Final bulk-historic post (Feb 2015)

Happy [belated] Valentine’s Day!

(Getting my dev-blog caught up to current (3/15) while skimming the checkin comments and skipping most of the boring bug-fixes, etc.  I’ve been doing “by month” posts, and this will be the last one.  Any additional history will be individual milestones for March, as I would have posted them.)

* Feb 4: wrote the soldering tutorial.  It’s one of those “makes sense, if you already understand it” things.  This is going to take a lot of work to simplify.

NOTE: I forgot to mention earlier: a big design goal for this game is, while I recognize that it’s got some geek-factor with the robo-wiring and all, I want it to be completely approachable and easy-to-play by anyone.  (Well, anyone 13 or older, and at least playable & figure-out-able by younger kids, though they may not find it interesting.  Not sure, there.)  And not just kids, but old people, and non-technical people — people who enjoy farm games.  So I’m striving to make a fun farm game that introduces some fun slightly-nerdy things, but I’m hoping to do it in a way that’s 100% “anyone can do this; you don’t need an EE degree to play.”  I look to things like (1st hour of programming) for inspiration on that front.

Lots of February is spent leading up to “first user test” (“UT-1”), greatly simplifying game-play and generally trying to make things more approachable and more fun.  By this point, I’ve gotten most of the game-mechanic implemented, so now it’s a matter of making sure that someone besides me (a) can figure out how it works and (b) finds it fun.

(No, I did not wait until now to design for fun — I’m just saying that things have been implemented in a “get them ready so I can try it out” style and need some polish to make it “ready for public consumption” mode.)

* Feb 7: add crafting view.

* Feb 17: Crafting [finally!] implemented.

Woot!  We can craft!

MILESTONE: “RoboFarmCraft” achieved!   🙂

(Reminder: Oct 23, 2014, “RoboFarm” achieved.)

A lot of the rest of February was spent on all the little chip-related details and other cleanup work.

* Feb 22: Chip-legs display properly, updating when they change from being “undefined” to “inputs” or “outputs”.

…A bunch of other cleanup, simplification, getting ready for UT-1 work.