This week I took a step back from pathfinding. The base of the system is in place and basically just requires a lot of data to be entered in to tell people where to go and when to go there. Normally, I'd keep going, but not all the locations in the game are in place yet, and even the ones that are in place aren't exactly set in stone. While I could use markers to dictate where NPC's walk around to and just move them accordingly, I am trying to reduce object clutter on the map. With markers out of the question it falls to X and Y coordinates. Since the locations on the map aren't necessarily permanent there is a chance that I'd just have to redo all the values at a later date, so I moved on to another system that will be a mainstay in the game.
That system is what I am tentatively calling the "shipping and refining" system. If you have ever played a game like Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley you are probably familiar with a small chest on your farm that you drop items into. At the end of the day the items in the chest are automatically sold for you.
In Verdant Village I would like to expand on this system a bit. While you can sell what you make in town to various NPC characters you can also use the shipping chest. The shipping chest functions in a similar way to the aforementioned systems, you can drop items in at any time and at the end of the day they will be sold for you.
This is where the "refining" part of the name comes in. There will be two additional tabs in the shipping chest UI, one for refining and one for pickup. The refining tab will allow you to take advantage of the NPCs in town and their individual skills. This tab will allow you to select an NPC and view the items they are capable of making for you. For example, the blacksmith could take copper ore, some coal, and, for a small fee, turn it into a copper bar. This bar would then be put in the pickup tab for you to use.
The idea is that through this system you can interact with the townsfolk and utilize them based on their profession. There are also plans to unlock more recipes as you progress in the game. These unlocks could be based on your relationship with the NPC or something similar to doing a quest to unlocking said recipe.
I think the system has a lot of potential to add something to the formula. It always struck me as odd in these types of games that you were a farmer, miner, smith, woodcutter, fisherman, etc. And while you were doing all this stuff the townspeople were just sort of static. Before next week is out the system should in place along with a set of simple recipes to access. Thanks for reading, I hope you all find this sort of thing as interesting as I do, its really just the tip of the iceberg.