Game Developer Journal #1

Hello everyone! Each week, I will try to write a journal entry for development for the week. Update 17 was just posted and we’re in our huge push to finish the game in a decent amount of time. We have a lot to do yet, but we’re closer than we’ve ever been. So to help you deal with the time until release, I’ve decided to post journal entries so that I can take you on this ride with me through different parts of development.

This week, I am pouring all of my energy into two things:

  • Game Furniture Modelling
  • Product Creation

GAME FURNITURE MODELLING

One of the modern PC’s in the game

I’m currently working on items that you the player will be able to purchase for your employees as well as your in game avatar. So this includes; Desks, Computers and chairs among other things. This week, I’ve been working on the CRT monitor that was the standard back in the 90’s. So far we’ve only shown one computer model and that one is part of our modern take on computers.

As far as game-play goes, computers add a boost to the speed of the employee using them. Speed in the game is an important attribute as you will be dealing with deadlines and timetables that need to be met, and some situations more than others. If you are picking up contract work, then it becomes even more important. However, for your own

Good Ole CRT Computers

Good Ole CRT Computers

products it can be equally important, although you have much more freedom over your deadlines. Each computer will have its own cost derived from its in-game value. The more speedy the computer, the higher it will be priced.

Computer_Icon0x1The other attribute that computers have is “decor”. Decor in the game is designed to help the aesthetics of your office. Employees can be superficial sometimes, and the better your office looks, the more prestige gets added to your company. Prestige works in a way that makes your company enticing to would be employees. The more prestige you have, the more highly talented employees seek you out. This is not always the case however, as some employees are not as superficial and might prefer the opposite. However, in the end, more often than not, employees want to work somewhere that makes them feel good and boost their own morale and prestige. More details on mechanics like this will come in an upcoming journal entry or update.

CornerDesk

I have also added in 45 degree angles for object placement. The plan was to make sure the offices could be furnished in a more organic way and this is one step further in that direction. So now there will be more options for you decorators out there.

 

 

ProductWindow

Product window mock up

PRODUCT CREATION

Probably the most central aspect of this game is product creation. This is where you’ll spend a healthy amount of time. So as a result, it must be a tool that is easy to use and pretty straight forward. So I want to take a bit of time to explain to you how it will work.

Of course you’ll want to have a team of engineers, as they are central to everything you create in the game. The way it works is as follows: First, you must research… how can you create anything without the knowledge on how to create it? That’s where research engineers come into play. You will need to hire or purchase research (wildly expensive) at some point before you can create anything. There will be 7 departments in the game and the Research & Development department is one of the most important for this game. You can hire Hardware, Software and Research engineers in this department. Their roles are quite different as you can imagine. The interesting part is that each engineer share skills in all areas, but are better at one thing than the other. This is noted when you hire them. This means that if you so desire, you can cross train. The idea is to leave as many options to the player as to how they would like to play it as possible.

TeamSelection

You can select up to four engineers per product

As you begin to see what their strengths and weaknesses are, you can designate them one of the three positions. Each one depends on the other more and more as the game progresses. Research engineers specialize in research and you must let them know what to research and then they work tirelessly to achieve higher and higher levels of that research until you tell them to research something else. In the game, your researchers work as a team. Individually they add to the effectiveness of the entire team. There are plenty of other factors to speak of regarding their effectiveness and how, you the player can manipulate that in another update/journal.

The next step is to designate who your hardware team will be. The hardware engineers build anything related to hardware, e.g. Central Processing Units to Consoles. When creating a product such as a CPU, you can designate which engineers will work on it. You can select up to four engineers for any product. Generally, you will want a full team of engineers on a project, but you can create products using less than four engineers. Typically, the less you have, the longer development times, leaving you with an interesting situation when it comes time to allot time to the project (more info below on this).

Following this, you will then select the attributes for the product (I refer to them as attribute slots). This is strictly based off of research. However far your research team has researched is the limit at which you can slot and design your products. For CPU’s, the three main attribute slots are:

  1. Processing Power – The sheer potential of the chips technology. In detailed terms, this is the calculations and computations that the CPU can perform.
  2. Processing Speed – This is the speed at which the chip can achieve the above. Speed is a huge factor with CPU’s as the faster they are, the better. However, speed matters not if the potential of the chip is left wanting, or the capacity can only handle so much. So all of the attributes rely on each other quite well.
  3. Processing Capacity – Capacity is the last attribute and quite equally important. The capacity is the amount of information it can store or move over time. So though this sounds like speed, it is not. Think of it like a highway, the more lanes there are, the more traffic can fit through. So speed and power mean almost nothing without an adequate capacity.

This is not the only attributes however. Once production starts, although you’ve designated the attributes, your team has to reach its potential. This will be simulated in a very interesting way. I will dig more into the details about that in a later update, however I will talk a bit about it now.

As I mentioned, when you the player designate what you want the product to be, the engineers are the ones who have to make it happen. The next window will prompt you to allocate time to the project. In addition to this, there are three more attributes to each product you create.

  1. Durability – This will reflect how well the product is made. As a result a high score means less faulty products shipped to customers. A low score means a malfunctioning product. The engineers attributes and how much time they get to spend on Q&A will determine this score.
  2. User Friendliness – Similar as the above except it relates to how well the engineers designed the product to be used by the casual user. This will also be facilitated through the allotted time designated by you the player. A high score means even the most simple minded user can operate it with ease, and vice versa for the low score. One thing to keep in mind here is that some products are inherently less user friendly than others.
  3. Reverse Engineering – This is also tied to how well the product is made. This will serve as an indicator of how easy the product is to repair. A low score means when products get sent back, it will cost you more and take longer to repair it. On the reverse side, a high score means this product will be super easy to repair as well as very low in cost.

There are three phases to production, and if you allocate time incorrectly, the product will suffer, and this can happen in different ways. We will get more into this in another update/journal entry. For now, I hope you enjoyed this detailed explanation of some of the game-play you can expect to get. This week, I will look to finish these features as all the ground work has long since been completed. We are now finalizing and fine tuning the experiences.

Thanks for reading and I will see you in an office real soon!

– Walter

 

 

2 comments to Game Developer Journal #1

  • Tridon
    Tridon

    What happened with the beautiful product creation screen you showed us in Dev Blog 13? 🙂

    Could it be possible to switch between simple and advanced creation, like in GearCity?

    • WEB
      WEB

      Well, we have been updating and upgrading everything, so the new system is a lot better from our perspective for the gameplay. We will be showing much more soon, so you will get a better idea of how it all works with everything else.

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