December 2018 Progress Update
This month I have been working on the last few big features on my roadmap regarding the building aspect. I will be finally be able to dedicate more time to gameplay!
Paint and Stencils:
Paint got a much needed refactor. The selection was not making sense so I updated the starting colors to something more coherent. If this impact your build, no problem: all colors are now customizable! You can also paint single face and use patterns like construction stripes or camo.
Another big addition was the new stickers technology now called stencils. Unlike previous one these new stencils override paint only to blend better, can be put on wedges, can be stacked up and dont hang out in the void. They are really great, current selection is limited but I will add a lot more options soon.
Since it is the last devlog of the year I also want to recap on the year a bit. It was definitely a challenging year. I grew unsatisfied with various aspect of the building experience. It took a massive effort to shift the builder experience to where I wanted it to be: bricks simplification, rescaling blocks and bricks, link logic, command logic, build UX, codex. It was definitely not something planned entirely but I think it was worth it and I am happy that all the heavy tech shifts are behind me.
Another aspect was code simplification. You might not care much about this as it is not really visible to the player eyes (except when I remove a feature), but there is an hidden war against complexity when building a large codebase like the voxel aspect of Skywanderers. You can quickly become overrun by complexity and get into development hell, where each addition break 10 other things and you start to fear your own code. I invested a lot of time slashing in my code like a maniac, I went much deeper than I though I was going to be able to.
2019 and short term focus
In the beginning of the year I will have two focus:
Art refactor: This was waiting for the last block rescale and stencil tech. Now I will be able to move forward on that topic with the help of pro artists. I am really excited about that but wont really show you more for a while unfortunately. This is important as it will allow me to finally give the green light on ship reward, start building official ships, and also to move forward with PR with a steam store presence and more.
Rush to Gameplay loop: but the most important and exciting thing will happen on the gameplay side. In 2018 I laid down some mandatory foundations like system, hp and AI, but now I will work my way toward a core gameplay loop. It will be very stripped down and boring to play at first, but I will build from that and slowly make it interesting and deeper. You will spawn in the galaxy with a small ship and a few credit and will have to work your way hunting and looting enemies, buying for blocks. At first I expect a lot of work on balancing combat, but then later on I will add contract, scavenging, mining, trading ect.
Thanks again for following the game and I am really looking forward a fantastic year!