Let’s have a look at all the stuff that got done in the world of Hokko Life this month!
I worked a lot on several location in the game, bringing things up to a good level instead of them being at a block-out stage. It’s wonderful to have more of the town and locations built, as the whole world feels even more alive now!
The mine got all of it’s levels updated
The general store had its interior updated
and the town centre was updated too!
The department store will act as your location for buying new furniture, including furniture other players have created. You’ll have your own floor in the store, where you can place out items you’d like other players to download.
With the interior built this month I also set up the animations and interactions for the train in the town centre, allowing you to buy a ticket and board the train when it arrives!
I also worked on tidying up some of the functionality for uploading your own creations; making sure that players can only upload items they’ve worked on, and storing a history of creators on each piece. I also fixed up the process for registering your town online, which unlocks the department store and online features. It’s a simple process where your town is given a unique ID that players use to visit your store or send you letters.
After playtests and mulling things over I decided to merge pick-up and interact actions into one key press. It was a bit confusing before, but with a recent change where items now automatically picked up when you run over them, the need for two keys had gone. Now you pull weeds, and interact with items and characters with one key press; if you want to move a piece of furniture, or put it in your backpack you can hold the interact key to pick it up. I added a little shake on the item too to show you that you’ll be picking up the item when you release.
Along with this change I added a button prompt UI to the game, showing you what interactions are available with an item when you run up to it. This makes the game a lot easier to get into, and along with the selection highlight above characters and items, makes interacting with the world a lot more readable.
I updated a whole bunch of sprites for resources, seed packs and crafting items! They were all sharing the same really rubbish old texture before which made things somewhat confusing! Now they’re all unique and the game feels a lot more finished!
I fixed up the flow of buying and placing houses this month. It was very “functional” before, but not so smooth, and had some horrible flow issues. Now there’s dialogue surrounding your choice of house, and where it should be built, helping to guide the player through the process, and allowing more points to cancel along the way.
I also added a new builder character that will be there, hammering away on your new house until it’s built!
I fixed a bunch of bugs and frustrating things with the tool used for placing things in the world. I had lots of annoying issues where the furniture would jump around based on the mouse cursor’s position, amongst other things, but now it feels so much more polished and enjoyable! I even added a little tilt to items as you move them around, and a nice display showing you the rotation of the item when you’re spinning it around.
With recent updates to the shader for the trees, and their meshes, I’d neglected to update the look of the trees as they fall, so I went in and fixed them up so they look good. While I was in there I also added a little camera “thud” when the trees hit the ground, and a particle effect to help hide the popping away of the tree when it turns into wooden logs.
In the backpack interface there’s a Collection tab, under this tab is listed all the fish and insects you have caught over time, with information on their size. I updated this to fit with the new UI design, and to feel more polished, (it was purely functional before). I also added a little animation for when you’ve collected something new!
Near the end of the month I decided to fix up some of the problems with the fishing part of the game. I worked on making the behaviour of the fish feel better, with better movement and rotation of the fish. I also changed the way the fish are shown in the water, so you can no longer tell which is which, as well as smoothed the sequence when a fish starts nibbling on the bait. My plan going forward is to add different bait types to the game which will influence the quality of fish you catch too.
Over the month, on my Fridays I set about making the process of building the game and updating bug databases more streamlined and accessible from within the Unity Editor. I set up buttons for building the game; pulling a list of fixed bugs related to the new build from AirTable; updating the server with the latest build info; and, most excitingly, pushing the build to Discord, so that it can be easily downloaded and updated. Having the build on Discord meant making the whole process of getting the build to testers easier, and it meant that my composer could keep up-to-date with the game under development
Bits and Bobs
- Shops now have opening times
- Changing your appearance now costs money.
- Icons used for materials used on the outside of houses look better now, showing a section of the texture instead of the whole thing
- Shovels can be used to dig up tree stumps!
- Shovels can be used to remove tilled land!
- The sky colour is now set using the weather component, changing with time of day and weather (you hardly ever see it, but if you now catch a glimpse of it, it’ll be correct!)
- I can now set areas of levels to block placement of furniture and houses, hopefully preventing players from putting houses in places you can’t get to!
- Levels that regenerate each day now don’t allow you to place houses or items in them, preventing those items being destroyed
- Villager’s navigation got tweaked further to stop them trying to get to places they can’t reach, or running into one another as much
- Blueprints for furniture can now have specific rules, and these rules are checked when you try to save your designs
For fun, and to help learn Blender in my spare time, I made a special Pumpkin Hat!
Thanks for Reading!