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A breakdown of the current Systems for PC jungle simulation game "In the Heart of Borneo," plus Player Choices & Tradeoffs.

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A breakdown of the current Systems for my game In the Heart of Borneo and Player Choices & Tradeoffs. (I also covered these in last week's Vlog.)

Current Systems

  • Photo Manager/Animal Manager - Common, Less Common, & Rare Animal Types, plus Common & Unique Photo Types. Players get a random Animal Type and Photo Type for a photo, yielding different amounts of cash.
  • Event Manager - I implemented a limited number of events so far (such as detours for photos, injury events, sleep in a cave (as protection against animals in the jungle at night)). If you have other ideas for events, let me know!
  • Village Manager - Small and Large villages. Large villages are more likely to have more (& cheaper!) supplies than Small. During my next milestone, I change this somewhat so Small villages are more predictable. In my first devlog video, you can see that Small villages feel rather unuseful. It's important for player to be able to be able to predict what's available at each village type and feel like each village type has a purpose (rather than skipping over Small villages, which is what I currently do in playthroughs).
  • Player Stats
  • Store (with randomized supplies and costs, as mentioned above in "Village Manager")
  • Inventory

I’m a traveling indiedev and have lived the so-called “digital nomad” lifestyle since 2016. A side effect of this is that I generally talk about development milestones by country:

  • I made most of these systems while in Malaysia back in March (which is where I initially became inspired to create this game!), so I've had the core functionality for a while now, but it started feeling more like a game when I added in the Event system.
  • Since coming to Bali (end of March), I had a weeklong vacation and spent some time on the artwork, as well as implementing the Event Manager and making more of the game show up in the UI (previously, the majority of the game was basically a text adventure in the Console Smiley - it worked fine for me, but wasn’t as interesting as functioning UI!).

Player Choices & Tradeoffs

Shortly after creating the video devlog, I also added:

  • Day and night probabilities - i.e. Greater chance of Sprained Ankle or Animal Attack at night.
  • Events affected by low stamina - i.e. Greater chance of injury on low Stamina.
  • At night, photos have higher chance of being unique. - However, you also have a higher chance of injury/animal attack at night! This may change the player’s strategy by causing them to stock up on Antibiotics and Antivenom at a Large Village (where they’re cheaper). Players may attain more money by going deeper into the jungle, where the chance of finding a Less Common or Rare animal to photograph also increases.

Another small fix I’ll soon add, to give the player more agency:

  • An option to rest on low Stamina or risk a greater chance of injury by continuing onward. Currently, the player is forced to rest for 8 hours when their Stamina is depleted.

Overall, I need to create more options and significant tradeoffs for the player. (You'll notice in the vlog that I spend most of my time reacting to events rather than actively making decisions.)

I'll share the rest of the changes made in the next update!

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