1. Shabadage's Avatar
    Hello, welcome to the devlog/Devdoc for my as of yet untitled Arcade Business Sim.

    The project has it's roots from some old devdocs for a casino base sim game that never evolved beyond paper. Four hours of work last night netted me a basic engine, with it's roots in a "Theme Park" style of gameplay, meaning patrons come in, march around your arcade, and you trick them into trading fun for the cash they have in their pockets. I did indeed run into some rather large problems with this slapdash effort, more than one patron at a time caused both to be confused, easily solved by making each patron their own AI chain. Right now the graphics are similar in style to Super Nintendo RPG's of yore, and as my graphical skills are minimal, they will likely keep this style. While somewhat of a shaky beginning, this is very much my dev style, forever iterating until the project either hits a wall or turns into something fun. Right now, it could go either way; if it's too robotic, it's not that fun because it's endlessly predictable. With the proper systems in place, this could be a quick fun game. Below you will find some of the systems that I plan on introducing.

    It's About Time! - Essentially, you will have 10-20 years to play through, much like a Kairosoft game. Each turn is a week. Each week consists of a set number of Patrons coming through your arcade. The number of Patrons you attract each week is a function of your Arcades popularity. New machines are released on either a yearly or twice a year schedule. Once a machine is off the market, it is no longer available. Most machines decline in usage over a set period, however some may be bestowed "classic" status making them immune to further degradation.

    Claim your Star Rating - Essentially how good your arcade is doing. This rating may or may not fluctuate. I haven't decided if it works better as a rolling system to let you know your arcade's "Health" or as a progress indicator. Unlocks will be tied to these rating. 4 or 5 stars; this whole system is very much in progress and will have multiple variations prototyped.

    Game popularity - Machines start at the peak of their popularity and degrade over time. A brand new machine is almost guaranteed to bring in everyone who walks by it. Some types of games degrade faster than others.

    Repairs - Machines break, and you gotta fix em, or send them off for scrap. Machines can be damaged in 2 ways. Needing Maintenance, or Broken. Broken machines cannot be used, and can be spotted by their broken screen. These machines can be sold for scrap on the spot, opening their slot for a new game. The Repairman acts just like a Patron, but you pay for him and he fixes things instead of playing games. Repair costs are still up in the air.

    Events! - Every once and a while, you will get some information. Trade magazines may have the inside scoop of a hot game, or a fan might have a suggestion. If you have an open spot in your arcade, you might just find yourself set up as a test location for a new game. These are still being worked on, but each will be rather simple. Some events might be required to advance to the next star level. Another idea I'm throwing around.

    Things I am very consciously not including in this until I get a good game balance.
    -Non-Video Games - While it's tempting to throw in some pinball, air hockey, and the like; the main focus will be on video games.
    -2 player games - As it stands right now, until the base gameplay system is in place, all arcade games are 1 player.
    -Video Game Genre - In the initial version, arcade machines will have completely randomized stats as a proof of concept. Once Genre's are involved, I have to implement changes to the patrons to account for this. However, there could be specialized high roller patrons that are willing to spend large amounts of money on a specific genre - An Idea for later.

    10/6/15 - I will be rewriting the patron code for my next task. I might try to throw down a sprite base for the patrons, as of now, they are very much placeholder. These will require about 9 frames of animation.
    10-06-2015 10:16 AM
  2. Shabadage's Avatar
    Didn't have quite as much time as I hoped last night, with cooking dinner and helping kids with their homework; but progress was still made. I've got some basic placeholder graphics in place, that could well serve as a template for varied patrons.

    On the backend side, I pulled out my wonderful Excel spreadsheet yesterday and started running numbers. With my economic systems, it seems there is nice plateau every 10 customers, which aligns nicely with the Star rating system. With each star, you can upgrade your location. Currently, there's a Strip Mall, Indoor Mall, Storefront, and Game Center. Each location allows you to hold more games and service more customers. The base location (Strip mall) can currently hold 8 machines and have a max of 10 patrons per cycle. Moving locations will involve an upfront fee, plus an increase in Rent. I was going to show some screenshots today, but the game is in an early phase, and the idea for how I was going to fill up negative space didn't hit me until after I shutdown last night, but I shall expand on it a bit.

    The game started off as portrait oriented, with customers entering and exiting from the top. With only 2 rows of arcade machines, this left a LOT of negative space. Once interface elements were added, it became very clear that needed to change. So now they enter from the bottom of the screen, and the cash and stars are displayed up top. This didn't solve the negative space problem. The new solution was twofold. One was to just fill in part of the negative space with wall texture, an easy solution of course. The second was to give each location a storefront, and then center the playfield so there are equal parts storefront and wall texture. Neither of these are ideal solutions, but together they combine to make that negative space not so obvious.

    I've also been putting some thoughts into the overall graphic design. The traditional RPGish kind of graphics aren't exactly "Arcade". I'm thinking something along the lines of Double Dragon type perspective, but that might be something for a further flung reality of this game as it is now.
    10-07-2015 10:17 AM

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