First Update of 2019 — Settlers

Posted by Adam on 19 April 2019 at 10:26 pm

Today was a bank holiday, but I didn't go and drink ale in the sun, no, I stayed inside like a craftsdwarf and I worked on this amazing project. It's tough, getting back into such a complex project after 8 months off it. It's daunting, the thought of getting back up to the level of proficiency that I was once at, but the only way to do that is one step at a time.

And that's what today's update is, a single step, turning artwork made many moons ago into in-game objects.

Settler Artwork Preview

Today I worked on integrating the settler sprites into the game. Behind the scenes, the settlers exist in data, but displaying them on the screen required the use of a number of textures, sprites, and sprite renderers, all positioned correctly and manipulated when the settler changed direction. The header image to this post shows a bunch of naked settlers stood about in the grass utterly confused at their brief existence, their only action to randomly turn in despair, glued to the spot, mindless.

The game, as it stands—and as you can see from the Announcing Feudalia post—is very incomplete. There has been a lot of work on the initial framework, such as the definition system (to allow modding later on), the world generation (I love this), the new game experience (my favourite is the settler screen), and the map and terrain work (which, let me just say, took a lot of work to make performant.)

What comes next is to try and get to a point where a basic playthrough can occur. This is, in my eyes, having some settlers who can build a simple shelter, who have needs such as hunger and thirst, and who can make basic produce and eat/drink etc. Once you have those basics, you can start to add things in: animals, equipment, weapons, combat, health, death etc. And, after that, you can add more, such as psychology and moods and RNG powered events and items and beliefs and magic and potions. And goblins.

The next task will be to introduce a basic AI, movement, pathfinding, etc. After that, I'll need to start having a think about how to design the structure behind these actions. How will creatures—the base class for animals, people, etc—decide what their priority is? There will need to be needs such as hunger, thirst, health, etc. There will need to be labors or jobs for settlers, but not for animals etc. But this is what is so fun. This is a problem I've never faced before, and I've been programming for 20 years now. I love it.

It feels great to be back on the project again.

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This post is from the First Era of Plump Helmet.

This was before the great break of 2019-2021 and the predominant project of the time was Feudalia. The project was placed into cold storage and has not been revived yet. The dream remains alive however. These posts have been kept for posterity.