Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hmm Hmm Hmm

I'm still working on my town building thingie.

The more I build, the more cool stuff I think of doing, its just one of those kinda things.

Now I'm at the point where I know I wanna do a version of a town that starts from caveman-scratch, where you get your little Primitive Screwhead villagers to clear the forests and use the wood to build their houses, and then you make 'em build a country-western medicine-woman schoolhouse, so they'll quit being cavemen and learn how to be scientists and artists that can build cooler stuff.

Like an ancient Roman city.

And that gave me the idea of making a library for your villagers where you can bring them books like Metallurgy 101 (y'know, Army of Darkness style, maybe something you get as loot, or crap you can trade with other people) so they'll learn how to do better stuff, so like, they'll have a Science Rating and an Arts rating and that'll influence their morale and their health and what kinda crap they know how to build.

And eventually they'll have their own Scribes and Sages working at the University with its own library and they'll learn how to build a Nuclear Power Plant and Wind Farms and machine-made weapons and all that kinda junk.

Sorta like a mix between Syndicate and Civilization, with my own crazy accidental omissions and shit 'cause I got a leaky memory (but I'm twice as good as hollywood even on a bad day so most folks probably won't even notice that I did the motte and bailey forts a little wrong and stuff just 'cause I couldn't think of how to draw it the right way in a picture that's 50 pixels wide and tall, y'know, there's some things you just can't do with micro-mini-pictures for everything ahaha).

I built some basic village and farm crap already, and then I moved on to doing some more modern looking stuff, with power plants and hospitals and high rises, and they got working lights that turn on and off (which was intended more for making a building look "abandoned" in an apocalyptic-type thing than a day-night cycle deal, but now its something I can "activate" when you build a "power grid" for you city) and there's some cheesy little animations for my airport and stuff.

Now I know I wanna do a caveman-medieval fairy-tale theme, a "cowboy" looking town (which doubles for pilgrim times and outposts-in-the-jungle or an post-apocalyptic barter-town type dealie, where an "airport" might be a dirt runway), and an ancient Greek and Roman thing with the columns and all that (just 'cause that looks cool and its easy to do and I need me a gladiator arena ahaha), a modern matrix-y city, and mebbe some kinda scifi or Egyptian or Aztec thing, if I don't switch to working on something else first, 'cause that's just getting into the "frills" department.

Oh, I also gotta do a "treehouse" village for my little brother's younger son 'cause he's an ewok freak (and that's a neat idea anwyays).

I'm not totally into doing all sorts of historical stuff, really, I mean, personally, I like the weird junk, I'm more interested in doing a Planet of the Apes village than a good version of Russian Architecture, even though that'd be cool, too.

Ooh, I could prolly hodgepodge that together with an Arabian Nights looking dealie.

But I'll probably end up just getting all the basic "evolution of a generic town" stuff working (with a couple weird little pieces from different time periods left over) before moving on to other stuff.

Still, its pretty fun man.

Even the little puzzles, like where its easy to do one of those little red schoolhouses from the Cowboy days, its hard to think of how to draw a modern University so that a human will identify it as one at first glance, 'cause a University is just a bunch of semi-modern buildings, really, that's some fun junk, too.

And it makes me think of all sorts of cool crap I can do as I'm going along, like how to make building and flying your own modified airplanes and trains fun and how I can throw down random chunks of city building stuff on the map and use it as the entrances to "dungeons," or populate your "starter city" with random stuff, like a mountain you can mine for ore or a river for a shipyard and fishing deal and all that kinda junk.

And the ways that some things, like schools, might have "modular" sorta upgrades, insteada just upgrading from a Level 1 School to a Level 2 School, they can store all the "books" that they know how to "teach" in their "Library" module and each School might be different.

And it also made me think of doing stuff like youtube movie theatres and art galleries that players could set up.

Its like high-octane shit for my brain heh.

Oh, there's a lot of tedious stuff too, like, right now I'm right in the middle of rearranging a lot of the stuff, and its taking a while 'cause I had to change my "mask" for all the little squares you see on the screen once I figured out how wide my "upgradeable" roads were gonna be exactly and how much space they eat up in the adjoining squares, but even that cut-n-paste-n-make-it-fit-shit is kinda fun ahaha.

Yah, like, here you can see my mask on the "new" icons for things that are built right, now that I've retracted the roads to where they belong.


Bonedead said...

