No, no, no, stop trying to click on it. This is just a picture. The real thing will be coming soon.
The end of the month is nigh, and there’s not much left to do. I’ve noticed that I haven’t posted something regarding dot.Market in a while, so here we are. Like my previous two posts, I had some GIFs prepared to show, but the design of the interface had changed during the process of writing this blog post, so they’ve already become obsolete. Instead, here’s a video a quickly whipped up showing me fooling around the game for several minutes. (I would also like to note that this is also the first time I’m showing off the audio of the game.)
Things that have changed since last time:
The obligatory auto-save feature – So you can keep your play money safe between sessions.
New title screen – When I’m working at such a low resolution, using Photoshop suddenly became much easier.
New main menu buttons – I designed them to look like cash register keys, for that extra retaily-goodness.
Transitions – The transitions don’t only serve the aesthetic purpose of making the switches between certain screens less jarring, but it also cuts down on input error when the interface layout changes between screens.
Interface improvements in stock menu – I managed to fit in more buttons and widgets to make the process of stocking and replacing dots on the shelves and repricing them faster.
Things I still have left to do:
Some of the buttons still don’t play sound effects when clicked.
An options menu, where you can reset your save file and see the credits.
With the month (and the LOWREZJAM) coming to a close and all the basic game mechanics completed, I decided to focus on making various screens and menus more presentable by adding backgrounds and coloured text. Exciting! These are still not the finalized graphics (the buttons in particular still need to be redone), but it’s getting there.
So without further ado, here are some animated GIFs of the various changes I’ve made since last time.
Note the new barebones income statement that shows the previous day’s revenue (in green), expenses (in dark red) and profit/loss (in this case, a loss, in bright red).
Market Stats and Buy screens
Aside from the added background and coloured text, I added horizontal grid lines to the price history graph for better readability.
Added transparency to the news tickers, just because.
I realized that I haven’t been posting here for a quite a while. Between the various game jams and whatnot, I had created a bunch of game prototypes, all craving for my attention to polish them up. I spent some time working on some of them on and off, until I stumbled across a link to the LOWREZJAM 2014on /r/gamedev. I forgot how it came to this, but I got the idea to make:
A Blocky Business Simulation
Enter the exciting and lucrative world of… dot trading? In this game you take the role of the sole proprietor of a store that specializes in selling dots. You buy dots from the wholesale market, stock them onto your shelves, slap price tags on them, open up for business and watch your merchandise disappear off the shelves, replaced by gross profit. The dots come in many variations (read: colours), each with their own individual markets (i.e. prices and customers) that change from day to day, following trends, depending on the forces that shape them. The game is currently open-ended, though the largest number I can fit in the window is 999999, which currently serves as a cap on your bank account.
I spent just as much time, maybe even more, testing formulas and crunching numbers in Excel trying to create a model of the dot market as I did coding the game itself. The model seems reasonable in it’s current state. Note that I only took one course each on microeconomics and statistics in university, most of which I quickly forgot.
My inspirations are from other business simulations games, ranging from totally serious to quite fantastic: