We have been pushing to get our foraging skill done and finally finished the other day. A few little things need to be added such as the system messages the player will see when he forages but everything else is completed. The good news is that this skill will be the basis for all our gathering skills, including fishing, mining, and farming. While each of these will obviously have differences, the framework is there so the minor changes will be quick and easy. We have started on the cooking skill, which will be the basis for all crafting skills. Together, gathering and crafting make up about 90% of our skills, with a few extras that are unique, such as healing and theology.
Ryan made a video of a test of the forage skill in a prototype environment. Our challenge with this skill, which seems so easy when you watch the video, was to have forage tied to specific areas. This allows the player to find items only where they typically are found, such as sticks near a forest and crabs near the water. Players will have visual clues about what can be found in the area and then forage nearby. Items will go into their inventory. The inventory takes into account size and shape of the item so only so much can be placed in the regular inventory. However, there will be a variety of containers that players can use to add to their inventory available in-game. The forage skill is tied to the stats, most of which you cannot see in this video, to the inventory, and to the animations, which are triggered as the character searches and then locates items.
Foraging skills are important for finding resources in the wild, especially for new players. While initially a player can only collect simple things and the timer will be slightly longer, as his skill improves, he will find more items and be able to better filter his search.
In the video, you can see the Stamina bar reducing as the character forages. At the moment, the reduction is set high in order to actually see the effect in a short time period. While foraging will reduce Stamina, the reduction will be very slow and can be easily replenished by resting briefly. Skills that are more physically demanding will drain Stamina more quickly.
In other news, as we work on the skills, we are also preparing a demo of a town market square. I am moving along well with the demo and hope to have it to you in a couple of weeks or soon after. We are hoping to have the mini-game out this fall so stay tuned for more information and videos. A video will be released for each skill as we finish the prototypes. Prototypes make it easier to test, and if things go wrong, it is easier to figure it out without a lot of clutter in the game. As they are finished they will be added to the actual Mini-Game scene. I will provide a walk through for everyone once all skills are in.
Here is a sneak peak at the Market Square Demo. This is a screenshot, in-game of one side of the square, a quiet alley on a non-market day. You can see Ethan, my stand-in for scale standing in the alley. He is not a character in our game, obviously, but works well to make sure everything is the correct size.
Thanks for sticking with us!