The Aspects (AI Storytellers) – Dev Blog 6

Greetings! And welcome to this weeks development blog. This week we have been focusing on various structural elements of Fringe Planet – things such as the main menu, peon builder and game settings windows. We’ve also done a lot of work on the save and load game systems – this is a big job and will be the focus of next week as well. Additionally we have been working on a very important bit of functionality for the game : story tellers.

Fringe Planet is a game about stories, and it’s well known that not everyone has the same taste in stories. To this end we have been doing some work on the story tellers – these are an AI system who will watch you play and decide what would be the best way would be to ruin your day. Currently we have three of these story tellers in the game – each one with different personalities and a different set of skills and events that they can use to try and thwart your adventure.

Aspect of Violence

This story teller is focused on doing physical damage to your peons. It has a wide range of events that it can cause that have the potential to do great violence to your peons. It will also has access to some of the nastier creatures in Fringe Planet, and will spawn them when you think you are succeeding. It can not only damage peons – but it can also do damage to the floating island you call your home. Killing peons in cruel and creative ways is how this story teller has been designed.

Aspect of Manipulation

This story teller is designed to make your peons go mad. It is designed to break friendships between peons by causing arguments and distrust. Violence may also be involved. This story teller prefers to use creatures that may not be the largest of physical threats but who are insidious and can cause damage in other ways. Fear and distrust will spread very quickly in any game where this story teller is selected. The majority of the events that it can cause will also cause very little physical damage, but the psychological damage that they cause is immense.

Aspect of Chaos

This story teller has access to all events and all creatures available to the story tellers – this makes it a fearsome story teller to play with, but there are benefits. Unlike the previous two story tellers who will actively time events and distractions to find your weakest points, this story teller chooses it’s timing randomly. It may not strike for an hour, and then all of a sudden it uses event after event on you. It’s pretty unfair – but a lot of fun!

These story tellers add a new layer of strategy to the game – as powerful as they are there are different ways of mitigating the risks they cause, as well as distracting them or finding ways to go unnoticed by them – more details about this will follow in the next few weeks.

The peon builder got an overhaul this week as well. Peon’s can be totally customised on this screen – and it allows you to save peons you have designed so that you can use them in game. Currently it is possible to create massively over powered peons as well ridiculously weak ones – this will be addressed in the future with a point system to allow only balanced peons to be created. However for people who want almost godly peons, we will allow you to ignore this point limit if you wish.

We also created a main menu screen, which will allow you to access the various functions of the game – in addition to that it also contains links that will bring you to this website, or to the Lore Wiki (more information on that soon!) as well as containing a message that displays the latest news about the game.

The final screen that has been created this week is known as the “Enter The Void” screen, or more generically – the game settings menu. This allows you to customise various aspects of the game (terrain generation, peons used, story teller). We are planning to have a more complex settings screen in the future (Advance settings) that will allow you to completely customise the game experience.

Thanks for taking the time to read this development blog! Please feel free to share or comment about anything we’ve said this week!

There is a lot more to read about Fringe Planet… why not try:

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