Devlog #19 18 Jun 2021

Hi friends,

We had some amazing 2 weeks since the last devlog. Lots of progress! I’m starting to feel quite confident about the forthcoming alpha release.

Let’s take a closer look:

New building hider and mouse-follow 🐭

My first task after the last devlog was improving camera controls for the pedestrian view. It ended up being the biggest timewaster since we started working on BA.

The issue was mainly buildings blocking the vision to the player character. You had to constantly rotate the camera in order to see the sidewalk. My initial solution was to make the camera more intelligent and making sure the camera was always just behind the player’s back. Unfortunately, this turned out incredibly complex. The number of corner cases was through the roof. Because of the floating nature of such camera, you would sometimes feel dizzy while playing. It was a nightmare!

So I did what all gamedevs do when they get stuck: They start playing games and figure out how other devs solved it.

And so I did. The solution was simple. Stick with manual rotating the camera, but completely hide blocking buildings. The solution was super close to what we had already. The biggest issue was actually getting around corners. The old version would highlight buildings, even if you just wanted to talk past them.

To overcome this, I’m now disabling all objects, once the left mouse button is held down and navigation has started.

It took me 4 full days of trial and error to get this working. It can definitely still be improved (as anything), but I’m happy with what we got now.

Welcome to the harbor 🚢

Daniel and Paul #1 are busy finishing up the new harbor area which is planned to be ready for the alpha release. The area is highly industrial, containing everything from car dealerships to the biggest wholesale stores. We’re also planning on a large furniture store, potentially in blue and yellow colors 😎

Below is a few renders to give you a feeling of the building style: Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

The bug hunt 🐛

As the alpha release is closing in, the bug hunt has really kicked in. Gerwanese, adameg2305, tomvbj, and the rest of the community has been killing it, reporting more than 200 bugs already! As of writing, the status is 112 open tickets and 97 closed. You can follow the progress on our Github Issues page.

I’ll like to say thank you to all of you pre-alpha testers, both on Discord and the community website, who helped playtest and find all of these bugs. I and the rest of the team really appreciate your help!

We all look forward till next month, when we can finally invite all gold supporters to join the hunt 🕷 Screenshot

EconoView: Selected Business 💸

Recently I’ve been more focused on making sure players feel in control and understanding all of the numbers presented. One pitfall was the EconoView app still being halfway done. This week I added “the second level”, which is what you saw when selecting a specific business.

As you might notice, the 2 last rows indicates question marks. I’m still not sure what time range is relevant. I’ll have that added once we got some more content added to the game.

New clothing 👖

This week we got the female characters added to Unity, but not yet implemented into the game. However, Illie, our shader guru, has been putting some work into making clothing a bit more exciting, by allowing different colors and prints. Please be aware that the current T-shirt prints are work in progress 😁

At the same time, Paul #2 has been working on some new pieces: Hoodie & Cargo Pants. Below is a quick preview of how it looks. If things go well, we can show you this in-game in the next devlog too.

Screenshot

Updated dialog system 💬

Long overdue, I finally found some time to switch the Dialog System away from the placeholder UI to the cooler version made by Robin, our UI designer.

Dialogs now show as a timeline. They are interactive (as shown in the video), allowing you to respond when AI needs your input.

I’m really happy with the outcome.

Employee training 💪

Last but not least, it’s finally possible to train employees. To train an employee, you first have to unassigned the employee from any businesses. Once training has been initiated, the employee will be unavailable the next day. Each training session increases the selected skill by 10%. The price is based on skill type and level.

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That’s all for now. See you in 2 weeks!

Thank you for reading!

All the best,
Jonas

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