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dangerz
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« on: June 15, 2023, 08:57:31 AM »

Hand Shake Right Demo Available on Steam! Hand Shake Right
Instagram:  @astrominergame
Website: https://www.astrominer.net
Steam:  AstroMiner on Steam
IndieDB:  AstroMiner
Discord:  AstroMiner



AstroMiner is a 2d exploration and survival game.  You were on the way to mine an asteroid when your ship malfunctioned.  You jumped into your mining rig, R-01, and were able to detour to a nearby asteroid field that hasn't been set up for mining yet.  You need to build up enough of a base to get ahold of Earth, tell them where you're at, and find your way back.

Features
Procedurally Generated Asteroids
Multiplayer
Mining
Base Building
Crafting
Player Customization

Screenshots


« Last Edit: September 27, 2023, 07:40:13 PM by dangerz » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2023, 08:57:45 AM »

Here's all the work that went into my first release.

V.0.1 Basics
Lighting
Infinite Map
Different block types
Player flying around
Player fly animation
Player hover animation
Player dig animation
Player suspension drop

V.0.2 Helpers
Player health
Player fuel
Player g meter
Lighting tower
Fuel tower
Repair tower
Beacon

V.0.3 UI
Inventory
Inventory UI
Chest

V.0.4 Crafting
Crafting UI
Blocks to build existing structures
Doors

V.0.5 Enemies
Thom
Matterhole
Turrets

V.0.6 Screens
Start screen
Save world
Load world
Pause screen

V.0.7 Fluids
Water
Water save

V.0.8 Usability
Right mouse click drops 1 -
Middle mouse click grabs half -
Bug where craftmanager doesn’t recognize items in craft box when loaded from save -
Bug where player light level isn’t being saved off and loaded
Load latest auto save on front screen
Full screen toggle on all menu screens
Crafting Guide -
Bucket -

V.0.9 Helper
Elevator
Pipes
Pumps

V0.10 New Materials
Sand
Move Copper to new biome

V.0.11 Multiplayer
2 players on screen, sharing modified world. 
MP Dig and crafting

V.0.11.1 Biome
Glass (should increase minimum brightness)
New biome, darker

V.0.12 Enemies Update
Spy
Fix enemy bugs

v.0.13 Biomes
Hot biome (lava)
Lava/Water interaction
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dangerz
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2023, 09:02:07 AM »

So here's the original dev log for Astrominer.  I wrote this game back in 2011 and wanted to release it on PC/XBox, but Microsoft cancelled XNA support and really threw me off.  Life got really busy with a new job and a kid and I've thought about finishing this game for a long time.

A few months ago I got the itch to work on the game.  I'd done some work with Godot and after a weekend of tinkering, AstroMiner was reborn.  I have a lot of updates on my instagram, but I'm hoping to post more technical updates here as well as get some testers eventually.  I'd like to release on Steam before the end of the year, but I want to make sure it's a solid release.

I've already re-written everything I did back in 2011 as well as added more features.  The current build has multi-player, has new structures, more fluids, air, and the ability to leave your ship.  I'll post about the multiple phases in the game and the skill tree a little later.
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2023, 09:43:17 PM »

In the screenshots, I found the blocky graphics rather off-putting, if I'm honest. Then I saw how long you've been working on it, and I watched the old video. And in it, you can see all the working details that you wouldn't expect next to the big blocks. Pretty impressive!

On the water and the pumping mechanism, I think you can see that the details and the blocks are in clear contrast: you can see the water flowing from the small pipe, and then it turns into a water block. As a developer, I'd be interested to know if you're just going to leave it like that - it works - or if you're going to include a seamless tilemap in the future, for example?

Anyway, I wish much joy with the development Smiley
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dangerz
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2023, 02:22:47 PM »

In the screenshots, I found the blocky graphics rather off-putting, if I'm honest. Then I saw how long you've been working on it, and I watched the old video. And in it, you can see all the working details that you wouldn't expect next to the big blocks. Pretty impressive!

On the water and the pumping mechanism, I think you can see that the details and the blocks are in clear contrast: you can see the water flowing from the small pipe, and then it turns into a water block. As a developer, I'd be interested to know if you're just going to leave it like that - it works - or if you're going to include a seamless tilemap in the future, for example?

Anyway, I wish much joy with the development Smiley

Really appreciate the honest feedback!  I know it's not for everyone and I've been trying to find a good balance.  Fortunately everything is in a sprite sheet, so changing the look isn't too complicated eventually.  I've toyed with having rounded edges for the blocks using a shader as well, but my shader skills aren't quite good enough to pull it off yet.

For the water block, are you referring to where the water exits the pipe and how the level of the water is sometimes below it?
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2023, 02:42:23 PM »

I think I finally settled on a human sprite.  I tried to keep the same style of the other characters in the game.  I'm not much of an artist, so hopefully this works.



