The past year included some presentations, certification on the technology used in this game, a team project that was a complete flop, and some hard working - well, studying - hours. But that has brought experience, insight, and of course, new capabilities.
Survival Wasteland started as a practice project, but the appeal it had (yes, that little appeal) exceeded expectations and brought new hope. It is obvious though that limiting the players to using the keyboard is no good thing, it makes gameplay much harder and tedious, and let's face it, it is outdated. So it was about time to get it slightly up to date, and you'll see that in action before August is out!
So the first thing you'll inevitably notice is mouse support. This means buttons you can click on, assigning destination to the player, and a camera that can now move freely (with the keyboard arrows for now, but the mouse-at-edge-of-screen will come shortly).
The crafting screen has been re-imagined - well, it didn't quite exist, so you know what I mean. You will be able to see the inventory on the left, the available recipes on the right, and by hovering over a recipe, the materials needed in the middle.
In preparation for future updates, the ability to select and deselect the player is added, this will allow the use of multiple characters in the future, so as to form a party.
That's pretty much all that changed so far. It may not sound like much, but it was a decent amount of work, and as you'll see yourself, it is an important improvement in terms of ease of use. More importantly though, the restructure means that further features will be much easier to add in the near future, and the gameplay will be far more reliable.
Sneak peak into the future? Well, it's not easy to keep up with promises, but sound was promised for 0.6, and that's in that list. There are sound tracks ready for things like chopping wood or hammering and they will be added in 0.6, to break the silence once in a while, and with any luck footsteps will be added too. Music is also being looked into, but it's not an easy thing, obviously. NPCs are still scheduled to come one update later, with V1.0 and entry to Alpha stage, which should also bring the first weapon or two (other than the existing knife) and one enemy NPC, one friendly NPC (recruitable to the party), and dialog.
To recap, new UI with mouse support and more reliable gameplay starting in the second half of August, and more frequent future updates and big additions coming soon after! Keep crafting, and keep an eye open for the new version!