16 May 2012 by Ian Davis
I’m picking up pace in developing Amberfell. I think this is much more about having got past the initial infrastructure creation than anything else. I find I’m now adding features rather than puzzling out fundamentals of how things should be organised. I added two big functional areas this week which I’ll write about in this post and the next.
The first is the addition of machines into the game and the first appearance of Amberfell itself. Amberfell is found distributed across the world as orange/yellow pools that seep up from the depths. They are implemented as a column of unbreakable blocks that extend from the bottom of the map to the surface. I experimented with adding blackened/burnt grass around them but wasn’t happy with the results. I may revisit that idea later. The “fell” in Amberfell is an adjective.
The first new machine is an Amberfell Pump. You place this onto an Amberfell Source block and it will slowly pump up Amberfell from the depths. Slowly is the operative word here. When you switch to using the “hand” action (no icon in the picker yet!) you can click on the pump to inspect it. This brings up the reworked inventory screen. The pump has its own section in the middle. When I have some decent skins to apply, I envisage this being styled nicely as a working pump.
If you wait long enough you’ll see some Amberfell appear in the pump’s slot. You can see in this screenshot that the pump says it’s unpowered. You can power it by placing a Steam Generator block next to it and adding some coal to the generator. That really gets the pump working and in a short time you’ll have five units of Amberfell collected which you then have to take out. You then need to tuen to your Amberfell Condenser to refine the liquid amberfell into something more valuable: Amberfell Crystals. I imagine the condenser as a distillation apparatus made from glass and heated underneath. It needs Amberfell and firewood to work and consumes them to produce hard earned crystals. The crystals score you points in the game but also will have other uses. What I haven’t worked out yet is all the crafting steps to create these items.
You can see all of this in action in this video. As part of implementing these features I redeveloped the entire mouse interaction metaphor in the inventory screen. You click on items to pick them up and then click where you want to place them. Holding shift acts on the entire stack of items at once and using control reverses the a take into a drop and vice versa. This was actually quite complex to implement because when you have some item selected clicking on the same slot again picks up whereas clicking on a different slot drops the item. The code is horrendous but works, so I’ll need to come back to it and make it nice too.
You can also see in the video the first outing of the Carpenter’s Bench and how it can be used to craft planks and wooden walls.