Dev-Diary: 65

Wow I am exhausted.

In an attempt to not only get Management In Space done, but also to cram in as much amazing content as possible, I’ve been basically non-stop coding. Constant bug-fixes, more stories and options, optimisations, etc. The big one I tackled today was fixing the primary event management system. See, M.I.S. focuses a lot on the random events that occur and how you deal with them. Do you prioritise resource collection, do you focus on attack and defence, or do you find ways to manipulate the odds in your favour? One way I tackled this in an attempt to give more power to the player was to implement a focusing system, allowing the player to tell the station to prioritise certain modules over others. This works well, but something was still amiss.

Up until today, game events occurred according to base-time plus a random time, partly scaling with difficulty and partly incorporating a variable prioritisation function. In the short-term it worked because it simulated a semi-chaotic space galaxy was kinda cool! Though as the game expanded, there rose a massive discrepancy between runs; sometimes you could play for ages and barely encounter any enemies, then another you would immediately get swarmed by pirates and be destroyed. This is not ideal for a game that focuses on strategy and survival. While I still need to work on the difficulty scaling a bit, I’ve completely re-written how events are tracked and timed. There is now a semi-set structure to the play of events, with a background set of less-impacting random events that still give the game a delightfully chaotic and living feel to it, but not so heavily that it will destroy a run. While the new system will need to be judged over time, it seems to create some level of consistency across runs, allowing players to better approach each return to the game.

I was almost going to take a photo of all my notes about event timing and structure because it looks kinda cool, in a… messy kinda way… but I realised that I would be giving away all the event timing secrets so instead I’ll leave you with another gif to represent my current mood down below~

I still have a way to go, but I’m getting there. And the game is getting better and better every day! I promise it’ll be worth the extra time I’ve put in. Anyways till next time, all the best~
^,,^

(Oh also the website got updated and should be fixed now woo!)

Dev-Diary: 64

Hey everyone!

So I’ve been pretty dang busy. The past month was meant to be focused on more art-assets, but at the start of the month I had a handful of different people have a go at the current build. The feedback was very positive, and aside from the numerous bugs that popped up, there were a lot of suggestions made. Many of these were simple things, usually along the lines of, “Why can’t I do this?” to which my response was always, “You’re right! You should be able to do that!” As such, I’ve been implementing a lot of little upgrades to the game and just going down the list of bugs that needed to be fixed that either didn’t previously know about, or knew about and didn’t want to deal with at the time to keep working on the larger picture.

In addition to this, I’ve been working hard to get all the content into the game; all the stories, events, NPCs, and modules, as well as trying to balance them all out. I’ve been working on art as well, and while I have happily completed plenty, I still have a long way to go. I’ve also implemented a ‘Station Select’ option, which allows you to start the game with different preset module layouts, encouraging players to try different strategies to survive as long as possible. I’ve left a screenshot down below as a little treat, showing off the current Sector screen. Comparing it to an earlier screenshot, you can notice a handful of little updates, a lot of them suggested by players, as well as some of the visuals coming together.

On a much more personal note, something I’ve been trying to work hard on lately is my mental health. Working on a game can be a lot of stress, and while I have a handful of people helping me out with some of the assets and providing feedback and moral support, a lot of the work falls onto my own shoulders to just keep working and trying hard. Mental health, specifically anxiety and depression, is something I have had to deal with throughout my life and the stress of independent game development, in conjunction with other events occurring in my life, it can all get a bit too much sometimes. As such, while I know I need to have this game done by the end of the year, as the primary project still requires my attention, I am not going to be putting a deadline on Management IN SPACE. I’m going to work hard, push myself, and do my absolute best, but I’m also going to ensure that my well-being is safe and secure. I want to become the best person I can possibly be, and will strive for that every day.

Anyways, thanks for listening to my rambles. I hope you are all doing amazingly. Till next time, all the best~
^,,^

MIS:Screenshot

Dev-Diary: 62

Hey all~!

Okay so small changes since my last post! I will not be releasing ‘Management IN SPACE’ just yet! This is because of how much work I was actually able to accomplish over the last month! Instead, I shall be releasing it sometime within the coming month as a full release, minus one-or-two features that could not be included for time-consumption or potential error reasons.

I have been able to get (basically) all the game-code done! Aside from some content filling for more story events, the game is coded and finished! The game now requires completed art assets and audio assets, which I shall be cramming over the next few weeks. 🙂

I would like to have it done by the end of the month, this is the deadline I am aiming for, however I do need to be flexible to my other commitments as well. Regardless! I shall try hard!

Thank-you for your patience and, till next time, all the best~!
^,,^

Dev-Diary: 61

Hey all~!

I’ve been working hard getting ‘Management IN SPACE’ ready for an alpha release for the end of the month! It’s mostly been coding; building menus, adding story and features, and some optimisations to the current mechanics. Most of the work has been code related.

I’ve also built an awesome little music system that automatically handles the soundtrack, which goes well with the tracks my musician has been sending me! It’s things like this that can bring a game together!

Sadly no screenshots this time, but hopefully next post the game will be alpha-ready! Fingers crossed!

Till next time, all the best~!
^,,^

Dev-Diary: 60

Hey all!

