Forensic Friday 55: Forensic Friday is Back Baby!

Forensic Friday is back! And we are coming back with explosive action! This Friday’s post brings much news about development, new members and updates about the project in general. So without any ado, let’s skip the small talk and jump right into it!

Feature Updates #

Let’s start with the stuff we haven’t had the chance to talk about in the month or so of hiatus. During our hiatus, we have been cracking away at 2 new features, and rather important features that these features are…

Research Screen Underway #

A research screen! One of the last features we did before the slew of refactors was the experiment system. With the advent of the new AI system, the experiment system has to be redone. Though this is now a lot easier with the new AI system, I digress. The research screen is a natural follow-on from the experiment system and is something we had started to think about even before our hiatus.

We have started to implement it now which is always fun! You can take a look at the mockup for now. As for the actual implementation in the game, it more resembles a 14-year-old’s first project than anything up to our standards!

Let us know what you think.

Experiment System Dejavu #

That cleanly segways onto the experiment system! Though probably should have started with this first (っ °Д °;)っ We have started to re-implement the experiment system from scratch! It really isn’t from scratch since a lot of the code from the original implementation is still there and is very much usable. On top of that the UI for showing proposals is still around so most of the work really falls into re-implementing the actual experiment event and such. Hopefully, everything should be much cleaner and simpler, especially with the new AI system. We mention it a lot, but honestly, it simplifies the dev side of things an incredible amount, whilst being better than our original hard-coded methods!

The placeholder truck makes a comeback!

In all seriousness, the experiment system should be done in a week or so. No hard deadlines on this one, which will be discussed in a few sections. Be patient!

Why we have been gone #

The reason for the hiatus was discussed back in Forensic Friday 54, where we discussed how…

…our delicate work-life balance has been like a spanner thrown into the machine works as we try to readjust to our new schedules.

Ah! What lovely times. Well: Update. Our situation isn’t getting any better, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This halt in development has shown us the impossibility of working on this project alone. So, as a smart person may do, we decided to expand our team and take on new people! This culminates in a job posting which you can find HERE. We are always looking for passionate people to join our team.

Passion is a must because, for at least the meantime, all work is revenue share! Scary!

We are looking for collaborators! #

Again a lovely segway into this section. As I said before, we are looking for people to join the project and help bring it to fruition. Most of the problems we have with the workload and spreading the mountain of tasks between just the two of us as we work part-time can be solved by simply employing more people. Who would have thought? It was always something we were afraid of because, since our team is small, we would be giving away our own share of creative control. But as we grew and matured, we became more receptive to the idea of taking people on.

Now that one of us has a full-time job, and the other is in a full-time master’s program, it just no longer feasible to delegate numerous tasks just to one person; like programming, game design, technical design, art, graphic design, UI design, web development, community management… well the list goes on, but you understand the point.

So time to expand our horizons and get some fresh hands on the project… and hopefully get this thing out the door a lot quicker. The ultimate goal would be to fill out every substantial role, finish the prototype on a bootstrapped effort, generate capital through crowdfunding and/or a publisher, and then move on to release the early access version and fingers crossed sustain development indefinitely. Then in the far… ever so far, future, we could release a 1.0 for Containcorp and move on to releasing DLCs and working on new games, as a fully-fledged, self-sustained (and profitable) indie game studio. What a dream!

So if you would like to contribute to this dream. You can find the job posting here: Click to join us and get cookies!!!

Meet the new Members Join the Team #

This segway joke is getting old, but alas, another segway. We have new members! So our efforts to expand the team are already bearing their fruits. These members aren’t completely set in stone yet, we are in the process of onboarding them onto the project, which may take weeks before they are accustomed and used to our development ecosystem.

However, I cannot contain my excitement, and we must introduce them! Keep in mind that since they are pretty fresh, they might not stick around for too long. Given our history with past people joining the team, nothing can be expected. However when development is bootstrapped…passion can only take you so far. Regardless here are the two new roles we have filled.

Another Programmer #

We have another programmer. His name is Matt, and he’s a pretty chill dude! Sadly he has nothing to say right now! Just joking, here he is!

Hi, I’m Matt and I’ve wanted to make video games since late elementary school. I actually made it pretty far in the subject back then, when a friend suggested we make a game. I figured out we’d need Blender, a game engine, etc. But it was quickly apparent that I would have to do it by myself if I wanted it done, and I tried for awhile, but it was just too much for me at that age, and the resources of the time where nothing like they are today.

Skip ahead a decade and some change, and I’d completed schooling up to an associate’s degree, entirely unrelated to computers or coding. Then when trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I decided to try coding again, and this time it stuck. While I enjoy coding for and working on video games for fun, I’m hoping to get a job in web development, which I also enjoy.

When offered a chance to interview for working on Containcorp, I became interested because it would mean I’d get the chance to work on a bigger project with people serious about making a game. Then when actually looking over what the game is, I realized it would also be fun and I’d get to work with people with a sense of humor similar to my own. I’m excited for the upcoming journey and hope to help make an incredible game!

