Craftomation 101 Dev Diaries, December 2022: So Long & Thanks For All the Coal!
(We're Not Going Anywhere Though)
Craftomation 101 is a new game by Luden.io, award-winning educational game developers, and creators of while True: learn() and Learning Factory In this game you land on a frozen planet in a tiny rocket with a robot inside. Harvest and combine materials to discover new ones. Use visual programming to make the robot do the tiresome work for you. Slowly build a gang of self-sustaining robot workers and watch them terraform the planet.
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We hope we've made you feel a bit nervous with that goodbye-ish headline! Because that would mean that you care about our little game. If so, good news: Craftomation 101 isn't going anywhere. The development, however, goes undercover for a while. So, without further ado, let's get to the big news here.
The Demo Is Officially Frozen
…which is kinda ironic, given the fact that the game is actually about unfreezing stuff! But this will allow us to concentrate on preparing the game for its glorious emergence into the Early Access stage next year. Here's a short list of frequently* asked questions:
*ok, we know you really didn't ask any of those, since we're just announcing this thing. But we thought it's important to let you know anyway!
What does it mean? The demo will still be available to everyone on Steam and itch.io, but there will be no public content updates.
You said ‘public’? Will there be a version with restricted access then? Very likely. More on that later though. Join our Discord server, to make sure you don't miss an opportunity to gain access!
Will there be updates for the free demo again? Why, yes! We're planning to release new content and give everyone access to it as part of celebrating Base Builder Fest on Steam on January 23-30, 2023!
Is there a reason to waste time on these Dev Diaries, then? Of course, there is! We'll continue to keep you informed of the new features we're working on, along with challenges and in-house anecdotes! Speaking of which…
One of the cool new things we've introduced last month is the updated looks of the Upgrade Tree. Long story short: it looks better!
New design put aside, we've extended commands’ description to (hopefully) make it more comprehensive. Additionally, you can see a preview of how unlocking a new command will influence the looks of your Craftomates.
Also, all CraftoMates have names now! Say hello to Zoz The Goofy, Bib The Nervous, and, of course…
We've had our very own 20-minute adventure (that ended up lasting about a month of work). It all started with Alex the artist not being particularly happy with how our tiles looked; in particular - the inner angles of snowy/icy tiles… Ivan the programmer has drafted a whole new tileset system, which implied that any ground tile would be assembled from 4 independent tile presets. It turned out to be quite elegant programmer-wise, but too complicated artist-wise.
Intense quarreling occured.
We've almost fought.
We were in despair.
There were many experiments with the new system, but the results were below our expectations. Eventually, we decided to roll back to the previous tileset system, but have had it improved along the way. Here's a picture that briefly describes our, ahem-ahem, creative fluctuations:
As the development goes on, we keep following the roadmap we drafted months ago. That said, the next big thing for us is functions.
Functions will improve the quality of lives on so many levels! Long story short, they are nodes that allow you create a program for multiple Craftomates, and change its contents on the fly, and apply it to all connected Craftomates simultaneously. You also get to choose how many incoming and outgoing connections there are for a function node:
We're also planning to update eating animation for Craftomates - not only for the sake of visual beauty but also to make it possible for the player to feed Craftomates at any time of their working cycle (even when their hands are busy holding objects!).
We're hoping to share the details of our progress in the next edition of Craftomation 101 dev diaries. And since they're scheduled to be published shortly befor Base Builder Fest is upon us, you'll have an opportunity to try them out soon enough!
Until then… Happy Holidays! See you in January or, even better so, see you every day: you can contact us in the comments or find us at almost any time on the Discord server!
Don't be a stranger. The demo of Craftomation 101 is still available to you on Steam and Itch.io. Until we meet again!