There’s been a bunch of new art going into the game this month, and some very cool (I think) stuff been done for sharing and downloading creations. Let’s take a look!
The Train Station has been made and put into the game. This was the first building made using a system I wanted to get in for letting players customize the exterior of buildings, and was created with swappable textures in mind. You’ll be able to pick the roof and wall textures by interacting with a sign outside the building, this principle will be applied to the houses you place too.
With a station there needs to be a train to deliver visitors to your town! I actually resurrected an old mesh for the train and carriage from waaaaay back when the game was totally all about trains. It had been built pretty quickly and so with some clean-up here and there, and a new set of textures it was ready to go in the game.
I tied the train to the visitor arrival functionality I had set up last month, making sure it arrives at the correct times, and that villagers disembark from the carriages. I even added some vfx and animations to make the whole sequence feel just right.
With the new method for setting up buildings established with the train station I went back and created the first house-type mesh.
Here’s the same mesh with different textures to give you an idea of how it’ll be customizable.
Not completely satisfied with new buildings, I went ahead and pumped out a bunch of flowers and bushes. These will be the resources you use to create paints and dyes for your creations, with different combinations of flowers resulting in different colours.
Another reason for creating flowers now was so that they could be used in the…..
…RANDOMLY GENERATED RESOURCE AREAS (amazing title, right?)
Attached to the town will be two areas filled with the resources you’ll need to gather for use in your creations: a forest area and a mine area. To make things a bit more interesting, these areas’ layouts will be newly generated each day, giving you a different layout to explore, and slightly different resources to collect.
To set this up I created “clumps” of things like foliage, trees etc, of different sizes; these get placed out in the level when it’s generated. Based on how “deep” you are in the forest or mine, the selection of these clumps changes, meaning you’ll find different resources the further away from town you get. Once these clumps have been placed out with nice distances between them, I create a simple texture that is used for blending the ground material textures. This means that the ground will have a different appearance based on what has has been placed on it, making it more varied and interesting. You can see in the test below there is more dirt around the base of the plants, for example.
During the last week of the month I was working from home, and decided to spend this time focusing on the online sharing parts of the game experience. A big part of what I want to do with Wonderville is give players the ability to share their creations with other players. This means that they need to get uploaded and downloaded from a server somewhere and they need to be browseable also. I managed to get uploading and downloading working fine and dandy pretty early, and then moved onto the “browsing” part of the experience. I decided to build a separate website that will show all of the uploaded player creations along with ratings, download counts, and searchability etc. This site will be accessible from within the game itself, but it will also be accessible from any other browser; whether it be on your computer, or your phone. Separating this “catalog” into a separate website allows you to do cool things like: browse chairs for your Wonderville town on your phone while commuting, and then have them waiting in your game once you get home! Cool huh?
I got the functionality all up and running over the week. All uploaded creations are shown, and by clicking “Send to Town” on an item it will get added to your next in-game delivery. When you wake up in game, the furniture you’ve chosen will be there waiting for you!
So there we go, that’s June! A nice mix of content and functionality I think! I’m mega excited about the game-website catalog stuff I got working at the end of the month. I think it’s super cool when you can continue to interact with a game outside of the application itself and I can’t wait to see the catalog fill up with all the wonderful creations from players!
Next month I’ll be getting some help from an artist; they’ll be working on player customization, as well as general artsy bits and pieces, so next update will be a bumper picture-filled delight (I hope!)
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