Weekly update and some semi-bad news for Scraps

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Last week I got a nice job offer that I’ve accepted. And it had to be a full-time position, so it’s not going to leave much remaining time for Scraps. It’s an offer that I would be silly to ignore in favour of my obscure little game that I’ve already been working on for years without much success (income-wise anyway). Of course Scraps could take off in success after Gauntlet mode is added, or after it leaves Early Access, but historically that’s very rare: Almost always if a game’s sales are slow at first during Early Access, they remain a small-time thing at full release.

So I apologise to anyone reading this because development is gonna get real slow on Scraps. I don’t like to let the community down even though it’s small. You can still rest assured that I’m not going to abandon this project – Scraps is still gonna get done! But here’s what I’m going to do:

– I’m going to stop the current weekly news updates since I expect there won’t be much for each one. I’ll post whenever I have interesting new stuff to share instead.
– I’m going to add information to the game’s description on the Steam store page saying that it’s a hobby/side project at this point and development will probably be slow. I don’t want to deceive anyone here.
– I’m not going to put the game in sales anymore (25% off etc) until either Gauntlet mode is in, or I go back to having more time to work on it.

The Scraps community is so nice; I want to deliver you an awesome game. But as I said earlier I’d be silly not to take this job, which is exactly the sort of job I want. Here’s what I did in my last week of freedom:

I made some more level content. Yeah, I’m still on world 1, because I keep making things like tools for level building or things to put in the levels rather than actually putting things in levels. Subsequent maps should be way faster to populate, like how the terrains for worlds 2 and 3 were done much much faster than the terrain for world 1.
base

A thing I did this week in that vein was make a new type of vehicle spawner. I already had vehicle spawners that I could place on the map with a list of vehicles they could spawn. Looked like this in the editor:
vs_old

When playing, they’d randomly select a vehicle to spawn from the list, and that worked OK. Gauntlet mode is sort of half procedural, half hand-placed, and it’s important to be careful with how procedural it is. Fully hand placed would make it exactly the same every time, which would get boring fast. But fully procedural almost always ends up boring as well – a million variations on the same thing. No Man’s Sky is the procedural game du jour to complain about, but there are many.

However, in this particular case I realised that there were many scenarios where I really just wanted a vehicle spawner that would spawn any vehicle I had that was appropriate for the current level. Same potential set for every spawner. On top of that, really the vehicles should get harder as you progressed to another level within the same world, but to do that currently I’d have to place multiple spawners and limit them to just the level they were intended for.

So I made a vehicle library that loads up all the vehicles I’ve put in a folder, and lets me select them with filters. For instance if I wanted a vehicle in a certain price range with only cheap weapons on it I could do:

vehicleLibrary.GetVehicle(VehicleFilters.TotalCost(minValue, maxValue),
	VehicleFilters.EachWeaponCost(weaponCostLimit));

Or for a vehicle in a certain price range with a small chassis:

vehicleLibrary.GetVehicle(VehicleFilters.TotalCost(minValue, maxValue),
	VehicleFilters.ChassisType(VehicleData.ChassisOptions.Small));

“But writing code every time? That sounds like even more work than placing two spawners.” Well yeah, it would be, but I made a new vehicle spawner that automatically detects which Gauntlet level the player is on and sets the appropriate filters. So there’s no vehicle info to set in the interface at all:

vs_new
And I can still use the old spawner type if I want specific vehicle options.

In other news, at one point I also accidentally broke everything in a fun way:

cratesplosion

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13 Comments

  1. Jarl Arntzen
    Posted August 29, 2016 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Thanks for what we have so far and best of luck in your new position! I think it’s a wise decision. My kids and I played it to bits some months ago but competition is fierce and now it’s Pokemon and real life football that’s got all attention.

    So long and thanks for all the fish :)

    • bill
      Posted August 29, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Thanks! Indeed there are a LOT of games competing for attention these days.

  2. Josh B
    Posted August 29, 2016 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    Congrats on the new job, and good luck to you as you dive into your career path. I appreciate the good times you’ve made possible with Scraps, and I hope you’ll be able to continue making cool things in the future.

    • bill
      Posted August 29, 2016 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Thanks!

  3. Schmudge
    Posted August 29, 2016 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully this will be the next step in owning your own gaming company! There’s SCRAPS everywhere when you look hard enough. Congratulations and all the best for the future.

  4. Posted September 7, 2016 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    Gather money, improve game with it. I see no bad news in this.

    Nition, you did well. Time for some idea-gathering now :)

  5. adesazz
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    A shame, this seems like it could be really bad news for Scraps. Great for you, congratulations on the opportunity! I’ve been following since the first RPS article in 2013, I remember this hitting Steam at the same time Fury Road came out and dreaming about a tie-in. Your dedication is absolutely an inspiration.

    Plans for full release? Among other virtues there’s a significant piece of the Steam user base that waits for 1.0s. And allowing, like Seb said back in July: DLC! (DLC for games in EA still feel weird, personally). It can be free, and still be a powerful marketing tool (Thea’s dev blog comes to mind, great candid writeup on their experience).

    Whatever happens, appreciate the work you’ve done, impressive labor of love this game. Keep up the great work!

    • Posted September 20, 2016 at 2:46 am | Permalink

      Seeing my idea credited by another person just feels amazing, thank you so much :D

      I found out about the game from a gif on Reddit… then I got it for free by writing on review on my WoT blog (if anyone wonders, the link is in the name). Scraps is a neat concept, with good graphics, not kitschy like other games around the subject.

      I really liked this game, because it reminded me of Battlebots, something I love. Battlebots is a heaven for game ideas too, but Nition did not use it yet. I will insist more xD

      Anyways, would love to see a reply from N.

      • bill
        Posted September 20, 2016 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        I’m still here. Thanks for the compliment on graphics. :)

        Scraps isn’t Battlebots, but my list of Cool Parts To Add is long and includes a few of the same sorts of things. My focus is on Gauntlet mode at the moment but I’ll do a few new parts before the eventual 1.0 release.

        • Posted September 21, 2016 at 6:22 am | Permalink

          Drones are found in the new BattleB series too :)

          Anyway, your ideas so far were amazing, so I won’t try to force my opinions on this.

  6. Posted September 20, 2016 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    Hey, I have a suggestion. Can you add steam cards for your game? I am sure that they will drive the purchases up a bit.

    • bill
      Posted September 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, I should! Takes a bit of time because to do the trading cards you also have to make badges and emoticons. But yeah, I suspect it would indeed help sales a little bit.

      • Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

        ETA please? :D