DevBlog #2 – Settings and Menus

Hi there!

So on to our second development blog for our upcoming game, Shimmer. Today’s update focuses on the major changes that have been made to the in-game world, new settings options and the introduction of the start menu!

Major changes to game world:

Between the last update and this update I played around with the game and realised that the idea of one ‘Large’ island surrounded by a few smaller islands didn’t force you as a player to really go out and explore to survive. In fact it became apparent that you could set up base on the large island and live off what it provided. This needed to change…

So the game world was completely re-designed. I opted for the same size game world; however, I set about re-designing the world to consist of groups of smaller and a few medium islands. This had the desired effect of making you feel more ‘isolated’ on each island and gives you a good reason to move from island to island to try and scavenge for the scarce resources.

Screenshot of phase 1 island re-design:

IslandOverview

There is of course still work to be done to complete the islands. I want to add a few more ‘tiny’ islands as well as as some more island’s a little closer to the map boundaries.

New in-game icons:

This week also brought the addition of two new in-game UI icons. The Bandage and Blue Coral.

Blue Coral will be an item that you can find in underwater areas and is used along with Vines to craft Bandages, which as you guessed it, are used to heal you!

Bandage:

2 Bandage 256x256

Blue Coral:

2.3. Blue Coral 256x256

Rafts:

The first raft is also now in-game! I worked on using existing in-game assets for ‘sticks’ in order to make the raft look more like it was created from items you can find in game. This did have a few challenges when it came to implementing buoyancy but I think it looks pretty cool!

I have also implemented basic controls so the raft can now be mounted and moved in the direction you are looking. It also no longer behaves like Alladin’s carpet and has stopped floating over islands (although I must admit it was a pretty good way to get around).

Raft

Start Menu and Settings:

The start menu is also now implemented. For now only basic settings are available to the player but this will be fleshed out over the next few weeks to include a number of custom settings for graphics.

The ability for a player to tweak the graphics settings is one of the items at the top of my pre-early access list. I think it is really important for players to be able to set custom settings in-game, especially given the often unstable nature of early access titles. This should help identify settings that are causing specific issues for a player and help me iron out the bugs as quickly as possible.

Storage Box:

The basic storage box is also now in-game. This provides the player the ability to store items from their inventory. For now the model is rather basic but this will be improved as the game develops.

StorageBox

Exposure Stat:

The exposure stat is now implemented. This works to detect when a player is ‘out in the open’ when there is a rain storm or swimming in the ocean at night and is not under a shelter or within the radius of a fire.

If a player spends too long exposed then their health will begin to drop. It’s basic but it means players have to take cover during rainstorms and plan their trips into the oceans.

What’s next?

This week will see a focus on getting to the end of phase 1 island re-design and moving onto the ocean environments. If there is time before the next update then I would also like to make a start on the fish AI movement and implementing the Shark behaviour.

Check out our update video below to see the new start menu, graphics settings and a quick look at rafts.

Remember to bookmark this blog, or follow us on social media to stay up to date with developments!

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