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Monday, October 29, 2012

Huge Progress

So wow... Progress...

As you know, I've been working on the quest system. Well, a big part of that has been getting the map system working, because I need to be able to show quest markers, and location markers. That in itself is quite a feat in an infinite world.

But in adding that functionality, I stumbled across a problem. For some reason things weren't displaying properly at all... I knew how the map code SHOULD work, but for some reason it wouldn't behave properly, even though the code was correct. I decided to look deeper and what do you think I found? I found the bug that had been preventing biomes and oceans from working!

HUZZAH!!!

Not only does this mean that the game's scope is now finally on track, but it means that the game world can finally be locked down!

I won't get too technical on the topic, but here are a couple of videos showing (very, very early and basic) biomes and oceans working!

Biomes!

Oceans!

I'm very excited... Expect to see BIG things happening in the game's development now that the world is locked down... BIG things...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Where I'm up to

So here's a little glimpse as to where I'm at.

I was hoping to get the beta out tonight, but things just didn't quite come together. The main reason why is because I REALLY want this beta build to have at least basic quest functionality in it. That, however, involves more than I realised.

Firstly, there's the map. You've all seen the country map, but what you've been seeing is what is called the "immediate countryside map" which shows the area around you for about 200sqm (650sqft) which is about your visibility range. However, a step up from that is your local world map, which shows the world around you for about three and a half square km (around two square miles). Then, if you're thinking of travelling further, you can go all out to the greater world map. That's a biggun. It shows the world around you for about 250sqkm (150 square miles)

I just want to point out right here that one segment of greater world is over 30 times larger than all of Skyrim.

But anyway... I digress... Every time you find something - a dungeon, a town, etc - it will go on your map as a dot so you can find it again later. In order for quest locations to be "marked on your map" or even held in memory until you discover it yourself, I have to have the map marker system in place. Doing this requires disgustingly large amounts of data to be processed very quickly (because people get angry at long load times). So my next major task is getting that happening.

Currently the local world maps are working just fine (even showing the biomes that aren't really there :P) but world maps I still have to do. Shouldn't be too much of a chore, however, as I already have them being stored in memory in order to calibrate the player's location (you may remember that in order to facilitate a truly infinite world I have to maintain the player's location within 6 dimensions at once. Yay maths!)

But once I have locations being marked on the map and stored in databases, I can get to work on having quest givers be able to "mark things on your map". That way, when you have an active quest selected, you can go to your map and maybe, if it's that sort of quest, you'll get a hint of where to go.

But the world of Ahkranox is quite big, so I also need a search function. Only for places that you've been to, of course, but still. To help facilitate this, you'll be able to pay cartographers to update your map for the local area, which should help your detective work quite a bit.

After that, I need to put in the system that recognizes when a quest is completed. Normally this would be quite easy as in most games the quests are pre-written by people, so the completion circumstances are equally written. But Malevolence comes up with its own quests, so recognizing if a quest has been completed is a difficult task...

Either way, I have a LOT of work ahead of me tomorrow. It's 1:30am right now and my eyes are having a hard time staying open, so I'm gonna get some rest, then wake up, have a shower, crack open a can of Dr Pepper and try and work some programming magic for you guys :D wish me luck!

P.S. Oh, and at some stage this weekend, the new site will be launching. I'm REALLY excited!