Human looks the same size here, but it's actually really scaled down when you play.  Here's the world when you're in the robot:



You see how the robot is sitting on that dock?  It'll only allow the human to exit if there's air in the space.  Air is generated by the earth tower.  If there's air, you can get out:



Check out the scale.  I'm still toying with the art style, but I kinda like how it's blocky.  The other effect I've added is transparent buildings.  Here's the player alongside a chest.



Up until this point, that was a generic chest that the player used to store and craft stuff.  Once you're in human form, though, it becomes something else.



It's a building!  I haven't built out the inside yet.  It becomes transparent as soon as the human enters it.  It's a fun game mechanic and due to the size of the player, I can have multiple floors in that building.
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2023, 11:07:24 PM »

Quote
For the water block, are you referring to where the water exits the pipe and how the level of the water is sometimes below it?

I saw this on the steampage. In the first video (Gameplay|Mining) you can see right at the beginning how water flows out of the pipe in the upper right corner. The realistic looking water jet then becomes a block of water. At this point, I found the harsh transition between the detailed sprites and the chunky blocks of material obvious.

Quote
I've toyed with having rounded edges for the blocks using a shader as well, but my shader skills aren't quite good enough to pull it off yet.

Have you considered using autotiles?


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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2023, 09:11:24 AM »

Quote
For the water block, are you referring to where the water exits the pipe and how the level of the water is sometimes below it?

I saw this on the steampage. In the first video (Gameplay|Mining) you can see right at the beginning how water flows out of the pipe in the upper right corner. The realistic looking water jet then becomes a block of water. At this point, I found the harsh transition between the detailed sprites and the chunky blocks of material obvious.

Quote
I've toyed with having rounded edges for the blocks using a shader as well, but my shader skills aren't quite good enough to pull it off yet.

Have you considered using autotiles?



Gotcha.. I'll see how I can make that transition a little better.

As for auto-tiles, I read into them a while ago, but didn't find a good way to make them work with the Perlin noise algorithm and auto-generation I have going on.  I'll revisit them and see if they can help.  Thanks!
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2023, 02:16:48 PM »


The player can now leave their robot at any point in the game.  That requires them to have a spacesuit on, so I quick made this up.  It's kinda fun walking around the enemies as a human instead of a robot.
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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2023, 08:57:00 PM »

Ok one more fun update for tonight.

When the player creates an Earth Tower, it starts to fill the space with air (As long as it has a source of water, power, and light).  Once the space is filled with air, that air starts interacting with things.  One of those things is the dirt block.

The dirt blocks will eventually absorb the air/moisture and turn into mud, which will also eventually turn into grass.



If the air level isn't maintained, the grass will eventually die off and turn back into dirt.  Plants will also start to grow over time, but the grass will need to be seeded.  More to come on that topic later.

Fixed some minor bugs tonight as well.  Nothing crazy, but things that've been annoying me.

I've been tossing the idea of either putting a demo out on Steam, or releasing on Early Access.  I need to do some research to see if either one is worth it.  I feel like I need to have several hours worth of gameplay before I jump into early access, but it would be nice to get some feedback on game controls and mechanics.
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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2023, 08:48:59 PM »

Quick update tonight..



Player can now tunnel through blocks as a human.  This'll come in handy when you don't want to keep opening/closing the doors and letting air out.

I also introduced a really annoying bug in the game.  When the game launches, the camera position is based off of the robot.  I updated the save file to now store the human position as well as whether or not the player is in the robot.  Well, it turns out the camera doesn't like that.  If I launch the game and base it off the human position, the world gets drawn weird.  I think this is due to the world anchor block, which is the starting block for all the drawing.  I'll have to figure it out, but it's almost 1am and I need sleep.

update:  I also broke the lighting >:[
update 2:  I fixed the lighting. 
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2023, 02:33:32 PM »

Just registered for the Steam Next Fest: October 2023.  That commits me to having at least a working demo by then.  I think I can get there (I'm not too far away), but I'll have to figure out what's "good enough".  I don't want something crappy that's going to take away from the game.  Maybe I focus on Phase 1?  Work out the controls, building basic base stuff, but save phase 2+ for later?  Don't know..
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2023, 08:17:15 AM »

Lots of behind the scenes work to fix the camera.  It used to be nested within the robot to follow them around, but with the player being able to leave the robot I needed a way to point the camera elsewhere.  I was able to refactor that setup and now it works great.  I can point it wherever I want, and more importantly, save the game in and out of the ship.

Once that was done, I switched my focus to the inside of objects.  The first target is the chest.




I want the player to be able to customize this space over time, but I needed a base set of objects to run the chest and give the player something to interact with.

With Next Fest in October, I'm going to focus on getting everything I need for a solid demo so it's ready for that.  Then I'll go in and fill details.
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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2023, 08:08:05 PM »



Kinda looks like a different game.



I spent the week working on the ability to grow plants.  Once I got the AirManager working and air flowing appropriately, I started working on having certain things react to air.  The first are the dirt blocks.  Right now they'll start growing plants as long as there's any moisture in the air.  Eventually, the player will have to seed blocks for them to grow things.  They can do that by luring in a Thom and killing it.  It'll drop organic matter which will turn into plants.

