Not Quite The Shortest Update Ever, But Not Far Off

Just a very short one this week I’m afraid folks, with a few updates:

Employment and House Moving

So, on October 1st, I’m starting a new job! I’m going to be a postdoctoral fellow in game studies at the University of York (where I did my doctorate) for up to three years as part of this massive thing. This is the same project that Michael Cook of ProcJam fame is now part of (also as a postdoc, though in his case in Falmouth) so hopefully some awesome things will come out of that collaboration (we already have one intriguing idea vaguely in the works). Of course, moving back to York necessitates house moving, which is going to be taking up a lot of my time for the next couple of weeks – updates will still be every weekend, but I might upload some of my pre-written general games discussion/criticism/design ones rather than URRpdates for the next week or two. We’ll see how time pans out.

Houses and NPCs

I’ve been reconsidering how difficult it would be to assign NPCs like guards to specific houses in specific districts this release, and I actually don’t think it would be that tricky and shouldn’t be more than a couple of days of work… so I’ll probably do that. I have this week finished off everything to do with guards (though clearly some of it will need changing if I do indeed implement this kind of “real scheduling” for this release) and done some general bugfixing, minor improvements to the quantum scheduling system for moving around the map, etc etc. All timings are now correct, and the system will be readily transferable to important AIs whose actions around the map also need to be timed and tracked.

Roguelike Radio

I assume everyone knows this by now, but I’ve recently become the co-host of Roguelike Radio! The most recent episode (the Q&A) is a particularly good one, I think, and we have a great discussion between just myself and Darren about “information” in roguelikes coming up. Check it out here.

Next up?

Next up is still, as I’ve been saying for a little while now, day/night scheduling, shops closing up, things like that. At that point, however, it becomes apparent that we need to get people going back to their homes, which brings us back to the guards point, so actually for the next few weeks I’m going to work on some lesser things whilst I’m moving house (like improving how aristo families are generated, bug-fixing a bunch of left-overs from previous releases, more clothing generators, a few alterations I want to make to city generation, etc), and then once I’m settled back in York at the end of this month and can really focus again on a larger project, I’ll push on with a concerted effort to the final part of NPC handling, which is giving all NPCs who matter homes, and tracking them and their behaviour wherever they are in the world. Whew. See you next week!

In the mean time, a smaller and general reminder: if you ever want to keep track of URR elsewhere beyond this blog, I must humbly recommend my Twitter feed, the URR Facebook page, or IndieDB – the former particularly is full of screenshots which generally get posted before the weekly update!

Be Sociable, Share!

20 thoughts on “Not Quite The Shortest Update Ever, But Not Far Off

  1. Congratulations on your new job! I hope your move back to York goes smoothly. And I enjoyed the latest Roguelike Radio episode, which mentioned a few interesting projects that I hadn’t heard of before.

  2. Well done, this job seems to be very interesting and full of surprises ! Only good can come from this.

    Will it change the time you will devote to URR ?

    • Thank you! Agreed, it’s great to be working for my income on games-related topics. Time to URR: inevitably it will change things as I’ll be working on the game in the evenings/weekends/holidays more than in the day, but I actually think starting the postdoc will help focus me a lot, as I’ve felt a little bit in a rut in the last couple of months, so it may even help in the long term!

      • But it means that you will do the same thing during your leisure time and your work time ? (that’s not uncommon among researchers, after all).

        Will you write about your work as a post doc on the urr blog ?

        Lastly, I wanted to ask you about that, how do maintain focus and motivation on a long term ?
        Working alone can be very hard, debugging during hours (or perhaps your code is always bug-free ? 🙂 ) can be very tiring…so…?

        • Ah, no, work time will be entirely academic work, then “free” time will be URR/academic work/magazines/competitive gaming/etc, whilst as ever managing to squeeze a bit of personal life in there too! As you say, it’s pretty common with researchers, and I’ll obviously be doing some academic work outside postdoc time, but no URR in postdoc time.

          Most likely! I’m always looking for interesting game-related discussions for the blog when there isn’t a full URRpdate for any given week.

          Hmmm, interesting question. At this point I suppose it’s just exciting to see URR moving into gameplay, the world coming alive, seeing the detail in the world, etc. I’ve always found a good technique (for such a long project) is to visualize how it’ll look in a year, and then work towards that goal. Debugging and dealing with the more technical aspects do bore me a bit, and I’d be lying if I said otherwise, but even those I just try to slog through so I can get back to the more exciting creative bits!

  3. You might as well make it overcomplicated and assign families to housing. In lots of older cultures the wives tended to either having the same career field as her husband or more domestic duties. There also might be certain jobs that are more acceptable for certain genders.

    I’d think of it like the pigeonhole problem. 100 housing units, less than 100 households, households each made up of some form of family unit (nuclear to extended). Again its a little simplified since families will generally work the family business.

    But don’t take my word for it.

    • Interesting thoughts – I’m definitely going to add civilization variation for genders, which jobs people can take, etc, and families will definitely specifically generate for important NPCs. Hopefully in a week or two I’ll have an update on this kind of thing!

    • Cheers! Yep, it’s going to be a pain in the backside, but I won’t be moving from York for probably a little while (and if/when I move to another country for a job, I’d obviously be moving light rather than shipping all of my possessions overseas!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *