Development Diary – Working on some UI…

…and we’re back!

It seems like every single day since the Kickstarter ended there has been one thing after another…doctor appointments, car appointments, flying to a wedding 3500 miles away, a very bad stomach bug.

It’s been awhile, but I should be back to normal at long last. Let’s see if I remember how to do this Dev Diary Digest thing.

What’s in a name?

There’s a part in one of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books that talks about learning how to fly. In short, it involves throwing yourself at the ground and then becoming so distracted by something surprising that you forget to hit the dirt. Tada, you’re flying!

I mention this because at times it feels like my brain works the same way. I’ve had a lot of unnamed characters in the game for awhile now, and no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t figure out their names.

Then I spent the last week being very distracted and then bam, all of a sudden all these names come flooding into my head.

Many villagers will placeholder names have now been renamed. The post-punk pixie postwoman has been named Glimmer. Rainboy, the elemental, has been renamed Boros. The ever-popular cola ghost has been named Ebey.

Along with their new names I also took the time to better flesh out their personalities and motivations. I’m looking forward to reintroducing all of them to you!

Camera Work

A number of improvements have been made to the game’s camera.

The biggest change is that the camera is now a great deal more zoomed out. The previous camera was a bit too claustrophobic, and I certainly wasn’t doing my sprites any favors by making them that large.

You also have the ability to switch to the previous zoom level at any time, though I may change that.

The dynamic camera has again been re-enabled for what feels like the 3rd or 4th time. I think it’s here to stay now.

Finally, a number of draw distance changes / improvements have been implemented.

An Informative Toolbelt

One common complaint from previous releases is that some abilities are just not clear enough – that’s to be expected this early in the process, but I’ve been making it a priority to improve the overall usability of the game.

A new toolbelt menu has been added that makes it easier to see which tools you have as well as their names and descriptions for how they work.

In the future this menu will be expanded so that you use left / right to navigate to the category of tool (like Critter Catching Equipment) and then use up / down to select the specific tool (Bug Net, Traps, etc.)

Like all UI it’ll be a work in progress right up until the 11th hour, but I’m much happier with this than what I had before.

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