Dev Log 7: Resources and Production

First of all, happy new year!

Quick bit of info on some changes to the dev log format(excluding this one). Upcoming dev logs will focus on one main aspect at a time. Thus each log will be shorter, more precise and not separated into multiple parts. However there will be more of them.

Now let me explain why dev log 7 took so long, unlike how I planned it out. It was initially meant to be dev log 6 part 2, but things did not go so smooth and it got delayed. Perhaps my explanation will help other devs who read this in regard to potential pitfalls with their own games, especially if they are a one man project.

The main reason it took so much time is due to some underestimation on my part of my own game and what I have already coded in. Due to the procedural nature of Star Zeal, everything important needs to be connected to and accounted for by one another, often in unexpected ways. For example, a mundane issue like a bugged sensor on a colony resulted in me having to fill in many holes in codes related to the procedural tech generators, buildings, and even colony governors. The more I added the more the other scripts already there had to be added onto, to account for the new code and themselves. It is a good thing I preplanned and left open the initial code to accommodate these things, otherwise it would been a real mess.

It was a long slog and I had to complete more of the game than I expected at unexpected times. However, they were overcome eventually, to my relief. Now on to the actual dev log.

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Colony resources and production:

What you see in the gameplay video above is one of the main loops of Star Zeal where you craft space ships for your fleets. The player gathers and manufactures required resources then sends them to the constructor(s) which will build what you want over time. Essentially its about setting a production chain in order to get what you want. In this specific case a colony is producing and moving manufactured resources for a ship being built in a station orbiting it. Note that ships can be constructed on planet surfaces too, if a colony has a shipyard. Also, you can have multiple shipyards on a single ship or colony increasing the amount of ships built at a time.

Resources used to construct things in Star Zeal are split into two types, excluding the main “credit income”. First comes raw minerals and second are manufactured resources. Minerals are naturally found resources, usually ores like metals or uranium and natural gases. Manufactured resources are those that are made from these raw minerals. As an example uranium is required for the production of plutonium, which is then required by ships with components that need plutonium to be constructed, such as reactors. Also a quick note that ship components can vary quite wildly in their resource requirements since they are procedurally generated as tech(I will get into the real meat of that in an forthcoming dev log).

Manufacturing in the current build occurs on colonies with enough industrial capacity and available minerals to produce said manufactured resource. Industry on a colony depends on the capability points of the planet used for it, which takes time to be applied/changed. Also, resources required for construction are needed on location, they are not abstracted, which is why the construction process uses the freight system(mentioned in previous logs) to transfer said resources. Colonies also give production bonuses, mostly in the form of decreasing the time it takes build things. Coding this section/loop was what really delayed the log, it was a pain in the neck, especially the freight transferring code, but worth it in the end.

Finally, another important feature is that resources are not only for producing things, but also for supplying your fleets. Each ship will have its own crew(also considered a resource) and resupply requirements IE: resources for fuel. I will cover this in more detail in a forthcoming log. Its functioning well enough, but needs a bit more work before I show it in action.

So, that’s that for dev log 7. It caused some hair pulling and angst, however I achieved most of what I wanted and Star Zeal 4x came out of it unscathed, thank the indie dev gods. Updates and logs should come more frequently now that these core game mechanics are truly functional. I’d also like to thank those who supported the development so far in any way. Much appreciated.

If you want to support Star Zeal, check out the support page here https://starzeal4x.com/funding/ or use the paypal link to the right of this page.

You can also follow Star Zeal 4x on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/akuu_d_e?lang=en

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKCFIhlv7VuJpNfMKxeE7qw

IndieDB: https://www.indiedb.com/games/star-zeal-4x

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