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Author Topic: SITREP Saturday #25: Hacktastic  (Read 1752 times)

Kyzrati

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SITREP Saturday #25: Hacktastic
« on: June 08, 2018, 05:36:52 PM »

As per the roadmap, the next major feature is robot hacking, and I've finally reached the final stretch of the design phase. Just the design phase!? This is a huge system, and building it for both balance and fun on the first go is going to take some doing. I've already spent more time just designing the system than any other in the game. It's for the better, though--the design seems to be coming along well after all this refining... Soon it'll be time to put it into practice!

I don't have much to share for it yet, except for one of the latest mockups:



This is a rough WIP and could still change alot. (I haven't really spent much time delving into the UI aspect yet, just planning the underlying system and all its related mechanics and capabilities.)

Later I'll be writing a lot about this feature, but don't want to share too much too early--let's wait until things are more certain :P

In other features, a little glowing `@` marker will pop up to show the direction of Cogmind when offscreen.



No one asked for this, probably because the map will never hop around on its own without your explicit command (and there's also always the  commands to recenter the view), but I can see it occasionally being helpful to know this. In particular while working on hacking ideas I saw one new potential situation where it could become useful, so put this system together yesterday.

And as someone who never uses the Evasion window (it's useful! just not the way I play), I needed someone else to remind me that it still contained a modifier for "Cloaking," even though Cloaking Devices were repurposed and based on the actual part name associated with that mechanic it should be called "Phasing," so that's fixed for Beta 7:



Note that as of this week over on our Roguelikes Discord we now have three #cogmind channels instead of two. There are just too many deep spoilers, too spoilery even for the regular hidden "spoiler" channel xD. This will allow people who don't want to unwittingly learn about all the extended end-game content to still have a place to talk freely about the many other branches.

Painting with ASCII

I finally got a chance to update the online gallery for REXPaint, one of my main Cogmind dev tools. If you like Cogmind's aesthetic or other retro-ish art and games, you'll probably like what you see there :D

Some of the newer samples:



Stream of Robots

Having already done a number of Cogmind Beta 6 streams recently (still happy with that Pure Core challenge coming through with a win!) I switched over to do another POLYBOT-7 run, only my second so far... and won again! This time it was New Game+ mode, so harder than last time.



I did a little summary of that, including links to the videos if you're interested. (For those of you who haven't heard about it before, POLYBOT-7 is my free Cogmind spin-off project.)

I've done "so much" streaming this past month that I got invited to become a Twitch Affiliate. Hahaha... My channel is basically me playing the games I make. Now I just need more games xD. Hm, I've never streamed X@COM ;)

Honestly I don't plan to do a ton more streaming or change what I do--I basically stream in a more concentrated burst in the weeks after release, then rest the channel while putting as much time as I can into developing the next release. But hey as an Affiliate I guess we could get a custom emote!

If you'd like to read some more Cogmind-related material, this week for r/RoguelikeDev's latest FAQ Friday I wrote a bit about naming things. (There are a few small spoilers in there, but it mostly avoids spoilery material.)

There may be other relevant discussion of this SITREP on Steam, but feel free to post replies here, too :)
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Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames | Patreon

Joshua

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Re: SITREP Saturday #25: Hacktastic
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2018, 10:57:56 AM »

One thing I've been curious about on a meta-planning level is the Weeks column in the roadmap. How close do your estimates end up being to the time actually spent on a feature? Do you treat it only as an estimate or more like a budget - once you get to the end of the allotted time you call it done? Is it only supposed to account for planning time, implementation time or both? Just curious :)
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Kyzrati

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Re: SITREP Saturday #25: Hacktastic
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2018, 07:47:19 PM »

The estimates are pretty accurate, and include everything. I don't usually venture into completely unknown territory, and have many years of experience and data to back up my estimates, so things work out more or less as expected. But as emphasized in the roadmap description, they're not start-to-finish times, but total time for a given feature. I.e., if I sat down and did nothing but that for X amount of working days, I'd finish. In reality there are lots of other things I have to do as well, like community interaction, debugging other stuff, lots of writing, etc.

The values are also a little rounded, of course, because the unit is weeks and an item may take a day or two less or more.

And another factor that sometimes affects the numbers is that I may change my mind about a certain feature part-way through, and either cut part of it or expand it further than planned. In those rare cases I'll go back and retroactively change the roadmap once I've finished.

So they definitely don't represent a "budget," but an objective prediction of how long that feature will take. Fortunately I don't have to stick to a budget--while I could do that if I had to (for example if funding was too low!), the results wouldn't be as good :)
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Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames | Patreon