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Author Topic: Outer Colony  (Read 68458 times)

ollobrains

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Re: Outer Colony
« Reply #270 on: February 10, 2020, 11:25:55 pm »

still watching
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jocan2003

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Re: Outer Colony
« Reply #271 on: February 12, 2020, 05:57:05 pm »

That's a lot of sprites and customization, great for any colony builders !

Also, why comments are disabled on Youtube ?
Due to coppa bullshit if youtube flag your channel as *for kids* most if not all communitu related building tool are disabled to *protect* children unless you go through a bunch of holla hoops on fire while drunk and swearing to proove a point.
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VoyagerGames

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Re: Outer Colony
« Reply #272 on: March 01, 2020, 05:41:11 pm »

Posting a quick reply here before the weekend's out!

For Tchey:
Quote
Also, why comments are disabled on Youtube ?
Jocan's right, there's some weirdness with the new-ish comment settings on YouTube channels, and I haven't gone through and taken the time to figure out what they really should be for my videos. On the whole, though, YouTube comments are generally pretty toxic and unhelpful. I think I wound up turning them off a few years ago, because people were wigging out at each other under my videos, and I didn't really wanted to deal with it.

Quote
The iso graphics look incredible and I LOVE the detail when it comes to items like in the video.
Thanks Asgarus, we're getting close, man! I've started recruiting a 3rd artist to try to speed up these later stages of sprite production so we can release again as soon as possible. A lot of the nuanced work in figuring out templates / systems for generating the procedural sprites are in place, so I really just need one more person to help fill in all the various component sprites, rather than figure out radically new sorts of visuals.

It's hard to gauge precisely how long it'll take from now until re-release of another playable beta, but we're going to keep pushing as hard as we can!

For jocan:
Quote
Main UI gives me some feel of gnomoria and its a good thing for me!. Really hope you push it to completion because im hooked :). Good luck!
Huge thanks, man! The UI's been one of the things I've focused on improving over the last 2 years, and while it's still got a ways to go, I'm trying to simplify and simplify as much as possible. The problem with games like these is that there's so much functionality - so many different things you can do - that it's hard to facilitate all of that succinctly in an elegant control scheme. Hot keys are something that are currently on the table, and I think they're going to help a lot.

The strategy I employ is to just keep iterating - keep improving and improving until it's right. There's no publisher or studio executive pushing me to release by some arbitrary date, and I try to make that a strength for the project. Being able to take the time, fix things, and improve them is a big part of the reason why I strive so hard to stay self-funded. It makes development slow when I can only work on the project during nights and weekends, but it's much more important to me that Outer Colony is exactly what I want it to be, rather than that it's released quickly.

And thanks for sticking with the project all these years, ollobrains. If you ever want to name something in the game, like a creature species or a plant species or something like that, let me know, man! I really appreciate all the help you've given me.

The last few weeks have mostly been a matter of fixing defects in the procedural human sprite system and getting more creature sprites into the game. I've also built out a couple internal windows that function as test beds for exercising human and creature animations. It's a much quicker and more precise way for me to make sure that the various animations / all their constituent subcomponents and frames are looking right, without needing to track down exactly the right sort of human or animal in a game world.

A quick screenshot below shows the interface for testing creature sprites. I'm scouting the swimming animation of a punkfish, but this has been pretty helpful in quickly being able to make sure all sorts of assets are correct:


Once I get another set of attire sprites for the human characters, I'm hopeful that I can post a video demo of the procedural human sprite system, too. Thanks to everybody for your continued patience, and I'll be aiming to post another update here soon!
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Mephansteras

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Re: Outer Colony
« Reply #273 on: March 01, 2020, 10:56:13 pm »

Looking forward to trying this out when you have a new beta. :)
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Blood_Librarian

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Re: Outer Colony
« Reply #274 on: March 08, 2020, 05:38:46 pm »

I like the ground and water sprites a lot, I think they very much convey the silt-loam-dirt part of the world.

