Skip to main content

Attack of the evolved fortress... crafts?

Now playing: Fortresscraft Evolved.

As has ever been the case, the game I want to play isn't out yet, but it seems about 20 hours of my weekend went to revisiting Fortresscraft Evolved, an ambitious Unity-made project that combines much of the appeal of Minecraft and Factorio into a geeky fusion that is a bit rough around the edges yet still made by somebody admittedly a lot better at using Unity than me.
What do all these blocks do?  Ah, there's the learning curve.
After those 20 hours, I conclude it's a game of many interesting parts being used to a muddled end.

Yes, you can build ore miners, connect those ore miners to conveyor belts, have the collected ore automatically smelted, the smelted bars routed into machines that further refine them into wires, plates, spools of wires, and circuit boards.  Yes, you can produce energy from coal and use a network of batteries and lasers to beam power directly to the appropriate machine blocks. 

But to what ends?  Downward, ever downward, to increasingly hostile depths containing yet another type of ore to work into the machine.  Theroetically, the goal is to escape the planet.  Well, it's a great engineering sandbox, I'll give it that. 
I find myself wanting to create factories that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are functioning marvels, but usually find cruel logistics has other plans.  Aliens are leeching off my conveyor belts and I must abandon form for the function of figuring out how to power a network of turrets that have line of sight.  I plan an elaborate spiral shaft and... what's this?!  The conveyors can go directly up walls?!  Even carrying ore upside down on the ceiling?!  My careful plans are ultimately scrapped in favor of new developments.

Now Developing: Maybe something in RPG Maker MV?

Speaking of new developments, I find myself sorely tempted to snap up RPG Maker MV despite the obvious power advantage of Unity.  The improvements that went into MV finally fix the issues it had with the limited resolution sizes and inability to export to other platforms, and it even fully supports Javascript to code its extensions, so the only reason not to use it comes down to how it is built to create a very specific type of game.
As it happens, that type of game might be close enough to what I am trying to accomplish.  I want it to be an RPG, even though Japanese RPG style combat is not my first choice.  I keep returning to tile-based topdown isometric games, of which RPG Maker MV is right out of the box.  Having a working NPC dialogue tree editor and presenter from the getgo  is also a major tool for the kind of narrative potential I need.  This really looks like the path of least resistance to at least a prototype game.

The main cause of hesitation is the fact that I could eventually recreate much of this same essential functionality in an engine that is more flexible and powerful, such as Unity or even GameMaker Studio.  So choosing RPG Maker MVll has more to do with walking before I run because it provides me with default content and game mechanics to extrapolate from, whereas the other engines task me with creating those myself.

I short, I know I ought to leverage the more powerful engines, but my drive for do-it-yourself perfection is at odds with the lazy alternative of sufficing with an engine that is already pretty close to what I want.  But is that truly laziness, or just efficiency?  

One thing's for sure: I'm not getting anything done just talking about it, I need to foster a habit of dedicating some time towards it, as this weekend went completely to Fortresscraft Evolved.


Popular posts from this blog

Resonant Induction Really Grinds My Gears... In A Good Way

From about 2pm yesterday until 8pm today, I've been dabbling with my latest custom mod mix for Minecraft 1.6.4, which is this time very much Universal Electricity focused.
Aside from the usual GUI enhancers and Somnia, the primary contenders in this mix were:
Calclavia Core - Of course: this is the base of the Universal Electricity system.Resonant Induction - This seems to be largely focused on increasingly more advanced methods of refining ores divided across 4 ages of technological progression.  It also includes some really cool things such as assembly lines.  I'll primarily be talking about just a few blocks out of this mod today.Atomic Science - A mod dedicated to generating more of those lovely universal electricity volts via the power of splitting the atom.  Build your own nuclear reactor!  Deal with nuclear meltdowns!  You maniac!ICBM - A mod dedicated to generating more destruction using those lovely universal electricity volts (and more than a little gunpowder), it cer…

Empyrion Vrs Space Engineers: A Different Kind Of Space Race

In my quest for more compelling virtual worlds, I have been watching Empyrion: Galactic Survival a lot this bizarro weekend, mostly via the Angry Joe Show twitch stream.  What I have concluded from my observations is Empyrion is following in Space Engineers' shadow, but it is nevertheless threatening the elder game due to a greater feature set (the modding scene notwithstanding).

Empyrion is made in Unity, whereas Space Engineers is built on a custom engine.  While this does put Empyrion at a disadvantage when it comes to conceptual flexibility, its developers nevertheless have a substantial advantage when it comes to adding features due to a savings of time spent that would have gone into developing their own engine.  Examples include:
Planets.  Empyrion already has planets and space to explore between them, whereas in Space Engineers planets are in the works but still awhile away (so you just have asteroid fields to scavenge).Enemies.  Space Engineers' survival mode boasts onl…

Greasing The Grind: Adding Lasting Appeal To Virtual World Sandboxes

Game design, being about entertainment, is not as much science as art.  We're coming up with interesting things that the human mind likes to chew on that "taste" good to it.  Different people find different things, "Fun," and a game designer is tasked with coming up with fun, appealing things.  As pertains to virtual world sandboxes, I identified three of them.

Challenge Appeal.

Dwarf Fortress and Fortresscraft Evolved have the same end game appeal preservation mechanic: wealth equals threat.  The more money your Dwarf Fortress is worth, the bigger the baddies who will come for you, including a bunch of snobby useless nobles who do nothing but push dwarves around and eat.  The more energy you make in Fortresscraft Evolved, the more and bigger bugs come to shut down your base.  Rimworld does something a little different based off of which AI Storyteller you choose, but it generally adds time to your wealth accumulation when deciding what kind of threats to throw a…