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Freshly Squeezed Progress Report – New Workers

Last week, I reported that I had added a lot of “juiciness” to the toy animations as well as some other enhancements, and I made changes to the end of game grading of the player’s performance.

This past sprint, I wanted to focus on the workers.

Sprint 31: Polish and end game

Planned and Completed:

  • Create different types of workers

Planned and Uncompleted:

  • Animate worker picking up/putting down toy
  • Make worker eyes follow to nearest toy on belt

I added two new worker types to the game. One type is significantly stronger and so more capable of separating Bad Toys, but they can’t craft Good Toys as well. The other type is an expert at sewing and does a great job of crafting Good Toys but is terribly weak and can’t separate Bad Toys into parts as easily.

So the idea is that when you hire a worker, you have a tradeoff you can make. Maybe you want your strong workers closest to the dispenser to catch and work on Bad Toys as fast as possible, and your sewing workers can be closer to the shipment chute. Maybe you want the jack-of-all-trades regular worker who isn’t great but isn’t terrible at any job.

I found it straightforward to add the new types to the game in terms of updating the hiring menu. I already had the strength and craft stats in the game, so it was a matter of creating workers with different stats.

I needed new art, though, so I spent some time doodling some concepts.

I wanted the strong workers to come across as muscle-bound, large, solid characters, so the characters were more blocky and rectangular.

Toy Factory Fixer - Strong worker concept art

I wanted the sewing experts to read as more dynamic and speedy, and I experimented with triangle-based character designs.

Toy Factory Fixer - Sewing worker concept art

In the end, I went with these two as the base of my sprites:

Toy Factory Fixer - Sewing Worker

Toy Factory Fixer - Strong Worker

I started out drawing them at 1024×1024, being a bit sloppy but getting the basic line, shadow, and lighting in. Then I scaled down to the size they are in the game, and it more or less held up.

I added texture and color to the strong worker before scaling down, and the end result wasn’t very clean.

I scaled the sewing worker before adding color and texture, and it felt like I had more control over the end result.

Toy Factory Fixer - Sewing Workers scaled

Toy Factory Fixer - Strong Workers scaled

And here’s the updated hiring menu.

Toy Factory Fixer - Hiring menu with three worker types

One thing I need to do is figure out if the hiring cost makes sense. Right now, I am operating on the idea that the experts are worth more than the well-rounded worker, but maybe it doesn’t work out that way in actuality, so their costs and stats might change before I release the game.

I would love to get the workers animated. At the very least it would possibly help to see them moving their arms and blinking their eyes. When they toss the toys on the conveyor belt, I’d like to see them actually look like they are doing so. Maybe do a celebratory dance once in awhile. Something to make them look more alive.

And the more I play test, the more I am not a fan of the current variations of the worker barks. I tried changing the pitch to make it sound slightly different, but I think I made them too different. In the end, it makes it sound like the wrong audio cue is playing.

I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me, but I think I am close to making a releasable version of the game. I was hoping to have it out by my birthday next week, but it isn’t looking like I’ll make it. Still, it’s close, and I’m excited.

Thanks for reading!

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