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Astrobase Command
January 20 - Jellyfish Games

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update for you all.

This week has seen a flurry of activity among each of us.

Daniel and Max have been busy re-working our public face. Many of our art assets are now dated, and we need everything to be representative of Astrobase Command's current state. They've also handled a bunch of administration. Yay administration!

Dave has had his nose to the grindstone polishing some of the final design. In fact, he's presenting it at this very moment so that Adam can take the Evil Space Genius' plotting (err...design) and turn it into the code.

With that, have a fantastic weekend!

Head over to http://astrobasecommand.com/?p=4185 for the original story.

December 16, 2016 - Jellyfish Games

Dave – @Dave_Astrobase

Hey guys,

This week the resource/section system design and data was wrapped up. This provides for the “economic game” of Astrobase Command, where building and maintenance costs resources which all must be balanced, and also the properties of resources which interact with the module-parts that players put together to build their Astrobase. Included in this was balancing worker skills against the different jobs and duties.

Daniel – @Polygonatron

Hi everybody!

This week I’ve been working Max in planning out a teaser-trailer for ABC and other marketing plans. Doing so has been quite enjoyable, it’s pretty similar to the regular art production for games but it lets me stretch a couple of additional muscles that’s been resting for a few years.

Max – @Max_Shields

Bonjour à tous les amis de l’espace!

What Daniel said. We’re setting in place some of the all-too essential conditions for being noticed and heard when the time comes.

Also, you may have noticed that Adam is absent from this week’s update. Have no fear, he’s safe…because we’ve locked him in the code dungeon. He likes it there. Really.

December 9, 2016 - Jellyfish Games

Daniel – @Polygonatron

Hello Humans!

This week I’ve continued my work on generating the visuals for the local star system. It’s looking to be pretty sweet once it’s finished.

Adam – @adam_blahuta

Hey Space friends!

This week, I focused on completing character trait unlock/relock/mutations. As a result, I was able to work on updated character conversation code as well! Now that we’ve got these complex systems in play, I’m building a good test environment to allow me to see them operate over large time spans.

Dave – @Dave_Astrobase

Hey guys,

This week I worked on the skill-to-section-to-resource-to-points balance. Plan is to stay ahead of Adam’s coding velocity!

Max – @Max_Shields

Greetings from the Administrotron Dimension,

This section of time-space has been devoted to employment of the devastating administrinatorerator. Only 1,200 papercuts were sustained in the process.

November 25, 2016 - Jellyfish Games

Adam – @adam_blahuta

Hey fellow space junkies!

The creative journey of game development is very strange. If your goal is to engage players with novel experiences, design innovation is a powerful tool. The inherent challenge is that it’s difficult to understand a problem in a vacuum. You have to try different approaches and see how they succeed and fail before you start getting an accurate picture. And you never know how deep the rabbit hole goes until you’ve already started falling into it. In order to do justice to the thing you’re trying to build, you have to be willing to see that through to the end. I’m just so happy that we were able to build a team that was willing to take that risk!

When we first got together to discuss Astrobase Command, we knew we wanted to build a space-station-based survival simulation that delivered on the experiences provided by TV shows like Star Trek. We also understood that characters were key to that experience, but we didn’t really know what that meant for the game.

Last week, Dave walked us through a design that not only communicates the character’s personality to the player but also provides the context in which that personality can shine and evolve. The beauty of his approach is in how personality traits are built and communicated to the player. Each one is unique but they often have elements in common, which nicely models how people can have different value systems and still have common ground. They don’t simply translate to some universal game mechanic, like “Brave = +5 to Initiative”. Instead, every other system in the game is designed to challenge that personality in some way.

As a result, personality becomes a key component to a character’s decision making, how they perceive the world around them and how they interact with others. It then becomes the player’s responsibility to decide where each character fits in their crew. Who do you send on dangerous missions when you have specific goals? Who are best suited to work together? Who can bunk together in quarters? How do you best cater to your crew’s needs? How do you break up recurring fights between two crew-members who hate each other?

This lays out a beautiful process of discovery where the player needs to understand personality in order to ensure the survival of their crew. The only way to do this is to get to know the personality traits of each character and see how they act in different situations and how those situations can change them.

As you may have guessed from the wall of text above, I was very excited to start implementing this approach. My week has been entirely consumed by delivering on Dave’s vision for characters at their most fundamental level.

Daniel – @Polygonatron

Hi Everybody!

This week has been one of visual effects for me. I started out working on some text scrolling tech for the datapad and I’m currently in the middle of trying to learn shader programming. Tricky stuff, but fun!

Dave – @Dave_Astrobase

This week I’ve been working on station gameplay, and the correct level of depth in the simulation. In gameplay terms, this essentially corresponds to: “what are the physics rules of this universe.”

Max – @Max_Shields

Hello all!

This last bit is to see if you’re sufficiently dedicated to make it to the bottom of Adam’s wall of text. 😉

I’ve been playing around with the idea of writing some Astrobase Command fiction which could take many forms. It could be a periodic short independent or interconnected short stories published directly to this site, a novella, or even a novel published in electronic format.

Now hold your spacehorses, this isn’t a hard plan, but rather an idea that I’d like to float by you fans to get your opinions. Please leave your thoughts and comments below.

As ever, swing by and say hi over at http://www.astrobasecommand.com

November 18, 2016 - Jellyfish Games

Hi everybody,

We're going to keep this week's update very short because we've been driving hard to tackle a key milestone, and have been focusing our efforts on production.

We've just wrapped up a meeting where Dave exposed his latest (and hopefully final, Stars Willing!) systems design in its glorious entirety. It's super exciting, as we've really been into the weeds for quite some time, using interim systems, and haven't had an opportunity to see Astrobase Command as a fully integrated project in a while.

It's also a thing of beauty; at least if you're into spreadsheets and elegant mathematical models!

Dave and Adam still have a full slate ahead of them as they work on integrating the systems, but our momentum is building.

Daniel's committed a lot of brain power this week coming up with ways to efficiently view station and crew data without breaking the Fourth Wall and found the time to whip together a neat Jellyfish Games splash screen harkening back to the good ol' days of the C64.

Have a great weekend, Starfarers!

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