Friday Devblog 2

So, you wanted one of these every week, but not all that much has changed. We're still grinding away on the new everything. This code re-writing is kind of like a virus. The more you change, the more you need to change. You get into the situation where it's quicker and easier to replace existing code than integrate it with the new system. That's what's happening.

4 April 2014

The old item system was a bit of a mess. So it was re-coded. We now load items via JSON. Which is generated by the item editor website.

You can add modules to an item in the editor website to add functionality. There were a few features on our wishlist for the new item system. Items need to all have size and weight. We need to make items be able to store other items inside them. We think this will open a world of emergent gameplay if we can pull it off right. For example, you could possibly put some poison inside some chicken. You could put a key in an apple and feed it to a pig. There's a lot of options here.

We're hoping that by being able to add universal components to items like this, we'll be able to make the system more open ended. An example of this is the 'throwable' component. The axe, the flare and the pickaxe should all be throwable - right?

A deployable is something in your inventory that you place in the world. The deployables system is being re-written too. This isn't such a big deal, because it kind of works exactly the same. But unlike the old system, the new system keeps hold of the `item`. This means that it's feasible to be able to pick deployed items back up. Internally this makes the code cleaner and more generic because we can use exactly the same inventory code to browse the contents of an item in the inventory when it's deployed in the world.

The weapons system is being re-coded too. We've only just started this so I don't know of any obvious improvements. One of our dreams is to make reloading more involved with modern weapons. We don't want you to just press reload and it somehow, in the background, takes your clip out and fills it up with bullets from your inventory, then puts it back in. We want you to go into combat situations will your clips loaded. I am probably alone here.. but I want you to sit in your home, manually dragging bullets into clips. Then when you're in a battle situation, you'll hold down reload and choose which clip you want to swap to. This way, when we introduce different types of ammunition (tracer etc), you'll be able to put them in your clips in a specific order. I'm sure a lot of people don't see that as a good idea, but I see it as a good way to 'nerf' modern weapons in a common sense way.

We're going to change the building system a lot in this pass. We're not ready to talk about that yet though :)

All these changes come at a bit of a cost. You want updates, and we can't get them. We'll try to get the experimental branch in a workable state as soon as possible.. but right now we're looking at least a couple of weeks more. I know it sucks, and I wish we didn't have to do this. But again - once this is done we will have some serious traction to push things in the direction we want to be headed.

We haven't modified the clothing system yet - and will probably just make it 'work' without many changes in order to get the update out as soon as we can, then return to it again later on.

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