There hasn't been a lot (or any) discussion on this blog about the upcoming Technomancer gamemode. I am very sorry for this, and it's completely my fault. Time is a resource I wish I had more of, but fortunately I have some more now, so now I can write a little more about what I've been working on for half a year.
Anyways, Technomancer is shaping up to be tested in the near future, likely within a month's time. After the tests, and the bugfixes that will be needed afterwards, Technomancer may be ready to be released afterwards, but no promises.
Unrelatedly, here's a pretty .gif of a beam of lightning that is continuous.
Stuff Being Cut
Unfortunately, in order to get Technomancer out the door and avoid the horrible thing that is feature bloat/creep/whatever you call it, some things needed to be scrapped, at least in the short term. Below is a list of stuff that's been binned in favor of finishing in a reasonable time.
Aspect Spells & the Combining System
This was planned to allow for combining the 'theme' of certain types of abilities, with a specialized 'aspect' class of spells, e.g. fire ability + Aspect Aura = Fire Aura. Unfortunately, designing all the spells needed for each aspect was an over-ambitious task.
Fortunately, the abilities that were made for this system will instead be stand-alone spells that you can buy in the spellbook (called a catalog in-game) by themselves. The actual task of combining spells by making two spells and clicking one with the other was also rather clunky and not as fun as I had hoped it would be, which gave me another reason to scrap it.
Assistance Tab Choices in the Catelog
It was originally planned to be able to purchase various things to come to the station independent from the Technomancer, for example a Ninja. This was planned before mixed gamemode options was a thing, so this option isn't really needed anymore. I didn't code it as well, so time saved is always nice.
Another option was for a synthetic assistant called the GOLEM, which could also use abilities, and was planned to be ran as an NPC, as opposed to a human player (that's what apprentices are for). This is being cut since making an AI for this would take a lot of time, for a feature that might be rarely used.
Apprentices are still going to be a thing, as they're a core part of the experience, so the tab isn't going away entirely, it'll just be a bit empty when this is released.
The idea for this tab was a collection of abilities that people new to playing Technomancer could look at, for inspiration or to buy a set of abilities. Unfortunately the reason for this being cut is a failing on my part on creativity, since I could only think of four sets of spells, which is rather small, and I worried that this tab might undermine the creative potential for the entire array of abilities available.
Perhaps I will revisit this later, since without the tab, a new problem arises, where someone might be overwhelmed by how many choices there are.
Now with all the cuts out of the way, let's talk about the future. This is the roadmap for the near future for Technomancer.
I am currently in the process of regurgitating the current wizard spell hud and making it into a generic 'ability hud', that any mob, antag, or whatever can use. This could be used not just for Technomancer functions, but Changeling abilities, Ninja modules, Cult stuff, and more.
One advantage for the new HUD is that it will enable people to actually keybind abilities, using the BDYOND macro system. How this is done is with a hidden verb called
.activate_ability #, with # being the slot number that you want to trigger. You will be able to rearrange which abilities are in which slots by drag-and-drop. For example, if you want to use the first ability, you'd make a macro that inputs
.activate_ability 1, and you're done.
The Catelog is the thing used to buy functions, items, and other stuff. This is actually still not completely finished, as a few things could be done better, and this is such a vital object, that it needs to be done before Technomancer can be tested.
There is a wiki page for Technomancer, which needs to be cleaned up to remove the aspect system. The spell list also needs to be updated, as some of the spells described have been removed, or are not implemented and might not make it to release.
Before releasing Technomancer, I'm going to do some internal, then public tests, with the goal being to find bugs. Afterwards, those bugs will get fixed, and hopefully the code will be good enough to release by then.