Red Planet Farming - Energy and Solar Panels

So I watched The Martian for the first time ever last night, and it was quite a wild ride. It’s interesting that the world is set in a time that doesn’t seem too distant into the future.

Anyways, what I noticed in the movie was that there was a lot of emphasis (or at least imagery) on solar panels, and that got me thinking about how I could incorporate this into my game. I implemented an energy system, where different upgrades and buildings take up a certain amount of energy. So you would need enough energy to power, say, three domed fields and a water tower. I added a small energy meter to the UI, and also added a solar panel building into the game. So players can now build solar panels and add to their energy levels.

Each upgrade and building now has a certain amount of energy it requires to remain powered, and I’ve updated the buttons to include this need:

You will notice that now there is a small lightning bolt and the required energy amount.

In addition to all this, I’ve been advised now by multiple people that plots should be allowed to have more than one upgrade. Unfortunately, based on the way that I’ve currently laid out the plots, it is going to be a UI challenge to get more than one upgrade on there. I feel a bit dumb because I think I always knew that more than one upgrade was going to be something that I would want to add to the game, but instead of feeling annoyed with having to redo the UI, I suppose this is a good lesson that I should be more prepared and set up my assets in a way that they can change easily down the line.

Anyways, I feel like I make so much progress each day on the game. It’s crazy to look back even two or three posts ago, which in real time, was only a few days ago, and look at how much I have been able to accomplish in this span of time.

Nina Demirjian