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Mechanics Blog - Buildings

For the second Mechanics Blog I will be discussing the buildings. In Retro-Pixel Castles, you place buildings in a similar fashion as you would in an RTS, as long as they're within your range map. (See the previous blog for an explanation of the Range Map system) but how they all function varies greatly, and many of them interact with each other in symbiosis. :)

The Village Center
When you start a game of Retro-Pixel Castles, you'll hunt down a good spot to call home. Once you find a spot you think is think is safe (hah! sucker! You're going to die anyway!) you will place your very first building, the Village Center. The Village Center is your primary building, and the only building that houses "Builder" workers that can construct other buildings. Losing this building pretty much spells doom for your village, so protect it well!

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Homes
Homes are fully automated, each house can hold a certain amount of villagers, some food and in the future, some wood for heating for my future plans to add seasons to the game. When a villager gets hungry, sleepy, or simply just bored he will head to his house for some relaxation. Additionally as your villagers go through their day, they will also couple-up with other villagers. When this happens they attempt to move in together. So over time, your houses are naturally filled with pairs villagers who coincidentally will occasionally go home and "get busy". The happier your villagers are, the more often this happens, and in turn, the faster your population growth is!

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Farms
Farms, are your main source of food. (Big surprise there!) There is food scattered all over the map, but none of it is replenishable. You will have to build some farms in your village and plant some of the food you find to get a stable food source going. The workers assigned to the farm will automatically harvest crops, and deliver food to the houses on the map.

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Harvesting Buildings
Every resource in the game as a harvesting building that goes alongside it. Like a Lumber Mill for wood, and a Stone Masonry for stone. The workers assigned to these buildings will go out and gather materials on the map where ever you tell them to and bring it back to their building to store. They also play a vital role in the efficiency of your builder's building process because they can deliver resources to build sites, allowing more time for the builders assigned to your Village Center to build, and less time wasted gathering materials.

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Abandoned Buildings
Many of the maps will have abandoned buildings scattered around, these old buildings cost roughly half as much to restore as it would cost to build a brand new one. So when placing your Village Center, it can be very helpful to locate some of these buildings and start your village near them.

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Light Sources
Light Sources extend your build range, allowing you to place buildings further away from your Village. They play a vital role in setting up your defensive permitted out beyond the normal limits of your village. The Future
These buildings are just a small sample of what RPC will offer in the future. I have plans for guard towers, barracks, mage towers, alchemy labs, schools, orphanages, forgeries, workshops, and many other buildings. What I've shown you today (and what will be released in the upcoming Building Mechanics demo) just barely scratches the surface.

BONUS: Stay tuned! The Kickstarter, Greenlight AND the Building/AI Tech-Demo will be released soon! :)
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21 Comments

How soon is soon? 

 

But really, This looks like it's developing very fast! :D

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My unofficial date is by the end of this month. But officially, no date set. :)

Fun thing about development is you tend to knock one thing off your TODO checklist and add 2 or 3 more. When I wrote this, I had 14 major tasks to be completed before releasing the next build. I've knocked off 4 things since then.. and now the list is 21 things long.

/grumble
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When i read "Unofficial date" I read 10th(rounded off) of October. :P From your profile your birthday is the 11th of October, Well, when put some money into kickstarter, just think of it as a early birthday present ...

 

21? >.< And you've only done 4... Okay so i see there's gonna be allot to do then. But either way, the more ideas, content, or anything is better... other than the time it will take ... No, i'm joking take as long as it needs just don't abandon it!

 

Oh and i was testing the the dev build and it took me a very long time to figure out how to get builder's working, so i suggest making it a bit more clear, But like you said it was only really a tech demo so yeah, I was just saying just in case.

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Oh and i was testing the the dev build and it took me a very long time to figure out how to get builder's working, so i suggest making it a bit more clear, But like you said it was only really a tech demo so yeah, I was just saying just in case.


