Forensic Friday 12: Re-Evaluation Priorities & Design Dump

Hello all! (~﹃~) .zZ

I have woken up from my desk to bring Forensic Friday! It’s been a while since the last Forensic Friday, and as per custom we are posting this one day late. Breaking the trend of no notable updates, we finally have some news! Since 2nd year of university is coming to a close we are starting to pick up work on the game again. We had a little moment of realisation over the past few weeks, that being our priorities. We haven’t been focusing our energy in the right places, which has lead to more frequent and longer burnout periods. In any games development, getting the game playable should be the first and foremost goal. We, however, have lost sight of this goal; and for quite some time. Thus we sat down, scrapped the entire project task tracking board, and redid it using the glorious MoSoCoW prioritisation. It stands for:

This method was perfect in evaluating what was needed to make a playable product. Every feature placed in the Must haves are essential for the game to be playable, and thus if every feature in the Must haves are implemented, we have a playable alpha!\(@^0^@)/ (Though it may not necessarily have content or be fun). Then If everything in Should haves is implemented then we have something that more enjoyable to play and would very likely pass as a public alpha. Moving onto the Could haves and beyond, we go anywhere from alpha to finished product. This is mostly the polishing region and the content adding region.

After all this re-evaluation we realised many of the features we had been working on were on the Could or Should haves, meaning we were working to the game being complete, but not in the fastest way. It’s like building a house without creating a floor plan first. I can say with confidence now a playable alpha is not as far as away as we initially thought; and a positive side effect from all this re-prioritisation is that most of the pressing features that need to be implemented are actually quite interesting! Below is listed all our current priorities:

Our Current Priorities #

Asterisk means that we have partially finished that feature

Must Haves #

Should Haves #

Could Haves #

Won’t Have (For Now) #

This is our current prioritisation for now, in order of how we will implement it. While I finish up on the structural integrity stuff (I promise it’s almost done, just a few quirks to iron out), Dillan is going to make a start on Category C’s a.k.a Cavies/Convicts/Prisoners. These NPCs are quite a major portion of the game and will breathe a lot of life into it, so they are quite an important feature, and will be given time accordingly. If you want to find out more about all the planned ins and outs of Category C’s, check out the last Forensic Friday!

For all of these we tried to think what was Integral to the gameplay loop, whilst doing this we also spend some time further expanding into how different features will actually work. This was a major problem we were having that was slowing down development. Many features were not fully specified so when it came around to implementing it, we wouldn’t know where to start. This lead us to skipping more important things, opting to implement things that were easier/already implemented. Now with further details about how various features will work, we have regained the vision(⚆o⚆). But what is the vision you may be asking? (づ ̄3 ̄)?...

The Vision #

The vision is not actually anything tangible. I am just trying to be dramatic. Though I would love to share our design thoughts about various upcoming features!

Scientists #


Overview #

Jobs, Fields and Specialisations #

Job Title (affects lab bonuses)

  • Every scientist has a job title in which they are employed. Scientists prefer to work with colleagues that have the same job title.
  • If 50% or greater of a lab is occupied by the same job title, that lab gets a bonus for any research done in that lab.
  • Types:
    • Researcher
    • Head Researcher

Preferred Scientific Field (Affects Research bonuses) #

  • Every scientist has a scientific field in which they specialize.
  • This affects Research bonuses.
  • Every research item has one or more associated fields.
  • If scientists with the appropriate field are assigned to research the item, the research gets a speed bonus.
  • Fields and Subfields:
    • Computer Scientist
    • Physicist ⁃ Geologist ⁃ Astronomer
    • Chemist ⁃ Nuclear Technician
    • Biologist ⁃ Neuroscientist ⁃ Biochemist ⁃ Virologist ⁃ Botanist ⁃ Zoologist

Each of the sub-fields can also provide a bonus. This allows the player to create even more specialized labs If they so desire.

Specialists #

Scientists can become a specialist after sufficient training and experience on-site. Every Scientist has a certain specialization they are working towards. This allows the player to pick which scientists attend experiments to get experience for them if the player really wanted a Containment Specialist.

Experimentation #

5 Convicts are in the containment cell, the anomaly is aggravated, the anomaly kills at least one Convict, the anomaly doesn’t breach containment, etc

Experience #

Research and Tech Tree #

Anomalies #

Overview #

Containment Procedures #

Formalising Containment Procedures #

  • All containment procedures are is a set of steps that all must be satisfied to effectively contain an anomaly.
  • Containment procedures should not be hardcoded, but emergent attributes that exist because of the anomalies behaviour.
  • So this means for every anomaly, there should be a way to counteract its behaviour to contain it. Such as if an anomaly phases through walls, place a wall it can’t phase through.
  • Containment procedures consist of 2 things:
    • What we need to build to contain it
  • Protocols we need to enforce to keep it in containment.
  • The latter is harder to represent in code. The former is just a case of adding, or using an existing buildable item in the game.

Containment Protocols #

  • Ideally it should be accessible from a menu.
  • In this menu you could create protocols for an anomaly under your possession as well as view all the protocols in place.
  • These protocols could be generalized into categories of actions that NPCs should, can, and cannot do.
  • These protocols can be represented as templates that have empty fields that can be swapped out with desired information
  • Every protocol can have a priority that determines whether it is a critical protocol:
  • High Priority
  • Low Priority

Examples #


##Hidden Attributes

Corporation Grants #

Overview #

One-time Grants #

Continuous Grants #

Administration NPCs #

Overview #

There are various NPCs where there can only be one instance on the site. The roles are:

Each of these roles provides bonuses to the site and can be acquired through the bureaucratic side of the research tree. The administrator is the only one acquired at the beginning.

Facility Raids #

** Overview** #

After enough anomalies have been captured the facility will start getting raided. The raids occur every set random day from the last, with increasing intensity the more anomalies are contained.

The Raid #

Difficulty #

Capturing raiders #

Case closed #

Phew! That was a pretty hefty post; and there’s a lot I omitted and didn’t touch upon. However, these are most of the major features that now actually have a loose specification. Now all we have to do is implement it all! .______.

In other news: Patreon 1 Patreon 2

Our Patreon tiers have new flashy tier images! This is apart of a move to start expanding our outreach more and begin to build a community again.

But I think it’s best to leave this lengthy post here. It’s great to see you guys again. Til the next one!

The Team,
Plasmarc Studios