Lorries In SPAAAAACE! is a management or “tycoon” game where you run an interplanetary haulage company. Buy space-lorries, give them orders to buy goods at one planet and sell them on another, and gradually expand until you can buy whole planets. You win when all the planets belong to you, and the goal is to do so as quickly as possible. It takes around 8 minutes to play through.
This was the first time I really got my teeth into Unity, and it went really well! Development was rapid, as I’d hoped, and meant that I’ accomplished what I’d planned within the 48 hours. I carried on into Monday in order to add a way to win, and to add polish, and even then I was done hours before the deadline. Unity is quick to work with, even though I wasn’t that familiar with it, so I’ll definitely be using it in future game jams, and future games.
So, it’s been a couple of weeks since the last dev log. Firstly, I spent the week after F!shing was released attempting marketing things, and relaxing a bit. I’ve also been playing around with Unity, preparing to work on Mycronation. However! There are two projects that you’ll see before I continue with that.
Firstly, it’s Ludum Dare #30 right now! LD is a regular game jam that takes place over a weekend, where the goal is to make a game from scratch that fits a given theme. The theme this time is “Connected Worlds”, and I decided to make a game about managing a haulage company IN SPAAAAAAAAACE! So far, I have some randomly-generated planets with goods they want to buy or sell. It’s giving me a proper Unity workout too!
Then after this weekend, I’ll be working on a business-focussed Android app. Someone suggested it to me a year or two ago, and twice I’ve attempted to develop it and ended-up sidetracked, but this time I will complete it! 😉
I’m thinking of weekly development livestreams for F!shing, as I’ve got a big list of things to add to the game still, and it might help get the game more publicity. They won’t begin until September, but I’m hoping to do them every Friday. If you want to get an email when I start streaming, you can follow me on Twitch.tv.
Over the weekend, I participated in Ludum Dare 29, the 48-hour game jam. The theme was Beneath the Surface, and I was inspired by the saying that a swan looks elegant above the water, but underneath is paddling madly. The result is SWAN QWOP – guide a one-legged swan across a lake by manually controlling the leg. (QWOP, if you don’t know, is a game about falling over while trying to run the 100m at the Olympics. You should play it! It’s much better.)
The weekend went pretty well! I was a little nervous about doing a physics-based game, as while I’ve used box2d before, I’m not too familiar with it. Still, I got a working prototype done in the first day, so Sunday was purely a case of polishing it up. I usually really struggle with scope, so I’m happy that it’s as complete as it is. That said, the water is a bit rubbish – I thought a bunch of balls would be a decent approximation, but not really! If I’d had a week rather than a weekend, maybe it would be better – I have a couple of ideas for improvements. Never mind!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy playing it! It is possible to win, though very difficult. If you manage it, post your time here or on the Ludum Dare page. Now to get back to my week off!
OK, so… a few things have happened, but I am terrible at remembering to write blog posts.
Firstly, I did develop ‘Dodger’ further, into a game that is actually fun, but… it’s been sitting waiting for me to draw the protagonist, and add music and sound effects. Until I do so, 49 Games is going no further.
However, I now have a Let’s Play series of Simcity 4 on my YouTube Channel. (Which I have been neglecting most recently.) The first couple of episodes are a bit pants, as I was going through all kinds of technical problems which are fixed from episode 3.
I’m mostly writing about something entirely different though: I’ve started working on a browser-based city-building game, similar to SimCity. The original aim was to make a free-to-play game that didn’t rely on horrible psychological tricks, but has changed a lot as I’ve thought about it. I’d been mulling it over and making notes for maybe a month, then it was LD this weekend – I’m not participating, but it inspired me to get started on it. I had made a false start already, when I was intending for everything to run server-side with AJAX. Now, though, it’ll be entirely client-based, with the server only getting involved as a way to save and load games.
ANYWAY! Enough waffle. Here’s a screenshot of where I’ve got to over this weekend:
So, possibly underwhelming to you, but this was a significant amount of work. I’m using the HTML5 <canvas> element for rendering, which resizes itself automatically when the window changes size (without stretching the image horribly). It takes an array of tiles, and draws them in an pseudo-isometric way, and it figures out the tile coordinate from where you click (as seen in the console log above). Also in the console is spam about the date changing – I have a GameClock object which, when unpaused, regularly updates the in-game time based on the game speed. When the day, week, month or year changes, it fires an event – the newDay event is here caught and the date output to the console, but eventually it will instead update a date indicator in the UI.
So yes! Hopefully I’ll keep going with this. So far, I’ve only really done basic stuff (though there was some fairly complicated maths involved). Managing building development, occupancy, traffic &c will be more complex.