That's actually on the list of things to do. :)

I was going to have some arrows/text pointing at the first few buttons you need to press, to sort of "guide" the player into doing the first couple of required steps to get going.
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Oh and i was testing the the dev build and it took me a very long time to figure out how to get builder's working, so i suggest making it a bit more clear, But like you said it was only really a tech demo so yeah, I was just saying just in case.


That's actually on the list of things to do. :)

I was going to have some arrows/text pointing at the first few buttons you need to press, to sort of "guide" the player into doing the first couple of required steps to get going.

 

As soon as you said "arrows/text" i pictured the game with little red arrows and white text just saying something... How come i picture things when people are saying them but when i want to picture something i just can't. -.- Anyway

 

Oh and while we're talking about the dev build.. do just asking but do you actually know why every time a building is placed it freezes for like 10-20 seconds?

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As soon as you said "arrows/text" i pictured the game with little red arrows and white text just saying something... How come i picture things when people are saying them but when i want to picture something i just can't. -.- Anyway
 
Oh and while we're talking about the dev build.. do just asking but do you actually know why every time a building is placed it freezes for like 10-20 seconds?


It's an unoptimized process in the building placement. The game loads tile data on the fly, so the first time you ever place a new piece of artwork (IE: the first time you place a building) it has to generate all the shadow and lighting data.

It actually is only a split second delay on higher end machines. But regardless it's an issue on the list that needs resolved. What are your PC specs?
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As soon as you said "arrows/text" i pictured the game with little red arrows and white text just saying something... How come i picture things when people are saying them but when i want to picture something i just can't. -.- Anyway
 
Oh and while we're talking about the dev build.. do just asking but do you actually know why every time a building is placed it freezes for like 10-20 seconds?


It's an unoptimized process in the building placement. The game loads tile data on the fly, so the first time you ever place a new piece of artwork (IE: the first time you place a building) it has to generate all the shadow and lighting data.

It actually is only a split second delay on higher end machines. But regardless it's an issue on the list that needs resolved. What are your PC specs?

 

Fastest way to sum it up

 

http://puu.sh/btRRx/5076a238a1.png

 

That can run gmod with like 30-40 fps so it's not that bad.

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Are there going to be different types of farms, such as wheat farms or sugar farms, or just one "generic" farm that produces food? If so, will these farms require you to scavenge the appropriate plants/seeds from the world or will you villagers automatically have access to all plants?
Also, will (some) farmed food need to be processed in other buildings before it can be consumed, or can it be processed to provide additional nourishment? For example, wheat being ground into flour and then baked into bread.

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Are there going to be different types of farms, such as wheat farms or sugar farms, or just one "generic" farm that produces food? If so, will these farms require you to scavenge the appropriate plants/seeds from the world or will you villagers automatically have access to all plants?
Also, will (some) farmed food need to be processed in other buildings before it can be consumed, or can it be processed to provide additional nourishment? For example, wheat being ground into flour and then baked into bread.


The farms themselves are generic, whatever food type you gather will be planted in the farm, it's even possible to have one farm with multiple foods. Basically, first you build a farm then tell the workers to gather food on the map somewhere, if there's space in their farm they attempt to plant it for the future. If not, the just put it in storage or deliver it to a home. So, in the end all farms can be anything. Just depends on what food you tell them to gather. ;)

As for more complicated foods, I haven't quite worked that out yet. But it is planned. There will probably be some sort of bakery/kitchen type building that will take available foods you have and make them into superior foods.
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Are there going to be different types of farms, such as wheat farms or sugar farms, or just one "generic" farm that produces food? If so, will these farms require you to scavenge the appropriate plants/seeds from the world or will you villagers automatically have access to all plants?
Also, will (some) farmed food need to be processed in other buildings before it can be consumed, or can it be processed to provide additional nourishment? For example, wheat being ground into flour and then baked into bread.


