This week has been a very busy week here. We visited the Develop Conference in Brighton this week and met all sorts of interesting people as well as speaking a lot about Fringe Planet. In addition to that we have been continuing work on the new plants and their integration into the game.
Plants currently have two uses: firstly they can be cooked and secondly cloth can be made from them. Cooking has been the focus of this weeks work. An oven can be constructed out of mined stone and wood and this cooker when placed will allow a player to select the quality of a meal produced from it. The quality of a meal reflects how many ingredients are required in order to make it. The higher quality of a meal, the happier it will make a peon when it is eaten.
|Quality||Number of ingredients||Peon mood modifier|
Current ingredients in the game are cherries, mushroom chunks and plyme fruit. Each ingredient has two values: a calorie amount along with a taste factor. Cherries are tasty but low calorie, plyme fruit are not so tasty, but contain a lot of calories and finally mushroom flesh is the middle man – average calories and average taste factor. The combination of ingredients mean that potentially every meal from a statistical point of view is very different. We are currently working on a procedural naming system for these meals based upon the ingredients inside them.
Once a peon has built an oven, interacting with it will bring up the menu system, which will allow you to select what type of meal you want the peons to create. Once selected a peon will search for the closest source of harvested ingredients, collect them and bring them to the oven, where the actual meal is created. A few seconds of cooking and the peon will return the meal to the nearest inventory – or if they are very hungry they will eat the meal on the spot.
Peon intelligence currently effects how quickly the meal is made, however, the longer term plan is to have a meal quality factor associated with each meal. So three cherries may make a delicious but un-filling meal, but a peon with good cooking skills will make a more delicious one than a peon who is bad cook.
The back bone for cloth making has been created, but the implementation is not quite finished, however, next week peons will be able to replace their clothes with new clothes which are created from plant fiber.
Plant fiber is harvested in an identical fashion to ingredients, and once these plant fibers have been harvested they can be used to create clothes. A cloth crafting station must be created first, and from this the player can issue an order to create an item of clothing (based on the peon clothing layers mentioned a couple of weeks ago). Once the relevant plant fibers have been collected a peon will create the item of clothing and return it to the inventory.
Peons will know when a new item of clothing has been created and will attempt to replace any badly damaged clothes they are wearing. For instance, if a new t-shirt has been crafted out of plant fiber and a peon is wearing a tatty t-shirt, the peon will swap their t-shirt with the newly crafted one. This is a very low importance task to the peon, to prevent mass t-shirt switching – a peon will only change clothes when there are no other tasks to be done.
Excitingly, with the dynamic clothing systems put in place a couple of weeks ago, the models texture will be updated in real time with the new clothing, so it will be possible to see exactly what a peon is wearing graphically, rather than having to go into a menu.
Finally, the ability to harvest and plant the various plant seeds has been added to the game, which will allow peons to relocate plants closer to a home base – as well as encourage farming of the various drops the plants create. There is also a piece of work to do on seed duplication – by consuming a lot of resources it will be possible to duplicate a seed, which is where the real farming will begin!
There is a lot more to read about Fringe Planet… why not try: