Build a home, build a community, build HOPE.

Hope is a first person, world and community building roleplaying game. Set in the junkpunk world of EverSky, where people live on flying structures known as "rigs". Your role is to help build the community on a rig called "Hope", using a wide variety of tools. You will build, enhance and maintain the rig, whilst trading, crafting and socializing with the rigs inhabitants. 

EverSky is an alternate world where everything is made from salvage. The rules of physics and the laws of entropy work differently in EverSky, as you will learn as you master the physics-powered gravity gun, the remote control "build drone" and a whole array of other such tools, which allow you as a player the complete freedom to build out the rig to your own design. 

You are not alone on the rig, nor is your rig alone in the world. Spend time socializing, or trading with other rigs in order to build up funds to buy new enhancements for your home. Win over the people on the rig and watch as their respect grows for your dedication to their home. 

Hope is all about freedom. You are free to play as you like, the game will adapt itself to you as you play, offering new experiences and new inhabitants to interact with. We want you to really want to spend time aboard Hope! 

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Recipe editor and state handler Form filling Trade screen wireframe mockups
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1 comment by zoombapup on Apr 4th, 2014

I seem to be taking a hell of a lot of development time adding systems and editor tools that let me create data, but it's all for a specific purpose. That being to speed up development of new features. As a side benefit, these features tend to enable the game to be more data driven. Which in turn means one major upside - mod support!

This week I've been writing something that has been needed for a while now. That is the ability to load and save the databases that drive the game. Its kind of hard to explain, but Unity basically doesn't like mods. Instead is tends to want to pre-package everything into a file and then just have an exe that "plays" that set of data.

But I don't really like the idea of a monolithic codebase where everthing is fixed and can't be updated. For the most part I would prefer it if players could add new items or at least fiddle with what already exists. Which is why moving to more data-driven systems tends to help. So most of the development effort this week has been on extending the editors I wrote previously to allow saving and loading of data from human readable json text files.

Recipe editor and state handler
Editor screenshot for recipe database

This is a really useful bit of work, not least because I managed to figure out some new C# methods and extended the core code with features like json serialization. It also paves the way for some more editor tools, which theoretically could be used by anyone with Unity to edit data for the game (although I think it'd probably be as easy to write an editor using winforms and C#).

What this all means, is that Items, Inventories, Recipes (containers with a required inventory and a output inventory) and other data-driven classes now can be stored to external data files. Which is good news in terms of data security for when I add the 1000's of new recipes I plan on featuring in the game.

You can probably tell by the screenshot above that I haven't had time to really test out these changes with huge amounts of data yet. But they work well enough to continue with other code.

The other thing I've been working on this week comes from the features (trading in particular) that were worked on last week. I noticed there was some slowdown when switching potential trade partner. I only have access to Unity pro a few days a week (while I work with a particular company) so I didn't get the chance until recently to profile what was wrong with the feature. It was taking a while to refresh the UI and I thought I'd isolated where it might be slowing. Turns out it was an issue with a bunch of debug logging I'd added when I'd first worked on the system. Long story short it was allocating memory during the debugging and that was causing an error with the garbage collector.

I'm just about to add some extra touches to the recipe database editor that struck me while I was working on this weeks tools. In that I didn't have any progression through the recipes. So very shortly I'll have a way of restricting what type of recipes can be crafted and at which "level" the machine used for crafting them is. So essentially you'll have to upgrade crafting facilities (most recipes require a specific machine or cooking appliance) to craft more exotic goods. Hopefully next week I'll show you crafting food (using a barbeque or other type of cooking appliance), smelting metal to create refined metal, combining blueprints and components to craft a simple device etc.

I also plan on introducing the communications functionality. That is, how you learn about other rigs and generate potential trading partners as well as how to recruit newcomers into your community.


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Post comment Comments  (10 - 20 of 55)
Guest Oct 29 2013, 5:50pm says:

something to write down on a post-it note that you can keep around for a while later is posture. no person holds a construction tool at that position at all times. when the game gets really close to being finished, try adding motion and personality to the character's movements. you're making something wonderful and you should be proud. can't wait to see it finished.

+3 votes     reply to comment
zoombapup Nov 2 2013, 6:59pm replied:

There are a bunch of different tools to use. For the most part they'll be part of first person view. But a few like the build drone are remote operated (think ROV). Thanks for the comment though, I'm always thinking about how to make the world more immersive. Take your point about the tools.

+2 votes     reply to comment
BrandonZ201 Sep 30 2013, 5:05am says:

How many people are making this game? or only just YOU?

+2 votes     reply to comment
zoombapup Sep 30 2013, 5:35am replied:

Right now its just me. I've got various artists that come and go quite a bit. But you mostly can't rely on them :)

+3 votes     reply to comment
FoxnEagle Sep 9 2013, 11:07am says:

Congrats on getting in the top 100 indie games!


+2 votes     reply to comment
zoombapup Sep 9 2013, 3:44pm replied:

Top 100? where, what how? :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
FoxnEagle Sep 15 2013, 7:36pm replied:

Last week on the top 100 on the IndieDB website, it showed you as 86th on the list. Keep checking your Rank on your statistics page.

+3 votes     reply to comment
FoxnEagle Aug 11 2013, 8:12pm says:

Hey there again,

Been a while in since I've posted, but I love seeing the updates that have happened so far.

I went to your homepage at and was curious to know when we might be seeing some of the DABL in action. Any time set for that?


+2 votes     reply to comment
zoombapup Aug 12 2013, 4:58am replied:

Hey Fox!

I'm working on some research artefacts right now which I'll be taking into our labs sometime over the next few months. If those work out, I'll do a slightly bigger artefact and release that on the internet. So I'd say it might well be 3-4 months before you see much there.

I've actually been focussing a lot on things like trade and craft as I learn more about Unity and C#, so things have been a bit slow on the AI front. But I really REALLY want to get onto playing with the AI soon.

Sorry its taking so long. You've also reminded me to update the mindflock site again :)

I tend to put more info up as I'm working on the reddit page:

Take care!

+2 votes     reply to comment
zoombapup Aug 7 2013, 3:00pm replied:

Thanks. Look forward to sharing early builds.

+2 votes     reply to comment
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