One of the problems I think I had in the game was that I didn't exactly know what materials I had or I did know with some idea of what I had, but not exactly when I was fabricating items.

where there any improvements to delivering that kind of information to players during development?
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DogsRNice

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Re: Outer Colony
« Reply #275 on: March 09, 2020, 12:12:51 am »

This looks like a very interesting project Iíll be sure to keep up with this
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EuchreJack

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Re: Outer Colony
« Reply #276 on: March 09, 2020, 04:55:43 am »

It's looking quite beautiful.

Vivalas

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Re: Outer Colony
« Reply #277 on: March 15, 2020, 12:00:04 pm »

Damn that fish looks cool. In general I love pixel anything so I hope it works out, it looks so good! Can't wait to just chill and watch little pixel coi swim around in pixel water.
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VoyagerGames

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Re: Outer Colony
« Reply #278 on: August 22, 2020, 09:41:06 pm »

I'm so sorry to everybody here that it's been a while since I've posted an update. It's been a slightly rough block of months for me. Without getting into too much detail, I've been working really hard at my day job since this COVID thing started. My girlfriend, who's lived with me for the last few years, moved out. A lot of stuff has just been falling apart. It really hasn't been such a great such a great time for me, but the project's still moving forward, and I've tried my best to keep up the pace with work on Outer Colony during evenings and weekends.

In a weird way, it's been one of the only constants for me as everything else changes. You work on this thing, and you celebrate these quiet, technical milestones: esoteric accomplishments about class hierarchies and efficient packet sizes, abstract stuff that nobody would really care about. You smile at repository commits, in a room by yourself, year in and year out. It's weird to work on a project like this. I like it, though. I keep doing it. It makes me feel better. I hope other people can enjoy it, someday.

Apologies in advance for the haphazard nature of this update, as I'm just typing out some Faulkner-style stream of consciousness before I go to bed.

The isometric graphics overhaul is getting to a rather good place, and the game is reaching a state where it's decidedly playable again. Here's a tiny colony I'm just starting to build, got a concrete hut, the lads are planting some crops. Not a ton going on yet, but here's what things are generally looking like:


Creature sprites, good God, creature sprites. We're down to less than 10 species that need animations, out of 54 total. It might seem stupid to have 54 creature species and the gajillions of frames of animations in the game right off the bat, but the ecosystems really need them to work right. Every biome / biome-group has a food chain, and a bunch of work has gone into getting the environments themselves to work semi-correctly, and I just hated the thought of cutting any creature species out. Besides, a bunch of species have interesting lifecycle quirks and behavioral nuances, and I just couldn't bring myself to scrap any of them, given all the coding work that's already been done.

In the end, I'm glad I kept them all in. It stretched the cost and timeline needed for sprite production, but it's been worth it, at least to me. And I kinda' hope players can appreciate that level of nuance, and that it ultimately adds to the feeling of depth and quality of the worlds. I'm a little tired tonight, so I didn't quite have it in me to put together a proper demo video, but here's a couple minute clip just showing a few creature sprites in a test window in the game:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeVsMOmvGQo&feature=youtu.be

Note: It's super hard to see the creature sprites in the initial upload. The sprites are small, but they look alright when I watch the video locally on my hard drive. Maybe YouTube is doing something with compression? I'm not 100% sure, but I'll try to post a better video or screen shots soon.

I think the procedural human sprite system has turned out rather well, too. This is where things get really cool, and I'll make a separate post that's dedicated entirely to this. As humans equip and take off pieces of clothing, weapons, and other items, it'll change their appearance / animations to reflect the underlying data model. All sorts of physical features also contribute to the generated sprite, like skin tone, hair style, hair color, and even eye color, if you look very carefully.

The way it ultimately works with this sort of pixel art is just that there are a huge number of little images that all fit together just right. It's been painstaking and tedious to put this system together, but seeing all the little people running around, looking different, wearing different things Ė I like it a lot. We need two more baseline animations for the system to be 100% green: a death animation and a swimming animation, but I think that should put everything in good shape. If you look at the screenshot of the colony above, everybody's wearing baseline spacer attire, but if you look carefully, you can see various skin tones, hair styles, hair colors, and more.

