30 July 2015

Devlog - 30/05/2015

Okay. So a little bit of a longer Devlog this time around. I've decided to slow them down a little so that there's actually more to show in an attempt to spark conversation.

I implemented the mouse interacting with the gameworld, to a minor extent. If I want to continue this way around I'm going to have to rethink things in terms of how the gameworld actually fits together. I had intended for the player to be able to place buildings free form in the game world, but will have to maybe revert to a more traditional grid system.

Also billowing smoke in the middle of the terrace is a modified version of the truck I've used so much of. They're going to be worked on a lot more, and I'm going to have to watch Mad Max: Fury Road for better inspiration, because that's going to be the vehicle of choice for the many many bandits and raiders attacking your export trucks leaving your settlement.

Something else I've added is the ability to pan the camera around a central pivot. I need to work on it a little more as it doesn't actually adjust how the camera moves around the world, meaning that edge scrolling and the WASD keys don't move the camera in the direction you'd expect.

I've also written up some more of the late-game ideas and features I want to implement.


Discontent is  used to facilitate growth and building of structures. Discontent is a percentage scale from 0-100%. Intervals of 10-20% add new penalties to the game world, ranging from increased resource use to lower production. A discontent score of 100% is one of the games fail states. Discontent rises with certain things. Some buildings will provide a service whilst raising discontent, high populations will raise discontent, having low to no food stored will raise discontent. The Discontent mechanic exists to curb building beyond the limits of the money system, as building up too quickly will cause your citizens to riot. However some buildings like the Propaganda Centre and the Documentary Studio have higher outputs if operating under high levels of discontent.

Panoptic Nexus

The ‘city hall’ of the Bleak world. The starting point of every city. The Panoptic Nexus is situated in the centre of the map, and grows and develops with each and every profit milestone. Upgrading the Nexus unlocks new edicts, which bolster and change how other buildings and features work.


akin to the milestone unlocks in Cities skylines, but instead of based on population, they’re based on currency, either in terms of profit, or balance. Per trade Profit makes more sense as balance can be idled and cheated


Edicts are similar to the feature in Tropico which shares its name. Edicts are a way for the player to customise your settlements code of laws, for fun and mostly profit.

Populational Needs

the pairs of diametrically opposed groups both have maslovian pyramids, however one of them is markedly more complex than the other.
(Science > Luddite) (Criminal > Prisoner) (worker > Unemployed)
The less complicated side to the pair does not have a victory state assigned to it, although the victory state of the more complicated side of the pair can only be achieved late in the game, and requires a lot of resources and capital to be invested.

Gameplay Tiers.

Gameplay is broken into three tiers. The first tier is where the game starts, providing the player with a basic set up that will keep a small population stable for a reasonable amount of time. However the player will have to expand and grow the settlement as currently it will not be profitable. In addition their population will grow slowly, accelerating during migration waves. This means the player will have to expand infrastructure to support their burgeoning population.

This leads into the second tier. At this point the player will have some form of export base, and will at least be breaking even. This tier opens up more production options, including the second stages of many production lines. However at this point, the discontent mechanic comes into play. The player then has to expand on infrastructure further, to ensure that the settlement doesn’t riot and tear itself apart. Additionally the player can now begin to specialise their settlement through focusing on specific population groups and passing specific edicts. Once the player has placated the population enough that immediate riots are no longer an issue, the game opens up into its final tier of play.

The third tier greatly expands on the population groups, with three of the six having victory conditions, the opposite three being without, but to make up for that they’re simpler and require less ‘upkeep’ choosing one or more of those three allow the player to focus on alternate win conditions through the contracts system.

25 July 2015

Bleak Devlog 25/07/2015

Some concepts for the start screen and the in-game user-Interface

23 July 2015

Bleak Devlog | 23/07/2015

Used the Terrace model to map out a generic Victorian suburb, which i'll keep coming back to and expanding out as needs be. I'll probably return to the model and tweak colours on it, really push the idea that these buildings are old and uninhabitable.

Broke ground on placing buildings physically in the gameworld. It's going to need a lot more work, but it's a start. Next up is getting to appear closer to the actual cursor, and destroy any of the terraces it clips into. Then once that's sorted out, I'll maybe redesign the tower, break it up into several tiers, and animate its construction.

22 July 2015

Devlog 22/07/2015

Today I worked on Particles and rockets.

firstly there's this. It's a dust cloud. My intent for this is a bit of visual flair when placing or demolishing buildings. The Tenement model is going to get roughed up and made a bit more grungy, and it's going to litter the map in lines and blocks, suggesting the remains of a blasted and windswept Victorian suburb. I might give them a tangible game play value and have them give the player small amounts of resources when they're destroyed, like urban reclamation.

ROCKETS! The chosen epoch for inspiration firmly contains the Apollo program, which certainly had its influence on the sci-fi genre. The ICARUS ( Working Title) Rocket will be used as a medium-game building to ferry goods and materials to and from a lunar base, which I'd like to expand as far as another settlement, but I'm probably going to avoid that now thanks to Anno 2205's announcement. Both these examples are barebones and not particularly detailed, but will be worked on in further iterations.

21 July 2015

Bleak Devlog 20/07/2015

It's been a fair while since I've done one of these, but not because I've been slacking.


First thing is this, which I realise looks like nothing in particular at all. At the time I intended it to be the start of a modular Fence model. The animation being an example of how I envision building construction to look like in BLEAK. Other games have gone for the realistic 'scaffolding goes up and the building's slowly constructed' and whilst it works, it's usually quite benign visually, and kinda boring. The inspiration for this sort of fluid, unfolding is the game Offworld Trading Company has intricate, detailed animations for its buildings, shown here. I'm also of a mind to try something like this because animating in this style seems relatively easy, and it's another string to my bow.

Second is this, a test of both the Day/Night cycle, how the Land rover 109 inspired vehicle deals with being controlled as a Navmesh Agent, and how the individual component handle the games Timespeed being adjusted. Apart from a few things that might need working out, everything seems to work fine with adjusted speeds.
This is an animation test of a building. All the animations as of yet that are implemented are done within Unity through scripting.

A closeup of the building in question, a Protein Farm, the backbone of any food-producing colony. Where the protein comes from? Watch Snowpiercer.

Finally, showing off an RTS camera I shamelessly stole from the Unity Forums. I'll work with it, add a few features I need, but mostly this is exactly what I need.
And that concludes the GIF portion of this Devlog. Now here's a bunch of images.
 Left, a terribly Gamma'd render of the finalised version of the Sci-Fi 109, in-unity on the right.

Left, the in-progress version of a building that will feature heavily in BLEAK, the Panoptic Nexus. Currently the Nexus is a carbon copy of the BT tower, but later iterations will tweak and adjust the design

Left, the Protein rack object, and the storage barrel taken from within Maya, Right is the Storage Barrel rendered in Unity.

Work in progress 109 heavy haulage variant, knocked out from model to in-unity in a day, even including a horrible crash to desktop thanks to Maya.

A variant I was toying around with of the 109, which I think would fill the same niche that the Sinclair C5 would have had.

The heavy haulage 109 in unity, shown in both day and night lighting. The underside lighting on the night scene was a side effect of how I was creating the Day/Night cycle, which has since been fixed.

A screenshot from Unity, showing a Terrace building model, the two variants on the 109, a place holder person model, and the storage barrel. This was to gauge if the visual style of the game was working at this early stage. Minor tweaks were made to the albedo colour of the Terrace, and I've noted the accidental uptake of a colour scheme that strongly features contrasting orange and blue.