Devlog 1

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So after uploading the glitchy test version of Overcrowd last week, I have been re-inspired to try and make the game more playable and to fix the obvious bugs.

An in-game tutorial is my priority. I figure no-one will play the thing without one. I know I wouldn’t bother to read a list of instructions on the website first, and when I give Overcrowd to friends on my Nexus 7 (the far superior android version) I need to talk them through it before they can play with any success. After that, of course, they are hooked :p

Closely linked to the tutorial, almost hand-in-hand, is a menu! Yes, I have been putting off making a menu for ages – it just seems quite boring to do. Tweaking the mechanics seems much more fun. However I have the graphics lined up for this, and hope to get to it soon. Obviously it’s pretty vital.

Anyway, yesterdays changes focused on Angry people and Arrests. I haven’t uploaded this version yet. Some background first; in Overcrowd, commuters are angered by litter, overcrowding and being late. Being a regular London commuter, I can attest that this is fairly realistic. However, in Overcrowd, when a commuter’s their anger crosses a certain threshold, he or she will start punching anyone near them. This, hopefully, is less realistic. But it may happen on some of the busier lines. But I digress. Changes are:

  • Commuters now flee to exit points correctly when punched. Previously a conflict between fleeing and other states such as arrests.
  • Slowed down police speed (urgency) and animation speed so they look a bit less ‘benny hill’.
  • Tweaked the pathfinding variables in an effort to reduce sudden turns across commuters and units.
  • Police will now escort arrestees to the nearest door. They will then return to where they were deployed. If another suspect is in the local area they will do the same.
  • Worked on Angry Commuter behaviour. Reduced conflicts with other behaviours/states, so that people will not feel delayed or sick or start fleeing when they are angry.
  • Stopped fleeing and being arrested behaviour being interrupted by other states or crossing waypoints.
  • Increased size of the ‘-1’ text that denotes unhappiness above commuters. Made them fade away instead of disappear.
  • Commuters have a 9 second ‘failsafe’ mode. Until I can iron out all bugs, this fail safe means that if a commuters stops moving for more than 9 seconds it is considered glitched and will disappear to keep the game going. Commuters occasionally do this and I think its a problem with the ‘waiting’ subroutine they go into on the platform, which really needs to be reworked.

nb: It might say devlog 1 up there, but Overcrowd has been in dev in some form or other for years. Initial conceptual work, art production and a JS prototype started about 2 years ago. I started to work on this build, from scratch, around 10 months back.

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