UI and Gameplay

Quite a lot of changes this past week. I have considered switching to updates twice a week (for now I'll leave it as one until I get a good enough routine). As of this week I am back to working full-time regularly (first time since July). So what has changed in the game?

Well, as I get closer to beta & release my priorities are starting to switch. One of the areas that I am starting to spend more time on are 'maintenance' type tasks. The obvious part of that is bug fixing; I managed to fix up a number of UI bugs, issues in the other modes, and a nasty input bug. Another aspect of maintenance is just cleaning up code as the game starts to stabilise. This week that mostly involved removing old, dead systems. This simplifies smaller changes since there is less side effects to worry about.

I have also begun working on UI improvements. I have just about excised all the debug visual in main gameplay; just one more little bar to replace tomorrow. Thus far a big chunk of the work has gone into two engine improvements. One is to refactor how some of my 2D drawing happens, the other is to simplify usage of the animation system. 

I have also worked on game play changes though. With the maintenance I did a fair bit of an overhaul on the 'banquet' mode. In this mode you get a big batch of dishes. Originally you had a finite amount of time to clean them, although I am also trying out just minimising the amount of trays. In a way they are highly related, although from a player perspective it changes the sense from a second time-based mode to a purely spatial one. I have also adjust how it unlocks (once you have enough dishes) and how you earn coins.

I also added in a few missing minor mechanics. That included the ability to buy bins (which should make it possible to play past 6 tables), drops, and a 'daily special' (one order is twice as likely as normal). I also changed how different orders are unlocked (what groups of dishes you will see. It adds variety, but also complexity surprisingly).

The last bigger change was to move the game from an almost 'level' like style to be endless. I thought I would try this after watching someone playing other games, as well as mine. I realised while the level like system allowed for a clear sense of progress and short play sessions, it made everything else awkward and, in a way, makes sharing progress less intuitive. It also makes it a lot more open ended.

Any way, that has been my week. I'll primarily be doing UI work this week probably, and bug fixes. I am hoping to get a bit more testing in (and work with any feedback) and hopefully get more of the data balanced so I can progress to beta soon. 

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