Jarrah Technology logo

News


June 1, 2022: Done? - Progress Report Twitter Facebook

Tags: General, DevDiary, ProgressReport

May was a solid month of work. Could have bee a record if not for losing 4 complete days to sickness and probably lower productivity for a few days after. There is a new AI and lots of little improvements. If a player want to keep going forever there is also now an “infinite” mode.

The biggest task completed was the engine rework - now finished and all (known) resulting bugs cleared. It took 6 weeks total. I thought in the best case it would require nearly 2 weeks, but gave myself 4 weeks due to experience :) So 6 weeks is not great, but not bad. Of course not all the time was taken with refactoring, there was also some prototype and time and a jaunt into the land of node servers and docker (just to learn about them) along the way, but that sort of thing is expected. Still think it was worth it, the final code is much better and more flexible! I’m happy.

June will be a short month (I’m away for a week), so of course I have a totally unrealistic list of tasks. The big one is to improve the gameplay. Playing against the new AI quickly results in a defensive slog of a game - not what I had intended. Hopefully I can think of some ways to improve it.

Last month’s completed tasks:

  • Rework engine complete
  • New AI - but now game bogs down into defensive slogs
  • Infinite mode
  • Little visual improvements

Over the next month:

  • Improve gameplay?
  • Rearrange unlocks
  • Full AI (current version does not take advantage of all gameplay possibilities)
  • Next version of prototypes
  • Move websites/repos to free hosts
  • Look at online component


May 2, 2022: Refactoring - Progress Report Twitter Facebook

Tags: General, DevDiary, ProgressReport

April was a month of steady progress. I managed to get 3 games of the IPO prototype played and one of the Ci2d prototype. All went surprisingly well considering expectations. In particular the Ci2d prototype was not completely broken, it played (as intended) like a simplified version of the original - definitely will put some more work into a v2. The mechanics of IPO are fairly steady now. The game drags a little in the mid-game, but that is because I removed some of the more interactive cards (I hope). Now I will try to derive a formula for card strength and add back the interesting cards so combos can be built.

The rework of SHD’s engine is continuing. It works and is so pretty. Now it just needs to be fully implemented and the old code removed. Hopefully that will complete be before the end of this month. Strangely the new system went through a few design changes to handle cases I didn’t initially consider, and now it looks a lot like the engine in CI (just more abstract). Hmmmm.

Last month’s completed tasks:

  • Played IPO v4 prototype x3
  • Played Ci2D v1 prototype x1
  • Rework engine

Over the next month:

  • Finish work to improve and componentise/abstract the action system, plus AI (basically build a reusable simulation engine as a backend component)
  • Fix infinite mode, separate random mode, and rearrange unlocks
  • Better AI
  • Play new prototypes


April 5, 2022: Sticking Point? - Progress Report Twitter Facebook

Tags: General, DevDiary, ProgressReport

I have now reached the same point in SHD where I stopped AHB (the “prototype” that went too far). When I decided to stop and restart, I estimated that the work required to fix the problems would take weeks and not be worth the effort. I think the same work will take a week or two with SHD - much better. Also, once done it should be reusable for other turn-based gamedev. Of course I reached that point less half way through the last month, so why isn’t it finished? Well, I haven’t started yet. Instead those distractions (household work and a one week holiday) I mentioned last month took focus. Knowing this was going to happen I worked on tabletop prototypes and little tasks.

Last month’s completed tasks:

  • IPO v4 prototype (unplayed)
  • Ci2D v1 prototype (unplayed)
  • Level loading system & screen
  • Simple AI
  • Audio setup

Over the next month:

  • Improve and componentise/abstract the action system and AI (basically build a reusable simulation engine as a backend component)
  • Fix infinite mode, separate random mode, and rearrange unlocks
  • Better AI
  • Play new prototypes


March 1, 2022: Short Month, Record Hours - Progress Report Twitter Facebook

Tags: General, DevDiary, ProgressReport

Despite being the shortest month of the year, the February was my best for hours worked. Mainly due to one week being almost full-time on the game - the benefit of it being too hot to be outside (ahh, I love my A/C). I’m not going to publicise the hours I worked - it is still well below my (already low) target. However, in the last report I wrote that I hoped to complete: targetting, shooting, extra actions, handle the end of a game, and unlocks. I did all of that and more: context sensitive tooltips and some framework niceties.

Unfortunately, this month is not expected to be as productive. There are several house related tasks that got paused waiting for more inclement temperatures - and today the weather turned! Despite this I expect good progress as the biggest task remaining is the AI, and after no further significant functionality is planned (online multiplayer would be such an item, but I’d want to have a version on stores before starting that). Instead, it is all things to make the game prettier and nicer. Thus, I have added a couple of new tasks to the possibles for the month - new prototypes and some library work.

Over the next month:

  • Work on SHD (play screen, AI, playability improvements)
  • Create IPO prototype version 4
  • Decide which projects to pursue immediately, and which to put on pause.
  • First paper prototypes for the next 1 or 2 games
  • Common library work (card and backporting SHD stuff)


February 2, 2022: Moving Again? - Progress Report Twitter Facebook

Tags: General, DevDiary, ProgressReport

Before compiling the results for January, I was a little disappointed in myself. I remember it taking a couple of weeks to get moving as other home tasks took precedence. However, after going through my notes, the result looks more like a normal month - a couple of better than average weeks after a couple of worse than average weeks. Consistency is my problem.

