock each day to match demand. Gonna be super basic I think.

 

Dev notes:

  • Finally fixed all the pathing and activity issues with the peeps. While I was at that I added some new sprites and some code to make things looks less on a grid.
  • Added in a chunk system for adding rooms to the map. First test of placing vending machines.
  • Added seats! Yay! Some small tweaks so the peeps use things properly when they're not vending machines.

 

 

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I've been making some more progress over the past few days when I have time and I'm going to be putting in a good bit of work today and tomorrow on this. Not sure how much game there will be but there's some really fun systems now. Inspired by something I read about I think Dishonored, I decided that entities in the game can give out various properties. Right now it's a core of DRINK, FOOD, ENTERTAINMENT, CURIOSITY, BATHROOM, ENERGY as a way to drive what object the peeps will interact with. Just now I was doing some testing, it's set so that if an attribute goes below 20 the peep will look for something to address that. So someone got hungry, found a vending machine and ate, they're no longer hungry but they keep on using it and their hunger goes from <20 up to 250(you get +50 for eating) and they just keep on eating. I'm looking for a bug where I'm not resetting the object they're interacting with correctly before it dawns on me, I've set vending machines to give off an entertainment value of 2 and this is literally the only object that gives off entertainment right now. So when people need to be entertained they will go off to a vending machine for a small little kick, which is kind of true of airports. I've wasted a lot of money keeping myself entertained on not particularly entertaining things while waiting for flights over the years. I love when totally unintentional quirks like this emerge.

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It's released, at least a super janky version is(we're having the best summer in years here, I couldn't bring myself to stay inside working on this all day). People come and go and you can build stuff but there's no game loop yet. Also the pathfinding needs optimisation so expect occasional 1 or 2 second hangs when lots of people arrive in one go. Instructions on the controls are on the page and in the README.

 

https://thepaulhoey.itch.io/in-space

 

I'm quite pleased with the state I've gotten this into and the general shape of the objects and the AI of the peeps is a really good starting point for continuing this. :)

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I'm looking forward to seeing how this progresses.

 

I played with it a bit, and it seems that not all of my mouse clicks are registered. Is this intentional (e.g. some sort of cooldown for item placement) or a glitch.

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Re: mouse clicks, same thing is happening to me.

 

It's difficult to give much feedback on this at its current state as a player. Looks like you have a solid base here, I'm also looking forward to seeing more.

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Once I found the readme contents for placing the various items, this became a lot more interesting. Though, in its current form, the people just sort of fly around really fast so its hard to judge if my object placement is doing something good or bad.

 

I also had the click registration issue. Time between clicks didn't seem to matter, just sometimes I could not place an object in a square no matter how many times I clicked on it.

 

I know it's in a basic form, but with some audio and adjustments for things like simulation speed (and sim pause to build), I think this could be kind of fun. Like a micro sims meets sim city or something.

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