Developer Log #28 :: Object Placement Update

The test build for 0.12 has already had a couple of updates and the feedback has been great so far. The time between test build and full update release is usually pretty quick, but it’s going to take a little longer this time around. Various critical changes are being worked on and added to the 0.12 update.


Priority System

The focus of the 0.12 update is the new job priority system. This system still needs a bit more attention and testing, but is shaping up quite nicely. This system will allow for priority control over the various jobs that can be assigned to a colonist. This is intended as the first update towards more control over what your colonists do and when.


Problems With Object Placement

Changes to object placement was not initially planned for the 0.12 update, but it’s something that has needed an update for a while. An update to object placement is something I also realized needed to happen sooner rather than later.

In the current version objects have a fixed size and all tiles that they occupy are either walk-able or flagged with a walk penalty. Colonists will avoid penalty tiles unless there is no other path they can take. In many instances this lead to colonists walking through objects. The other down side is that I couldn’t effectively ensure proper walk-able area for where a colonist needed to interact with that object.   What is needed is a system that allows for more control over the tiles that an object occupies.


Object Placement Update

Object Overlap

The new system I’m working on does just that. The object size is still fixed, but a type can now be defined for each tile they occupy. This means that I can set some tiles to be walk-able and others not walk-able. The benefit of this new system is better per tile validation for object placement. Areas that are walk-able can overlap as shown in the above picture. Also shown in the above image is the new object placement visual which will show the area the object occupies including clearance for walk space.

Now that I have a bit more control over this I can reconfigure the objects to have a better size footprint and provide more clear placement information to the player. With determined walk space for interactive objects I can set the non walk-able areas to completely disallow colonists; this will remove instances of colonists walking through objects. I’ll have to go through and update most of the place-able objects in the game to properly set them up for the new system. In some rare cases I may even change the model entirely to fit the existing footprint, such as the new Smelter model in the below image.

New Smelter Model

So that’s the good news. That bad news is that existing save games will not be compatible in the 0.12 update. Many of the objects will have their footprint size changed or, in some cases, the model updated which will lead to objects not loading or misaligned in saves from previous versions. I generally do my best to avoid breaking save games from previous versions, but in some cases it is unavoidable.

The 0.12 update will take a little longer than initially planned, but the new changes are hopefully worth the wait. Thank you to those that have tried out the 0.12 Test Build and provided feedback.



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