Pirates of Rogue Basin – Post Mortem

Today went about as well as I could’ve possibly hoped. This is my third 7drl, with my first two being successful, to varying degrees.

This year, I dreamt quite a bit bigger, in terms of scope. Rather than just a single gameplay mechanic, like I had in my previous attempts, this yeah has several interesting things going on – perilous sailing, NPCs characters with their own agendas, sea battles, trading and economics, reputation, and skills. I had partially written something similar years ago, over about an 8 month period, but it never got to a point I could call Done (it lacked over half of the above mentioned mechanics). Well, having thought it through a LOT over the past few weeks, I was pretty confident I could get it all done, if everything went to plan.

I took the week off work, and basically spent the entire time working on the game.

After days one and two, I was well ahead of my planned daily milestones. This gave me a strange uncomfortable feeling. Day three, I found out why. Laying out the cities interface was a NIGHTMARE. I spent pretty much 12 hours straight, just wiggling boxes around on the screen, realizing after I’d gotten everything just so that I missed a critical stat in the UI.

Day four, I managed to catch back up a little, but still wasn’t back up to my planned milestones.

In fact, I never got there. The way I planned it out, I gave myself 5 days to get everything in place that I thought of, up front. This would leave me two days for the things that I inevitably forgot to plan (like, in this case, Pirates… see https://github.com/v4nz666/7drl2017/issues/41 for an example, added on Day 6 🙂 Wouldn’t have been much of a pirates game without them… But there’s a lot to think about, so hopefully I can be forgiven.

I was still adding absolutely essential, core mechanics right up until about two hours before the deadline, and spent the last two hours ironing out the bugs I’d introduced, and not had a chance to test.

Thankfully, I had help from a couple awesome folks – @Break-the-Silence threw down some really awesome graphical tiles, and pulled together a sweet soundtrack and sound effects… The guy’s a wizard with a DAW, and @tmathers tied everything together with the main menu, credits and online high-score functionality.

Too many features added today to list, but, some of the highlights:

  • Cannon Fire!
  • Online leaderboard, displaying your randomly generated Pirate name, and gold that you finished the game with (your score is still registered if you quit)
  • Four separate background music tracks
  • TONS of sweet sound effects
  • Interact with passing captains by setting anchor in an adjacent tile
  • About 20% of generated captains are now Pirates
  • Graphical tiles
  • Consistent colors throughout

Here’s a gameplay gif that ALMOST shows everything… if only I’d bought some cannonballs, I could’ve attacked that passing ship! Alas.

Pirates of Rogue Basin – SUCCESS

MAN, it’s been a crazy busy couple days, but I’m REALLY happy with how things turned out.

I don’t have it in me to do a full post until I’ve eaten some supper, but, I’ll do so in a couple hours.

For now, here’s a screenshot, showing off the awesome artwork @Break-the-silence whipped up for me

Pirates of Rogue Basin – day 6

6 down, 1 to go! Got a ton done today, including:

  • Battle mechanics added! You can now fire chainshot and cannonballs from the port and starboard side of your ship.
  • Sound effects added throughout (Thanks @Break-the-silence!)
  • Framework for online leaderboards in place (Thanks @tmathers!)
  • Neighbouring cities of your starting port are now revealed on the map view
  • Crew will go awol if morale is low, when returning to port
  • Cities’ gold is now replenished periodically
  • Implemented pause menu
  • Skills now increase over time, nav (increases line of sight) increases with days spent sailing at sea, gun increases with shots fired from your cannon (increases range of cannons)
  • Updated shipyard UI
  • @Break-the-silence also whipped up a sweet ship tile to use

Here’s a little gameplay gif of us going for a little journey to see, and broadside our good neighbours. Why? Because we can!

Pirates of Rogue Basin – day 5

Wow, day 5 already. Today was pretty crazy.

News is now generated randomly at cities. News consists of shortages or surpluses of random goods, and causes price increases/decreases as you’d expect. There’s now some real money to be made, out there.

Other captains are now randomly generated at cities around the map. They spawn with a destination city in mind, and when the ai doesn’t freak out and make them run aground, they sail to their destination and disembark.

I recorded a short gameplay gif, hoping to see another captain generated in my travels, but my starting city was an ideal economic hub, and I got distracted. I ran some wood and coffee back and forth enough to upgrade my lowly Caravel to a glorious Sloop. At which point I found a bug where my original ship was shown outside the city when I left (seemed to go away once I moved one square, so should be easy enough to iron out) and I realized the color I’d chosen for the Schooner is the same as the water color. So I sailed around a bit in the wicked fast, but pretty much invisible ship before calling it quits to go change that damn color. :/ Ya can’t win em all I guess.

This gif is animated, as usual.

makin money!
Shipping wood and coffee between a couple of ports, and buying an invisible Schooner!

Tomorrow – Sea battles!

Pirates of Rogue Basin – day 4

Today has been a good day. Finished off all of the city functionality, including:

  • Buy and sell ships (you now start without a ship, and must buy one to proceed)
  • Buy and sell goods at the General Store
  • Cities now generate a random set of ships for sale
  • Ship repairs at the shipyard
  • Buy ammo at the shipyard
  • Tavern functionality – buy a round to increase morale, hire crew to man your ship
  • Connected all the elements on the main game window to real data
  • Crew consumes food/rum while at sea
  • Morale decreases slowly while at sea
  • Added a fullscreen command line switch

That’s a lot of stuff! 🙂

It’s really starting to come together. Still a couple major pieces to get right, though. Tomorrow should be exciting.

Here’s a little bit of gameplay, gif-style

Pirates of Rogue Basin – Day 3

Well, so much for being ahead of the curve! Today was spent almost entirely on fleshing out the Cities. You can now:

  • Enter cities by setting our anchor in an adjacent tile
  • Exit cities by visiting their docks
  • Increase Morale at brothels

Different size cities have more/fewer shops to choose from, but a General Store and Docks are always present.

Cities’ market prices are determined by the quantity/scarcity of the goods.

Coming up (hopefully in the remaining hours of tonight, if I’m to have a chance of getting back on schedule):

  • Buy drinks in taverns (slight morale boost)
  • Hire Crew in taverns
  • Repair Ship’s hull/sail at Shipyards
  • Buy new ships, and ammo at Shipyards
  • Gather Gossip from Cities

Still feeling pretty good about things, though I had originally planned to get much more done on Day 3.

Pirates of Rogue Basin – day 2

Today went a little more slowly than yesterday. Still managed to finish the planned features before 48 hours were up, if only just. Glad I finished yesterday a couple hours early!

Added fog of war, constantly updating wind, and ship control/movement. Doesn’t really sound like much, but things could now arguably called fun. I call that a pretty big step forward.

The following screenshot is an animated gif. Apparently, you’ve got to click it to view the animation.

Pirates of Rogues Basin gameplay

Tomorrows goals:

  • Actually enter cities (and shops within cities)
  • Generate other ships randomly sailing from port to port
  • Implement crew mechanics (if < minCrew for a given ship, sailing will be hindered)
  • Decrement stats periodically (eat food/drink rum/decrease morale slowly while at sea)