Current State of the Game


#1

Hi, so if any of you follow the developer forums, you might have seen that I recently became a developer myself. I recently saw that there were some questions (maybe frustrations?) about the current state of affairs, no doubt because there hasn’t been any real release and pretty much all coding work done in the past few months has been on the engine. So I asked and the team agreed that the idea that I give a rundown of what has changed in the few weeks since I and several other developers joined the team. Note that many of us are still in college and as such have other duties such as homework and exams/tests. Not to mention actual jobs or other things. Still, things have changed quite a bit in the week that I’ve been on the team.

So for starters here was the state of affairs when I joined, the engine was built you could run the game. That was pretty much all going for it. The world spawned with two identical microbes, one if which you could control. No animations, the background would move sideways as you moved towards the top of the screen, no AI, no health, no compounds, and a literal border to where the background stopped rendering. Now just one month later, animations have started to be added back in, the AI has begun to be re-implemented, other microbes are spawned in, the compound bars work correctly and the ATP is correctly used, while the compound clouds are finally starting work after much difficulty. Plus despite being busy with school I was able to spend a few hours creating an alternative control scheme that’d I’d like to let the community test. In other words in the last week things have gone from having an engine supporting a movement simulator to something that is starting to look like a prototype for a game. Obviously part of this speedup is due to the fact that code is for the most part already written, just in the wrong language. Still things are progressing, and we’re planning on adding several features into the next release so it isn’t just a re-release of the same version just in a different engine.

Frankly I find it amazing that hhyyrylainen (if I misspelled your name sorry :slight_smile:, - no worries I fixed it -hhyyrylainen) has been able to build a custom engine practically by himself from what I hear. So there’s a short-rundown of the current state of affairs from the development side. I’ll try to answer any questions anyone might have.


(Green_Ace_Dragon) #2

Sounds like y’all are doing amazing work with the engine switch. I just downloaded the version available and honestly I find the stage to be very zen and peaceful and i cant waot to see the next version. (Also love the music) I do have a question though, in the cell creator there are greyed out tabs for appearance and behavior? Do you have/know of any updates on the progress of those things?


#3

Those are unimplemented placeholder tabs, which will probably be implemented, say, in the late Multicellular stage, when you’ve made a complete creature that you can control the behavior and appearance of. Microbes or cells pretty much have neither.


(Green_Ace_Dragon) #4

Ah! Well that sounds cool. :+1: cant wait to see what the multi-cellular stage will be like


#5

So right now the Microbe Editor is still pretty much unimplemented (I’ve begun on converting some of the code, but there’s a lot going on and focus is currently on the actual stage itself), but we did implement cellular colors so at the very least we might allow the appearance tab to work in the next release. No promises though. As for behavior, there are some major mechanic changes that are likely to be implemented in either the next release or more likely in the release to come afterwards. Since the behavior tab from what I understand would deal with customizing AI, it’d have to come after those changes were implemented. Besides, I’ve played some games where you customize the AI of your species, and it’s very difficult to get a viable AI working without thousands of generations. If we do implement a behavior tab for the microbe stage, it’d be likely choosing between producer, scavenger, and predator.


(Oliveriver) #6

The behaviour editor in the Microbe Stage is planned to cover both the AI of your own species, which you can program using a kind of action blocks and wires system (kind of like the circuits in LittleBigPlanet crossed with Scratch), and your species’ agents (special chemicals developed to attack or communicate).


(The Third Duke of Silly) #7

This is actually really cool, cool being a word which I don’t seriously use a lot because I’m not HiP wItH tHe KiDs

Anyway, can’t wait for the next update! Even though it’s reportedly coming in a few months’ time.