⭐ Forensic Friday 25: A Robust Codebase, and New Website?

We are back again to bring you another case file, and this one is still warm. Scientist’s and Pipes are officially finished! The codebase is about to become a lot more robust! We are launching a new blog post! We have ideas about upcoming features!** Gunplay?** And our** new website** is landing soon! All of these and more in the case file below!

Archiving the Research #

Scientists and research have been completely finished! With that, I can now move onto greater things. The last feature I implemented was archiving of research after it is completed. For that, players will need to build a archive room in their facility. The benefit of archiving experiments is that you can potentially obtain research points down the line with archived research. If you’re lucky and some experiment you did ages ago resurfaces whilst a scientist is trolling through the archive region on their lunch break, then maybe you’ll be able to do some more research! Other than making things saveable, that was the last major feature. The game still doesn’t have a way to spend those research points; we haven’t made the UI for that yet! Though we have had some ideas about the research tree! See below:

Research Tree 1Research Tree 2

Sniff Sniff #

Do you smell that? Nothing quite beats the smell of sewage being pumped from one storage container to another… I don’t know why we were storing sewage but as with many things, it happened and we have to live with the consequences of that. The great news is that powered fluid entities now function perfectly (a word I’m usually hesitant to say, but there have been 0 bugs that have popped up during development so it seems like it’s working great). Pumps transfer fluids in a certain direction, and require power to carry out their function. Depending on the power satisfaction it will work faster or slower. A video of it working at full capabilities is shown below! Please excuse the makeshift art, we totally didn’t use a bed in place of a pump image and a white square in place of a fluid storage :))

The Test Devil #

The next step on our game development adventure requires us to face the darkest force of development hell. Aptly named the Test Devil. The Test Devil has no heart, no soul; it pulls us back with bugs and taunts us when we break old parts of our codebase. This is the main reason we need to face it. Our code regression is becoming unmaintainable. A regression is just a feature that once worked, that now doesn’t! You can understand how bad this is! The worst thing is working on a game, moving from feature to feature, but breaking every feature before it! The reason why this is happening is because we have 27 thousand lines of code, but nothing to actually Test whether that code works.

(*  ̄︿ ̄)

It can be a real headache! To be frank we never realised the usefulness of making code that is A) Testableand B) Tested, but we see now that if we pause development for a month and focus on writing tests, it will pay dividends in the future. We are talking like HUGE development speed up. The time spent fixing old features can get very long, and with tests this (increasing) overhead will be eliminated completely! Test’s also give us confidence in our code, and the product, that everything we have worked so hard for works exactly how we intended, which is important on a technical level but also an emotional one too. So for the next few forensic Fridays we will be on a quest to kill the Test Devil. Wish us luck!

Looking to the future #

Testing is likely the last hurdle codewise. We have crossed many hurdles, both spoken and unspoken, but we finally have reached a point where development feels good. The framework we have built feels right, but the only thing holding back the speed of development is…BUGS. Regressing bugs. As I said before, we plan to deal with this promptly; but what about after? Well in the least words….here’s a roadmap!

[December/January] FF25-30 - Writing Tests and Fixing all Bugs, Validating old features, Ease of life changes (Dev side)
[January] FF30-32 - Overhauling UI
[Feburary] FF32-34 - New Features: Money and Grants, Guards
[Feburary/March] FF34-40 - New Features: Prisoners Expanded, Gunplay
[April] FF40-44 - New Features: UI Building, NPC Staff Expansions i.e. Janitors/ Cooks
[May] FF44-50 - New Features: More NPC Staff Expansions: Doctors, Facility Raids
[June] FF50-54 - New Systems: Water/Flooding, Manager NPCs
[July] FF54-58 - Polish of existing features
[August/September] FF62-70 - Lighting System Redo (Might be done earlier?), Start on making game moddable
[October/November] FF70-78 - Tying game together into a playable product, Polish, Achievements, Continue modding.
[December] FF78+ - Kickstarter (No matter the state of the game by this point, we will run Kickstarter)
Successful Kickstarter - We work full time
Unsuccessful Kickstarter - We work part time. Run a Kickstarter every half year till success
10 years, deal with Microsoft, PLASMARC OIL, a handful of DLCs, thousands of mods later…
Meteor strikes earth and development ends for good

This is an ideal roadmap, and is likely achievable given our now daily commitment to working on the game, but in all likelihood it will probably take twice as long. Reality is often disappointing, however! Trust us that we will try to stick to this roadmap! Expect checkpoints every few Forensic Fridays to assess whether we are on track!

New Blog Mechanical Mondays #

We have a new blog post coming! In out efforts to expand our blogging efforts I present to you:

(っ◔◡◔)っ ❤ Mechanical Mondays ❤

It will run every Monday Duh… and will be all about new mechanics we plan to introduce, but most importantly about anomalies! But sometimes we will talk about other things such as other mechanics we have thought about. That neatly brings me onto….Gunplay. I kindly took a few hours of my time to sit down and think about how gunplay will work; and by our estimates, you should expect it around FF40! (Actually Forensic Friday 35, we are fast coders!)

New Website (Mockups) #

We are also planning to make a new website! A lot simpler one granted… No forum, completely unnecessary right now! No user accounts either. All we will have is just a static page about that game and a nice place for our devlogs, but don’t fret, we will still post blogs here to, with all the quirks of keeping a blog on discord! Discord is honestly terrible for blogs but here we are, we started this way so we’ll stick to it! Just expect blogs to be formatted a lot nicer on the actual website. Take a look at mock-ups of what the new site will look like (subject to change)

Mockup 1

Mockup 2

Mockup 3

We want to make the new website as slick as possible, expect nice transitions and animations. We also want to put things on a single page to make navigation as simple as possible. The cold clinical feel of the universe should reflect on the website, and I think it will if we follow these mock-ups!

Compared to the current one, the new website will be more clean and CoOl…

Old Site 1 Old Site 2 Not bad… buttt… very messy (>ლ)

Case Closed #

I’m gonna close the case file now. This one was quite a long one! We had a lot in store for you this week. Hopefully next week is as interesting. Pray that we can stick to the roadmap and if we can’t then… well you can burn us at the stake or something.

Any ado, I should get this case file to the archive so I’ll be seeing you around! Thanks for reading!

Seasons Greetings,
The Team,
Plasmarc Studios