Early Access Update #17 – We’re getting there …

Happy Friday amigos, it’s update time.

Bet you can’t guess what I’ve been working on this week … Bloody icon system. Things are actually going really well, but there’s nothing to show for it since it’s all engine work.

Instead of spending a while pulling together random images to justify an update I’m just going to leave this week very thin and get right back to work. After spending so much time on this system I figure the time’s better spent on actually coding! 🙂

So, quick sitrep from me this week then I’ll be off:

  • The core of the item system has been successfully re-written
  • All function surrounding items now need to be recreated
  • Items are currently function in the game at a basic level
  • The new system is much more flexible and allows the game to move forward

So that’s where things are at right now. 🙂 Going well!

A valid question at this point is, ‘Why mess with it in the first place?’.
Well, the item system has always been janky. Samphi started as just a fun project. The goal initially wasn’t to create a full commercial game, so whenever I wanted a feature I bodged it in.

I realise bodge is a British word, so here’s the definition according to Google!

That’s how much of Samphi was built; a mess of bodges. As the icon system grew I continued the bodge, adding features however possible, but it reaches the stage where to move forward you have to start again. You can only bodge so much! That’s why the re-write.

Hopefully I’ll have the items system to show; Get some screenshots of some double item stacks or something. Some form of graphical confirmation of the engine work that’s been done. I said in the last update that I had crops and a new animal planned, which I do, but just didn’t get round to them for this week. All focus is on items for the time being.

So, short update. 🙂 There’s only so many ways of saying I’m still working on items, but rest assured they’re coming along great; just slower than originally anticipated.

Have a great weekend all, and speak to you in 7 days!

As always you can show your support and keep up to date with development by following me here:

Visit my websites
Greeny Games Website[www.greenygames.com]
Samphi Website[www.samphi-game.co.uk]

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Early Access Update # 2 – An in-game tutorial will arrive before multiplayer

Hi, all! Hope we’re all well. The release is only a few days away, that’s a terrifying thought, and there’s been a big change in the game on release. After initial feedback from reviewers, multiplayer is going to be pushed back until shortly after release, making way for an in-game tutorial.

This last week the press has been playing the game, and the feedback has almost all been the same:

‘I like it, but I’m not sure how [INSERT MECHANIC] works’.

After a short chat with myself, everything was clear and people could enjoy all that Samphi had to offer, but this is a big problem. I always knew an in-game tutorial was needed at some point, but it appears that point is now. Things that I thought were self-intuitive aren’t, and it seems sitting at this thing for 4 years has made me become insensitive to the lack of instruction.

So at this point there are two choices:

  1. Don’t work on an in-game tutorial, and get a largely untested multiplayer client live. While people could play online, it wouldn’t be clear what can/can’t be done in-game.
  2. Spend this week before launch working on a tutorial type system so it’s clear how the game work and what you can do, leaving multiplayer to follow in the week(s) after release.

After talking with people who have the game it’s clear that some form of tutorial is wanted more than multiplayer. After all, multiplayer isn’t being delayed by months, but by a couple of weeks at the most. And with solid instruction in the game, it will be clear what can/can’t be done. There’s no point in been able to play online if nobody knows how the game works!

Maybe some of you are thinking ’Why not do both?’. I wish I could, but it’s just me (Dale) who makes Samphi. People always assume it’s a team but I’m a one-dev-band. All the time I’m working on the game I’m also doing press work, web work, creating game resources etc. as well as IRL nonsense. So there’s unfortunately just not enough time to get both in for release. Now, I’m not complaining, I love what I do, but just showing there’s physically not enough time. 🙂

Delaying the release isn’t really an option either. Press has all gone out stating that the game will release on the 18th March, and I’d like to stick to that. Sooner or later Samphi has to take the plunge into Early Access and that time is now.

The reason a tutorial hasn’t been put in the game previously is because I like the idea that the user has to work things out for themselves. When you have no idea what an item is, however, it’s quite a task to work out how to use it. Balance is needed here, and I’m going to try to achieve that through an extended tooltip system.

Currently, when you mouse over an item, its name is shown at the top of the screen: standard. I’m going to extend these tooltips to include more info. So, if you mouse over an item you’ll see its name, and if you hold ALT or CTRL (key not decided yet) you’ll see a full description of the item at the bottom of the screen. This way I’m not enforcing a tutorial onto those that want a hardcore experience of working everything out, but extra guidance is there if needed.

I’m also working on a game manual. I know, how old school is that! It’s awesome. It’s going to be a PDF download that will provide more depth to the in-game extended tooltips. As the game develops I will be creating a full wiki on Samphi’s official site, but that’s a way off as it’s a lot of work!

Here’s an example of what the game guide looks like.

Apologies if this comes as terrible news, but a tutorial just has to take precedence. Plus, doing it this way allows the multiplayer client to be thoroughly tested before going live so it’s win-win. 🙂 Please let me know what you think!

As always you can show your support and keep up to date with development by following me here:

Visit my websites
Greeny Games Website[www.greenygames.com]
Samphi Website[www.samphi-game.co.uk]

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Until next time, ciao.