Hello everyone! I am happy to bring you another developer journal for this week. This has been a fun process through and through and each week I want to share with you what I will be focusing on the coming week. As we get ever closer to release, it is time to fine tune and polish as much as we can. However, before that step, everything must be put into the game and that is where we are today. Final assets, strategy elements and other things are being added into the game system. Soon another testing phase may begin.
This week I will be focusing on these two things:
- Product Creation Process (continuing)
- Product Window Interface
Product Creation Process (continuing)
To begin, lets discuss the current state of the product creation process. Although I went into some detail last week, I want to share with you an update from last week regarding this process. I have entered this functionality into the game at this point and it’s all but ready to go. There are a few more things to touch up on, but the functionality is in and playable. Some things to note: When you create a product, you will be able to create Product lines/multi-branding. One example would be how Intel has its overall Intel brand, but also the Intel Core brand as well as the Celeron, Pentium and Intel Atom brands. These brands serve a subset demographic or customer base, from PC users to notebook users, providing high-end processing performance to low-end. In the game, you will be able to designate your own multi-brands. This will be useful for multiple reasons which I will explain in another update. As far as gameplay, it will be simple to understand and use, so do not worry if you do not have a degree in Technology, it will NOT be necessary in any way. In the end, it is my job to make it translate into enjoyable and understandable gameplay. More on this in another update.
Product Window Interface
The Product Window Interface which I will now reference as the PWI, is the window you will see for every product you create in the game once it has been created. This window will be the proverbial HUB for all products you create. In the window, you can manage everything related to the product from marketing to sales, from changing the price to seeing how well your customer service is handling that products customers. Everything will be accessible through this window for each product. Once the week is over, given my goals have been reached, I will give an update on the final details. Either way, what you can expect is a simplified approach to how you the player can manage each of your company’s products.
Questions from: christofer666
1. In previous videos, the rooms seemed to have a locked layout, but here you're showing a free-form placement. Will you still be able to have the set layout of a room? Or is it all free-form now? And if you put something in the way, that blocks the pathfinding, will the game tell you about it? Or do you have to figure that out yourself?
WEB: Yes, now everything is an open layout. There are of course boundaries (Walls, doors and windows). Every object will be self-aware, so a desk will know that it cannot intersect a chair, desk, etc.… As far as pathfinding goes, each object reserves room for areas around it that will need to be open for pathfinding. So to answer your question, you will not have to figure it out yourself, the game will help by doing all of that for you, notifying you when something cannot be placed.
2. When you're watching the different skill levels of the employees (Leadership/Organization/Research skill etc.), will there be an option to toggle a numerical value as well? Rather than just having the colored bar, which can make it hard to tell the actual skill level.
WEB: In the current build, numbers are not in. However, we will allow the player to toggle numbers on if they want. In this case, the numbers will be seen with the color bars.
3. In this new overhauled version, will you still have the ability to dim the office walls?
WEB: At the moment no, however, the walls that you have seen are not textured. We have more plans for the walls, windows and doors, so things could change there from what you’ve seen.
4. Will you be able to re-size the UI elements? Such as the windows and the font size, for example.
WEB: We are still working on fine tuning all of those sorts of things with the UI. Currently almost all windows, fonts are large size. The plan is to change that, taking it down pretty significantly which will take away from some of the “cluttered” look of some of them as well.
5. Do you have any ideas of what kind of price range the game will be in on release?
WEB: We are targeting $24.99 - $29.99.
Questions from: Digheld Drakendrengi
1. How did you finance this project?
WEB: We initially ran a Kickstarter campaign that failed by less than $1,000. We were aiming for $7,000. We had 205 backers then. After that we started another campaign on Indiegogo, that netted us 2,000 from 46 backers. Of course with Kickstarter, if you fail the campaign you get $0, however Indiegogo still gives you what you raise.
As a result, the vast majority of the game has been personally funded.
2. Will you be able to develop a console in the 80s (like Nintendo or Sega) and start some kind of console war? Otherwise, the game's looking smashing! Really looking forward to it! Great job!
WEB: Yes, you can. Time is in the game and time passes. As time passes, a lot of things happen. I will reserve this question, because there will be much more information I want to share with you along with the answer to this question. Stay tuned.
Questions from: Arctic Wolf
1. Will there be servers in the game that you can have for server rooms? Like in Software Inc. where you can set up a server for making web-based games & developing your normal games?
WEB: There will be servers in the game for the games that you create. Once we put other software into the game, it will be used for that as well. At release, servers will be used for storing customer data as well as for customers who play the players games (MMOs, and multiplayer titles).
2. What will the GUI Window for the software technology be like? Will it be like the hardware technology research GUI window shown in dev blog 16?
WEB: We will be showcasing that very soon. The research for researching technology is in, but undergoing different iterations. I can’t wait to explain that in detail!
3. What types of software can you currently develop in the game? Can you make visual/audio tools, game engines & operating systems like in Software Inc.?
WEB: At release, just games and game engines, but that will change. One of the free expansions will include being able to create operating systems like Windows, Mac and Linux.
4. Can we make patents & then have to protect our company’s assets by suing the other company or making them quit selling their products in certain countries?
WEB: It will be assumed that every product you make will have a patent. There will also be a corporate espionage element to the game, so yes, there will be ways to siphon tech and other related things from other companies. You can be sued and yes you can sue other companies (Or try to). For this, you will need to hire a good lawyer.
5. Finally, will there be product leaks & information that we can find out about our rival’s products without having to spy on them?
WEB: In the game, depending on the security of your company (which I will go into at a later date), data can be leaked and you will have to figure out ways to control the damage. The same can happen to rival companies. You can however also spy which will increase chances to find out what other companies are doing.
Thanks for the questions everyone, feel free to keep them coming!
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this journal entry!
Again, the goal is to provide you a window and view into my process and the development of the game. So going hand in hand with the end of month Updates, you will get these weekly updates that explain what I am doing and then eventually you will have a release date and we can countdown together. Thanks for reading, see you in a week!