Forensic Friday 62: IT'S CHRISTMAS OMG WOW


Forensic Friday 62 has arrived, or should I say Forensic Friday: Christmas Special? Well there’s nothing extra special about this one, so maybe we’ll leave that for the New Year! In any case, Christmas is just around the corner - so Merry Christmas if you celebrate and Happy Holidays to all!

While Christmas holidays used to be a time for us to start a short sprint of work, we’re following our more recent tradition of taking some time off over the Christmas period, until early new Year. This will give us some much needed time for friends, family and general wellbeing. Our new way of working with agile sprints seems to be working a treat so far (more on that later), so don’t worry - progress won’t be halted for all too long! Also, this doesn’t mean that nothing has been done this week just gone by.


Creating a working build #

It has randomly come to a point where we had to make a production build of the game. And it has been months since we last did a build, or at least, we haven’t made a proper build since we made the game moddable. So I spent this week making the build work, a task which I thought would only take a day at most, but I was wrong. A dozen roadblocks later, and we have a working build, but it’s not 100%. The game runs fine, but currently only if we include all of its data resources in the build (data describing walls, blocks and items). Though since we want the base game to be a mod for itself, we want all the games resources to be in the mod’s folder. So it’ll likely be another week before that’s fixed since the issue isn’t as trivial as I’d hope :O. Anyways, other than that, development presses on!


Hiring NPCs #

Looking at the project at a higher level, one of the 3 chunks of work we’ve done in the last few weeks is Hiring NPCs.

While David has taken on this work, I’ve been given the go ahead to describe what he’s done in excruciating detail. So here goes…

You can now hire NPCs!

Phew! That wasn’t so hard.

Hiring NPCs but in more detail #

Hiring NPCs works by putting money into a hiring round. You then receive new candidates the next day, from which you can choose who you’d like to hire.

Information from each NPC can be seen in the picture, ranging from name and experience, to their expected salary. There are future plans to be able to view candidate CVs - although these will be mainly for visuals rather than affecting gameplay at all.

Also in the works are ways to gauge how your staff are handling their daily duties.

The staff shortage menu will hopefully show you where you may be lacking the necessary amount of staff, and give you a better idea of where your priorities should lie when it comes to hiring new staff!

End of Sprint Review #

We’re coming to the end of our 4th week since we started managing our project using Jira. With more usage, we should in theory get faster at development and better at predicting how long we’ll be. Jira offers us many stats such as the table seen below.

You can probably get a rough idea of when our Christmas break started! (jokes aside, most of the “creating a working build” wasn’t ticketed hence the early plateau). As far as a first sprint goes, we probably slightly underestimated just how quickly we would get through features, but hey - that was the whole point of our first sprint - to try and quantify how much work we do, and how quickly we do it.

With the Christmas break coming up, it seems to have worked out however, with the only remaining ticket left over from this sprint a very low priority Shuttle Bus for NPCs to get onto site. Ideally we would do 2 week sprints, but that ship has definitely sailed, so that’ll be something I’d like to try and introduce next year. Smaller sprints will make it a lot easier for us to plan out work, and also regular meetings to see how everyone is doing is never a bad idea (in moderation!).

I’d also like to give a special shout out to Jason who took on his first bits of work for this sprint. From never touching our codebase before to already completing tickets is super impressive. Our staff menu background has been created, and he has been at work creating a way to show all current staff at your facility, with a small mugshot for each one. We hope that as time goes on he’ll be able to take up the slack that I’ve put off since stepping away from full time development.

More data over a longer time period will be needed to get better at an expected completion date, but all this seems very promising. We said that 2023 would be the year of Containcorp, and while it may not have lived up to the expectations of a early access release, we can rest assured knowing that 2024 will almost certainly be the actual year of Containcorp! (I’ve jinxed it, haven’t I…)

Case Closed #

That wraps up Forensic Friday 62 then. A big shout out to all our readers as always, and have a lovely Christmas period! We’ll be back next week for hopefully a New Years Special (before new years because we’re quirky). Fingers crossed for tonnes of amazing gifts and no lumps of coal!!

Case Closed.
The Team
Plasmarc Studios