While Martin dug deeper into the simulation aspects of Prosperous Universe, Michi started work on another integral part of the game: The chat system! And because it is so important, we’d like to hear your feedback: Tell us about your experience with chats in games! What are the functions you use a lot, which do you think can be left out and which are a absolute must-have? Looking forward to hear your answers!
In Prosperous Universe, we strive to simulate a closed-loop economy. So any value that is created in the game, for example when a new player joins the game or when resources are mined, this value has to be destroyed again at some point. In other games, this function is usually fulfilled by a strong military component: War is an enormous waste of resources and therefore serves this purpose very well. But in PU, military conflict is a late-game feature and far less important then civil activities. As such, we need another value sink.
This is were populations come in: On a planet that provides the required infrastructure, a simulated population will start to grow. This population serves as the workforce in higher-level production processes and it purchases various materials for its consumption on the player-driven market. These range from food over clothing to a broad selection of luxury products. Once these materials are consumed, they are essentially removed from the game world, which is just the value sink we need.
This week I digged deeper into the AI and formulas behind all this, coming up with a simple model that will suffice to run early tests. I haven’t gotten far on the implementation yet, but the model is looking good and I hope to be able to see first “simulated market activity” next week.
Wow, another week that was over way too fast. The week started with some clean up tasks that I didn’t do at the end of last week and a bit of research on a new piece of software technology we are going to use soon.
Martin and I had a quick discussion what should be tackled next since the FTL flight is in a working state now. We decided that the chat system is a nice feature that I can develop rather easily while Martin is doing some refactoring work at the same time.
As with every start of a new thing in Prosperous Universe we started by brainstorming what features are necessary, nice-to-have and over-the-top. Turns out a proper chat system needs quite a few features. I’ll just randomly name a few we thought of: channels, message history, direct messages, notifications, read indicators, metadata, markup, presence indicators, bans, mutes, invites, etc. pp.
I started to implement a simple channel with message and client lists. Seems there will be enough work left in the next week(s).