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Freshly Squeezed Progress Report – Introducing the Sewing Specialist

Last week, I reported that I fixed a major defect and finished creating a level that introduces the strong worker, and I started thinking about ways to make the third worker type more interesting.

I had less development time on average both that sprint and this latest sprint.

Sprint 42: Training levels

Planned and Completed:

  • Make sewing worker unique

Planned and Incomplete:

  • Show tooltips during game based on triggers
  • Create floor training levels/tutorial

For clarity, that planned work to create floor training levels? It consisted of a few separate subtasks, each of which is creating a specific level with a specific purpose.

The last task is to create a level that introduces the third worker, the sewing specialist.

Which means I needed to finalize my plans for what exactly the sewing specialist is supposed to be.

As I said with the strong worker, originally the only difference between the workers was stats and unique art. So strong workers were great at separating Bad Toys but terrible at crafting Good Toys, sewing specialists were great at crafting and bad at separating, and normal workers were average at both tasks.

After some play testing with the level in which I introduced the strong worker, I found that the strong worker wasn’t actually compelling as an option, so I changed things. Now strong workers can work on two Bad Toys at once, making them even more excellent for that task compared to the normal worker and justifying their increased cost. Nice!

Now the sewing specialist could similarly be granted the ability to craft more than one toy at the same time, but…BOOOOOORRRRRIIIIING!!!!

Also, hard. Strong workers just pick up more than one toy if it is possible, and I had to change how those toys get rendered, but that’s pretty much it.

But how do you tell a sewing specialist to craft more than one toy at a time? I would need to change the existing UI significantly for this to work, and I would need to worry about how confusing it would be for a player.

There were a lot of questions about how to implement crafting more than one toy at once, and so I decided to do something else.

I decided that not only are sewing specialists really fast at crafting Good Toys, but they’ll do it automatically. You just tell them what kind of toy to specialize in, and they’ll focus on it. If the parts are available, they’ll immediately start crafting it when the next turn starts.

Toy Factory Fixer - selecting a sewing specialist

Toy Factory Fixer - selecting a sewing specialist

Toy Factory Fixer - selecting a sewing specialist

You can also change the specialist’s specialty whenever the worker is idle:

Toy Factory Fixer - changing specialties

What’s funny is that this way of assigning work was something I was toying with as an idea for all of the workers, partly out of concern that it is tedious to need to continually tap to tell workers to craft toys. Now it is a feature that helps to differentiate a particular worker.

The only downside? I decided that they MUST have a crafting specialty at all times, and they will NOT work on separating toys.

My thinking was that this was the big tradeoff you were making when hiring a sewing specialist: a faster worker you don’t have to micro-manage, in exchange for not expecting this worker to pick up any Bad Toys that pass them by on the conveyor belt.

And now I have three very unique worker types that I hope are each compelling.

Unfortunately, I ran out of time to actually create a new level for this worker, but I can focus on it next time, as well as some visual indicators to make it clear when this worker is idle and unable to craft new toys in their current specialty.

Thanks for reading!

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