Forensic Friday 68: The Return of Fashioncorp


Hey Readers! #

Welcome to the first Forensic Friday after the transition to the fortnightly schedule. You’ll find that we have posted a Friday! Who would have thought? For those on our Patreon, you’ll find this a day earlier (we hope). If so then hello! Thanks for your support, and we hope this establishes a trend of increasing engagement with our so far underutilised Patreon! On to what has been going on this week, well a serious amount! Overall the past 2 weeks’ focus has been on tying up loose threads concerning the intake of category C, as well as introducing new art assets, and tying loose ends with hiring staff. So onto the features!

The Resurrection of Fashioncorp #

Back in Forensic Friday 4, we herald the era of hands for NPCs. Though still largely underutilised, it’s a nice addition!

Ah, it takes me back to the days of yore. Back when we introduced the mental system (definitely wasn’t rewritten), and the very large round space things people tend to call planets. We still haven’t finished that feature, but the day will come very soon I hope! But let me not get distracted here.

The reason Fashioncorp has made a comeback is quite simple: I worked on features related to clothes for the past sprint. Specifically making clothes actual items instead of being fused to NPCs bodies. This means two things. One: By default, NPCs are naked, which is dreadful! And two: You’re gonna have to manage clothes! Awesome, but haha, enjoy making elaborate storage rooms for the piles and piles of clothes lest your employees frolicked around naked! MWUHAHA. But no… hired NPCs will not come to the first day of the job naked, however, Category C’s will have to strip during their processing as they change into their uniforms. So make sure you have an ample supply of those!

That segways nicely into another feature both Jason and I have been working on together. Processing, Erasure and Alignment of Category Cs. But well just call it Category C Onboarding!

NPCs putting on clothes

Category C Onboarding #

Category C onboarding is another “gameplay process” alongside the experimentation system and thus has its own convoluted workflow which you must learn. Exciting! But not to worry, it’s not very complicated, pretty simple in fact, and self-explanatory we hope. So here it is, as demonstrated by a very crude diagram.

Flowcharts are truly mankind’s BEST invention. The processing room is pretty self-explanatory, as for the alignment room, but the wild stuff goes on with the erasure room. The whole reason for Category C onboarding to be split between 3 regions is to ensure that wiped Category C don’t mix with unwiped! If they do, bad bad things will happen. So make sure you keep everything separate! To facilitate this, we will likely introduce one-way doors when we get around to introducing more types of doors!

Category Cs doing their thing!

This feature also introduces a new Designation: Orderlies. They are effectively non-armed security personnel and are supposed to be friendly and non-threatening to Category C. Currently, they are dressed in scientist clothes, but that is soon to change!

New Art Assets #

Segwaying quite abruptly into some new tiles we have for the game! I have gotten quite quick with making art for the game, and over the years my art skills have increased enough, that I can now confidently say that we have a solid and consistent art direction for the game! We initially were trying to integrate realistic textures into the game, but then we realised it would be better to learn about the cartoony style more, which helps keep things uniform and readable as a plus. This is incredibly important as we need to establish a solid hierarchy of visuals for the game, so the player’s attention is drawn to what matters, and drawn away from what doesn’t, and that’s the story (generation)!

Anyway, I’ll just dump a gallery here:

First are medical-based tiles. The medical chair and medical monitor! These things will both be used widely for various happenings on the site, maybe if we have an onsite density update in the future you’ll see these chairs being put to good use!

The communication console is the heart of, well… communication, in your facility. The communication is currently a shelved feature, but will soon come back. It’s an extension of the combat system and a sort of logistic system that lets you both communicate with the outside world, and internally within your site. The corporation doesn’t use digital technology you see, only analogue. Well, they try not to use it where possible. This is because the Corporation was almost ruined (and the world almost ended) by an anomaly which spread through all their computer systems and tore through them. Maybe S-0028 The Organic Virus? 🤔 . Thus this is why the art of it looks quite dated, the Corporation has a dated aesthetic which is a mishmash of 1960s to 1990s styles. In both fashion, form and function.

The other image is a TV, pretty self-explanatory there… Though you may notice that it’s an analogue CRT TV. Expect more of this retro-future stuff.

Gangs are actually real now #

Gangs now have a neat place in the Facility > Category C menu. It’s pretty simple, you just get a display of gangs they are in, any leaders and the different levels of hierarchy in the gangs.

We aren’t actually sure whether this feature works properly or not since it rides on the backbone of the socialising system, a system which rides on the backbone of the NPC’s new AI, which is a black box that we can never hope to understand. Jokes aside, this gang feature was first implemented all the way back in Forensic Friday 36*, but didn’t have any way for the player to actually know about them in the game. But finally, we can say without a doubt, that players will know gangs exist!

Revamping the Traits System #

Other than this development sprint I also worked on revamping the traits system. The traits system was quite hardcoded, thus it was not easy to add new traits to the game or modify various attributes and effects. However, now we can easily add traits on a whim which is always great!

As you can see, there are a lot of traits! That’s not even, all of them! Currently, the game has 60, but that will likely increase. They haven’t all been integrated into the gameplay completely, but by release, we can guarantee that these 60 will make it.

Beginnings of the Staff Hierarchy #

The staff hierarchy has begun to take root. When it’s done it’ll represent the chain of command at your site, where you can promote, demote and fire NPCs via a new “deep” menu. Exciting! Currently, it’s in its early stages. I quickly dug up some old code I wrote from an abandoned project, and got the tree layouts building on screen neatly. The only things left are to do more of the styling, make NPCs actually get added to the chain of command, and allow the user to modify the tree. This feature will also introduce an Administrator NPC, that’s technically under another future feature, but it’s best if you keep this secret to yourself.

Patreon Paves a New, Shiny Path #

I have also had the pleasure of revamping the Patreon. We redid all the rewards for the tiers and improved the tier banners. We also deleted all our old and albeit crappy posts, and made some new snazzy ones. So all around pretty awesome stuff. You can find our Patreon here!

If you become a patron, you’ll be able to view something quite new: A draft for the “Drafts in Motion” piece. A music piece that plays whilst you are constructing. Neat!


Case Closed #

Not sure why I bother repeating my face here, but oh well! This Forensic Friday was a long one and rightly showed. Summarising 2 weeks of development is a tall order! Next Forensic Friday (2 weeks from now), should see BATCH 3 of development complete at the very least. Depending on how well the sprint goes, BATCH 4’s Containment Breaches & ID Card systems may be done a lot faster than you expect. These features are not particularly large, so it’s doable. However, time is the only restriction. As always, we will keep developing so any pace is good pace. As long as we get these blog posts out, you’ll be confident that the game is heading towards release.

Have a good morning, afternoon or evening folks. Time to file this case away.

Case Closed.
The Team
Plasmarc Studios