This update felt like I have done a whole load of stuff but really, I've learnt a load of stuff. I put a new menu, which I won't dwell on. It's just a nice new picture. None of it has been brain-taxing like sodding building placement was. Here's the video:
I've started putting sound into the game. I watched a lot of YT on the matter (particularly the excellent Brackeys. He's outlined a neat way to control all the sound for the game in one place. I like this collectivist style and it fits well with the agent-like design style that Unity uses. I downloaded some free "Wind noise", wrapped a class around it and then calculated a simple function that says "when you go fast, increase volume and pitch". It works well so far. The general advice is to do most of the sound "last" and then mix it together to make sure that the soundscape as a whole makes sense and that one sound isn't drowning out everything else.
Building Game Mechanics
I've introduced a new concept into the game: building abilities. Before you can move you need a boiler (chimney) and a bridge. The more boilers you have, the faster you go. It's overly simplistic right now and there isn't need for houses but I have some of the structure in that will allow me to build on it later.
Buildings also have hit points and take damage. If they run out of hit points, they disappear. I had a humorous bug where shooting would cause all the cannons to disappear. The very act of shooting meant that destroyed themselves! Ooops. It's quite fun if you lose your bridge in a battle then you can't change your speed/heading. You have to get into the build menu and plonk one down fast!
I'm really glad I removed the building grid although I do want a "snap to" feature.
Making videos for the game is important and the controller, while cool, does get in the way of nice screenies. I extended the animator that swivels the controller around for building and give it an animation state where it slides out of view. I used F1, like Minecraft. I need to tweak the values a bit because it's not as smooth as I hoped for.
Progress and Up Next
Working an hour in the morning before anyone else is up works a treat. My brain isn't quite as fired up as it is when I get to work but I do manage progress. I've also been fiddling with Icar in that time slot for variety.
My commits each week have been pretty consistent. Not bad seeing that I was on holiday for 3 days of last week.
What's next? To be honest, I'm not sure. I have a backlog I'm working through (full backlog here):
But there is a tension between sorting out the look of the game (I know it can be better) and getting it to a point where it is complete - if a bit ugly. You can see that Player Death is a little way down the list. To make it a full game, I need that (quite tricky as I need a new menu) and the creative/survival mode (not difficult). The rest of it is graphical.
Here's a question for you: should I move up player death or do graphics first?
One other thing...
The video music was created algorithmically by JukeDeck. Few clicks and you have rather bland but nice filler music.