I'm a writer and visual artist in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

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Make No Wonder – Campsites and Fire

I’ve updated my Make No Wonder version 3 demo to include some new code. In this updated version, the fog that obscures the unexplored landscape does not remain cleared as you walk around – you can only see a small area immediately around you. I like the sense of isolation and the unknown that this creates. It also allows the player to get lost – when playtesting the game, I found myself sometimes following my own footprints to find my way back to where I had started.

To permanently clear the fog, the player must build campsites. These use up a lot of resources, and can only be built on 4×4 areas of flat land. Once a campsite is built, the area in a radius around the campsite will remain clear of fog as it is explored. To fully explore the map, the player must periodically build campsites across the landscape. Hovering the mouse over a campsite shows the circular area covered by the campsite (the yellow dotted line in the screenshot above).

I also added a feature where if you build a campsite too close to a tree, the tree can catch fire. Fire spreads to other tiles and destroys trees (and therefore the player’s wood supply), as well as built objects such as bridges. I tried to make the fire spread quickly enough that it seems unpredictable and dangerous, but still slow enough that a quick-thinking player can harvest some wood before the fire gets to it, or even create a firebreak. The fire element was partly inspired by Minecraft, which I’ve been playing a little lately.

One of the things I want to work on next with Make No Wonder is limiting the amount of resources the player can carry at once. Campsites might be used as a place where the player can store resources to retrieve later. I also need to improve the fire animation, animate the campsite tiles, and fix a few new bugs.

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