Here are a couple more screenshots. This is a guy wearing a full set of kevlar armor:


Here's a guy wearing a more advanced set, shape memory alloy armor:

(Note: You can mix and match sets / clothing items. It's possible to put on a kevlar helmet and SMA armor pants, for example.)

There have been a ton of other little updates over the last several months, just addressing minor issues to improve playability and add small features I've felt like coding. There's now a ďnanoĒ size for worlds, allowing players with highly limited hardware to generate single-region planets. I've been replacing all the illustrations and concept art in various interfaces with proper pixel art, in order to maintain a consistent aesthetic and to improve the game's look-and-feel. I really want players to be able to feel the worlds, to lose themselves in the experience of playing, and I think the pixel art in the actual in-game dialogs really helps create the right sort of environment for that.

Here are a couple really quick screenshots showing what I mean, with new biome artwork in the tile inspection tool. These show warm sea and xeric shrublands, but there's new artwork going in everywhere.

Warm Sea:


Xeric Shrublands:


Here's the world generator, showing some new art as a world is built in the background:


There's a lot more to write about, but I've got to get some sleep for now, and I want to post this before I do. I'm thinking about rebranding the project again. Does anybody remember when this was called The Far Reaches? I've got to re-do all the in game tutorials. There are still some minor features that the renderer needs, like showing pending construction / mining / logging orders. Like the stuff Blood_Librarian suggested above, there's a bunch of little work happening to try to improve UX, try to convey information better to players. The focus is going to shift over to that, once we release again and can start gathering more feedback.

I've got to rebuild the website wholesale, and I've got to find time for that. There's a bug right now that's preventing multiplayer servers from saving worlds correctly, obviously that's got to be addressed. There's a ton more work to do, but we'll just keep moving forward, and when it's in a state that's ready for re-release, hopefully we can start having a bunch of fun with it.

Thanks as always for everybody's patience, and I appreciate everyone's kind words and support from the last few comments. I'll try to post the next update in less time than it's taken me to post this one.
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jocan2003

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Re: Outer Colony
« Reply #279 on: August 22, 2020, 11:23:10 pm »

Your video has been flagged for kid again. Might want to check that out. There is no audio either. Double check if youtube flagged your channel as for kid and if so fight it, tooth and nail, dont accept their canned answer from their bottom feeder customer support from india/part time scammer.

If you escalate high enough you might have somebody to work it out for good with you. I wonder what in the seven hell is present in your video and or audio to have your channel/video flagged...
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Quote from: LoSboccacc
that was a luky dwarf. I had one dabbling surgeon fail so spectacularly that the patient skull flew a tile away from the table.
Quote from: NW_Kohaku
DF doesn't mold players into its image - DF merely selects those who were always ready for DF.
Quote from: Girlinhat
Minecraft UI is very simple. There's only so many ways you can implement "simple" without copying something. We also gonna complain that it uses WASD?

feelotraveller

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Re: Outer Colony
« Reply #280 on: August 23, 2020, 01:41:41 am »

"Dawn has broken."

I hope you are feeling this.  :)
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( Tchey )

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Re: Outer Colony
« Reply #281 on: August 23, 2020, 09:24:50 am »

Iím here because of the Youtube publication.
Itís good to follow you from several source so i donít miss an update.

/lurks
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Dostoevsky

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Re: Outer Colony
« Reply #282 on: August 23, 2020, 01:22:30 pm »

In a lot of ways this project reminds me of the golden age of Maxis. Anyways, mainly posting here to offer some condolences for the hard times and encouragement for the present.
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EuchreJack

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Re: Outer Colony
« Reply #283 on: August 23, 2020, 03:08:16 pm »

Looks good, I especially liked the work on the world generator.
If it helps, these times have been rough on a lot of people.  Not to minimize the problems, just to say that you're not alone in them.

Don't worry about the design pace.  Just glad to see it progressing!

Mephansteras

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Re: Outer Colony
« Reply #284 on: August 23, 2020, 03:32:20 pm »

Agreed. Glad you're still getting some work on this in, despite everything!
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