It’s been quite some time since I last posted an overall update on the development of Gym Empire. Since the last update we made a decision to make a short term target of having a playable alpha build available before the end of the year. There are two main reasons behind this choice:
- We are at the point where the foundations of gameplay beginning to be set. From day one Gym Empire has always been a game planned to be built with a strong community influence. Have early user input into the gameplay is an essential part of this.
- For the past 6 months the Chronik Spartan Discord community has been fantastic in their support and excitement for Gym Empire. To reward them for their patience I really want to give them a taster of things to come.
To achieve the target of a playable slice of Gym Empire, we set out a list of what are the fundamental aspects of any tycoon, simulation or business management game. This highlighted the main areas to focus on, which are:
- Basic selection of gym equipment
- Basic selection of environment items
- Environment design
- Building functionality
- Character AI
- Gameplay algorithms
- User Interface
Over the past few weeks we’ve focusing on creating an initial set of gym equipment complete with 3D animations for the different exercises. The completed set of equipment and exercises includes:
Exercise mat for situps, pushups, burpees etc.
Loose dumbells for curls, front raises etc.
Loose barbell for squats, deadlifts etc.
Weights stand for same exercises as loose dumbells but more weight variation.
Bench for pressing.
Squat rack for heavy squats.
Pull up station.
With the addition of the basic equipment set and some exercise animations, Gym Empire is really starting to take shape visually. Seeing the clients walk over to different equipment types and exercising really gives a vibrant living feel to the environment.
The next step will be to add in behavior for entering and exiting the gym rather than just appearing and disappearing and expand the variety of the exercises. Clients can then decide what type of exercise they want to perform to suit their needs.
After completing the basic set of gym equipment and animations, the next main feature to complete is the building functionality. We already had a basic wall building feature but it was very basic and not up to the standards of modern tycoon and simulation management games.
To make the building function more user friendly and up to modern standards it is being designed to focus around building rooms rather than just walls. This means that the user can drag out an area and a room with flooring and walls automatically gets placed in the environment. To achieve this we went back to the foundation of the design and introduced a tiling system. This tiling system will now be fundamental to how the whole environment works. External environments, building, equipment placement etc will all function on top of the tiling system.
The building feature is about half way through development and fundamentally works. However visually it is still very much in development mode. Over the next few weeks we will be tweaking the system and polishing it to look much more aesthetically pleasing.
After that we will be moving on to the next features which will be items and user interface.
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This blog post originally appeared on the Chronik Spartan blog.