Can't wait to give it a whirl some day Angus, keep on truckin'!

Squash Monster said...

You know, the original Sim City is open source now. You might be able to steal some stuff from there.

Ole Bald Angus the Monk said...

Ugh sorry I ain't been saying much lately but I been working on a lot of animation junk and that doesn't convert to blog pictures too well 'cause its all, uh, animated and stuff heh.

I got all sorts of cool stuff working though, like flying around google maps in a biplane and a tower-slash-fallout-style vault that lifts up off the ground and turns into a spaceship all "stargate atlantis"-style (which allows folks to relocate it).

Oh and fading forcefields and the day-night-cycle and weather and lasers burning holes in the map from orbit ahaha.

But the more of that kinda stuff I do, the more cool junk I think up that I can do, and then I do it, so its all sorta awesome and fun and kinda out-of-control like that.

And that's fine, 'cause I'm the boss of me and I can do whatever I want AHAHA.

Y'know, might as well go with the flow and see whatever there is to see and learn whatever I gotta learn the hard way and all that, 'cause everybody smarter than me never bothers to actually see what happens down all those fascinating little alleyways that everybody is too smart to go down and there's a lot of cool shit that happens down that way, just around the first couple corners ahaha.

Actually, I'm pretty close to being able to let you guys fool around with the thing as a beta test, there's only a couple parts of the database left that I still think I'm gonna end up monkeying with a little (a little more "city" stuff, some vehicle junk, and the "monster" section), and once I'm done with that, I can do everything else "on-the-fly."

But before I do that, I wanna make sure I get some cool vehicles and crap in there for at least a few different time periods and settings, y'know, I'm kinda stuck on an art-and-art mechanics of cities-and-vehicles phase at the moment.

The only thing bugging me a little right now is the "scale" deal, where the size of a human being on google maps is so damn tiny that it takes all the fun out of doing the artwork for it, I hate doing little old-fashioned arcade style graphics insteada cool cartoons with personality and shit but that's what I'm stuck with mostly, and even when I do cheat a little and make things bigger than they oughta be, its still just a tiny little handful of pixels that I got to play with heh.

I'm tempted to build up the "dungeon-diving" part of the game sorta "fallout" style, without using google maps, y'know, doing all the background junk, just so I can do bigger graphics, but with the way the game is sorta gigantic as far as possible settings go, that sorta sucks unless I can think of a style to do it in that's super generic and symbolic and reuseable (sorta like different "tilesets" for NWN, I guess, with a "jungle" tileset, and a "desert" one, except I gotta do "cowboy town" and "Ancient Roman" and who-knows-what-else if I go down that route.

Yah, and that means I'm starting to drift away from the MUD-type fighting and moving toward the Fallout-and-UO-and-Baldur's Gate style, and although I really dread having to do all the art for something like that, I've already started doing some of it with vehicle fights and stuff.

And then part of me says I oughta reel it all back in and just do whatever I need for the specific game setting that I wanna do, and then add the other stuff bit-by-bit later.

But if I just do it that way, I won't notice everything I need ahead of time, and be inspired by all the little bits of things I discover along the way, and I've figured out a lot of awesome and entertaining stuff just by going down super-specific routes for a while to see where they went.

And there's things that suck about making an isometric Fallout-slash-Baldur's Gate-slash-UO-slash Diablo-type thingie, where its too much arcade action and the images and descriptions of monsters that players add to the game won't be showcased as a major part of the entertainment.

So I'm just in one of those modes where there's a lot of internal discussion and the ten zillion optional constraints that affect everything else that I'm factoring into my thoughts and things are evolving super fast and by the time I could write out exactly where I was I'd be three evolutions ahead of where I was when I started writing heh.

Looking at the pictures in this post actually makes me laugh 'cause its so old already.

Ole Bald Angus the Monk said...

Oh, and there's the "water" deal I been bumping up against lately.

Where I need to figure out how I'm gonna detect it, 'cause I wanna do boats as vehicles and I don't wanna let mad max cars drive around in Lake Michigan (although I don't mind them ignoring rivers and stuff heh).

That's the "zoning" overlay thingie, where I think I'm gonna need to make an overlay for the entire earth for it, which which give me a way to restrict movement and do different "zones" with different sorts of monsters and stuff, insteada having it be just based on how far you wander from a city.

That kinda thing could also help with the way it sucks to go to the antarctic and try to build a city 'cause the map don't zoom down that far over there.