Monday, April 6, 2015

March-April 2015 Update

Happy Easter everyone! Sorry about the delay with March's devblog, I needed something to talk about before I posted up. These last two months I have focused mainly on the technical side of Showtime 2. I have been migrating code and designs over to the new .NET framework and that has been quite a time consuming process. What I can tell you about this process is that I have discovered countless new ways to write the code and make it more efficient. This has led to faster loading in-game and a much cleaner way of approaching certain tasks and little effects within the game. It is a very challenging process though and unfortunately one of those things that cant exactly be hurried up.

The joys of programming!

Steam Achievements & Trading Cards

I am pleased to announce that Showtime 2 will come complete with a ton of Steam achievements for all you trophy hunters out there :) I know a lot of you wanted to see the Steamworks API integrated into Showtime 1, which was all but impossible at the time, so I opted to include them in-game instead. However with using the .NET framework this process is steamlined and Valve have done a great job in providing assistance for ways of integration. I have yet to establish the limit for Steam achievements but I'm aiming for about 40 - including some from the original game. Trading cards will also be made available on Steam day 1 for all you collectors out there.

Box Office Revisited

I got a request to show off a little more of the box office and how that's shaping up. The box office will now contain a Top 20 list of the week's top films, as well as a little icon where you can view the weekly takings from each region of the world via a drop-down. You will also be able to sort the list into a monthly run-down of chart data if you are so inclined. As with Showtime 1, the pie chart will make a return for visual representation. The game will also have a Year to Date section, where you can view the Top 20 movies of the year as well as a return of the Hall of Fame -- which will be limited to a Top 10 list.

I am currently looking to expand the Hall of Legends list for a local Top 10 list of all top grossing films through ALL of your play throughs of the game, as well as AI opponents. I am hoping to expand this to also include an Online Top 100 list where you are able to compete with other players and upload your high scores to the internet. 

The AI I have designed to be more aggressive in Showtime 2, studying which genres you like to stick to and releasing competing movies on the month's you expect big returns. This encourages players to change it up to stump their AI opponents and ultimately bring a diverse range to their filmography. This will all be explained more in-game through the tutorials.

Facilities and Upgrades

And lastly, I have started work on the upgrade system for the game. I have done away with individual staff hiring and instead opted for a “Research Budget”. You can choose how much you would like to allocate to each department, or focus all your attention on a specific area: Film Technology, Sound Technology, Facilities, Sound Stages or Sub-Genres. Each facility will come with their own specific unlocks which make them more efficient too. You can ultimately tailor your research to the areas you wish to focus on. The screenshot provided is not at all final, but a very early representation of what I’m talking about here.

Thanks for reading!