This week(s) I’ve again spent finding stuff that’s broken and fixing them as I go. For example I found a little bug that made faces look bad, now they should appear at least 900% better looking (according to the Daniel scale of face appreciation). Also I again got some time to work on the sections. As you might imagine, there is a certain amount of work that has to be done to be able to release the game and on my end of things, the sections are one of the larger parts of the remainder.
These past few weeks have been dedicated to more usability work. I focused on improving highlighting of characters and sections with a nice bright, contextually-colored outline. This allows us to draw attention to important elements without blotting them out entirely with opaque colors.
I also implemented functionality to allow for quick focus on selected elements, zipping the camera towards it and framing it as appropriate to the type of item.
Finally, once I was able to focus in this way, it became obvious that the info panel placement needed work. The goal was to place the info panel near the selected item without overlapping and keeping it onscreen. This proved to be an unholy challenge but we pulled off a passable implementation.
Hey guys, this last week I’ve been iterating on the game-final version traits, and their overall structure. I want to get them just right before moving on! In the words of Mark Twain: “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
You can see above a first glimpse of our procedural chat generation. Dave has worked hard to create these “watercooler chats” that the characters will have as they interact. The results are driven by each character’s unique personality traits and are generated on the fly using our legacy trait system’s data. These aren’t canned phrases. They will make you to cheer, chuckle or groan over and over without tiring of the same lines of text continuously reappearing in different conversations. The conversations ultimately impact how the characters will get along in the future.
Dave is in the process of wrapping up an enhanced version of the trait system, which should lead to an improved chat experience.