GearHead Caramel v0.541 has just been released. Two new mecha have been added: the Phoenix and the Secutor. Combat has been updated, with both melee attacks and electronic warfare getting some much needed boosts. You can grab the binaries for Windows, Linux, and MacOS at GitHub.
I have just uploaded GearHead Caramel v0.540. Lots of new content this time around; every town gets its own randomized threat scenario, for instance. The Vadel and the Daum have been added from previous GearHead games. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
The next big thing is going to be personal scale combat. In theory this already works, but I need to add dungeons, lots more monsters, and some reasons why your player character would venture into these dangerous places without a fifty ton war machine backing them up.
I have submitted all my grading for the semester and don’t have any classes this summer, so it’s time for me to catch up on GearHead stuff. And comics. And cleaning my house.
Things have been a bit quiet on the GearHead front as I’m finishing up my first semester as a professor at a new university, getting all of the spring grades calculated + submitted, editing the videos for our online summer session, and still getting over a bout of bronchitis that fortunately is not Covid 19. My next goals for GearHead Caramel are to add more local quests to fill out the DeadZone towns, to get personal scale combat working, and then to start on the second half of the DeadZone Drifter plot.
Itch is running a bundle to raise money for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Community Bail Fund. Right now you can get over 1000 indie games for $5. I’m not sure, but this may very well be the best deal in the history of computer entertainment. My comic “Voles of the Dusk” is part of the bundle, and as its regular price is $5 it’s like buying the book and getting 999+ games for free.
I’ve made a short video of GearHead Caramel to show off some of the new features.
I’ve just uploaded a new release of GearHead Caramel, v0.520. Probably the most exciting change this time around is the addition of cybernetics; there are also improvements to the Mechanical Tarot scenario generator and cosmetic enhancements to Wujung. And you get to punch nazis. You can see the full list of pages at the GitHub releases page.
I have just done an upgrade of the Mechanical Tarot scenario generator, and I think it’s ready for prime time. The concept behind the Mechanical Tarot is that various NPCs, factions, locations, and props get “Cards” attached to them. These cards define the role of whatever they’re attached to, and also define how this thing can interact with other things. By constructing a sequence of interactions we can procedurally generate puzzles and situations for the player to interact with.
The refactoring gives the Mechanical Tarot cards a well-defined interface for describing interactions. Cards now have lists of Signals and Sockets; a Signal is a message this card can send to other cards, while a Socket is a possible game event waiting for a signal to activate it. The cards themselves are now bare-bone lists of interactions; the game content gets handled by subordinate plots that the card loads upon activation.
These subordinate plots just need to focus on one purpose each, so they can be relatively small and reusable. For instance, the plot for discovering a clue just needs to place the clue item somewhere in the world, while the plot for linking the clue to a crime just needs to check that particular socket for activation. Neither plot needs to know or care about the other. This is much better than previous versions of the Mechanical Tarot system in which the cards had to handle both their interactions and their game content.
GearHead Caramel v0.511 has just been released. You can grab the ready-to-play versions for Linux, MacOS, and Windows from GitHub.