Post news RSS DevLog #5 - New Art/Animation, Progression + More! [Video update]

Announcements and updates to PC jungle simulation game "In the Heart of Borneo." Improving Stamina endurance, new sleeping animation (+hammock), more player choices! Check it out!

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Happy belated 4th of July!


#1 After 1.5+ years of nonstop travel across the Asia Pacific, I’m back in the USA. It took a little while to get over the jetlag, but I’m back into a good rhythm.

Between the jetlag and game consulting work, I had 2 weeks or less to spend on In the Heart of Borneo, but I’m happy with the progress I made!

#2 I accepted a new freelance job as a Quest Writer/Scripter on story-driven, indie game Eastshade! (Check out the trailer - it’s awesome!) You can also wishlist it on Steam!

I still have a few days a week to work on In the Heart of Borneo, even with my new gig and prior game consulting work, so I still plan to push out regular updates!

I love the variety of work I currently enjoy with my Narrative/Scripting work on Eastshade; designing/programming/arting on Heart of Borneo; plus my business, game design and game publishing work as a consultant.


A video update with my latest changes in action!

The 1st 15 minutes are announcements and showing the new features. The rest are 2 short playthroughs of the game.

(I accidentally covered up some of the UI with my video overlay - oops!)


Sleep Animation

Heart of Borneo - Sleep Animation

Inventory on Backpack!

This is Step 1 of my master plan to move UI elements into the world. All inventory items have their own slots on the backpack. They stack on top of each other and rotate so players can tell when there are multiple items.

(Note: I need to replace the inventory art and add mesh over the items so it looks like they are attached to the backpack!)

Heart of Borneo - Inventory Backpack

Progression - Stamina/Hunger Endurance

The player can now increase their Stamina and Hunger Endurance by climbing hills. The 1st area of the game will have a mountain blocking the player’s path. The player’s goal is to scale that mountain, for which they need to improve their Endurance!

For every elevation interval the player scales, the more their Stamina and Hunger levels improve - once the player returns to the main path!

To incentivize the player to consume more of their resources on these hills, they receive a slight bonus for more elevation climbed consecutively.

Heart of Borneo - Stamina Progression Endurance

Player Choice - Hill/Search for Animal/Search for Plant Detours

In previous Vlogs, I spent my time reacting to events, rather than strategizing. Now, the player can take matters into their own hands at any time. They can:

  1. Improve their Stamina/Hunger Endurance.
  2. Look for animals to photograph (thereby accumulating more money, thereby accumulating more resources).
  3. Look for plants (to potentially cure the player of ailments).

I added more functionality to the plants (see next header) to differentiate the Search for Animals Detour more from the Search for Plants Detour.

It feels safer though to search for animals (than plants) because there are more ways in which a plant can hurt you. I need to work on differentiating the two even more.

Design Rationality: The purpose of adding these Detour buttons was to give the player more to do and more around which to plan a strategy. As a player, I feel like I have more agency when I play (than I did previously), and I even found myself developing different strategies based on the resources available at the first market and the long-term goals I was after.

I succeeded in my goal of adding more Player Choice. With these design changes, I added more progression to the game, although I haven’t played (or survived!) long enough to feel the impact of this. I think I’ll make this part of my next milestone.

Design Consideration: To differentiate between Search for Animals and Search for Plants, I am considering adding some indication of the likelihood an animal is in the vicinity.

I may do this by displaying a percentage, or adding colored areas to the map, which become darker when the likelihood is greater. This would then be a skill the player can level up.


Previously, plants did one of three things: 1. Restored X amount of health. 2. Poisoned you now. 3. Poisoned you at some point over the next day.

If you saw my last Vlog, you’ll notice how much they added to the experience of playing the game.

Now, my plants may also:

  • Double your health.
  • Cure you of venom.
  • Cure you of injury. (But, if you aren’t already injured, it will hurt you instead!)

Design Rationality: I wanted plants to be less predictable so it feels like more of a gamble to consume them. This also adds strategy on the part of the player, as:

  • Players may stock up on antibiotics beforehand.
  • Players may wait to consume until health is high, in the event their health is doubled.
  • Players may wait to consume until nearby a store, in case injury or poison ensues!
  • Players may wait to consume until they have multiple ailments, in hopes it will cure them!

Wow! That was a bigger update than I expected! It’s been a fruitful couple of weeks! Congratulations if you read this through to the end!

Next Milestone - Tentative Ideas

  • Art: Add a map. Move some of the UI elements to the map?
  • Design: Decide how to show the chance an animal is in the area and experiment with this.
  • Progression: Have the player build up their Endurance and develop a strategy to work toward overcoming the first mountain (in the first area of the game).

Questions for You!

  • Any UI you like in other games that you think I should use as artistic reference material? (At some point I will replace the event popups with something nicer but haven’t looked into references yet!)

As always, thanks for reading!

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thatwilldo - - 178 comments

Thank you for sharing your progress.

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karincederskoog Author
karincederskoog - - 2 comments

Glad you're enjoying the updates! Thanks for checking out the game!

Reply Good karma+2 votes
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