The theme of the game is super important and I’ve intentionally been using very generic placeholders for now so that they could easily be swapped out later when I came to a more concrete decision on what I want the game to be about and how I want the game to look. I’ve made even more changes to the buildings that will be included in the next post but this is a step in the direction that I want to go.

The buildings got huge upgrades compared to just being unity cubes. I had one simple rule that I wanted to apply to all buildings: each building needs at least one animation, particle effect and sound that indicates the building is running. This really brings the buildings to life when they are operational.

There are 3 buildings in this gif. The basic miners are the small buildings with the blue thing on top. These miners will pull resources off of the terrain. The brown and copper colored building is a smelter which takes ore and converts them to ingots. The third building is a little bit more complicated and will be used for moving resources between buildings, I’ll talk more about this in a future blog post because that functionality is still early in development.

Reskinned UI

I reskinned the entire ui this week, the UI before didn’t reflect the sort of “sci-fi” theme I’m trying to go with the game. Originally I wanted a UI similar to factorio which kind of has an early 2000’s windows 98 sort of feel with super basic shapes and colors, but I looked at a bunch of UI skins and I found one that I could customize pretty easily.

The new UI is actually transparent which I’m not sure whether or not I’ll keep, I may just make it completely opaque but for now I’ll keep it. I took some time to configure the UI properly so its easy to change the fonts, text size and the image assets so that it affects the entire UI so its possible the UI could even change again in the near future.

Research

Research will be used to unlock new types of buildings and improve the performance of buildings. When I make more tech modules the modules will be dependent on each other but for now you can just research whatever you want. Research is completed using tech labs, which consume materials to create research credits. These research credits cause the bar in the active research area to fill.

You can work on multiple research credits at the same time by building multiple tech labs, as long as you have enough materials to supply the tech labs they will speed up the research. I haven’t worked on the models for the tech labs yet and they are still just a cube, but I’ll have that done by the next blog post so expect to see that in 2 weeks.

After thinking about the research for a bit I think I’ll end up changing it to a system where you can only have 1 research lab to start with but then later there will be a tech you can unlock that will allow you to use multiple research labs in parallel.

I also made a concept for what the lab will look like, this will probably get upgraded before the next blog post but here’s what it looks like now:

The intermediate goal for the visuals for the research lab is basically going to be a robot with a bunch of arms all typing on the keyboards on the screens and the screens should have basic scrolling text on them (will just be black lines scrolling).

Conclusion

Over the last 2 weeks I spent quite a bit of time working on visual/cosmetic aspects of the game but over the next 2 weeks I have some cool features planned and I will actually have something playable pretty soon. I don’t think a demo will be ready by the end of the month but hopefully by the next blog post I’ll actually release the blog and have something people can check out.

– John