Continuing from my previous post, I have unfortunately been having to manage numerous personal issues lately which has been time-consuming. However, fortunately things have been improving and I have been able to find time to produce a handful of art-assets! Screenshots below!

This month the aim is to the ‘Management In Space’ to an alpha-release stage. This means finishing up some of the core engine and UI work, updating the story events, and enough balancing to make the game consistently playable. I’ll also continue to try to get art assets done, but they do take time and I’d rather have a functioning project than a pretty one at this point in time. I have also been working with my ever-talented musician who has been producing some wonderful pieces! Fingers crossed I’ll have something to show this time next month. 🙂

Below are a handful of the ship assets for the game. I’ve completed enough of the Civilian ships so along with all the Debris and Minerals, I’m well over half-way through the ship assets! I’ve already roughed-up the designs for the remaining ships, as well as numerous station modules. We’ll see what we can pull off this month; hopefully I’m able to find enough time to achieve my goals.

Till next time, all the best~!
^,,^

Dev-Diary: 59

Hey everyone.

Lately I’ve been stuck dealing with a number of personal issues. As such I haven’t been able to do much dev work or update properly. Hopefully this won’t continue for much longer and I’ll soon be able to continue again normally.

Thank-you.
^,,^

Dev-Diary: 58

Hey hey!

Sorry about being gone for so long! I was away for family obligations (and a little R&R) for over a month in Europe! It was great to get away for a while and reset my mind; I spent a great deal of time just writing and doing small sketches for various projects, both current and distant.

I am back however! It’s been slow but I have been getting back into the development schedule churning out art assets. I’ve also been in talks with the musician for ‘Management IN SPACE’ and we’ve got some drafts in the works!

Unfortunately I don’t have much to talk about, though I will show-off some lovely little assets I’ve whipped up for M.I.S. (one Ship image, one Debris image) but I will also discuss time-frames. M.I.S. is not a major project for me, it’s a fun little side-project that spawned from a game jam. While it is heavily unbalanced and still in Alpha, the game runs and plays quite fine with a series of random events. At the moment, I am giving myself till the end of August to finish M.I.S. with two results; either as a full game for maybe $1 or as an Alpha/Beta proof-of-concept game for free. This is because I do not wish to commit too much time to this game. I really must return to the primary project, it is very important it gets completed and I have distracted myself with this fun little space game for much longer than I expected.

Anyways, as I’ll be back to our regular Dev-Diary posting next month! Till next time, all the best~!

Dev-Diary: 57

Hey y’all!

So these past couple of weeks have been a bit all-over the place with work and obligations, but I have been able to keep working on the regular event pools, especially balancing. The regular events still have a bit to go to be balanced, but it’s getting there. I do hope I can start working on story events and unique encounters soon, but I would like to build those from a stable balanced ground first.

Some nice progress was definitely made in the art-assets! After a number of redo’s in various styles, I found a visual aesthetic for the ship and module visuals that I am happy with; fine single-colour pixel-art. Definitely not my forté but I am quite happy with how they are turning out so-far. Unfortunately, they take a while to make, but I’d like to think the results are worth it. Check out the screen-shot combo down below to see for yourself!

Because of the time it takes to balance and produce the art (and the fact I once-again have the flu…), I doubt I will be getting the game released this month. Double-unfortunately is that I am away for a month coming up soon to visit family. I’ll be doing concept work while I am gone, but I won’t be able to do updates or directly work on assets. At this point in time, all I can say is this “mini” project and my primary project will be done when they are done. Hopefully sooner rather than later, but as I have said in the past I would rather release a good project rather than a fast one. I guess we’ll just see won’t we.

Ah-wells, enjoy the screenshots and till next time, all the best!
^,,^

MIS:Screenshot

Dev-Diary: 56

Hey, sorry I’m late again! ^^”

Honestly, production-wise the past two weeks haven’t been super interesting. I’ve mostly been building event lists/pools to allow the game to generate random events and actions. I’m super close to finishing off the generic ones, minus a few special features, before moving on to more story-based events. Where it stands, the game is actually playable though, with ships coming and going from your sector, some looking to trade or relax, many looking to pick a fight! Of course it needs to be balanced out a bit; I was doing a test run and a small horde of aliens absolutely shredded my station, despite only being low-level enemies…

At this point, I don’t know if I’ll finish by my already extended deadline, but I’ll keep working hard and pushing myself. I would really like to get back to my larger project and keep working on that one sometime~

Till next time, all the best~
^,,^

Dev-Diary: 55

Hey everyone!

I am pleased to say that my Management In Space is coming along wonderfully~! Definitely behind schedule, but I guess I’m either not too great at time estimation, or over-ambitious once again and putting in too much content. Or both.

M.I.S. is now base-level playable, which is great! You start off in your little section of space managing your station, and various traders will stop off to say hi and do some buying and selling. Very peaceful! Of course I’ve also tested the game in massive combat scenarios featuring swarms of various ships circling the station fighting you and each-other! (Check out the screenshot below!)

My main focus now is two-fold; set-up events for combat and story to happen naturally, and set-up the game’s wrapper to handle and manage the game, including saving progress and managing options. The game will also need to start designing/importing art and audio assets, which will happen naturally as well.

Being more realistic, I imagine the game probably won’t release till late March/early-April. I’m going to try my best and work hard! Till next time, all the best~!
^,,^