This update gets Mount Animals in place, including upgrading them via Aether Lenses.
The actual values for everything is probably going to take some work -- animals are starving way too quick, particularly when upgraded.
Mount animals come in one of three types, which has a terrain specialty (floor, solid, water) and terrain it can jump over or is bad against:
Can gallop on floor tiles
Slow in water
While on floor tiles, can jump over solids.
Can gallop on water tiles
Slow on solids
While on water tiles, can jump over solids and floors.
Unlike other types, can be summoned in water.
Can gallop on solids
Slow on floors
While on solids, can jump over floors and waters
Unlike other types, can climb from floors to solids directly.
The three should be fairly balanced -- gallopers are definitely way more useful in terrain that is largely floor tiles, which happens a good bit. Swimmers are more balanced on different types of terrain, while Climbers can navigate solids with ease. Which one you use as your main will probably come down to player preference rather than balance issues.
Riding a mount swaps your color and symbol to it. These will be customizable in a future update.
Moving around sometimes makes the animal very lightly hungry and sometimes doesn't.
Pressing [Z] will make your mount enter "galloping" mode -- here it'll move very fast on its preferred terrain type according to its gallop speed stat. This always makes the animal hungry.
Gallop speed can be adjusted with the mouse wheel while riding a Mount.
Animals can jump over types of terrain other than their specialty. Gallopers can only jump over solids, while both climbers and swimmers can jump over their two non-specialties. This is again a game balance thing. You see a lot of jumping in the video. Like other stats, this can be upgraded, which you also see in the video.
Mixing upgraded galloping and jumping can make animals ludicrously fast, however upgrades mean everything costs more food and the animal takes more mana to summon. Also upgrades cost starshards, so there are definitely trade-offs to breaking the game. There are however no limits to anything, and there are ways of getting around the bad effects.
Mounts can sometimes have a "Mining" stat -- this allows them to pick up multiple resources at once within range. Very handy, somewhat buggy at the moment however. There are usually hunger costs for doing this however.
Hunger and Feeding
Pets get hungry for a variety of reasons -- this varies between animals as well. You get a breakdown of how much each action consumes in the stats menu. In this case they get 0.05 points of hunger for moving, 0.1 points of hunger for doing any kind of resource gathering whatsoever (mine) and 0.4 points of hunger each time they gallop.
Pets start with varying amounts of their limit to hunger. This limit can be upgraded. In this case the animal has 91 points of hunger to max out.
Pets must be fed feed that corresponds to their food preference -- the food preference system is also how you breed them. Feed can be created at a Feed Mill. Here it's Beans Feed.
Pets are definitely getting hungry way too quick, and you get way too much feed from items and it then restores too much. I need to rebalance everything here.
This fixture has been in the game forever (down in caves, magic shops, as a base fixture) but now it finally does something -- lets you upgrade Pets.
Almost every stat can be upgraded, which costs 1,2, or 3 starshards (depending on the animal).
The actual amount that it gets upgraded varies sometimes -- this is indicated in the "Toggle Upgrades" area by the colors red (lower than normal), green (higher than normal), or yellow (normal).
Upgrading also raises the hunger cost of all actions by some amount and the mana cost of summoning the animal. This is indicated in this menu and in the stats menu.
You can also downgrade stats. While this still costs the same amount of starshards, it does exactly what you'd expect -- lowers the value of the property and makes food and mana costs go down. Very handy if you're trying to rebalance a Mount to a particular specialty manually.
Getting this Pets update in place required creating a more robust way of generating random values. This will be very useful elsewhere.
I've done a LOT of work on the Civilization v2 project, including scoping out every quest type and how they work. It still isn't a solid set of notes yet but it's getting closer.
Update URLs like this one now have an assortment of in-game shatterloop images as a background. Very minor update, but pretty neat looking.
State of the Project
The next Pets update will include a lot of miscellaneous stuff and also the framework for the Combat update so Mount animals are fully integrated into the game (since they're extracted/incubated from animals, which are currently turned off). After that I'll work on scout animals. So the Pets project as a whole has 1-2 updates left in it.
My next update I'm going to work on the miscellaneous tasks / combat framework update. If it's a short update I might do some of the remaining Bases v1 tasks, do Scout animals, or work on Combat some more. Or just release a short update.
With Pets 1-2 updates away from completion and Bases also 1-2 updates away from completion, Civilization v2 Notes going very well and the Combat project getting started next update, the major projects of shatterloop are getting close to completion. After that I have the roughly 42 posts worth of loose ends to work through as well as some late-game stuff like magic or the potions update that I can't get to until the other systems are done. Overall the project as a whole is going very well and is getting close to another major milestone.
I'm unemployed again at the moment so I've been able to dedicate large amounts of time here again at a pretty accelerated pace, however this isn't going to be permanent. I'm hoping I can get a lot of work done before I have to start working on a career again, however.