It was my first month working full time for NC, and a lot of progress was made for NC as a whole, with the big focus being on Plotz.
- Massive Refactoring Effort - With new features on hold while the demo is finished up, I got a lot of time to work on cleaning up and polishing a lot of code. It'll make future updates and features easier, and keep more than a few ugly bugs away. And it makes any programmer feel good :)
- Unit Testing Framework - As the game gets bigger and more complicated, I found it increasingly important to have a way to make sure that core functionality stayed intact. I've added a framework and tests for some of the most important and complicated parts of the code so far. It's already proved itself worth the effort, and I'll definitely being continuing it going forward.
- Simplified Save & Load Logic - The code restructuring allowed saving and loading of game data to be a lot more simple and less likely to bug out. This is one area of the code that's been around for a long time and is always being updated, and now it's much nicer to work in.
- AI Foundation - I started reworking some of the events in the game so that they can be performed by an AI instead of direct player interaction. AI-run farms are going to be a major feature coming up, and this was some important groundwork to get that started.
- Sale Cart - One of the new features that'll be coming out in the first expansion for Plotz, the Sale Cart is the much more awesome replacement for the current Mailbox. I started the logic for the new kind of inventory required for it. The proof of concept is pretty solid so far.
- Bug Fixes - As always, lots of bugs both large and small were found and squished.
- New Building Graphics - The Well and Mailbox have a shiny new look. The final buildings are on the way.
- New Plant Graphics - All new graphics for the plants, making the game look nearly finished!
Here's a new screenshot to show off all of the new stuff:
- Marketing Tools - In the ramp-up for the Kickstarter campaign, I've been trying out several software tools for all of the asset creation I need to do. I've spent some time playing with stuff to record my screen, video, voice, and mix it all up into videos. I found some workable solutions so far, but also some limitations.
- New LLC - It turns out LLC's don't really move across state lines with you, so I had to recreate the business after my move.
- Bank Problems - Moving across states, starting new bank accounts and new businesses... it doesn't come without a few bumps! I managed to screw up my Amazon Payments account with some kind of bad information somewhere along the line. Lots of paperwork and keeping everything straight is required with all of this, which is not my strong suit. But I'm confident if I keep banging on things they'll eventually work out!
- New Plotz Logo - I spent some time creating some new visuals for the NC site and Plotz, including the new logo which you can read about here.
There's a lot more work planned for the month ahead, including:
- Final version of the public demo
- Videos, words, and visuals for the marketing effort
- More code refactoring and work towards the next bits of new functionality
- AND... Possibly going live with the Kickstarter! I won't push the big green button until I'm 100% happy with the state of everything, but I'm pushing for it to be sometime in June, or July at the absolute latest. I'll post updates as it gets closer.