Tag Archives: features

Current state of the game

I thought I’d write a short post on where we’re at now, and where I want to steer Goblin Camp in the coming months:

Where we are now

The basic mechanics are getting finished, goblins and orcs are able to do a variety of jobs, and combat with melee and ranged weapons, armor and flying have been implemented. A few jobs are still missing, such as digging ditches and building bridges, and some jobs need refining (making drinks should require water from the river, for example), but the more substantial things are pretty much there.

Map generation is still non-existent, unfortunately, and is probably the biggest thing still missing that could be defined as core mechanics.

Where we’re headed

First I want to get the rest of the basics done and thoroughly looked through so that the core works well, and doesn’t randomly crash. I think as we’re getting close to having the basics done it’s a good point to stop developing new things for a moment, and really make sure everything is working well together. After that, I’ll be moving onto actual gameplay.

What a game needs to feel fun is essentially progression, or in other words the feeling of accomplishment. What this will mean for Goblin Camp is having things open up gradually. Instead of having everything available immediately and overwhelming a new player with too many options, there should only be a handful of things to do from the start. As the camp grows, more options become available. Coinciding with this progression would be a steadily rising difficulty curve; as your camp becomes larger the monsters attracted to your population and wealth also become tougher, eventually culminating in armies and heroes invading to destroy the concentration of evil that you have built.

Having a big camp stay interesting also requires more complex interactions between the inhabitants of the settlement. Instead of everyone just milling about in the center I’d like to get them to hang around in different places, fight together, perhaps even build something on their own.

This doesn’t exclude having a sandbox mode where everything is available from the start, because I know that some people really would rather have it that way.

Combat requires better control, it’s a bit too simple right now. Also at some point I want to get more exotic migrants, that I’ve talked about before.

Simply put, I want to give the player more choices, and make sure that the choices aren’t too easy to make.

Z-levels and scope

Z-levels get their own heading, just because I want to make it clear where I stand on this issue. Multiple z-levels ala Dwarf Fortress, ie. having many different height levels, is in my opinion not possible to visualize well with a traditional roguelike engine. Only seeing one at a time is just not good enough, especially with flying creatures, and doing some kind of fading to show several levels still doesn’t solve the problem of underground tunnels/rooms at all. For it to make any sense you need at least an isometric graphics engine, and even better would just be a straight-up 3d engine. But neither of those are what I’m going to do with Goblin Camp. Which brings me to scope. Goblin Camp isn’t meant to be some kind of eternity project where I just add and add and add features until it’s a bloated mess that hardly runs on anything but the newest computers, instead I want to lay down some very definite limits on what I want done and what I’m going to leave for Goblin Camp 2: 3D Strikes Back To The Future.

One of those limits is keeping things to one level. It simplifies things a lot, and I don’t see it as limiting things as much as some people might fear. Adding multiple z-levels now would be a big undertaking anyway, and I rather use that time to add things that add real gameplay (see: fun). My time is really limited as it is, so I want to concentrate on things that I see as really important.

Of course, this being an open source project means that if someone has a genius idea on how to implement z-levels in a good manner, they are more than welcome to do so. And if it turns out to really be a great thing, I’m not going to refuse to merge the changes out of stubbornness.

Feedback

If you have any comments, questions or whatever, check out the forums (link at the top), twitter (on the right) or irc (#goblincamp on Freenode), or e-mail (gencontain -at- gmail.com)

Info on the next version – v0.11

Now that v0.1 is succesfully out it’s time to start thinking about the next version. Here’s a list of things that I’m planning to include in the next release, v0.11:

  • Bugfixes
  • All data files converted to libtcod format.

This has been done, so from v0.11 and onwards all data files will be in the libtcod format. It’s easier to read and the community was pretty much in agreement on moving away from XML. The .dat files in the bitbucket repository should illustrate the format so that you can convert mods already.

