[DevBlog #2] MooseCat Farms ~ Building Brains and Using One’s Own

Today I separated out my components on the Moosecat critter from a single controller class, to the brain class (for brain related activities), the tummy class (for stomach related activities), and finally the leg class (for moving around and general maintenance of movement). The critter controller remains as a hub for data that is more fourth wall intensive. Genetics, stat tracking, etc. Your birthday, for instance, would (and is) carried in the critter controller.

Additionally I’ve begin implementing a save system that should allow for saving of your game to both the player prefs AND to a string. The latter being copy-able and paste-able for moving between devices or for just storing before a CCleaner pass on your PC. This will be important for me moving forward because I want to maintain Moosecats for extended periods of time. It’ll allow me to see how well they transition from one version to the next and allow me to see what I’m missing.

The next question I must ask myself is what the minimum viable product is for this game. That isn’t to say I won’t build beyond that (I 100% will) but rather it’ll give me a road map to creating a functional alpha. I’ve currently got critters that can be generated from packages. Since gameplay will work with 1 critter as well as 1 thousand critters I should focus on completing the “critter cycle”.

Happiness has been implemented as has hunger. But I haven’t established a depletion mechanic for hunger (so you get more full but never get hungry at the moment). This means I should probably examine a central location for game balance settings. Things like hunger depletion rates, exhaustion rates, etc. Exhaustion will be a player light mechanic that merely “suggests” to the Moosecats when to nap. Presumably it won’t be quite as frequent as our own cats nap, but we’ll see.

One a critter can be fed, we need to establish a means to keep it happy. We currently have one “Food” so we’ll just need 1 “Toy.” That toy could even be a bed of some kind. When the critter lays upon the bed their happiness goes up. Once that is done we’ll have means to satiate hunger and happiness. As your critters already have a huge play area I don’t see much reason to provide them with an exercise requirement.

Now that their life needs are met the next thing we need to establish is how you acquire the “food” and “toys”. Obviously you need money! So then the task I have after that is a means to “adopt out” your Moosecats. You’ll likely bring in a small amount of money just by running your farm (more accurately at this point a nature preserve). But if you need a quick injection of cash you can adopt out a Moosecat for money. Since this is our fantasy world the owners are always caring and rad.

That should be pretty rudimentary but it also means we’ll need to build a user interface of some kind. This is more on Liz than me but its not too grand an undertaking.

And finally, once that is complete. We’ll need to implement breeding and some kind of Moosecat acquisition system. This way you can play indefinitely. Tomorrow I’ll likely break this all down into bullet points and work through them one by one. This kind of structure should allow for a much quicker turn around time. At least, in theory. We’ll see.

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