September 12, 2020
What started as a couple weeks of much-needed vacation turned into a long-term refuge away from the state of California, as wildfire smoke made our already-hobbled city almost unlivable. We're back home now, but the smoke came back with a vengeance right around the time that we did. This coming Monday, California---and much to the west coast---will have been burning for four straight weeks. Given that this is just the beginning of fire season, there's no end in sight.
So, I'm hunkered down here at home, with all the windows shut, and the HEPA filter running full blast, working on One Hour One Life. We can't go outside to get exercise, because the particulate count is so high. We're somewhat safe indoors, but with five people breathing away in a small, sealed house, our CO2 level has peaked above 3700 ppm. Yeah, that's "cognitive decline" levels of CO2. Please forgive any typos.
And so, with all that context, I bring you delivery trucks, which is something that I've been joking about in relation to One Hour One Life since the very beginning (from rocks and sticks... all the way up to delivery trucks!)
Not only can they hold a lot, but I've also been rethinking vehicle fueling, and these new trucks will last an entire lifetime (hour) on just one fill-up. That means that if you find an abandoned truck, you'll probably need some diesel to get it running, but if you're actively using it, you will be able to depend on it as long as you need it. This change in thinking may eventually trickle down to make the Crude Car more useful as well.
But besides updating OHOL this week (finally), and generally running from the smoke, what else have I been doing over the past two months? I've been working on a vacation project, which is live now:
This is the first publicly available interface that allows you to converse directly with the world's most advanced artificial intelligence. Over the past nine months, AI has become so good that it has gotten spooky. However, since it requires a full-time super computer to run it, it's pretty much out of reach for the average person. I've figured out a way to make talking to it affordable (just $5 to get started, as we collectively share the costs of the underlying supercomputer).
When you're talking to it, the sense of an intelligent presence is palpable. I never expected this to happen in my lifetime, but it's here, now. And it's really, really weird.
This week's VOG Shot features Malin Snow and her daughter Ida traveling along the very long road:
|Update: More Fixes|
July 24, 2020
I spent the week clearing up some of the reported issues that had accumulated.
The biggest change is to how killing and posses work. First of all, if you try to join a posse, but cannot for some reason, you get a DING message explaining the reason.
Next, there's a new exception to the posse and exile requirements---something like "live by the sword, die by the sword." Someone who kills becomes vulnerable to being solo killed, without being exiled or having a posse form against them, for 60 seconds (the same amount of time that they are stuck holding the non-sword murder weapon). This helps people deal with the "evil leader" problem. The current leader is the most powerful in terms of being able to exile, which means that dethroning them requires quite a bit of political willpower. If that leader goes on a unilateral killing spree, organizing collectively to de-follow them---to strip them of power---can be really difficult. One of the early ideas for justice in the game was "safety in numbers." As long as the citizens outnumber the griefers, the citizens should triumph. That idea resurfaces as we differentiate good killers from bad killers. The good ones will need to be protected by others while they are in their post-kill vulnerability state. The bad killers, who are acting alone and without the approval of the group, become fair game for everyone. The 60 second window of vulnerability is a live server setting, and may be tweaked in the future. It could be even longer than the murder weapon hold time.
Feast tables have been tweaked so that they are no longer kick-started by pumpkin pie, allowing these pies to be stored on a table without forming a feast table.
This week, I'm also kicking off a new community content feature. Congratulations to Fred Struggs, whose modern berry farm is featured in this week's VOG Shot:
I'm on vacation next week.
July 17, 2020
Long-distance pipelines can drain the new diesel oil well from afar, and also give you more oil per well than the Newcomen pump.
And pipes, for both sprinklers and oil, can pass through property fences now.
This might seem like a simple change, but with all those different pipe orientations and and flow directions, it's actually pretty complicated, requiring 125 new objects this week to stitch the whole thing together and make it work. Long distance flow requests and responses, with no code changes needed to make it happen.
|Update: Paved Roads|
July 11, 2020
Over the years, a few people have complained about what is shown toward the end of the trailer. When the game shipped, these people were apparently expecting atomic powered robots and monorails.
However, the end of the trailer is supposed to represent a possible future for the game, when I say, "Who knows where we'll end up?"
And that's what these weekly updates are about. Along with improving the core of the game, and fixing problems, I'm also slowly adding more and more advanced technology. There are already hundreds of things in the game that weren't shown in the trailer. Just not robots, yet.
Today, we inch a little bit closer to some of the stuff shown toward the end of the trailer, with the advent of paved roads. But these roads, with the way they are constructed, and with the way the seamlessly connect together with branches and tees and crosses, go far beyond the straight horizontal highway shown in the trailer. Spaghetti junction, here we come.
You can also add elbows and vertical sections to the layout of your sprinkler pipes, allowing you to build more compact fields that are served by a single sprinkler pump.
|Update; Green Revolution|
July 4, 2020
New this week: diesel-powered plows and irrigation systems.
Through these industrial farming techniques, you can use water, soil, and iron much more efficiently.
The third-party tech tree (OneTech) can now be reached from a button on the Login screen.