A Dedicated Writer #

We also have a dedicated writer, which means we will bring back regular case files and the only thing that keeps the community alive at the moment.. so quite important I would say. Traditionally, writing was split between 2 of us developers, now we can split it 3 ways, meaning the throughput will be immense. The writer is very skilled, well, at least a lot better than us. So a very good addition to the team I would think! He has a few words to say (which I definitely didn’t force him to come up with)

Hi I’m Louis, and I’m currently studying politics at Exeter University however I spend much of my free time indulging myself in the hobby of creative writing. I am very keen to begin working with an actual team that is making this game, my fingers crossed I can keep up. I have had experience in world-building and character development through stories and the beginnings of novels I have written myself, I hope to be able to share this experience and help develop the world and lore of Containcorp and see it realise its potential as the next best selling game of all time and game of the year.

Big shoes to fill. Game of the year!? I was thinking of the game of the century personally but humility is a virtue.

Roadmap is back! But… different #

The roadmap is back, fresh out of the grave. Seems like this isn’t the first time it’s been sent to the afterlife, but we keep digging that poor thing back up like monsters. Hmm… maybe it’s the monster… a zombie! Anyways. We have decided to redefine how we present the roadmap. Batches!

Introducing Batches #

Instead of tying features to specific Forensic Fridays, we are going to put the game into batches. We will work on these batches, and release them as we go along.

We believe this method is more healthy and also easier to communicate. We can just say “Batch 3 is going to be finished in a week” instead of missing a deadline, for one feature, shelving it, working on another then coming back to the shelved feature. That just gets confusing.

So if you want to view the roadmap in all its glory, you can join the discord server! Or just look below, you lazy bugger…

☑️ Basic Land Plot GenerationBATCH 1 Research & Experiments
☑️ Construction & Build Orders> 🔨Experiment Finalisation
☑️ Fire systems> 🔨Research system
☑️ Rooms & ZonesBATCH 2 Combat & Defence
☑️ Gases and Temperature> 📦Facility Raids
☑️ Electricity & Power Generation> 📦Controllable guards
☑️ Multiple FloorsBATCH 3 Personnel Intake
☑️ Structural Integrity> 📦Hiring NPCs
☑️ Pipe Logistics> 📦Prisoner Onboarding
☑️ NPC SchedulingBATCH 4 Breach Logistics
☑️ Grant System> 📦Containment Breaches
☑️ Money Systems> 📦ID card system
☑️ Site Delivery System> 📦Saving
☑️ NPC Utility AI SystemBATCH 5 Functional Staff
☑️ Combat> 📦Staff Offices
☑️ NPC Inventory System> 📦Cooks and lunchtimes
☑️ Containment Procedures> 📦Doctors and Surgery
☑️ Modding SupportBATCH 6 Air, Gases and Caves
 > 📦Ventilation and HVAC
 > 📦Underground Floors
MILESTONE 1BATCH 7 Introducing the World
> 📦Polished and Playable> 📦World Planet Systems
MILESTONE 2BATCH 8 Maintenance
> 📦Soundtrack Finalised> 📦Water and Flooding
> 📦Kickstarter Trailer released> 📦Janitors and Maintenance system
> 📦Steam page finalisedBATCH 9 Controlling the Masses
> 📦Kickstarter Launch> 📦Restriction Zones
> 📦Basic Localisation> 📦Prisoner Riots
MILESTONE 3> 📦Administrator NPCs
> 📦Kickstarter EndBATCH 10 Sanity and Ethic
MILESTONE 4> 📦Mental system Finalisation
> 📦Early Access Release> 📦Ethics
> 📦Early access trailer releaseBATCH 11 Wrapping Up
Currently Cracking Away At> 📦Weapons Finalisation
> 🔨Research & Experiments: Experiment Finalisation> 📦Body Temperature System
> 🔨Research & Experiments: Research systemBATCH 12 Containcorp - A story Making Engine
 > 📦Storyteller and Events
 > 📦Achievements
 > 📦Soundtrack Finished

The Future Of Development #

This segways (Jeez, again!) nicely into a discussion about the future of development. As mentioned above, our ultimate goal now lies in expanding the team, getting the prototype done as fast as possible, building awareness around the game, and getting funding as fast as possible.

Money, Talent, Product, Customers.

These are the 4 pillars we need to construct to ensure development can continue for the long term, and the game can be as best as it can be! So all future actions will contribute to constructing these 4 pillars, and hopefully, that has been demonstrated in this blog post. There isn’t much else to say other than the release of the game is likely not to hit the June 2024 release window. A realistic date would be the Christmas Period of 2024, and a guaranteed latest date would be around June 2025.

This isn’t all bad. These are just realistic outcomes at the end of the day. Development always takes longer than expected, and that’s a natural fact of game development. But there is always a silver lining to be found if you look hard enough!

Tynan Sylvester??? #

A random bit of news, which we never mentioned, but it did happen (a few months ago now). Tynan Sylvester, yes the brainchild behind Rimworld, has seen our game. Which is pretty cool. I can’t get into the circumstances that brought his eyes upon our very much half-baked project, but his eyes befell upon it nonetheless. And we think that is pretty cool!

There is nothing else to be said about that… and with that…

Case Closed #

It’s been a while since we have been able to have a nice warm and fresh case file in our hands. But as all Forensic Fridays go, we must file it away, never to be touched again. Writing these blog posts has always made me reflect on the development of this game. How far we have come, and grown as developers, and just the general absurdity of the entire thing. I mean this is our first game! Pretty crazy, that you think we would have made a platformer or something. we always say we should have, but when you’ve bitten through the apple, you might as well swallow the bite.

Development continues as always, and we thank all those who read!

Case Closed.
The Team
Plasmarc Studios