Boobie Teeth 0.21 is now up on Releases. This is most likely the last update that I will be releasing before the talk I’m giving at Notacon 8, so if you’re reading this consider it an advance preview of what you’ll see if you happen to be attending.
This release has numerous improvements over 0.20. I went through most of the script code that I wrote and reformatted it, and in some cases did some refactoring. As a player you won’t notice this of course, but it will enable me to work faster and release more frequently as I continue developing the game. I greatly simplified the collision detection, which has yielded some modest performance improvements. As a result of some of the changes I made, I had to temporarily remove Feeder Fish from the game, but I’ll be bringing them back in as soon as I can rework them properly.
Since playtesting this version, I am really moved by some of the emergent behaviors that I’ve observed. Granted, sometimes the fish do stupid things like ram themselves into the ground or continue chasing a fish they targeted that has since grown too large for them to eat. But I’ve also seen fish leaping out of the water, feeding behavior that almost looks like schooling (though it isn’t). The thing I like the most, though is a change I made to the fish’s “normal” movement behavior. Instead of moving at a fixed speed, it changes through a range of speeds every few ticks. This gives it a movement that is more characteristic of fish swimming, with a pulsating faster/slower speed to it. I find it emotionally compelling when I see a fish moving like this while being chased closely by another fish right behind it — it looks like the fish is struggling to swim as fast as it can, falling behind, going faster… sometimes they get away, sometimes the chase fish is too fast for them.
I have a lot more planned for the AI in the game, but for now it’s at a point where it is basically playable and you can get a decent feel for what the game is meant to play like. This is much improved over earlier builds where “dumb” fish simply moved horizontally at a fixed speed.