This base is overkill, but I wanted to scale the AirManager and see if it impacts performance (I didn't notice any framerate drops).  This took 3 separate Earth Towers to generate all the air.  The player will likely only need that space on the right side of the screenshot, which is only 1 Earth Tower.  They're really expensive to build so I don't want to force the player to hunt for all the minerals to pull off 2 of them.

I've got a good roadmap going that ends up with my having a working demo by October, which is Steam's Next Fest.  I'm really on the fence about whether or not I want to include multiplayer in that.  I have MP working already, but I haven't kept it up to date with all these new capes.  I might go single-player only to start and then do a multiplayer update later on.

The next couple of weeks are going to me working on getting Phase 2 "good enough".  Phase 2 is the phase where the player is working on the comms equipment to contact earth.  This is going to require them to build antennas spread far enough apart in the world, and then connect them.  I'm still not sure on how I want them to connect the antennas.. I might attempt a 2d rope/wire thing.  I'll see.  It becomes challenging if the antenna is really far away and I've despawned most of the objects.

I also have my brother working on making music for the game.  I really haven't spent enough time doing audio, but I'm not good at that stuff.
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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2023, 09:41:10 PM »

I implemented Autosave tonight.  It’s the only thing in the game on a separate thread.  Collecting the game data is on the main game thread, but serializing  and saving is moved off.

Let me know if you all have recommendations for auto-save rates.  I’m thinking every 30 seconds + every time they dock.  I like NoMansSky’s approach of saving every time you leave your ship, but I feel like the player won’t be leaving that often.
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« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2023, 09:44:46 PM »


I'm not good at creating .gifs, but objects now materialize instead of instantly being placed.

There have been a lot of updates since my last post.  First off, materializing objects (as seen above).  Saving now happens when a player exits their ship or docks the ship.  Certain objects can now only be built by the human as opposed to the robot.  The player can now build a Comms station as well as Antennas.  I added Gold and the ability to refine it (needed to build the Antenna).  I added temperature, which is greatly impacted by the presence of lava (and obviously, air is required for any sort of heat). 

.. and saving the best update for last, I added music.  My brother made a nice chill track and broke it up into segments, which allows me to play those segments somewhat randomly so it's not the same beat over and over.  You can listen to it for a little here: 



Lots of smaller updates as well that were focused on performance and bug fixes. 

I'm getting closer and closer to the Steam demo build.  I'm hoping to have a demo ready by the end of Summer.  It's playable now and I've shared it with some friends for their feedback, but I don't want to release a public demo until the game is somewhat beatable.. or at least until you can finish Phase 1 (Earth Tower) and Phase 2 (Contacting Earth).
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« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2023, 05:38:30 PM »

I'm doing some experimentation and curious if anyone has opinions.

Rounded corners (https://www.astrominer.net/47/rounded.png):

Square corners (https://www.astrominer.net/47/notRounded.png):


Not sure which I prefer.  I thought I'd really like it if I did rounded corners and put a system in place to give me dynamic rounded corners.  After implementing it, I realized I really like square corners.

Thoughts?
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« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2023, 06:05:00 PM »

Progress has slowed a little due to work, but still going.  I have the satellite alignment minigame done.  I'll need to spend more time on the graphics, but the game itself is done.  That means the player can now finish Phase 1 and Phase 2.  Next step is Phase 3, which is their path back to Earth.

I think I'm going to put out a demo to get some feedback on the game.  I'll probably focus on Phase 1 since it's enough for you all to get a feel for the gameplay.

Don't have any new screenshots since I need to finish the art for the minigame, so I'll leave you with one of my splash screens.

« Last Edit: July 15, 2023, 06:06:50 AM by dangerz » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2023, 08:27:37 PM »

I've been deep into programming Phase 3.  I got the minigame for Phase 2 done.  Part of this latest work is also building out the interior for R-01.  You can see it here:



When the player exits the robot, they have to .. well, actually exit the robot.  There are also computers inside to interact with it.  One of those computers will give them email access back to Earth.  It doesn't work until the player has aligned all the antennas.

I'm getting excited because I'm very close to getting to the actual end game.  I think I might be able to get there by the end of July.  Still a long way to go - need to add a launch pad, build another spaceship, 2 more minigames... I've got my work cut out, but I'll get there.  Once I get the game to the point where the player can actually beat it, I have a lot of content to add in-between too.
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« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2023, 07:21:09 PM »

I have been coding when I can and am very close to being able to release.  I need to make one more mini-game and an end game cutscene, and I'll have a solid demo ready.  I think I have a good 2-3 hours worth of gameplay if the player decides to follow the story straight through instead of off-road and do their own thing.

That'll be just for the demo.  I still have a lot of content I want to add in to add more depth, but my goal is to get the game good enough for a solid demo before I do all of that.
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