Friday, July 18, 2014

Dev Log: Latckey #55

Still working on transferring commands to items rather than verb functions.  Apparently AS3 doesn't support overloading, making things tough.

I'm trying to figure out the proper way to code basically English.  Unfortunately, English has a nasty habit of forgetting the Subject while remembering the Object.  So when you type "Take [item]", the player object is picking up the item object.  This just means the room's inventory pointer vector loses the item, and the player's inventory gains it.  Except now if I'm searching the player's input for an item first, then it will figure out the item, then attempt to run the Take function within the item, when I should be running the Take function in the Player.

So it may be back to the drawing board.  I don't want to throw so much in the Interface class, but I don't want to throw everything in the Player class, either.

Perhaps if I search for the hidden stuff first?  Like have the Player class see if any functions match the input, and failing that, try to check for items and barriers?  I can quickly see how the code will get confusing if I'm not extremely careful here.

The past couple weeks have been much more thinking and a lot less doing, because I don't want to completely break the game by accident.

Hopefully I can make some forward progress next week...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dev Log: FissureVerse #36 - Frenzies

First, the obvious: The Vortex has been renamed to FissureVerse.  I did it for a few reasons.  Firstly, "The Vortex" is a pretty generic name (since it's a just a single real word), and I wanted something more unique.  Secondly, the Vortex in the game has lost much of its prominence as I've worked on the game, so I wanted to rename the game something that was more in line with the current story.  A fissure meaning both a tear in the universe (which is what the Vortex was), and also meaning a divisive fissure between groups of people.

Anyway, onto the Frenzies:

Corruption, Decomposing, Fountain, Hysteria
Click to see them, of course.
It took me ages to find good placeholder art for the Frenzies; I wanted them to have a coherent theme, but some of the terms are very abstract concepts like "Offended", so finding art that works well with each cards and works well as a group was challenging.

Research, Shortened, Though the Mud
The art for Research reminds me of that scene from Independence Day.
I considered abstracting them out and having pictures of weapons or other objects, so a card like Tyranny might have a whip as its picture, but that led nowhere.

Offended, Paranoia, Rabies, Sadistic
I decided to go without flavor text on these, to let the art speak for itself.
Finally, I started browsing some of my bookmarked DeviantArtists, to see what I could possibly come up with.

Overhill, Secrets, Thirst
Most Frenzy cards are pretty simple rules-wise, but should be pretty powerful.
I initially liked Adam Howie's mannequin-style art (one of which I used in the Tithe Rogation), and thought it might do well for Frenzies, since Frenzies could be abstracted into what a Zealot thinks himself to look like.  And I like the idea enough that I'm definitely saving it for future use.

Distortion, Flag, Love Potion, Mania
And of course even when they're not powerful, a hidden Frenzy is still a wild card.
But for now, I'm going with Mostafa Nassar's work, which has a really dark, gritty, insane look to it.  I think that Frenzies work great together by having as few artists as possible used for the placeholder art, so they can keep a consistent style.

Tyranny, Unkempt, Wanderlust
The less powerful cards are more evenly balanced; the more powerful ones are a much bigger risk.
As far as the Devotees go (which I think I'll rename to the more generic Crusader term), they will take far longer than the Frenzies to find good placeholder art for.  Although they are creatures, and so require very little abstraction, I want to do all four colors together so the style is consistent between all four of them.

Academic, Bravery, Coded, Deceptive
I got nothin' else to say here. Just look!
(Next log coming sometime...)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Personal update

Nothing on Latchkey this week; combine an extremely early wake up call for work with a sudden inspiration on a different project, and I become too tired to program.  I'll try to kick back into gear on it next week.

I think since most of my posts here are now development logs, I'll be changing up the tabs at the top to give my games more prominence, and push other stuff off to the side.  Of course, an article or a review can still come up at any time; they're just happening with such infrequency that it's not really a focus anymore.

This blog has been an experiment to see what I enjoy doing.  Although I can talk about games all I want, it's much more fun to make games, so writing a review on a new game or an article on the industry doesn't give me nearly as much satisfaction as designing some new cards or even just getting a bug-free function working.

So expect development logs, just as I've been posting for the past few months, and other stuff on odd occasions.

And, because I can't leave well enough alone, when I finish Dominion: Industry, I'll start posting the next Dominion expansion of mine.  Every time I think "well, that's it, I can't possibly think of any more themes and mechanics", I have a eureka moment and can't stop.  So that's probably next on the agenda.

Dominion & 4 expansions.
Because apparently all of this is not enough for me.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dominion: Industry #10 - More Suggested Sets

Dominion: Industry alone:

March of Progress: Automaton, Clockwork, Dumping Grounds, Machine Tools, Park, Printing Press, Shrewd Merchant, Textiles, Travelling Market, Tycoon

This one should be fairly well-rounded, again giving players lots of leeway to learn new mechanics without any attacks baring down.

With vanilla Dominion:

Moving Forward: Feast, Laboratory, Market, Remodel, Workshop / Land Run, Pipeline, Steam Engine, Travelling Market, Water Wheel

In this one, it should be pretty hard to move up and get the high cards, but once you do, you start to steam ahead.

Population Control: Militia, Moat, Moneylender, Spy, Village / Clockwork, Luddites, Shrewd Merchant, Slumlord, Tariff

This one is a bit attack-heavy, while also have lots of cards that keep your deck small, often making you trash or replace cards.