The farms themselves are generic, whatever food type you gather will be planted in the farm, it's even possible to have one farm with multiple foods. Basically, first you build a farm then tell the workers to gather food on the map somewhere, if there's space in their farm they attempt to plant it for the future. If not, the just put it in storage or deliver it to a home. So, in the end all farms can be anything. Just depends on what food you tell them to gather. ;)

As for more complicated foods, I haven't quite worked that out yet. But it is planned. There will probably be some sort of bakery/kitchen type building that will take available foods you have and make them into superior foods.

 

Does that mean mana crystals will be farm-able?

Since as they are pretty much the same as carrots, I don't know what you plan on using them for or even if they are going to be kept but still, They are pretty much carrots when they did nothing with a new texture. 

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Does that mean mana crystals will be farm-able?
Since as they are pretty much the same as carrots, I don't know what you plan on using them for or even if they are going to be kept but still, They are pretty much carrots when they did nothing with a new texture.


They will be harvestable, but not farmable. (They're not a renewable resource.)

They'll be used for magic and alchemy in the future. I have some plans for potions and what not that villagers can carry around. But that's still on the drawing board. ;)
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Does that mean mana crystals will be farm-able?
Since as they are pretty much the same as carrots, I don't know what you plan on using them for or even if they are going to be kept but still, They are pretty much carrots when they did nothing with a new texture.


They will be harvestable, but not farmable. (They're not a renewable resource.)

They'll be used for magic and alchemy in the future. I have some plans for potions and what not that villagers can carry around. But that's still on the drawing board. ;)

 

Then what do you do when you end up using all of them?

Is that just a oh well and no more crystals or will there be some sort of shop to buy them aswell as on the floor. 

 

How would you get a single villager to get a a potion? You can only select one and that doesn't do anything but give info? Or will that be changed to give you info and be able to control that one? But like you said, still on the drawing board.

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Does that mean mana crystals will be farm-able?
Since as they are pretty much the same as carrots, I don't know what you plan on using them for or even if they are going to be kept but still, They are pretty much carrots when they did nothing with a new texture.


They will be harvestable, but not farmable. (They're not a renewable resource.)

They'll be used for magic and alchemy in the future. I have some plans for potions and what not that villagers can carry around. But that's still on the drawing board. ;)

 

If not farmable how would you get more after they are all depleted? 

 

How would you get one villager to get a potion? I do understand some ways like being able to select them or being able to controll any villager you want but just like clicking on them (oh god that would be fun) And other things like they just take them randomly but still, No harm in asking.

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Then what do you do when you end up using all of them?
Is that just a oh well and no more crystals or will there be some sort of shop to buy them aswell as on the floor. 
 
How would you get a single villager to get a a potion? You can only select one and that doesn't do anything but give info? Or will that be changed to give you info and be able to control that one? But like you said, still on the drawing board.


A tentative plan I have is to make crystals slowly grow out and spread (assuming you don't harvest all of them) like Tiberium in the older Command and Conquer games. But, if you exhaust them they're gone and you'll have to locate another source somewhere on the map or just be out of luck.

The plan currently for potions is you'll build an alchemy lab that can harvest crystals and the lab itself will process the crystals into potions. Then the villagers AI will kick on and villagers will occasionally go over to the alchemy lab and pickup a potion and carry it around with them in their inventory, to be used whenever deemed fit.
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Then what do you do when you end up using all of them?
Is that just a oh well and no more crystals or will there be some sort of shop to buy them aswell as on the floor. 
 
How would you get a single villager to get a a potion? You can only select one and that doesn't do anything but give info? Or will that be changed to give you info and be able to control that one? But like you said, still on the drawing board.


A tentative plan I have is to make crystals slowly grow out and spread (assuming you don't harvest all of them) like Tiberium in the older Command and Conquer games. But, if you exhaust them they're gone and you'll have to locate another source somewhere on the map or just be out of luck.

