DEV BLOG #153 - RETROSPECTION

30 of October, 2017

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It’s been an eventful week: On Tuesday everyone stopped what they’re doing to talk about the future of Crest and on Thursday we were left without internet at the office due to heavy rain and storms. Nevertheless, a lot of progress has been made this week.


Community

Like mentioned above, on Tuesday we had a day long discussion about the current problems of Crest and how we'd like to fix them in the future. What came out of it can be read in yesterday's post: The Future of Crest.

Two important dates to take away from the lengthy post:

This October actually marked the start of the 5th year of Crest's development. You can find out about everything that happened on this long road and the hardships we went through in our post The Development History of Crest.


Art

Martin

I've been working on the new trailer, most of the time has been spent on making a storyboard. It makes sense to create images outside of your head if you collaborate with others on a project, but the added bonus is that the ideas you have in your head sometimes don't look that good when you see them with your eyes. So it's always a back and forth between what you think and what can be made. Storyboards are great!


Emma

I've been working on figuring out technical solutions for our new website and working on some new UI. From our long discussion about how to improve the game, an overview of cities was born. At the moment, it's kinda hard to get a clear view of how each city is doing if you don't go through every city pop-up and go over every tab.

This new UI will provide the player with a summary of every city, easily readable with not too much information. At the moment, we need to figure out how to display this information without making it looking too "information-heavy", as it shouldn't scare the player away. Below are two of the mock-ups!


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Code

Johannes 

I've not worked much on the game this week, I've mostly done company stuff. I have however made a tool to find mismatched calls to Profiler.BeginSample() and Profiler.EndSample(), which helped us find a couple of mistakes in the code.

I'm now back at focusing on improving the island generation, to make the islands more varied and interesting.

Johannes W 

This week I fixed some minor bugs with the camera movement. There was some old code that kind of worked against the new camera movement which caused the camera to sometimes behave weirdly.

I've also been working with the story builder for the new end screen. For example, a new feature for the purpose of development is the ability write sentences that refers to methods in the script that is responsible for the story generation. So the string "Your era came to an end when {FollowerName} died of old age." results in a sentence that has replaced "{FollowerName}" with the follower's name.

For randomization, "{Random(proud, noble, grand, glorious)}" results in a randomized word from the arguments "proud", "noble" etc. The purpose for this is to enable us to create dynamic and interesting stories for our players! If you are a programmer reading this, the library Reflection in C# was used to accomplish this.

Tomas 

I have finished the new Follower word discovery speech/thinking bubble I talked about last week.

I am almost done with making it so that followers with high faith never do actions that the player tells them to not do. I was almost done but after some code reviews I have chosen to re-do the feature a bit.

I also looked into a major change to how Followers choose targets when they build their orders. When I am done, this should make Cannibals, Killing Warriors and Hunters behave as expected. Previously there was a possibility that they performed the actions on unwanted targets. Like for example if the player had written the commandment "... eat old followers." and there were no old followers, they would still eat people... just not their favored target.


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Jens 

This week I implemented the playback for all the new sound effects. This means that we can start testing them during play, seeing if they work or what potential adjustments need to be made. For example, the notifications will now play different sounds depending on the severity of the message. Monuments and expertise buildings now play rewarding sounds when built or upgraded. All in all, more than 20 sound effects have been added with this batch.

Otherwise I've been working through some issues we have had with the disposition system (relationships between cities). Currently the trading is getting a makeover as the cities trade too often, with too many resources, essentially making them bounce resources between each other. We want to balance the pacing of the game from the point of the second city being founded. Right now all the different aspects of the disposition system, trading, diplomacy, alliances, and war kicks in with the second city, which can be overwhelming in its current state.


Design

Emelie 

This week we had a workshop where we went through things that we want to fix with the game, it was very beneficial and added to my work as a designer. When we start implementing these things I hope that you will notice the difference and get a nicer time playing our game. Other than that I tested a part of the storybuilder, now that it's testable in a scene that Johannes W has made, I noticed some things that needed changing but it's coming along nicely.


Production

Marcus

Work on the Community Module is getting completed at a steady pace and most of the art assets are done, which means that we can have one of our artists, Emma, begin working on the updates and features we have scheduled for our next big update. These updates are based on community feedback and internal playtesting, which have identified the biggest issues with Crest, and I have begun scoping and planning these iterations.



Have a nice week!