Red sky indicating that a Storyteller is now interested in the player

The Latest News from The Void – Dev Blog 99

Greetings fellow Earthlings, this week has been an incredible busy one for me. I’m still focusing on getting some freelance gigs to keep the lights on and I’ve spent a large chunk of this week producing a proof of concept for an incredibly cool project one client is designing. It’s Unity based using WebGL, which has been fascinating to work with. Having watched the internet grow from using tables to arrange elements on the page to seeing a browser render WASM is truly astonishing.

If this gig goes ahead, and I’m able to (NDA wise) I’ll tell you all about it, it is an incredible vision with some far reaching consequences.¬† Due to some of things that have been discussed with the client, I’ve got fairly nostalgic for some of the old games I wrote many, many moons ago. One of them was called Mine Your Step – an experiment with HTML5 to create an MMO. This was part of a gamejam called OneGameAMonth.

Mine Your Step

The concept is simple – you are a solider surrounded by an invisible minefield. You can’t see anyone else, you can only see their bloody remains when they step on a mine. The levels start fairly simple (involving you walking in a straight line or around a corner) – but gradually increase in size and complexity. I’ve just checked the stats and over 50,000 soldiers have been blown up – which is a fairly amazing figure. One interesting thing I did was to record a video of people trying to solve one of the more complicated levels – level 11.

Each blood splat is a death which is recorded and that other players can see. You can see that at around the 10 second mark one person discovers a tiny gap that allows the rest of the level to be explored. It was incredibly exciting to watch these invisible mazes being solved by thousands of people exploding. To further encourage this voyeuristic view of thousands of people stepping on land  mines, I created a bunch of dynamic heatmaps that would update in realtime:

Heatmap for level 10
All of these heatmaps are publicly accessible (but container spoilers of course) – Mine Your Step Heatmaps. The game itself actually got picked up by some quite major press at the time – which was fantastic as it directed even more players to the game, allowing the puzzle to be solved quicker. I’d never seen my google analytics go quite so crazy!

Now onto what has been with Fringe Planet, this week I’ve mostly been focused on the story – cleaning up my internal lore wiki and solving logical inconsistencies with some of the research flows and how the lore applies to them. I’ve also been asking cunning linguists who speak different languages to help me translate some of the book titles, as well as help provide accurate names for the authors. Which has been quite a lot fun. This has also involved a lot of work on The Eldritch Codex, the in game tool for keeping track of the lore. It now has a much funkier UI. It’s now searchable and I’ve implemented hyperlinks to aid with navigation.

So that is about it for this week folks, thanks for reading – and don’t forget you can purchase merch for Fringe Planet which will help fund development. You can find the merch here: https://teespring.com/stores/fringe-planet. And just as a thank you in advance, here are two codes you can use at checkout :

INDIETOPIAWill get you $10 off the price
CTHULHUWill give you free shipping (but only in the US alas)

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

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