We haven't posted a dev video update in over a month because we've been quite busy with the UI and other elements such as the NPCs.
We've had a placeholder UI in for quite some time until we were sure the direction we wanted to go with the functionality of it. But now we have most of the core design in place. Our UI system lends itself to the 'pop-up wheel' that is common in a lot of games in the last few years and is the 1st Tier. In this 1st Tier is all the primary tools you'll be utilizing throughout the game. The 2nd Tier is within the hierarchy and contains objects and tasks you'd perform on that given primary tool. Take the Laser Level for example: Within it is roads, sidewalks and land plotting which ultimately is your Design Mode here.
The 3rd Tier is your popup menu which lists all the props you can use throughout the game. We borrowed a similar method from Skyrim here as we felt it made best use of organizing and presenting game art. In this window we went back and forth on where to place the CONFIRM and CANCEL buttons you see on the far left of the window. Ultimately we decided on the left side because that's where you spend most of your mouse cursor real estate time.
The Wall and Floor painting/texture tool on the bottom-right is a great place to separate itself from the almost busy left corner. Here you can choose wall and floor texture decorations which acts somewhat like a fill tool.
The top-left is reserved for choosing what your building type is going to be. Building types are an important element in Buildanauts because it's what the townsfolk will need as it grows. Choosing this type before you go into Construction Mode will set that as is.
We tried to keep the UI as sleek and minimal as possible yet still keep the consistency as the game's theme.
We're working on so many things, here's just a few of the core features to come:
- Economy System: Manage your population, earn funds by building and performing jobs to buy materials to build more structures and climb the ranks
- Truck interaction and control
- NPC behaviour: Keep them happy by doing jobs, challenges and building structures they want.
- ‘Construction Mode': After you design a structure in ‘Design Mode', your workers will come in and actually build it based on their skills. This goes for the roads and sidewalks too. The mode you see now in the pre-alpha is Design Mode, so you’re just visualizing what the building will look like. Then it gets built.
- Better terrain engine
- Side quests and Challenges
- Roofing System
- Database of props to use
- Music/Sound Effects
- More characters, trucks and artwork
- + More!