Tue, 08 Aug 2017

Solodev

pre-alpha 1732 devlog


Gameplay and Solo Developer Problems

Yes, this update concerns itself with actual gameplay; not with the engine or other back-end work. It is also a nod to hellcook, who - over the last few months - always asked me if any new release was finally the one where anything other than starting and closing the game can be done.

However, life other than developing the game demanded my attention, so I could only work for 2 days (instead of 13) on this release.

I also start to realize that this might be the biggest problem for/as a solo developer: If life catches up with me and requires my attention then there is no work happening on the game at all. No code, no graphics, nothing. For teams (anything bigger than 1) there is always someone else making improvements on the game, so there is something to look forward to. Say the team consists of a coder and a graphics artist, then a release might only contain new graphics/animations but no new features or vice versa. But since I am the only person working on the game and if I am needed somewhere else, then nothing happens.

Personally I need to learn to accept that sometimes there is nothing I can do to change that and progress is much slower than I wish for.

However, it bothers me the most that you, the players, are left with a game that is in development and progresses at snail’s pace at some times. But that seems to be an integral part of the whole “game developed by a single person”-thing.

Finally, I still think that pushing a new release every 2 weeks, instead of irregularly timed releases, is the better thing to do. Even if a new release might only contain a fix for a typo.

Tutorial

There is a “Tutorial” button in the main menu. Currently it is not much of a tutorial, but it does contain all the necessary information on how to navigate the camera and a few pointers in regards to interacting with the UI. Best to check it out first.

Build a Seaport; Import Crude Oil

This release allows you to build a seaport and import crude oil. Nothing you can do with the oil yet, but you gotta start somewhere.

To construct buildings either use the “Buildmode”-button or use the hotkey, which by default is b.

Next select the building to construct (currently only the seaport is available), click “Build” and select a suitable location for your very own seaport. If you hover a location that supports multiple orientations for a building you can press “.” to rotate it.

Click to build it and wait for it to be constructed (currently there is no animation that signals ‘under construction’). Click on the building once to display a tool window that shows when construction will be finished.

Since constructing a building takes a long time you may want to increase the game speed with the buttons next to the date or by using F1 (pause) to F4 (fastest speed).

In the meantime you can open the window for the “Overseas Market Exchange” (osmax) by clicking on the “O” in the toolbar on the left. This window displays all available products for import (Crude Oil only, at the moment). It also displays the available amount and minimum price you have to pay for it. Since other seaports are built by the AI and also import Crude Oil, you will most likely have to pay more than the minimum to get the goods instead of your competitors.

After the building has been constructed you can double-click it to open its control window. In the Warehouse-tab you may select a product to be imported by clicking on “Change” on the first storage slot.

Select Crude Oil and click ‘Assign’

Select Crude Oil and click ‘Assign’

Finally you need to settle on a price to pay for a barrel of oil. Since quantities are always limited only the highest bidder will get the resources. You can always check the current market situation in the osmax window, but anything above $60 should get you the oil.

Excellent, you can now watch your storage space fill up with crude oil (make sure the game is not paused!)

Preview For the Next Release

Get something into the game to consume all that crude oil.


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