Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Good Day For Bug Fixing

Here is what got improved / changed / fixed on Kudos 2 today:

  • FIXED *** re-jig when romantic offers are made so they come after a social event
  • FIXED *** only highlight npcs for romantic invites if they are your partner
  • FIXED *** heart icon not drawing on NPC window or icon.
  • FIXED *** Activities should be unlocked based on how many social events you host
  • FIXED *** Gender not right in job title
  • FIXED *** Charisma should be reduced by irritating people
  • FIXED *** its too easy to boost relationships at the start
  • FIXED *** post mortem relationship change meter needs visible midpoint
  • FIXED *** people shouldnt say they had nothing in common with other people if its just you and them.
  • FIXED *** locked activities are still shown in the list.
  • FIXED *** expanded skills interface is screwed up.
  • FIXED *** tv subscription cancellation dialog doesn’t trigger
  • FIXED *** correct avatar name not saved properly
  • FIXED *** first day of new job doesnt seem to raise stress
  • FIXED *** short bus journeys are too cheap
  • FIXED *** after work screen title is in wrong place
  • FIXED *** staying in reading a book should boost loneliness and its not.
  • FIXED *** commute distance should be shown on job instance details.
  • FIXED *** need to show the controlling attribute as well as the displayed one when viewing debug windows
  • FIXED *** make extraverts more likely to meet new people doing solo activities and vice versa.

Plus a long palythrough gave me mroe stuff for my todo list. This game is HUGE, there is just too much to do…

Skills GUI

I made a decision with Kudos 2 that I was going to get everything working and looking how I wanted, regardless of how much hassle was involved. Partly this just means changing my state of mind when I’m typing out my ‘todo’ list as I test the game. Rather than mentally editing it to take into account technical difficulties, I just jot down how to improve the game and tell myself not to worry about what’s involved. Then when I go to implement them, I just do it, regardless how awkward some things are.

An example of this was the panel that shows the players skills. This panel just sat there and didn’t have the status update balloons which flash up when you change your attributes, but when playing it occurred to me that this would be a good idea, especially on the ‘post mortem’ screen where many of them change. Making them show up at all involved a ton of recoding. Then I hit the issue that you can have a lot of skills, and they looked horridly cluttered on that post-mortem screen.

So eventually I had to write a bunch of extra code for the skills GUI that rebuilds it just for the post-mortem screen, showing just what’s changed. This is great for the player but was a bitch to code. Hopefully, if I can keep developing like this, the game will have a far more polished feel than anything else I’ve done.

BTW server is a bit slashdotted today…

Kudos 2 play-throughs & cloned!

I’ve done two one-hour play-throughs of Kudos 2 today, fixing bugs and tweaks as I have encountered them. I still need some more artwork, and tons and tons of bug-testing, plus some game play redesigning to make the actual value of kudos in the game more relevant. here’s my fix list for today:

FIXED *** shrink mind-state button doesn’t work
FIXED *** takes forever to build muscles
FIXED *** movie eat popcorn button needs to shuffle up 4 pixels
FIXED *** fitness maybe degrades a bit quick, esp from weightlifting
FIXED *** if some social event costs 0 and we have negative funds we still cant do it :(
FIXED *** calendar “time for two activities” doesn’t update
FIXED *** soccer needs higher max invitees
FIXED *** food item tooltips are wrong
FIXED *** more police days should be fit ones.
FIXED *** police workers should be immune to muggings surely?
FIXED *** tooltip for job search needs to indicate it shows current job details too
FIXED *** if you keep repeating the same activity again and again, you should get bored
FIXED *** maybe a police sound for when you do the police job?
FIXED *** do sunglasses have any effect?
FIXED *** golf should boost fitness a little bit

This is basically the way I work these days, keep playing the game with textpad open to make a list of stuff that’s broken. then when the game gets unplayable due to one of them, go through and fix them all, then repeat. The game already feels pretty addictive, and filled with stuff, which is good. It’s so much better than the original game.

In other news I see that a major games portal have cloned Kudos : Rock Legend. Meh. Mine has more personality. mine is FROM THE HEART. :D

Have a gift

I started redoing the code for gifts in Kudos 2 today. The original game had a simpleĀ  single ‘gift’ which you could only buy if you had a ‘romantic partner‘, and went straight to them. There was some pretty cool code regarding ‘gift cynicism’ in there, but to be honest it was put into a post-release patch and not properly thought through. I’ve set aside tommorow to code a better, slightly deeper system for Kudos 2. A day doesn’t sound long, but remember I do everything, and there are a lot of areas to polish and get finished.

My first thought is whether gifts should still be just romantic. Shouldn’t I be able to buy a gift for a friend? Maybe… but perhaps code is needed to handle how this is a different matter to romance. Would it be fair to suggest that friends feel more uncomfortable getting gifts, than romantic partners would? If You are my “significant other “and I buy you a box of chocs, thats cool, but if you are my pal and I buy you an ipod, would you not think it a bit weird? maybe feel like I’m showing off, or that I must want something. I think there is a lot of complex contextual stuff needed to handle how friends react to being given gifts. Some of this is already in Kudos (friends track how in debt they are to you in terms of offers to pay for entertainment), but it would still require a lot of extra complexity. Gifts also bring up the possibility of tracking friends and partners birthdays, and thus birthday social invites etc etc.

At the very least, the new system will have multiple gifts, at different price points, and let you buy them in advance and hand them to people later, maybe just after you turned down their invite to a romantic candlelit dinner so you could spend the night reading a book on software engineering. This sounds like it’s autobiographical now doesn’t it?

In unrelated news, I’m reading a book on ‘supercrunching‘ and andrew marrs ‘history of britain’. both are good reads. My knowledge of the Korean war, or the Attlee government was minimal. I didn’t even realize Churchill was voted out, then in again. I guess I was good at maths and crap at history as a kid…