The plan currently for potions is you'll build an alchemy lab that can harvest crystals and the lab itself will process the crystals into potions. Then the villagers AI will kick on and villagers will occasionally go over to the alchemy lab and pickup a potion and carry it around with them in their inventory, to be used whenever deemed fit.

 

Does that mean it will be possible to make things like the skrin growth accelerator?

 

Funny you say that actually, To the left of me someone is playing CNC3 kanes wrath. 

 

So like you'll see some fight something then you'll see something like a icon bubble pop up of a potion or such?

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Does that mean it will be possible to make things like the skrin growth accelerator?


Maybe, not sure yet. But that is easily programmable.

So like you'll see some fight something then you'll see something like a icon bubble pop up of a potion or such?


Not sure yet.. but they'll be some way for you to know the village has, or has used a potion
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Does that mean it will be possible to make things like the skrin growth accelerator?


Maybe, not sure yet. But that is easily programmable.

So like you'll see some fight something then you'll see something like a icon bubble pop up of a potion or such?


Not sure yet.. but they'll be some way for you to know the village has, or has used a potion

 

Ah, Okay well the growth accelerator was only a question, So there is no need to add it, was only asking.

 

And as long as there is a way to tell if they used one then all is good! :)

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I'm still slightly confused on the benefit of some of the buildings. There seems to be a lot of moving going on in this game and it seems the quickest thing to do is gather resources near the building that you are trying to stretch the 'border' out with.

 

It seems it's somewhat a waste of time to make a lumber yard because it takes wood to make the yard then you still have to walk far just to get it to the build site. It seems the lumber mill has slightly more advantage in that the workers get more work productivity (do workers assigned to the lumber yard also get a productivity bonus? If so, how much compared to the lumber mill?).

 

The same goes for farms (supplying food to homes) and future plans of heating (heating homes), there seems to be a lot of logistics involved to keep up places that are 'left behind' when you are gathering new areas of resource. Is that part of the difficulty or am I doing things wrong? lol

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Keep in mind that Ray still has a lot of functionality still planned for the mechanics of the buildings.  I'm sure once he gets around to those they will be awesome!

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I'm still slightly confused on the benefit of some of the buildings. There seems to be a lot of moving going on in this game and it seems the quickest thing to do is gather resources near the building that you are trying to stretch the 'border' out with.

 

It seems it's somewhat a waste of time to make a lumber yard because it takes wood to make the yard then you still have to walk far just to get it to the build site. It seems the lumber mill has slightly more advantage in that the workers get more work productivity (do workers assigned to the lumber yard also get a productivity bonus? If so, how much compared to the lumber mill?).

 

The same goes for farms (supplying food to homes) and future plans of heating (heating homes), there seems to be a lot of logistics involved to keep up places that are 'left behind' when you are gathering new areas of resource. Is that part of the difficulty or am I doing things wrong? lol

 

The harvest buildings do get a gathering speed increase, but right now you're right, they almost serve no purpose unless you just need more workers and the Village Center is full.
 

But there's a few upcoming changes that will make them pretty much required, the main two being:

- Loose items on the ground will eventually start to decay (very slowly). So you need a safe place to store them, and the village center doesn't store anything.

- Builders will someday only be allowed to harvest materials if there is an active building that needs built/fixed/etc. So you won't be able to use them to stockpile anything, and since you will also eventually need wood for other things (like warming houses in the winter when I add seasons) you'll need stockpiles.

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The harvest buildings do get a gathering speed increase, but right now you're right, they almost serve no purpose unless you just need more workers and the Village Center is full.
 

But there's a few upcoming changes that will make them pretty much required, the main two being:

- Loose items on the ground will eventually start to decay (very slowly). So you need a safe place to store them, and the village center doesn't store anything.

- Builders will someday only be allowed to harvest materials if there is an active building that needs built/fixed/etc. So you won't be able to use them to stockpile anything, and since you will also eventually need wood for other things (like warming houses in the winter when I add seasons) you'll need stockpiles.

I always wondered what they did...

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