Robo Instructus devblog
Updates on the development of coding puzzler Robo Instructus
Scaf - The Last Of The Great Placeholders
I'm a game developer currently working on robot engineering puzzle game Robo Instructus. For my previous posts look here.
This week brings one of the larger missing functional pieces of the game; the facility view. A hub where players select levels to play and can view their overall progress, this is a step towards the game functioning as the final build will. This should also be the last big placeholder art addition to Robo Instructus. The lucky few alpha testers will be greeted by the word Scaf rotated downward.
Surely placeholder art doesn’t get more placeholdery than this. But what is “Scaf”, what does it mean? See how I manage to capture the mystery and wonder of playing the full game, for “Scaf” leads to “Scaff” leads to “Scaffo” … leads to “Scaffold”. All unlocked slowly as you complete more levels.
So this actually will mirror the final game experience of slowly progressing down a less literal scaffold. Instead of the dashing Fenix typeface, you’ll see a structure emerging and start finding clues as to what it is.
Right now the word will have to suffice. And obviously the reason you placeholder these things is to develop the actual code that underlies the screen. So level selection, seeing what levels have been completed or are locked is all implemented.
There may even be other placeholder words to be uncovered, but only the cleverest will be able to find them…
…Ok there’s just one more it’s “Facility” going into the ground below the scaffold.
Completing the facility view in good time allowed me to look at some older features that will be needed for the release. Currently the game auto-saves your progress, but if you want to restart the whole game from scratch you have to manually mess about with save files hidden on your PC somewhere. It’s pretty standard to have 3 profiles to select between in indie games, so Robo Instructus will be no different.
Alpha-1.16 brings this functionality, currently limited to selecting one of 3 profiles without any delete-profile, swap profile support. They can be added later if there’s demand (although are pretty easy to do in the filesystem).
This is also particularly useful for testing, the game has had a quick hack to allow a temporary fresh profile that I used for testing. But honestly it was never very useful, it’s nice to finally have proper profile support.
Most games have sound, and now Robo Instructus joins them. Alpha-1.16 has the very first sounds, currently just chimes when you complete level variants. Right now it’s mostly a proof that sound shouldn’t be an issue, and the final game will mostly be music reliant rather than sound-effects. Even so I’ll experiment a little with sounds and try and figure out what actually elevates the experience.
I already added click sounds when you select levels. Then I removed them because I hated them. No operating system, website or application has click sounds, but games often do. I’m not sure what the rationale is there. To be fair my mouse has built in analogue click sounds, so maybe I’m just spoilt.
I used the rust crate rodio to play the sounds. Worked like a charm. It’s always a nice surprise when a library does what you think it should
on the first try after getting it to compile.
Alpha testers now have access to alpha-1.16 with these new features. Please let me know if you guys find any issues!