Forensic Friday 41: Early Polish in Anticipation of Steam Page!

Welcome, all, to Forensic Friday 41! As usual, we’ll go through everything we’ve been up to this week game development wise, along with a few additions such as the Anomaly of the Week poll winner, as well as progress on our new steam page! Let’s get the anomaly of the week out of the way first…

Anomaly of the Week #

This week’s “Anomaly of the Week”, winning by a narrow margin is…drumroll

S-0257 - “Deer in management”

S-0257 is a humanoid individual with a defining characteristic of a deer’s head instead of a normal head. Despite this, S-0257 acts normally and is able to produce human words and sounds. S-0257 refers to itself as Dr. Deers. S-0257 wears a uniform similar to corporation scientist uniforms except being a color level not part of the corporation. Credit: Dr. Kleine Evengald

Following on from our Mechnical Monday (MM) blog post about our new schedule for MMs, we’ll spend the next week working on the Anomaly PDF document for S-0257, and will publish it in the next Mechnical Monday in just over a week (hopefully 03/06/23).

Finally… a Steam Page #

Take a look at the steampage so far. It’s almost ready, just missing a couple screenshots and a few images. Especially the storyteller assets, which aren’t done yet!

steam 1

steam 2

steam 3

steam 4

steam 5

steam 6

Feature Updates #

We’re hoping that we can get the steam page up soon, we’ve already been sorting out tags, age ratings etc, it’s just the final details. Finally, let’s get into the actual meat-and-potatoes for this whole project - the actual game development.

Prisoners Expanded Completed #

This week brought to a close “Prisoners Expanded” on our roadmap, which has actually been going since February due to the quirks of having exams between then and now. This is still ahead of schedule so that’s always good, and we’ve had time to add a few optional extras!

All NPCs have 4 types of “Job” that they can be assigned in our NPC scheduler on an hourly basis - work, eating, recreation and rest. With eating still to be done in the future, for now Category Cs have defined behaviour for all other Job types.

During work, Category C will stay in their cell, which requires a bed, toilet and jail door as a minimum requirement. Optional additions to cells to boost NPC cooperation include TVs, bookshelves and desks. During recreation, Category C will do a variety of tasks. If you make a prison yard region, Category Cs will take time to go and hang out, socialising with other prisoners they are on friendly terms with. They will also attempt to shower at the start of recreation if they are too dirty. During rest, Category Cs will return to their cell, and go to sleep in their bed.


Prisoners sleeping in their cell

Complementing sleeping, there is a new type of bed - bunk beds! Bunk beds function in the same way that normal beds do, with the only difference being that you can house 2 people in a smaller form factor.

Normal bed vs bunk beds

Comparison of beds versus bunk beds

Polish! #

Before we move onto new features pertaining to combat, we have been undergoing some polish so we can get better screenshots for the steam page. So let’s dive in!

NPCs now move with acceleration: Groovy! #

There are still a few kinks to iron out (like NPCs getting stuck in infinite circling loops) but so far we’re liking it. NPC movement looks a lot less rigid now.

New Art assets #

Calling this a week of art would be an understatement! Since we are working full time, we have also freed up the very much needed time to make new art assets. Time to ditch all those placeholders! Many of you would have got a glimpse of these with the Previous Forensic Friday, where mortars had actual sprites instead of the usual nondescript placeholder. Well, exciting stuff is in store for when we introduce the main combat feature that has been worked on this week! But first let’s see what new art assets have been made \(〇_o)/

Showers and mortar shells (They use shells instead of nades now)

Prison toilets and finally the fluid tank gets a sprite

Pipes get a fresh lick of paint (they look more consistent with the rest of the game’s artstyle now)

New Terrain Shader #

The terrain now uses a shader instead of being a thrown together mash of tiles. The major benefit of this is that now we can easily change the look of the terrain without much, if any, graphical overhead. That means a potential optimisation with snow wink. But it really means that when we introduce different biomes on the planet, changing the look of the terrain is as simple as tweaking a few dials here and there. Take a look at the new terrain below:

We also spent some time adding clouds, which brings up a funny inside joke we had: when we first started working on the game, before we had our priorities set straight, we wanted to add clouds. We were going to implement this convoluted system which would have never looked good, involving actual objects being put infront of the camera to create shadows! So its quite funny looking back, 3 years later, where we finally have clouds, and they look pretty awesome. The clouds can be tweaked to mimick raining cover, clear day and all these things, which will be useful for implementing the planetary models and systems in the near future. Take a look at the timelapse below.

Mouse over UI is now back #

Not very exciting but the mouse over UI is finally back from the dead, after being killed in the process of the UI overhaul. Not much to say here, but take a look at the comparison!

New Region Icons in Architect Menu #


Regions in the architect menu now have icons which helps a considerable amount. Before, it was almost impossible to tell what a region was for, unless you could memorize all the colours, which we are too lazy to do! Well, worry no more, this issue has been fixed.

New Wall type: Piped Walls #


The game now has walls which are simultaneously pipes. How crazy! Don’t mind the outdated terrain in this old screenshot. Any ado.

New Wall Shading Effect #

We also now have a new effect with walls, that just adds a little spice!


New Combat Features #

We are on the tail end of the combat system as a whole, and things are starting to get quite interesting. Well… most of the cool stuff is already said and done, inlcuding this! This week we introduce you to…

Razorwire #


Razorwire! NPCs will get their legs really messed up if they try walking on this. Perfect for stopping things from leaving your facility, or perhaps getting in? 👀

Turrets #

The most exciting feature this week has probably been turrets.


Here you go. That’s what they look like (without power), but when they are powered up, they get a nice glow from their sensor.


Oooo, fancy right! Turrets have a range, but not all around them, but rather in a specific field of view. This means you’ll have to place them strategically to secure your facility.


Let’s see them in action:

Case Closed #

And there goes another Forensic Friday. Obviously, the development of the steam page is the most exciting part - and we hope to complete it soon - but it’s still good to see progress on game development being made, and being ahead of schedule is always a nice feeling.

That’ll do it for this week. Thanks for taking the time to read and we’ll see you next Friday!

Case Closed.
The Team
Plasmarc Studios