Monday 2nd March, 2020

Today was my first day back at work, and it went pretty well. Got my desk and computer set up, and then did a couple of easy jobs before a little meeting in the afternoon to go through the jobs board and discuss what I’ll be working on next. It looks like I’m going to be doing a Bing advertising API upgrade, taking some code that wraps an older version of the Bing API and bringing it up to date. I see lots of messing about with OAuth and the Azure system in my future…

I’m also getting excited about the future of BotLG. I’m going to make the maps larger, and may use a smaller tile size to really capitalise on using all the screen real estate. I’ve started writing a little bit of code based on an earlier project that worked well, using components to grant entities various permissions and abilities. Really happy to be writing a proper roguelike now.

Back to Work

Tomorrow, I go back to work. I’ve been off for 140 days, and in that time I’ve written the majority of a game that I’m pretty pleased with. I’ve got so much better at JavaScript, and I’ve learnt a lot about managing a large JS project. I’ve also watched and listened to a lot of YouTube.

I’ve packed up a bag with a new pot-plant for my desk and my favourite mechanical keyboard, and I’ve put my noise-cancelling headphones on to charge. It’s time to go do some devops again, and I’m looking forward to it.

Work, work

I have some news. About four months ago, I quit my job to work on BONES of the LOST GOD, and, after a few mis-steps and prototype dead-ends, it’s now nearly finished. I’m really pleased with it and the work I’ve done.

However — I need to go back to work and start earning some money, and so I’m taking a full-time devops role at an e-commerce company. However, I don’t start for three weeks which should give me time to finish off, do a little refactoring, and get the game into a position where I can more easily add further content on evenings and weekends.

I’ve got four main things left to do:

  • Re-balance combat and the monsters. Monsters (and combat with them) doesn’t scale very well at the moment as you level up; in particular attack quickly outstrips defence, and combat is a bit swingy at low levels, which can feel frustrating. So this needs looking at, and I have a big spreadsheet of numbers on the go at the moment.
  • Improve procedural generation of dungeons. This works, but the environments it generates are not very interesting. I want to improve the environments it generates, add more dungeon templates (forest, cavern, dungeon, caves etc.), and make delving into dungeons a more rewarding experience.
  • Implement merchants and account-wide storage. So far there’s no UI for buying or selling items, and no UI for long-term storage and retrieval of items. Both of these are going to share some UI and behind-the-scenes work, so I’m bundling them together.
  • Character retirement and account-wide progress. Right from day one I’ve envisaged BotLG as an idle/incremental game, and the one key genre mechanic that’s missing is the idea of prestige; that is, giving up all your current progress for a long-term bonus. I’ll be implementing this by allowing player characters to retire, at which point they will provide resources periodically based on their skills.

I don’t regret doing this — I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve created — and similarly I’m not sad about going back into work; I’m looking forward to it. If I get everything listed ticked off, the game will contain all the major mechanics I envisaged, so I can’t complain.

I’m going to keep the Patreon campaign open until the end of February and then close it; it seems a little disingenuous to take monthly pledges for something I can’t hand-on-heart say I’ll be working on most of the time. If you want to continue to support BONES of the LOST GOD, I have a ko-fi donation page up and I’m going to try and use that a little more.

This is definitely not the end of the project! There’s still a tonne of content to implement (on top of the things listed above) and I have a feeling I’ll be updating and supporting this for a long time to come. Thanks for sticking around.