2018.01.02 - taming the beast


The last month I did a lot to make the game more accessible, resulting in two major features I didn't think I would see in the game this early or at all.

Note that the version tag inside the game and on itch.io wrongly says 2017.01.02.

knit, the visual programming language, is back

In November, when I stopped the development on knit, I was afraid that I would end up abandoning the programming language completely. Kind of the opposite happened ...

Instead of aiming for a full featured programming language, knit focuses now on being beginner friendly and helping you to structure your code. It can be fully extended by your own program code and it will be possible to write your own runtime for other programming languages than Scala, Java and JavaScript.

Knit comes with a standard library, but you can define your own types - called kinds to avoid name collisions - and nodes. You then execute your script once to generate a knit specification file, which tells the editor what nodes are available. In the editor you create a knit structure file, which your script can re-read and execute.

Planned, but not fully implemented features are:

  • Graph in graphs, they allow you to embed knit graphs as nodes in other graphs - like you would use functions in text based programming languages.
  • Generic kinds to allow for conditions
  • A good way to deal with collections.
  • A complete standard library.

fancy 3D graphics

Well, maybe not exactly fancy, but fancier than I had ever planned for. I realized that less abstract 3D graphics aren't that much harder to make than the abstract top down graphics, I was aiming for initially. The new style will give a much better feeling for the simulated world and maybe ease some fears of programming novices.

I'm using three.js as a stable base instead of the custom WebGL engine, I had experimented with earlier. Currently the graphics are not more than a proof of concept. I will expand on it, but its not very high on the priority list. Before mid of December I didn't even think I'd need it.

instruction system

There is now a general system in place to give your flakes manual instructions. In combination with the right AI, this will make it possible to play reign like a conventional real time strategy or adventure game.

making the game more accessible

I expanded the standard libraries, added tooltips, documentation and various other small UI improvements and bugfixes to make the game more playable. This is still an ongoing process.

outlook

The next release will focus on the game logic. I intend to implement items and multiple regions to have bigger maps. I also want to experiment with a z axis, making the game world three dimensional.

The release after that will focus again more on usability and stability improvements, to make the game actually playable. By then it is probably March ...

Files

reign 48 MB
Version 2017.01.02 20 days ago

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