Townsend is approaching the mid-way point in terms of a playable demo–most of the basic functionality is there and moderately polished, and there’s actually something players can do (plant stuff!). For me, this also means it’s time to start organizing tasks in a better way than just whatever needs to be done. So I made a Trello board for my development tasks. Trello is a free, online taskboard service, and it’s awesome for coordinating tasks with a team or just yourself. Seriously, if you are constantly doing team projects, go check it out!
Once that was up, I tackled a few tasks. First was finishing touchscreen controls. In the last demo you could only walk around with a touchscreen; couldn’t actually plant anything. I fixed that, and changed the command to plant things to a double-tap (or double-click). Lo and behold, I quickly found that this gesture sucks for the computer. The problem is that the computer is fast enough for the player (and thus the camera) to start moving between clicks, which then moves your second click off a bit. As for other gesture ideas, there’s long-press, two-touch, and mode-switching, but none of them have proven to be very fitting for the interaction :-/. For now, I’m just letting this go until I can fix the fps on touchscreens and test it there.
I also finished the growth system. I added fun particles that puff out when a plant grows to its next stage, as well as particles that flow from ripe plants to indicate their finished status. Also, plants will now grow through multiple stages if necessary after returning to a paused game instead of just progressing through one stage.
Finally, I added a visual indicator to show players what cell on the grid they are trying to plant on. Note that in the demo the grid extends through the entire town so the indicator is always shown, but soon the grid will be consolidated to plantable fields and other spaces of interaction (inside houses, for instance). At that point, the indicator will only show when clicking on these interaction spaces as intended.