A wooden outpost watchtower with the title of the devblog written

Devblog Update #06: Outposts and Watchtowers

February is almost done, and it’s time for another Devblog on Jasper Vice II! I realized we sometimes abbreviate it as JV2, but it would be confusing if we said JVII since that looks like Roman Numerals. (Incidentally, J *IS* a Roman Numeral, generally used to replace the final I in a number to make it clear where it ends)
Anyways, on with the devblog!

Last sprint we set up the islands in preparation for some basic gameplay integration, and this sprint we started to get that working. The first mission type in this training area is going to be a “Scouting/Recon” task, where the player needs to gather information from around the map without being detected by the watchtowers on the islands. I had already programmed the basic detection functionality, but the visuals really needed some work! If the player is going to be detected by watchtowers, there needs to be watchtowers. With a mix of assets from asset packs, as well as some custom-built stuff, I assembled a variety of very simple outposts to guard their islands. These will have a lot of different purposes over the course of the different training missions. The main components for the Recon missions are the ballistae, and the flag. There will probably need to continue to be tweaks to their design though, as we see how it works for the other mission types, and in other times-of-day.

At the center of the map on a much larger island will be a much larger fortress that will serve as the focal point of most of the training missions. Initially I had the idea of some sort of “Stockade” like you’d see on the American frontier, but it didn’t seem to have enough verticality/height. I’m wanting the structure to be mostly made out of logs/wood, which presents some challenges for building really big things. I don’t have any clear solutions yet, but hopefully will be able to come up with something!

The other big thing I got done this past sprint was to design and implement a system to be able to select which mission type you want to do. It was a bit tricky to make it so the active mission resets, and the new mission is initiated, but it all seems to be working! The other part of that is the UI for the mission select is a combination of Diegetic (in-world) and non-Diegetic UI. I had to learn how to trigger a cutscene to take over the players’ camera to transition over the table where the mission selection slates are, allow them to do what they need to do, and afterwards return the camera to the players’ view. It took a fair bit of trial and error, but it’s functionality that is going to be really cool to implement throughout the rest of the game!