So way back when I first started working on Trading Company, I talked about The Importance of Clean Code. I had a lot of issues since I hadn’t setup the project to be flexible to change. Well since that was done, I’ve tried to write all the code in such a way as to where it would be easy to change without breaking everything else. That idea came to be tested this week as I began another overhaul of the game’s systems.
Up to this point, the game had felt very much like a UI simulator, almost the entire game was played by just pressing buttons. You go into menus to purchase employees, take out loans, buy upgrades. Then you had to select your cities to go into a screen that showed you information about the city, and allowed you to select what you wanted to do with your resources. This all felt very boring.
So I wanted to change the feeling of the game to where you would be interacting with the world, making changes in the world. Not a UI menu. So originally when you sent employees between locations, you went to the menu and selected where they should go to, and small representations of the employees would appear. I changed it so these representations were now your actual employees, and you could select them in the world and see information about them.
You were now able to form a caravan out of multiple employees. By selecting more than one employee at a time, you are given the option to form a caravan. This combines the inventory of all the employees, and makes it much easier to accomplish tasks. When you select one employee of a caravan, all the employees in that caravan are also selected, and do the same tasks.
Now instead of going into a menu to select a job you want to do, or selecting what location you want to send them, it was all based on selecting employees. You select the employees you want to use, and right click on a location to use them. Right clicking on a location will simply have them travel there, while right clicking on a job location will create a popup to start doing that job.
Ultimately I feel like this is a vast improvement to the previous system, and helps the world to feel more alive and like you’re affecting it.