With Intrigue:

Hard Times: Mining Village, Secret Chamber, Shanty Town, Swindler, Wishing Well / Dumping Grounds, Luddites, Pawn Broker, Tariff, Water Wheel

I expect this one to be a slower game.

Boomtimes: Bridge, Great Hall, Nobles, Tribute, Upgrade / Canal, Nomadic Traders, Oil Field, Railroad, Tycoon

I expect this one to be a faster game... though I'm usually unable to accurate predict a game's length.  Often when I see what I think is a decent set, the game blows by quick before I realize it.  Only one way to find out how well this set works!

With Alchemy:

Liquid Measure: Apothecary, Apprentice, Herbalist, Scrying Pool, Vineyard / Canal, Nomadic Traders, Pawn Broker, Pipeline, Water Wheel

This one allows you to carefully plan your next move, or has cards which require careful planning during your move.

Worlds Collide: Alchemist, Golem, Philosopher's Stone, Transmute, University / Automaton, Machine Tools, Railroad, Steel Town, Tycoon

With this set, I went a bit out of my comfort zone of premium choices and picked a few cards I normally don't use myself.  After all, there should be some games where I don't already know the best way to play.

With Guilds:

Clash of Times: Baker, Butcher, Candlestick Maker, Merchant Guild, Stonemason / Luddites, Pipeline, Steam Engine, Steel Town, Textiles

This one is heavy on the coin tokens from Guilds.

A New Era: Advisor, Herald, Journeyman, Masterpiece, Plaza / Automaton, Oil Field, Park, Printing Press, Railroad

This one tries to use a few Guilds cards that you can overpay, while also trying to keep things pretty balanced and interesting.

Try 'em out, see how they play, suggest your own sets!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Dev Log: Horror Text Adventure #54

Did a bit more visual work, making the splash screen readable, and for that matter functional (so you can quit or enter the game by pressing "q" or "e", respectively).  Then I looked up how to auto-maximize the window, and lock out the maximize option in the upper-right corner.  I keep the minimize and exit buttons available, and I don't completely fullscreen the game, because the X is especially useful when it hangs, so I want the player to be able to quit without needing to do a three-finger salute.

Latchkey title screen, again
Wider ratio than it needs to be, just because of my own monitor's dimensions.  Should fit on 1024x768 and up... but maybe not...
Now I have to really sit down and try to figure out command functions.  I'm really wondering if it makes any sense to go through verbs.  Granted, there will always be a verb in a sentence, but there won't always be a noun.  I was thinking of taking all the verb functions found in the Interface class and putting them in the appropriate item or barrier classes, and only keep stuff in the Interface class that isn't directly related to a noun.  But I'd have to restructure the return values and other stuff.  The good news is that the Interface class won't be completely clogged with verb functions, and won't be massive.

So I've started doing that.  I bet it'll be a bit of a process and many things will break along the way, but it's probably best if I get it done sooner, so I don't have ten million more verbs that need to be moved.

Part 55...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Dominion: Industry #9 - Suggested Sets

Now comes the tricky business of coming up with suggested sets:

Dominion: Industry alone:

Black Gold: Canal, Oil Field, Land Run, Nomadic Traders, Pawn Broker, Pipeline, Railroad, Steam Engine, Steel Town, Water Wheel

To start things off, this set is heavy on oil cards and has a few cleanup cards, so you can learn the new mechanics in the set.

With Seaside:

Out of the Water, Into the Fire: Ghost Ship, Lighthouse, Lookout, Pirate Ship, Smugglers / Dumping Grounds, Luddites, Printing Press, Shrewd Merchant, Slumlord

This one is heavy on attacks.  That is, heavy for this expansion, being that it's light on attacks to begin with.  Coming off Dominion: After Dark, it's not too bad, of course, especially with Lighthouse in there.

Sea Traders: Bazaar, Caravan, Cutpurse, Merchant Ship, Wharf / Canal, Nomadic Traders, Steel Town, Tariff, Textiles

This one is pretty big on money, as well as Seaside's Duration cards.

With Dark Ages:

The Rich & the Poor: Beggar, Count, Counterfeit, Poor House, Vagrant / Automaton, Land Run, Slumlord, Tariff, Travelling Market

The trick of this one is that there are no cards costing 3 or 4.  Although there is a 1 and a 6!  It's also low on cards that give extra actions.  This one might be the kind of game where you spend your first five turns buying silvers.  Play it and see what works.

Civil Savages: Band of Misfits, Bandit Camp, Hermit, Hunting Grounds, Squire, / Clockwork, Machine Tools, Park, Pawn Broker, Tycoon

This one has no attacks, but I think it offers a variety of strategies to try.  This one is well-rounded in an odds-n-ends sort of way.

Test 'em out, see how they play, let me know!

Part 10: More Suggested Sets

Friday, June 27, 2014

Dev Log: Horror Text Adventure #53... Named

Well, nothing of substance done this week, though I created a rough splash screen:

Splash screen
The key is enter. Get it, get it? Ha!
Might as well stop calling it a "Horror text adventure" and give it a name.  So there we go.

I'm sure I'll be changing the splash screen in time, but for now it works well enough.  The A being a lock is a bit cliché, but heck, it was far more cliché when I had the E be a key.  Glad I decided not to do that.

Part 54...