So a very busy week indeed. I’ve been working on a lot of Kickstarter related things behind the scenes, which I am super excited to share with you over the coming weeks as August 13th approaches. There has also been a bunch of gamedev done as well – peons now remember what they eat, and will get bored of the same meals. I’ve overhauled how belts and machines work, making them far more performant. I’ve also been tinkering with a new creature concept, wanting to get the AI right before I start modelling it. I’ve also re-designed/modeled the mining machine. The mining machine is the most efficient way of mining for materials in Fringe Planet – yielding a much higher amount of ore per voxel than if a peon mines a voxel by hand. This comes with a drawback – it’s very slow and the output from it must go onto a belt. But it never needs to stop to eat, sleep or go insane. So that is handy.
This has been an interesting change gameplay wise, the mining machine was initially designed to be the size of a single voxel. Meaning that is was quite easy to build around it, essentially containing it in the room to help alleviate storyteller agro, as well as meaning the peons could service it in a nice warm and safe room. By changing it to four voxels tall, it is now much harder to easily put it inside a building – creating some interesting challenges for the player. I’m also incredibly happy with the graphical upgrade of the model – it looks vastly better than the the first one.
So onto the competition! I’ve had seven entries – which wasn’t quite the millions I was expecting, but I’m still super happy with – I probably should have allowed a much longer deadline in retrospect. But you live and learn. So rather than a situation where five of these entries get a prize and two don’t – I’m going to be giving everyone a peon name key. The top two entries (as voted for by you!) – will be receiving a Fringe Planet T-shirt. I’ll be adding a section on the website to allow you to vote on your favourite entries in a weeks time. Why not next week? Well that is because I’m going to be taking a brief breather from Fringe Planet for all of next week. I’ll be having my first holiday in many years! It’s actually super exciting.
As mentioned last week, I’ve been working on Fringe Planet for over a year now, and before that I had a very hectic schedule, which actually means I’ve taken very little holiday – mostly just a few days around Christmas for the past 4 years or so. Which, I will admit, isn’t healthy – everybody needs downtime. So before ramping up all the Kickstarter activity, I’ll be taking a week just to downtime for a while. This will be great for both my own mental health as well as for my productivity going forward. And yes, I will be making use of the tent. But not for development, mostly for relaxing – maybe partaking in an alcoholic beverage or two inside it.
As a solo developer, who is working on a game (and his passion) full time, it is very easy to get obsessed with the work load. With no one to determine my schedule aside from myself, it is very easy to see every hour in the day as something that must be spent working. Self imposed crunch? quite possibly. So taking a week to get away from the computer, to embrace nature, hang with family and friends and generally have some well deserved downtime sounds like a fantastic idea to me.
But don’t worry! I won’t be vanishing completely. I’ve got some rather awesome scheduled content that will be appearing every day next week – five mini-stories telling the tale of a rather plucky lady who ended up trapped in The Void – it’s been a lot of fun to write and produce and I’m excited to see what everybody thinks about it. It will be posted on twitter from Monday to Friday at 7.30pm GMT. I’m also sure I won’t vanish from twitter entirely, I’ll miss everyone way to much if I do that!
There is a lot more to read about Fringe Planet… why not try: