Woah, another month has flashed on by, and what a month it has been for us! We have fixed many of the issues that came up, fleshed out the gameplay loop, and made plenty of improvements to our game art/art style.
New Team Members
We are very excited to formally introduce two of our latest team members, Jay & Mareike! Both bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise, & drive that will help take this project to new heights.
Mareike is a 2D/3D Artist from Germany that has worked at a few startups and indie studios after her studies, before becoming the new Art Director and UI / UX Artist at Bastion Interactive.
Jay is a German game developer who worked as a freelancer and generalist for various indie games in the last few years, until he joined the Hotel Magnate Team to focus on character art and visual effects.
Jay has been very busy with a total overhaul of our characters. We weren’t quite happy with our previous models and felt they didn’t really fit into our desired art style and lacked the ability to create enough variation. Jay has been able to rework our models with the new ability to easily change the gender, age, weight, & muscularity of all our models on a scale/slider using blendshapes.
This means we can easily change these values as we please, creating a huge variety of unique guests / staff. On top of this, we also have a large range of haircuts, clothing, and features like eyebrows to add some variation to these otherwise hairless, naked individuals. It’s also now possible to easily change the colours of any of these items, or even add overlay textures to create striped shirts, tattoos, or logos on shirts. The icing on the cake is that it is all on the same animation rig! This allows us to easily modify the models and re-use a lot of animations without having to do any retargeting. Score!
New Art Style
Mareike has been cracking away at developing a new and more consistent art style for us to adhere to. This will flow onto influencing everything from our UI, characters, furniture, & buildings. We unfortunately won’t be showing anything off until it’s further along in development.
Main Gameplay Loop
One of the larger advancements since our last update is the work done on improving our AI. Considering that the previous update saw the introduction of our new guest AI, there’s been a load of fixes to bugs that were picked up by the community and reported to us. As an extension of this, we have put in a lot of work in implementing what we call the main gameplay loop. This is essentially the process of a guest checking in, evaluating the quality of their stay, submitting a review, ensuring the review affects your hotel’s overall rating, and then what kinds of guests will show up next.
There are many subsystems within this overall loop, like room/food pricing, the guest hotel experience, and the effectiveness of marketing. It all affects the loop in some way. To elaborate, the guest experience system records how much a guest enjoyed their stay. It records all of the positive and negative experiences based on a guest’s sensitivity to different things, then generates an end result of their overall experience.
Having a great meal: that’s a plus! Being set on fire: unpleasant! This is combined with an evaluation that the guest performs on their room, which compares the price they paid to the actual quality they received. The combination of these different criteria channels into a guest’s overall rating of the hotel.
These systems are the culmination of a ton of work on various aspects. The core gameplay loop is a massive step towards making a great game. Once we have it nailed, we can refine it into a proper diamond. Stay tuned for more news and keep posting over on our Discord!
Changes to the Latest Build (v0.4.3):
- Save game when pressing enter after typing name
- Only display staff hiring categories for staff that are capable of working in your hotel
- Improved characters usage of doors
- Improved character navigation/pathfinding
- Guests now pay for some services
- Removed some requirements for bedrooms to work
- First iteration of Core Game Systems implemented
- Hotel Rating
- Overall Guest Reviews + Guest Reviews
- Delivery staff/deliveries
- You now choose what quality to market/advertise a room as with a slider in the room category menu
- Add vehicles to the road
- Rescaling of a portion of furniture objects (Still more work to be done)
- Added Emojis to express a guests experience
- Fixed Doors not being selectable
- Doors + Windows can now be sold again
- Fixed the non-paintable sections next to doors
- Fixed bug where deleting a wall segment with a door on it caused saving errors
- More fixes around the problem where the entire floor breaks (still a few edge cases we are trying to find that cause this)
- Fixed bug where merging rooms can cause saving errors
- Some Tooltip fixes
- Fixed the input issue where typing letters while naming a room/facility will affect the camera and hotkeys for other menus
- Fixed some time issues where the gametime would keep continuing while the game should have been paused
- Fixed a navigation issue where guests couldn’t walk outside the buildable area, meaning if the player built right up to the edge of the map some areas were not accessible
- Still some instances of the floor breaking from very obscure and hard to pinpoint actions when building walls
- Could be some issues with pausing time in certain menus
- Loading the guest overview UI for the first time doesn’t initialise properly