Week 7: Return of the Bunnies

Hello everybody! I took a week off from development to focus on finals but I'm back now, and I've been excited to get back to development. This week is a little sparse, but that's because I've got something cool in the works that isn't ready to show off this week, but should be ready next week. I'll tell you more after I've gone over what I did this week. So let's get right into it.

Deck Editor

The first thing I've got together now is a usable deck builder. I mean. I say "Usable" but there are only two cards in the entire game right now so there aren't exactly too many choices to make. I'll slap together some new ones before releasing the build next week. Anyways, decks are stored on your computer as a list of numbers, where each number refers to the ID number of a card in the game. It's a bit of a sparse system right now, as it lacks a lot of features, but I'll be able to get a lot of mileage out of it before it reaches the point where it needs to be improved again.

Stats Panel

Second, I've added a counter to the game that tracks the number of animals you have at any time. I've taken that counter as well as the game timer and put them both inside of a little stats panel that you can pull out from the right side of the screen. The ui for the game will likely need to be reevaluated in the not too distant future, but for now I think this basic sort of thing will do fine.

On another note, you may notice in the screenshot above that the energy counter got a minor visual upgrade. It's programmer art. I took a circle in inkscape and applied a built in filter to it. It does a decent job of evoking the idea of energy or mana though, so it was a nice addition. I think you'll see more of those in the coming weeks. 

Over finals week, my experience making [Adventure of Tiny]() led me to realize the value of making the game as a whole a more complete experience before worrying about all the details that I usually get bogged down in. So I'm going to spend some time finding some free to use music to add as a soundtrack to the game and I'll also be making more programmer art to get things looking a little more visually pleasing.

Coming Up

That's really all that I did this past week. Like I said, it's not too impressive. But let's talk about what's coming up. For this upcoming week, I'll be working on something I'm calling the "Approach system." (High quality naming.) Basically, this system determines how an animal is going to respond to other animals that come close to it. As I've stated before, part of the goal of this game is to model a simplified version of evolution, so animals aren't going to start out naturally knowing what animals are predators and what animals are prey. Instead, upon meeting a new species of animal, a calculation will be run where an animal will randomly decide whether it's going to run in fear, or if it'll let the new animal come closer.

In the short term, the approach system is going to have pretty minor results. You'll have some bunnies scared of foxes and some bunnies that aren't. (You can imagine which ones are going to survive longer.) You'll also have some foxes that will be scared of bunnies, however, and they might not necessarily die off because they'll still be eating plants.

In the future, this system will get expanded once I've added combat to the game. After I've gotten the approach system set up in its basic form, I'm predicting that combat will be next on the list, but that's a little bit far in the future. 

With past dev logs, I was actually avoiding talking about future plans because I didn't want to promise any features that I'd then have to roll back. But it turns out that when I don't make any plans for the coming week, I end up underachieving a bit. So I think setting my goals a week in advance on here should be enough of a commitment that I'll want to live up to it.

With that said, thanks for reading! I'll see you next week and hopefully have some new AI and cards to show off. See you then.

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