Thank you for reading this! I’d like to give the second update of the project I am currently working on, ‘Paper Needs Inspiration!’.
What Is This Pocket HUB?
In the previous update I spoke about the procedurally generated terrain I am using for this game. One of the problems that arise from using this type of terrain is the difficulty establishing set areas within the terrain that appear properly within each generated chunk of the infinite terrain.
For example, I can set a Market area (with trading NPC’s) to appear in each chunk of terrain that is generated so the player can buy/sell items necessary when travelling across terrain chunks. However, because of the randomness of the terrain topography, as well as resource and enemy spawning, the Market will often appear in the terrain chunk in an odd or erroneous fashion.
Unrealistic Market placement, blocked access due to other asset placement and unwanted asset spawning placement are some of the problems that occur. All of these can prohibit the flow of normal gameplay and, in some cases, make the game unplayable.
The solution to this problem is what I call a ‘Pocket HUB’. This is an area in which the player can engage in necessary game tasks without conflicts that would inhibit carrying them out. To accomplish this, I have nestled these HUB areas into prefabs that the player can craft and, using a MoveTo script, the player can enter/exit these areas safely without any potentially game-breaking conflicts arising.
The Pocket HUB also has the added benefit of loading very quickly: instead of loading a completely new scene into the game, the HUB simply loads as a prefab into the current scene, making it a seamless transition from the terrain to the HUB. Here is an illustration of the player crafting this type of HUB:
I also made some smaller improvements to the program, such as animation corrections and improved item media (icons). Here’s how tent camping now looks:
WASD – Move
Q and E: Rotate Camera
Mouse Wheel: Zoom In and Out
Mouse L-Click: Move to Click Point
Inventory Single Mouse L-Click: Move Item
Inventory Double Mouse L-Click: Use/Equip Item
How To Play: Go to the right when game first loads and pick up the resources available, then craft the HUB Alpha item from the crafting menu. To return to the terrain, go to the particle effect in the middle of the HUB area.
2.23G Hard Drive Space
GTX 1060 or Equivalent
Having found a solution for the introduction of alternate playing areas that work well with a procedurally generated terrain, I’ll be moving on to more specific game improvements such as enemy balancing and tweaking, new item introduction and settings to emphasize the survival aspect of the resource management system.
So be sure to download the demo and let me know what you think!