Advancing with the building system has been a good decision. Building their own dwellings will be a significant source of satisfaction for future players. Any time spent on this feature will tremendously impact the final quality of the game. During last week, I added some more basic building parts and construction rules. See those in action in the following clip:
Some key features are still missing, such as a proper information display which shows the currently active part. Also, players are supposed to plan the building first and create a world-place blueprint (like tents and camp fires). Afterwards, a construction task will make settlers construct the individual pieces in logical order, i.e. foundation / floor > pillars > walls > stairs > props. Additionally, I will need a way to hide building floors which obstruct visibility. Just showing the player outline is not going to help an awful lot once buildings contain furniture. And to top that off, pathfinding for NPCs must be updated regularly while building.
I am going to continue straight ahead with the building part. First, I want to re-structure some of the rule-set for building. Some pieces contain multiple slots for other pieces of different sizes, all of which must be expensively checked against when determining correct placements. See a composition of just three pieces below:
Each of the black wireframe boxes represents a slot for a fitting building piece. A large wall piece, for example, will check against any of these boxes it overlaps when a player tries to place it. A modest building, like the one from the clip above, can already cause performance problems.
Once this mess is cleaned up, I will create an information panel which displays the currently active part, material, size and variant. It should also contain controls to finish a plan or discard it. If the panel does not take too much time to implement, I will also compile and distribute a new alpha version.
Thanks for reading and until next week!