The game is coming along nicely. The UI is complete and working well (apart from tooltips, to be done later). Forming and moving bases is complete; targeting and firing is in progress. Everything so far works better than before. Perhaps the second time I know better what is required - a point of evidence in favour of prototypes.

Another two entries have been added onto the game ideas list - time to start culling it. I have also bought some tabletop components as I have plans to create tabletop prototypes of my next games - it is such a great way of iterating through designs quickly. With these new components I will be able to prototype Ci2d, plus a couple of others. I just need a week or so to come up with a set of starting rules.

Over the next month:

  • Work on SHD (targetting, shooting, extra action, end of game & unlocks)
  • Create IPO prototype version 4
  • Decide which projects to pursue immediately, and which to put on pause.


January 2, 2022: Standstill - Progress Report Twitter Facebook

Tags: General, DevDiary, ProgressReport

As we ring in the new year, it occurred to me that my current game is about at the same playable state as this time last year. Hmmmm. Of course, I now have a reusable library (hopefully, the test will be in the reuse) and the code is much nicer. However, it seems as bit poor to make no progress on the ultimate measure of a game - its playability and fun.

Over the last month the game has become playable again. The turn structure is in and stamps complete. I’ve have also replaced the health/strength/time displays with shader based radial sprites, rather than the weird looking 3D line drawings in a 2D world. Work has now started on the player UI - my worst gamedev skill.

There has been no work on IPO, but I am getting more ideas for various games. I need to get this one finished before my interest wanes, as I feel it doing. I started December with a rush, but that slowed greatly over the fortnight for Christmas and New Years. I need to get back that previous productivity. Time sinks over the next month include a ton of house issues (old houses!), but thanks to the current pandemic lockdown and heatwave, exercise time is minimal.

Over the next month:

  • Work on SHD (get UI working)
  • Create IPO prototype version 4
  • Decide which projects to pursue immediately, and which to put on pause.


December 6, 2021: Housework - Progress Report Twitter Facebook

Tags: General, DevDiary, ProgressReport

Did you notice I missed a month? October started well with work on cleaning up the display before adding drag and drop (the main game mechanism). There was also some work to improve the config options and putting the source repo on a remote server so I can work anywhere with Internet (not just on my home PC). Then by the end of that month everything stopped, and stayed stopped through November. There are now three people living in this house and it took some time cleaning up and fixing various things in readiness for their arrival. Followed by more tasks as they settled in. Hopefully all that is finished now (apart from this Wednesday afternoon) and I can get back to work.

Over the next month (same as last time):

  • Work on SHD (and have basic play possible)
  • Create IPO prototype version 4
  • Decide which projects to pursue immediately, and which to put on pause.


October 3, 2021: Distractions - Progress Report Twitter Facebook

Tags: General, DevDiary, ProgressReport

September was a month of distractions. Work continued on SHB, but at a slow pace. A significant amount of time was also spent trying out the new Scala3 and I converted the hex library into that language - it works well (now I’m thinking about SAAS projects again). Outside of work stress and tasks is still high. Unfortunately that is likely to continue for a while. I managed not to spend much time on games this month. However, I did play a complete game of Civ6, but one game seems like enough for now.

I hope to mainly work on redoing SHD this month. It already feels better and prettier than the old AHB, so I’m definitely feeling positive. Just need to get it back to the old level.

Over the next month:

  • Work on SHD (and have basic play possible)
  • Create IPO prototype version 4
  • Decide which projects to pursue immediately, and which to put on pause.


September 2, 2021: Excuses - Progress Report Twitter Facebook

Tags: General, DevDiary, ProgressReport

Time for more excuses! The first half of August went very well. I finished extracting a common code library and restarted AHB, but this time it is called SpaceHex Duel (SHD). Yes, thankyou, I do know I have a special way with naming. At the moment the board is set up and I have started work on the pieces. And then things have paused. I had my first Pfizer vaccine does and a bad reaction. Over a week was mostly a write-off. I played the Battletech computer game instead of working (it was on sale at Humble Bundle). I have the next dose soon and fingers crossed that goes better!

I also ran 2 IPO playtests. The simplifications had mixed results. Continuous growth and card choice worked well. Removing auctions and money generation changes did not work so well. Time for version 4!

Over the next month:

  • Work on SHD (and have basic play possible)
  • Create IPO prototype version 4
  • Decide which projects to pursue immediately, and which to put on pause.


August 2, 2021: Flat - Progress Report Twitter Facebook

Tags: General, DevDiary, ProgressReport

The last month has been a been a total loss as far as gamedev is concerned. There has been barely 2 equivalent days of progress. I’m feeling a little stressed over some housing issues (that should be resolved this week) and this has affected my ability to get things done. I have played quite a few games though - does that count as market research?

The tasks this month are the same as last month, with the slight change that I have prepped a third version of IPO. I just need to answer certain questions about the game, so the playtest will be more focussed.

Over the next month:

  • Extract and improve common code & prefabs from AHB, mainly the card libraries. Then work on examples in the form of simple games (like AHB v2).
  • Try the third IPO prototype and answer the four gameplay questions.
  • Decide which projects to pursue immediately, and which to put on pause.


Page 1 of 11 Next