Some exciting news and progress on Dehoarder 2 has happened of late. First, I am in the final stages of negotiation with a 3D modeler who will be taking most of the non-trivial 3D modeling work off of my shoulders. This will allow me to take effort that I was expending making 3D models that were middling in quality at best, and instead focus that energy into gameplay, design, and story. I will have a further announcement with introduction once the ink is dry on the deal.
Today I’ve been working on a long-pending feature, the ability to unlock new colors and patterns in the store based on the collection of color samples. Implementing this end-to-end actually required the implementation of another planned feature – rare and unique items. Rare and unique items will spawn exactly once in a game. They are global spawns – basically, for every X items that spawn, one item spawns from the rare/unique list. These items, rather than being disposable, are collectable.
For now, the only unique items are the color samples, which are dynamically generated based on the list of available colors/patterns in the game. Each sample awards the color or pattern that it shows, which will then be available in furnishing and home improvement stores.
I had considered making samples that could grant 2, 3, 4, or even up to 6 colors at a time, but that quickly became untenable. Since the list of sample items is dynamic (based on the list of colors/patterns in the game), they cannot be easily pre-allocated into sets. On top of that, the custom rendering required for a dynamically generated 6-color sample swatch would have been kind of a mess – either with dynamically generated albedo textures, or sample swatch models that require 8 draw calls, pick your poison. So for now I decided to keep things simple with single-color samples.
There will be other unique/rare items in the game that can grant bonuses – maybe things like reduced energy consumption, happiness bonuses, faster actions, bonus to bin capacity, etc. The other side of the coin on these items is that they take space to display, and can usually be sold for a decent amount of money. Some unique/rare items will be so sentimental that Harry may need to develop god-like willpower to even think about parting with them.
Over the last couple of months, I’ve been working on filling out all of the rooms in the Dehoarder 2 house. I’ve taken a cue from the Lego games, stashing junk everywhere, just waiting to be released from drawers, cabinets, containers (stacked floor to ceiling in places), even plumbing. This technique allows me to greatly increase the number of items that can be present a single room without dragging down performance by having all of these objects active at the same time.
The rats become even more fearsome when they are part of a basement maze of boxes so tight that you cannot move past without being bitten. The rooms look even more cluttered when the walls are lined floor to ceiling with blue storage totes. Every drawer, every pocket of storage will appear to be extra-dimensional in nature.
The containers and rare item spawn rate synergize well. Some rare items are available at the start as part of the room junk spawns, but most will be hidden away in containers, awaiting discovery by treasure hunters.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about the mid/late game. Eventually, you get enough willpower that disposing most items becomes a breeze. Lower-level items don’t contribute as much to your willpower score, so there needs to be more ways to mass-dispose of these items, especially when large piles of these items show up unexpectedly.
One of the more popular suggestions I get is for Harry to have some kind of pet(s). Specific ideas have ranged from one (or many!) cats, to a platypus. However, I think I have come up with the ideal pet, one that fits perfectly with the theme of the game: A goat. There are urban legends of goats eating items like tin cans (not quite true but it suits my purposes). So, somehow, there will be a way to obtain a pet goat in the game (named Pica), and this goat will autonomously wander around consuming junk for you. This is just one of the later-game ways planned to creatively dispose of junk.