  • Stone quarries

The primary method of acquiring stone will be implemented as open-pit mines, or quarries. They’ll supply your settlement with stone, but will include risks of their own such as attack by underground monsters.

  • Weapons

The biggest change in v0.11 will be the addition of weapons. This will require a lot of work to introduce the whole system, but then you’ll be able to both create weapons and make your orcs use them. Then they’ll be able to cut those wolves into pieces, in addition to smashing them!

  • Various small fixes and enhancements

My timeline is to get v0.11 out before August, so that gives me a schedule of two weeks to get this done. Essentially weapons are what will introduce most of the work, but I’m feeling fairly confident that I’ll manage. Especially because people have started contributing code really actively and fixing bugs on their own.

Added Future Plans section

I added the Future Plans section, and I’ve written some stuff there about what I want Goblin Camp to become. It’s pretty stream-of-consciousness type stuff, but hopefully it’ll help as a guideline for potential contributors, and perhaps help generate some discussion about the future too.

Also I’ve added links to the Downloads section for the linux build thread and a Mac OS X binary.

Also also, theres a donate button on the right now in case you want to support my efforts monetarily.

Feature preview: The Stockmanager

I thought I’d talk about an important feature that you’ll get to see in action in the upcoming 0.1 release: The Stockmanager. It’s the key component in enabling you to have a nearly self-sufficient industry.

Starting a new game, your stockmanager screen will look something like this:

Initial Stock Manager

The Stock Manager before any workshops have been built

(Remember that I’m only getting to the first release, so the UI is in a constant state of flux, and I haven’t had a chance to improve the presentation very much)

You’ll only see resources that are available to you from nature, in this case only wood. The first step would be to establish a stockpile that accepts wood, and to designate which trees are allowed to be cut down. There will be an option to allow goblins to chop down any trees nearby, which would probably be the preferred method in the beginning, but later on it may be desirable to only cut down trees in specific areas. Also, manually designating trees to be immediately cut down is possible.

Once you raise the wood minimum, or designate trees for immediate cutting down, the goblins will get to work cutting the trees and carrying the logs to the stockpile. Now that you have some raw material, you should build your first workshop. We’ll start with a carpenter’s workshop.

Each workshop can produce a specific set of items, and once a workshop is built it makes its products available to the stockmanager, as we can see if we open the manager screen:

Stockmanager after a carpenter's shop is built

The Stock Manager screen after a carpenter's workshop has been built

Now a good idea would be to raise the wood plank limit and the crate limit (crates can be used to store many planks, makes for more efficient stockpiles), which in turn will send production jobs to all of your carpenter’s workshops. We only have one workshop though, so all of the jobs will be sent there as you can see below.

Single workshop handling all the production

A single workshop handling all of the production, while most orcs stand around idly

Of course now that you only have one you’ll have just one orc working and the rest will be idle, so if you were to build two more workshops the jobs would get done far more quickly. After building the two workshops we can check their production queues and see that the Stockmanager has distributed jobs to the new workshops:

Production queue on second workshop

Production queue for the 2nd workshop

Production queue for the third workshop

Production queue for the 3rd workshop

Now you can build things which require planks, and whenever your plank stocks diminish below your set limit, new plank production jobs get queued up. And when you’ve created so many planks that your wood log stocks are running low, new wood cutting jobs will be queued.

And to end this preview, a note on workshop production and creature duties. What with goblins doing the menial jobs, when a job is queued up in a workshop goblins will haul the required materials there and only then will an orc actually come over to handle the skilled work. Hauling jobs are also all assigned at once if there are enough goblins available, so if a crate requires 5 planks to make, and there are 5 goblins idle, they will carry the 5 planks to the workshop simultaneously.

What we accomplished

The end result with three workshops all churning out products

Edit: I forgot to mention a feature that I haven’t implemented, but will do so in the future. A search box for the Stock Manager. Once you have several different workshops, the stock manager screen may become cluttered with many different items. My plan is to have a simple search box which searches the items while you type, so you can quickly find the item you want to adjust.