Having ranted about Nu-Lo-Fi I feel kinda guilty for never exploring it. I occasionally devise unusual yet simple display systems, but so far I’ve not been able to use one in a finished project. Today however I caught myself doodling ideas for a lozenge-based renderer, and realized I could easily integrate it into Ticky Tacky. With a few minor changes its shamefully retro box renderer began churning out lovely drop-shadowed lozenges, bringing a new feel to the game and allowing slightly different forms of expression through radius of curvature and shadow ordering. I’m not sure it’ll go anywhere, but it was fun to do.
Another fun experiment I tried this week was removing friction from Captain Jameson. Inspired by Chris K’s comment I replaced the game’s fast travel time scaling system with the option to remove friction (and therefore travel at insane speeds with terrifyingly bad handling). It was an interesting experiment, it gave me ideas for new booster types, and it allowed me to modify friction per-cluster and thus make debris float like proper space junk, but for the purpose of quickly travelling across empty space it was utterly pants. It was the exact opposite of fun. I’ve since rerouted the shift key back to time dilation.
I’m now working on another player feedback system, to replace the email and “Captain Clippy” message systems discussed earlier. Email is a better metaphor for receipt of in-game messages, but the interface requirements are utterly horrid. Instead I’m letting NPC’s upload to your command module’s file system. All the player need do is LIST (or LS or DIR) to view a list of available files and LOAD (or OPEN, CAT, MORE, or LESS) a file to view its contents. I think it’s a good approach, especially as it means I can play some lovely old modem sounds.