At this point in the project i decided to pick apart some of the more complicated blueprints i had, mainly the ones that were causing me some minor bugs and issues. I spent some time refining these blueprints to make them work as well as they can with the other features i had set up, when put together.
The main blueprints that needed sorting out where the ones revolving around the camera and game’s Day/night cycle. The camera before was quite clunky and slow, as i had mistakenly used a Character class instead of a Pawn for it, resulting in a few issues i had later down the line. I got around this by stripping the blueprint down, recreating a lot of the code and altering some things i had. The newer camera felt much better as it was faster and was no where as restricting, as during the remodelling of the blueprint, i was able to add in a Pan feature and Edge Scrolling. Giving the player much more manual control over how the camera was positioned and moved throughout game play.
As for the Day and Night cycle, the first hurdle i had was trying to link it up to my intended Time. The game’s time would progress, AM/PM however the sun’s position would not suit the displayed time, resulting in the Sun being up at midnight. (This may work in terms as it is an alien planet, however i felt this would bother players as well as myself and needing resolving) The current game time roughly takes about 10 minutes for a day to pass, this may change as i continue testing features. I had to completely restructure this blueprint as the older method i used simply no longer fit with the game time anymore. The new blueprint now after a lot of trial and error is link to the time, allowing me to speed and pause the game while now affecting the day/night cycle. The sun rises at roughly 6AM and will set for 7PM.
After working on the resources it came time to start putting together some buildings for the player to spend those hard earned resources on to construct. These buildings were not part of the main asset part i have been using and so i had to construct the assets using bits and pieces available to me to cobble together structures i thought represented the style i wanted.
Shelter: This is the basic home for the crew members, for each home in the settlement, the crew will gain a small resource harvesting bonus, letting them earn more of a single resource.
Radio Pylon: The most important building in the game, this radio tower will broadcast a signal out for the crew members to be rescued each day. The strength of the signal can be improved further by the use of Booster pylons. When the signal hits 100% the crew will be saved, however the signal attracts the creatures of the planet, meaning the risks of the signal will increase as the game reaches its end.
Stockpile: This small structure is meant to represent the pile of resources the player gathers, the crew members will harvest resources and bring them to this pile to be added to the settlements total gear.
Medic Shack: This more intricate building represents the medic station. A specialised building that slowly regenerates the health of injured crew members. When hurt, the crew will enter this building for safety.
Captain’s Station: This large building is the main set up for the settlement, this is where the player will order their crew members and assign tasks. here they can select the map and see what resources and dangers are in the immediate area.
This week i have been looking to get the base versions of resources down and into the game in some form. There are four main resources types present in the game, Wood, Metal, Food and the elusive Power Cores. The idea for these resources is to give the player another area to the gameplay, where they must manage the right resource for certain tasks, keep a healthy stockpile of food for their crew and most importantly find Power Cores to boost the radio signal.
After messing around with some assets i had, i put together several representations for these resources.
Food: The food was put together by adjusting several plant assets i had, the idea was to make the green and red tips stand out against the orange of the landscape.
Metals: This is one of the more important materials in the game as it is essential to the building of every building present in the game right now. These chunks of metal are intended to be remnants of the ships wreckage.
Wood: This resource is also a vital part of most of the building options in the game right now, and is present the most in the map. There is currently only one type of tree in the game but i’m hoping this won’t have an impact art wise
Energy Cores: This is a specialised resource, cores are only used to the creation of Radio Boosters. However they are vital to the survival of the crew as without them, the radio signal would be too weak to progress.
In addition to the resources, I’ve set up a neat volume box blueprint that spawns in several versions of the resource with many different randomised variables. Such as random sizes, rotations and locations in that bounds box and the amount spawned. This lets me set up vast resource ares without any repetition in the assets.