Smalltown Grocery – DevLog 1

I haven’t had a lot of time to work on this game, but I’ve done a few things.

Thanks to a few people from the GMC, I have a few game title suggestions to make the game sound more fun/exciting:  “Cleanup In Aisle 3″, “Attention Shoppers”, and “Checkout”.  I haven’t made up my mind about the title, whether keeping it as “Smalltown Grocery” or changing it, but the suggestions definitely help get the thought processes flowing.

Mostly, I’ve been working on sprites.  I’ve started an ‘art assets needed’ list and have been working through it, though slowly.  I’ve made a customer sprite and an employee sprite by modifying the person sprite in two different ways.  I’m not perfectly happy with it — I feel like I could make parts and pieces more interchangeable and modifiable if I separate them out more.  For instance; leg sprites, upper body sprites, head sprites — then combine them and color-blend them with code for variety.  But for now, I have a brownish customer and a black & white employee.  I also created a shadow to help contrast against the floor.  Now I’ll have to give everything else shadows — doh!

  

I’m a little stuck with how I want to go about coding the game, as far as laying out the store’s floorplan.  My shelves will fit into 32 x 32 grid squares, so I was thinking of using grid collision and pathfinding.  However, I don’t want my walls to be 32 pixels thick.  I want them to be 4 pixels thick.  So, I’m trying to figure out how to manage the two different sizings, but I really have no clue about where to begin.  I found a write-up about using something called HAA* pathfinding to do this, but it was beyond my ability.  Trying to read and comprehend it was turning my brain to mush.  Maybe with more study and patience I will find a solution, but for now I think I’ll keep working on sprites.

So, that pretty much sums up my progress.  Not much this week.  Probably not much next week, either, but we’ll see.

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2017 Project – Grocery Store Game

The Goal – New Year’s Resolution

Since it’s a New Year, I’ve decided to pursue a single game project with the goal of having a complete and polished game by the end of 2017.  I made this decision on the 2nd of January and I’ve already started creating art assets for the game.  I will be writing about my progress here with this blog, and probably make a WIP page for the game as well.  Perhaps even a WIP page on the GMC, too.

Working title:  “Smalltown Grocery”

I’ve titled the game “Smalltown Grocery”, but that is subject to change.  The game will be a grocery store management sim/tycoon type of game, but with a heavy focus on day-to-day tasks instead of economics.  So far, some of the features I want to include in the game are:  employees, store hours, departments (meat, produce, bakery/deli), customers, Random Events, and Actionable Tasks.  This is also subject to change as I iron out the design over the next few weeks.  I believe this will be a good game for me to make since I’m currently working in a grocery store and have become familiar with its operation.  I will be using the store I work in as a model after which I will base the game.

Features and Predictions

The economic aspect will be there (bills and revenue, profits and loss), but I want to try making the economics of the game more streamlined, minimized, and generalized.  I don’t want to fuss with itemizing each and every item a grocery store might sell, and I believe a player won’t want to, either.  We want to play a game, not become an accountant, right?  I haven’t made a GDD for this game yet, but I’ve mulled it over in my head for a few months and have started making notes and concepts on paper.  The possible major programming obstacle I can foresee with this project might be the pathfinding, as I’m not too sure of myself in that area.  However, I have successfully experimented with pathfinding a few times so I think I can work out whatever needs to be done.

“Actionable Tasks” are all the duties that must be performed in a grocery store by various employees.  Things like:  stocking shelves, facing product, cashiering, cleaning, department work (meat, produce, bakery prep), updating price tags, recieving product shipments.  In the game, employees will be given tasks that they are supposed to perform automatically, but you (the player) can click an employee and send them to any task at any time, overriding their task queue.  For instance, if there is a long line of customers waiting, call for another cashier.  If a shelf goes empty, have it filled now instead of waiting for it to be reached and filled automatically by a working employee.

Employees will have stats governing their efficiency and performance.  Some stats, like skills, may improve over time with experience, depending on the ‘character’ of the employee.  Employees can be hired and fired.

Random Events can include:  product breakage causing spill that needs cleaned, cooling unit malfunction, furnace malfunction, employee calls in absent (sick or otherwise), power outage, etc…

Well!… That’s a start to some design aspects, anyway.  I think a lot of this may get cut out, or at least cut down, as some of it is beginning to feel a bit like feature creep.  I find myself thinking it would be great to be able to build your own store from the ground up (buying space, creating rooms, adding/moving around shelves, cashier stations, etc) but stuff like that will have to wait for “Smalltown Grocery II” or “III”.  That may be a really long wait.  lol!

Here’s a little screenie of some art I’m starting to work on.  Floor tile, different types of shelving, person and cart…

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Bernie’s Run – Release Version 1

Complete, playable version 1 of Bernie’s Run is now available.  Read about it, see screenshots, and download the game from it’s webpage.

 

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Bernie’s Run

So, about two months ago I decided I was going to make a quick, little game for Bernie Sanders supporters.  I figured I’d spend about two weeks and make something little and cute.  Well, turns out my estimation of time is way off.  And, what was supposed to be little grew much bigger than I originally anticipated.

Nevertheless, I have finally made it to the point of a Beta Test Release.  Download it here:

http://haymanquarterly.com/haymangames/downloads/Bernies_Run-BetaTest.zip

Bernie's Run Logo gif

You need a computer running windows, a mouse and keyboard, and a little over an hour to play.  Please send me feedback about any glaring issues you may find.  Beta Testers will receive a mention in the credits.  Thanks in advance!  (Beta testing will not last long — probably only a few days.  I really want to just release the darn thing.)

I will be creating a page for “Bernie’s Run” soon.  Too tired now.  Must sleep.

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