I decided to start implementing the different power sources. The power dispenser as is currently in the game is just a placeholder for actual power generators. I plan to implement quite a number of them. Some of them will be staple sci-fi sources, but I started with a more exotic drive.
The monkey-paddle-power-drive (in short, monkeydrive) will be the most mundane source of power in the game. It'll probably be the most silly one as well. You basically have an army of monkeys cycling their asses off to power your station. The gif belows doesn't need much explanation.
The monkeydrive is fueled by bananas (no surprise I guess). Monkeys need to sleep and eat. When doing either, they don't generate power. The gif shows the monkeys eating (for this time in unison, but that's not necessarily so). The power shuts down while they're eating.
Finally, if the monkeys go sufficiently long without eating they'll start rampaging. A rampaging monkey will throw whatever object it can find towards an ant or otherwise towards a larger object. They'll keep doing this till they're fed. Below you can see an army of rampaging monkeys. I probably need to tone down their rate of destruction.
The next power source, and the last one for this week, is solar power. The game features solar panels which capture the sunlight. Pretty straightforward. However, to facilitate this, there's now the concept of 'station location'. The games features six solar exposure directions (e.g. North, East, Zenith, etc). You move the station in that direction such that the solar panels pointed in that direction provide power (as long as they have a clear way towards the edge of the game map in their pointed direction).
In order to move your station to a certain location, you need a helm console and a soldier ant with the command job to operate it. I might add propulsion later, but for now the station magically moves.
The gif below shows the whole progress. The soldier ant moves to the command station after I insert a new station destination. The background moves to indicate the station is traveling. Once it arrives at the location (with southern solar exposure) I shut down the power dispensers and hook up the solar panels, which can now provide power, since they have both the right station location and a clear way towards the southern edge on the map.
I took the opportunity to implement meteor storms how I imagined them. You can now steer your station into a meteor storm the same way you change its location for solar exposure, so the meteor storm can come form six directions. The tricky part is that it will take time to steer out of a meteor storm. So, if shit hits the fan, you won't immediately be able to stop the meteors from coming.
The gif below shows the station first flying into a northern meteor storm, then relocating to an eastern meteor storm. The lag in the gif is due to ants searching for water where there is none, by the way. It's taxing the pathfinding a bit.
For the coming week I'll keep working on different power sources, which will move into the more common scifi area.
In addition, I managed to prepare a new demo. I didn't update the playguide, but you can find it still here:
There's two ways of installing
1) Download the rar, no installing necessary. (Includes a basic station save!)
For this you need:
-The XNA framework redistributable (not necessary if you installed the first demo)
-The rar'd installation
2) Download the installer (also in a rar though). No need to uninstall the previous demo installation.
I couldn't test the first method myself, but I'm pretty sure it should work. Otherwise, just use the second method.
For questions, feedback and other things, go to:
I'll be interested whether the first installation method works. Let me know! (Also let me know whether you installed previous week's demo or used the redistributable).